Since y’all mentioned in the MORE THAN FIVE comments yesterday that you’d like to hear about m’new house, I thought I could start with that story, and on the following days we could have a delightful new catch-up series, a catsup series, that really cuts the mustard. You’ll relish it. Hot dog!
Please go back to obscurity.)
A catch-up series wherein I tell you what’s new with my pets, my job, my friends, and m’love life. As in, is that a bone-in ham?
As you know, from your Big Book of June Events that apparently has been lying sandy at the bottom of your beach bag all summer, I was always brokeldy broke broke. It was driving me crazy.
I had the idea to sell my house, fmr., because while I know it wasn’t any grand mansion or anything, it was cute and in a very desirable area. Trust me. That area was hot. Like, you’d totally wanna finger that area.
First of all, it was centrally located. Second of all, it was rich-people adjacent. Like, across one busy street from my house, fmr., is the neighborhood of George Bailey, the richest man in town. I mean, it’s swank.
Plus also too, I was in the school district you wanna be in, apparently, which as you know makes a giant difference to me.
So for all these reasons, I sort of, oh, impulsively called a real estate agent offa Zillow one day in early July. I was looking on Zillow to see what my house was worth (hint: Eleven billion dollars more than I paid for it in 2008) and below that it said, “Interested in impulsively selling? Call now!”
So I did.
The real estate agent came over soon after, and said, “Everyone is looking for a house exactly like this.” Then he told me what he could get for it, and it was more than stupid Zillow said, and my eyes turned into dollar signs.
A few days after that his wife came over, because she’s good at staging a house, and she was all, “Oh my god, everyone is looking for a cute house just like this. Hide the litter boxes and the 18 foster kittens and you are golden.”
They scheduled an open house, like, immediately, and meanwhile, 23948572240 people came to look at it.
This entire time, mind you, I was all, THIS IS GREAT and WOOO! and MAKE IT RAIN and what I’m trying to say to you is I called a Realtor offa Zillow on a Tuesday and my house was sold for the full asking price on Sunday. I had multiple offers.
So that was fun. And then I figured out why my house sold so fast.
There were no other good houses for sale on earth.
Also, that is right about the time my real estate agent became George Bailey, the most beleaguered man in town.
(If you still don’t get my It’s a Wonderful Life refs and you had all summer with nothing to do and no blog to read, I don’t think I can help you, and neither can our Lord and Savior.)
My poor Realtor. It’s rewarding to know that you can change someone’s life for the worse in just one summer. Oh, I wish you’d all been there. Because my real estate professional lost his will to live, and sort of wished I’d shuffle off this mortal coil my own damn self. No one has hated a person with more white-hot heat than Bob My Beleaguered Realtor ended up hating me.
I wanted to buy something cheaper than my house. I wanted LOWER house payments. But everything lower was on the corner of Crack and Ho. Right off Methamphetamine Ave.
And everything a tad higher was BRAND-NEW! In a street with NO TREES! And an HOA!
Girl, I looked at real estate apps the way a 17-year-old boy looks at titties. I looked at real estate apps the way Camilla Parker-Bowles eyes up a bag of feed. No one was more attuned to Greensboro’s real estate market harder than I was July and August of 2018.
I almost made an offer on the downtown place. Turns out my pal Kit had lived IN THAT VERY PLACE in the ’70s, when it used to have a pink bathtub. But what about Edsel? There was no yard. If he got diarrhea in the night I’d have to take him to the rapey streets of downtown. Where I’d be driving all the old men crazy.
Okay, no one really missed you.
Finally, I made an offer on an old-lady townhouse that I could have made ADORABLE, and they didn’t accept my offer.
Then I made an offer on a really beautiful hou$e not far from where I lived, and they said ye$, but once I met with The Money Lender, it turn$ out my monthly payment would have been way more than the online mortgage calculator said. $o I had to say, Okay, never mind.
I mean, dudes. There was nothing out there. Oh my god. Pickins were slim, pickins.
There’d been a house my pal Lilly found, over in her town, which isn’t that terribly far away. It was cute, and in a cute hood, and I looked at it, liked it, and after a week of deliberating, I made an offer.
They accepted it.
So that was it. I had my house. I was gonna move in, and yes, I’d have to learn to navigate a new town but what the heck. And I’d be near Chris and Lilly. I’d be living in their town, driving all the millennials crazy.
But for some stupid reason, I kept my Trulia app on my phone, the way you keep your Tinder going even after four dates with a promising guy. And maybe two weeks after my offer and right before my inspection, I saw this…
I saw it first thing one morning, soon as I woke up. And I gasped out loud. I had a G-O-L situation.
So I phoned Bob, my beleaguered realtor.
“Bob, I found a house I like better than the other house.”
“I mean, we can go look at it, but the inspection is scheduled, you’ve paid a due diligence fee. Your move-in date might not jibe anymore. You might be homeless a few weeks. We can do it, but it’d be a lot,” he said beleagueredly.
Beleaguered Bob hates me.
I went to see it despite these obstacles, and I almost cried. I have no neighbors behind me. There are woods, then it sharply drops off, and there’s the train track. THE TRAIN TRACK!
The house was way less expensive than my old one, making the payments really low. Stupid low. You-wouldn’t-believe-it low. It was the price I’d hoped for but never found beyond the corner of Ass and Rape.
But this neighborhood, while not pristine, was cute. And? The house was in impeccable shape.
I sat on the back steps and watched yellow finches fly in the pear tree. I heard the train rumble past. And I thought, Could I ever be lucky enough to live here? I had tears in my eyes because I never thought I’d get lucky enough to live somewhere this good.
Turns out yes. I CAN live somewhere this good.
AND? It turns out I knew the owners! I work with the woman who owned this house! Her husband had lived here since 1963. She’s a wonderful person, and they kept the place immaculate. I will ruin it immediately.
As soon as she and I figured out I was looking at HER house, our respective real estate professionals told us DO NOT SPEAK. And we didn’t. Even though we were dying to.
And yes, it was a pain in my ass to switch from the house I said I’d buy to this one.
So I made an offer on this house, and had to live with Ned for 10 days, while the poor woman I work with moved out tout suite and Bob the Beleaguered Realtor took up sniffing glue.
And look. This neighborhood ain’t fancy. It’s a mill neighborhood. It’s on the historic register. We’re near two mills, and these houses were BUILT by those mills. The houses on my street are identical, just boop! boop! boop! all the same design, and we all have an alley behind us because in 1932, everyone had an outhouse. The really cool news is, the alley for some reason stops at my house, so I have, like, a personal alley.
You know what song I hate? The Alley Cat song.
So while these houses are charming AF, not all are as…kept up as mine. Most people who live here have lived here for generations. Their parents were mill workers, and in some cases so were they.
The nearby mills are shut down now, but one has been revamped with fancy apartments (Ned looked at one back when he was looking for places) and restaurants and so on, and they just broke ground on another even closer, less than a mile, to do the same.
So I think this neighborhood may become more desirable as time goes on, and in the meantime it’s quiet, other than my neighbor’s rooster WHOM I LOVE, and everyone here looks out for each other. And I have the prettiest little pink millhouse in town.
So that is the story of how I became an urban pioneer. And of how Edsel managed to ingratiate himself into nearly every photo.
P.S. I have been getting together with other UPs in the neighborhood on Friday nights. We go to the local Mexican restaurant and talk about just everything, including how charming this neighborhood is. It’s just three blocks, mostly with dead ends, and the train tracks behind us. We’re very sort of isolated here.
And oddly, I am now just on the OTHER side of the rich-people neighborhood.
I keep skipping over moving right in there.
So that’s the catch-up info re my house, and I hope it answers everything re this, seeing as I’ve droned on for 1900 words and you are doing this:
Driving all the old women crazy,