Something that I have noticed during our recent house hunting endeavour, is that I'm always very interested in the history of the building.  I should clarify.  We're not looking at newly constructed houses.  The stories of how the work crew skipped a couple of steps on the installation of the foundation or the plumbing or the electricity, although certainly VERY interesting, is not relevant here.  Instead, we're looking at houses built in…oh my god…the 80s.  So, they've had an owner or two already…and things have probably happened…

So, along we come, BetterHalf, the two LilOnes and The Jamoker, all hand in hand and excited to be looking at houses.  We're excited because we've outgrown our little love shack and need more room for our holiday decorations.  We're excited because we need a pool.  (My hooligan offspring need constant activity…most would assume they come by the ADD honestly.)  And, we're excited because we've scrimped and saved and been smart (well, BetterHalf was the smart one) with our finances and can make this move without losing our membership in the "we shall drink no wine before it's time" club.

So, anyway, we're looking at these twenty five year old houses that might have a few things wrong with them…but, they are in a good school district or the area holds its value well or the yard is perfect or…you get the picture.  We're willing to make the trade of a little work in return for a house we can stay in for 10 years ourselves.

But, "a few things wrong" is a VERY relative description.

Picture if you will a very large house on a quiet street.  New construction is happening a quarter mile down the road, but this street is quiet.  From the street, you can see signs on the windows of the house.  The signs state that the house has been winterized…which is better than saying it has black mold.  But, still, we wonder how long the house has been empty.  Upon entering we see that the carpet in two rooms has been pulled up.  Some drywall has been removed, exposing the 2×4 studs.  I think, "water damage…must be why they winterized…"  Alright, so that's not a deal breaker.  Then, BetterHalf hollers from the kitchen…"oh my god look at that POOL!" and her voice does a little lift at the end of the sentence.  This is the sound of amused surprise, not scorn.

I step into the kitchen to see an olympic-sized pool, taking up the ENTIRE backyard.  25 meters long, at least 4 lanes in width…with a platform diving board.  And, from the kitchen window, I can't see the bottom of the pool.  Then, I realize, there's no water in the pool.

So, I step outside and step to the edge of the pool.  LilOne#2 is still holding my hand…and hollering with glee about "THE POOL, DADDY THE POOL…"  I decide it must be at least 15 feet deep.  It's HUGE.

It takes up the entire yard.  There's not a speck of grass.  The area of the pool, including the concrete apron, is larger than the area of the house itself, including the garage.  It's completely out of place.

After spending a few more minutes contemplating the depth of the pool, I then decide to walk around the inside of the house.  I find myself amazed at the cheap materials used in the house.  The carpets and linoleum were of very un-neutral colors and looked quite worn.  The cabinets and counter-tops were also very cheap.  The light fixtures and window treatments were very dated.  All in, it looked as if more money had been spent on the pool than had been spent on the entire inside of the house.  Completing the tour, BetterHalf and I decided this was not 'our investment opportunity' and that we needed to keep looking.  As we locked up, we just kept shaking our heads and chuckling.

And, yet, the curiosity of what the 'story' might be remains. 

Who would build a pool larger than their house?  And, who would get chintzy on the interior of a house, considering a) the neighborhood b) the size of the house and c) not wanting to lose money.

Who lived in that house?  

Advertisements