"A creek runs through it."
"It's a three-two," Herself said to me over a late lunch. "Fifteen-hundred square feet," added Da Kid. Only a few years old, concrete block construction with a brick exterior, a "great kitchen," patio, central heat and air, on an acre . . . On and on they went about one of the houses they looked at. It has everything they've imagined and more.
Herself asked me to guess how much, a game we've been playing looking at other houses and gotten pretty good at. I replied and they shook their heads. When they told me what the owner was asking, I knew it was either an incredible steal or there was something big wrong with it.
"You want to know what's wrong with it?" they said.
The ad, the owner and that real estate agent had all described a small creek running through the back of the property. Herself and Da Kid had a slightly different description: a deep drainage ditch, currently dry, that completely bisects the property from side to side, less than ten feet from the patio's back edge.
"That over there is all yours, too," mimicked Da Kid.
Virgins no more, the two have become deadly. They've looked at probably fifteen houses in the last week or so and not even bothered with I don't have a clue how many more. Only one has earned a second look, an official one. Official meaning with "Sis" (Herself's older sister), "Mama" (their mother) and me along.
It's an older house built in the late 1950s, situated among other well-maintained homes of similar age in what seems a quiet neighborhood.
Nice front yard. Not fancy but cared for, and easy to maintain. No fancy garage, a two-car carport.
A tad over twelve-hundred square feet. Three bedrooms, one small bathroom. Central heat and air, ceiling fans overhead. The kitchen's a bit on the small side but not cramped. A decent-sized living room, a good-sized dining room and . . . a den? Family room? City water and sewage with a separate well and pump for the irrigation system.
An irrigation system?
The kitchen door leads to the back yard and a concrete patio. On the right is the door to a utility room big enough for the hot water heater, a full-sized washer and dryer, and once the back of it is cleaned out a danged freezer.
The back yard is decent-sized and fenced. Chain link except for the two sides with privacy fence shielding the in ground pool . . .
The outside trim needs repainting, and the pool shows rust (well water) stains in some places. The interior walls (that aren't paneled) will HAVE to be repainted simply because of the owner's color choice in each of the rooms.
Those of us who ages ago grew up in Yankeeland are familiar with the color scheme: It's New York City Italian Ice. Sherbet pink walls with aqua window trim and a white ceiling. And that was just the living room. (The dining room was robin's egg blue with pink trim.)
The price the owner is asking is well within the loan amount the Deadly Duo has already been approved for. Although the price would have given me a heart attack a few months ago, with the way they are now I think it's a fair one. It might even be a steal because the owner is motivated to sell. She's all boxed up and ready to move out as soon as this one sells, so she can move into the house she bought that's closer to her daughters and grandchildren.
After consulting with the other two "officials," we told them to go for it.
Da Kid and Herself made an offer yesterday afternoon. If the owner accepts it and it goes to contract, next comes the Duo's building inspector to see if there's anything structurally wrong with the house. If not, THEN comes their bank's appraisers to do their thing.
IF everything does work out, a party is already quasi planned. Something like a barn raising, except this involves gallons of paint and brushes.
Trying to get an idea if anyone would be willing, Da Kid called a few of the firefighters he works with. RSVP's to the (maybe) Painting Party have been quite simple: "You'll feed us, right? Then just tell us where and when."