The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

DIY: It’s Not Just For Geniuses

Yesterday at the last house of a tour of 7 with my clients, Jessica and Doug. West Mesa, HUD home, built in 1976:

Jessica (as I’m unlocking the lockbox): I really like the front yard. Nice rock and the roof looks decent…

Doug: Yeah, totally low maintenance and good curb appeal.

Me: Let’s hope the inside is as cute…

In the kitchen/living room –

Jessica: Well… the space isn’t terrible, I guess.

Doug (from the garage): The roof is caved in here. Looks like water damage.

Me: There’s a secret wacky crawlspace behind the pantry! It’s probably where the family kept the kid they didn’t really like. So creepy. Want to check out the backyard?

Walking around the edge of the back patio –

Me: Oh crap. There’s a window AC unit…

Jessica: What does that mean?

Doug: It means there’s an addition.

Me: A half-assed, DIY addition that wasn’t ducted into the house. It was probably built by the owner’s cousin’s friend and five of his buddies out of empty beer cans and chicken wire. We should go in and see where this crazy addition was tacked on.

Doug: I’m pretty sure this is mold growing out of the patio covering.

In the master bedroom –

Doug: Oh wow. So they took the closet behind these mirrored doors, knocked out the wall and built out like another four feet? And now it’s some kind of a weird ass office in here? This is pretty messed up.

Me: It was probably a torture chamber office. It has that kind of torturey feeling.

Jessica: But purple. So purple. So why does it have a window AC unit in here?

Me: Usually it’s because it’s not vented to the rest of the house at all. So when you shut the weird mirrored closet doors it wouldn’t get any air circulation at all.

Doug (pointing to the ceiling): True, but look, it has a vent grate.

Me: Wow, that is incredibly weird. Why would they have a window AC for such a small room if it is vented through the house?

Doug (walking directly underneath the vent grate to get a closer look)Oh because it’s not. There’s no actual vent. It’s just a plastic grate screwed directly into the solid ceiling, over the purple paint.

Me: WHAT?! That is awesome. God I love this job. I feel so sad right now that we don’t have access to the owners who did this to ask them why. I cannot imagine the logic that went into going all the way to the hardware store to buy a grate to put over an imaginary vent and screwing it into the ceiling. Like did they think it was more aesthetically appealing this way? Did it make them feel more high class? Like they could look at that grate while they were doing their torture office work and pretend they had actually hired a professional to make this room and feel better about themselves?

Jessica: At least there aren’t any bullet holes in the windows like the last one…

Me: A positive spin; that is what I like to hear!

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