The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Lessons Learned

I showed houses ALL weekend. It was fun but exhausting, and I had to sneak loads of laundry for my family in between clients. I need a nap.

Things I learned this weekend:

1. When they say “Fixer-upper,” they really mean “Squatters have been living here.” I visited an utterly horrifying home today with a client who is interested in the idea of a home in a great area that needs a little work. It wasn’t yet on lock-box, so the listing agent told me that we could look in the windows and walk around back just to get an idea of what was there. Well, the truth was, there was a lot more than just a house there. In the front yard we were mystified by a decaying boat taking up most of the yard. In the backyard there were various rusting unidentifiable pieces of machinery and a bizarre sort of double spa that was so cloudy and green we couldn’t see to the bottom of the shallow water. In the back, we also discovered that the back door was actually broken down, along with several windows. We took the opportunity to tour the inside. It was filled with graffiti and junk (plastic margarita glasses and eerie old, broken toys, to name a few bits). My client said it was a touch too much for him to fix. I didn’t blame him at all.

2. My left knee doesn’t have enough cartilage from the abuse it took during my high school dance career to work the clutch in my husband’s 6-speed 2004 Toyota Matrix for six hours a day in construction traffic two days in a row. I will be limping to the office tomorrow.

3. Maricopa (the town) and Queen Creek may sound like similar communities in that they are both on the outskirts of town and currently experiencing new building, but OH MY GOD are they far apart. My client in from Michigan’s husband suggested that we check out both areas, so we hit one right after the other. Maricopa is literally 16 miles west of all civilization, while Queen Creeks is several miles south and so far east that it is actually into Pinal county. OY, was that a bad idea.

4. Sometimes, the pictures on the MLS system just do not do justice to the loveliness of a house. Another house I visited today (with the same client as the house of horrors) had such an amazing backyard that I’m sure I will dream about it tonight. It was enormous, with a lovely shaded grassy area in the middle (there was even an inviting hammock hung between two tall trees). Along the left side of the yard was an awesome Pebble Tec pool with an attached spa. I could picture my kids running wild in the expansive grass while I laid in the hammock and watched. It was such a nice yard, it would have made up for the blue carpet inside the house for me.

5. When I call my husband and he says, “Who are you? Elizabeth who? My children have no mother; she left us long ago and we have given up hope that she will ever return…” it’s time to go home.

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