The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

See What I See

I’ve been trying to remember to take my little Flip video camera with me whenever I show property. Last Saturday I especially remembered to throw it in my bag because my client had stopped by one of the properties we were taking a look at already and peeked in the bag. He warned me that it was doozy, so I came prepared to document.

People regularly ask me about the worst houses I’ve ever been in and there’s a couple that always come to mind. There was the one that had one of those creepy wood and rusty re-bar structures covering the pool that the banks used to do to keep neighborhood kids from drowning in the pools of abandoned houses. The pool covering structure was covered in flies and smelled of death. Being a lover of Stephen King novels, I was immediately convinced there was a body stashed under there and a nefarious situation connected. I hustled my clients out of there (not that it took much hustling, they were as disturbed as I was) and called the listing agent. He called me back the next day to report his findings of a dead fish stinking up the pool. Not quite as dramatic as I was imagining, but still super weird.

The other house I think of, that I will probably always consider ‘the worst house I’ve ever shown’ was a bizarre ramshackle ranch in South Scottsdale, too close to the 101 to be considered even older nice Scottsdale. I showed this gem to my BFF (yes, I’m 32 and I still have someone I think of as my BFF) and her husband. He’s super handy and she’s very creative, so they were looking for a fixer in a good neighborhood. This one already failed the ‘good neighborhood’ criteria with its excessively close proximity to the Red Door Saloon (or whatever the dark, creepy bar like 10 steps away from this house was called), but we had gotten all the way there, so we decided to take a look anyway. I have mentally blocked out most of the details of this house because it was so very dark, disturbing, run down and horrible, but basically, it was built in the late 60s and mostly original except for several strange structures built in the backyard that we were fairly convinced someone had used to hold dog fights. It was NOT OK.

Anyway, back to the property I showed Sunday. As I say in the following video, it was up there:

The inside was also gross, cluttered and horrible, but in a slightly more pedestrian manner. There’s only so many bedrooms with kitty litter ground into the carpet, sinks covered in hair and toilets that appear to have never been flushed in their entire existence you can see before they become a little ‘meh’.

But that back yard. Just wow. I really have to wonder about the kind of person who would smoke that many cigarettes without ever bothering to put them in a trash can, but yet would go to the amount of trouble it would take to hang a dripping system of Christmas lights intertwined with fake vines in what I can only assume was an attempt to create ambiance.

One thing I can say about my job: it’s almost never boring. Smelly, yes. Boring, hardly ever.

5 Responses to See What I See

  1. Terrifyingly fun.

  2. Disturbing. I remember you showing a house (on the Ranch?) that had an indoor swimming pool that was covered w/ cat hair.

  3. You forgot the room with no windows and no electricity that we thought was the drug room. And the shanty/bedroom attached to the south of the house with the skylight that wasn’t actually a skylight, butmore like a 1950’s windows that they slapped into the ceiling. And the stairs UP to the backyard and the scary scary pool. Wowza.

  4. See, I knew there was more to the reason I always think of that house as THE WORSE I’VE EVER SHOWN. I’ve just blocked it out because it was so disturbing. I remember we were there a long time even though it was evident after we’d been in the house 6.3 seconds there was no way in hell you were buying it. We just had to explore all of the insane weirdness. Although Matt kept talking about what he could do to fix it up. Because he’s insane.

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