Home Schooled

By Janet Walgren

Yesterday I went home shopping with a real estate agent and real estate investor/trainer. We viewed four homes out of the original list of the ten that we started with.  Three of the four were not functional and looked way too lived in (by pigs). As we were driving back to my car, the agent said, “Janet, you know what’s wrong?”

I asked, “What?”

He said, “You’re looking for a home instead of making offers on houses.”

I think he’s on to something. Architects design houses, contractors build houses, banks fund houses, investors rent or flip houses and real estate agents sell houses.

I wonder if the market might look a whole lot more appealing if someone was actually designing, building, funding, renting, flipping and selling (or living in) HOMES? I ask you:

  • Does anyone ever think about the people who are going to live in the space they’re creating?
  • Does anyone think about what a person, or family, does in a room when they design it?

The kitchens had room for a coffee pot on the counter and enough cupboard space for coffee and mugs. What more can I say when there isn’t anything more to talk about? “I don’t even drink coffee!”

Doesn’t anyone cook anymore? If they do cook, where do they cook – the outdoor barbecue? Wait, there wasn’t one! I guess that ‘s OK because there wasn’t really room for one. Where are people supposed to put their dishes, pots and pans and food? Where do they eat?

The bedrooms, what can I say? Crib space… that would have been a real “WOW!” for me forty years ago, but wait!!! I had six babies and they got BIG!

Two of the houses smelled like barns. Perhaps houses ought to come with enough “room for a pony” and out buildings with pet bathrooms.

One house was an art gallery of sorts. It had graffiti on the walls (0r what was left of them). The water pipes burst when they had frozen and then flooded when they thawed. The tile, walls and ceilings all over the house had been smashed to get to the offending copper pipes.  This was a bank owned property that needed gutted back to the frame. Do you think the bank would loan money to a buyer or pay someone – anyone to fix it?

I asked my agent about it and he said someone would need hard money (cash loaned by a private investor at about 10-12% interest) for the purchase. The bank won’t even loan money to sell their own house. No wonder the market is slow.

It kind of makes me want to drive a stake in some raw land and start from scratch.

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6 Responses to Home Schooled

  1. Catherin Broadhead says:

    Yet another reason I am NOT offended by the title of “Homemaker” as a profession. The sad part of this story is that it is becomeing more and more visably evident that we “homemakers” are becoming an endangered species! and thus the discenigration of the family. So So So sad some of the time we are dealing with.

  2. Emy says:

    I was once given advice by one of my favorite rich guys at Sundance… he said look at a bunch of homes priced 30-50% above your working price range, and then make offers left and right. Someone, somewhere is going to be desperate enough to sell that eventually, your offer out to get accepted.

    Not that I’ve ever bought a house… but that’s how my dad got the house we’re in now, the people were getting a divorce and needed to sell asap. So we got it for 30% less than they were asking.

  3. leswikle@gmail.com says:

    I used to think “I just don’t speak MALE!” when I couldn’t get a contractor to see why I wanted some feature a certain way. I finally would have to ask them if they would rather help me move a big freezer from the basement with the arrangement they wanted, or the way I wanted it. Then they would say something about how they hadn’t thought about it that way. The home show a couple years ago featured houses with high ceilings. They also had proportionally high cabinets. They looked great together! In one room we were in back of a talll couple. I asked him how high he could reach in the cabinet. His 6’+ could barely reach the edge of the second shelf. Everyone started talking about how they hadn’t thought about that. And there was no room for a ladder. I haven’t figured out why people want a bathroom big enough to hold a dance in, a ceiling so high it can barely be seen, enough air space to heat and cool for the ward, or several other designer items that are so popular. I do agree that homemakers and families should be protected like the other endangered species. Good luck
    love ya

  4. Well, we found a place that we are making an offer on. It was way under the comps in price. I called my agent and said we wanted to submit an offer. He told me that the house was a short sale with a listing price that the bank wouldn’t accept. There was already an offer the bank was sitting on $5K over the asking price. The strategy of the listing agent was to list low and start a bidding war after enough interest was generated. We are offering our best offer to start with. There isn’t any wiggle room so wish us luck. Actually I’d rather have you pray for divine intervention on our behalf. If it is right, we’ll get it. If we don’t it’s probably for a good reason.

  5. Catherin Broadhead says:

    Hope all goes well for you. Which one did you pick? The barn or the stall… So glad I’m not shopping right now.

  6. We picked a nice rambler in Cottonwood Heights. My agent said that we will get a counter offer that doesn’t involve an increase in price. We should know the first of the week. There is still one wrench that could mess up the deal but for now we both feel very peaceful. We are praying that we will get it if it is right. If it is not right we are praying that we won’t get it. There are just so many things one can not know…

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