House shop with June

I’m thinking of moving to Michigan. Look, I’m not sure, OK? I’m in the deciding stage, where I have been since before the plague. But now that that is partially behind us, and my immediate family is vaccinated, and I am eligible for a shot on St. Patrick’s Day—which is the story of my life.

Actually I don’t know if I’ve ever actually DONE a shot on St. Patrick’s Day. Oh, wait, no. I HAVE. Several years ago, when I was thinking of moving to Winston-Salem (I know, OK?), my friend Marianne and I drove to a house I liked and shoulda bought, and we had dinner after and it was St. Patrick’s Day, a thing I recall because Marianne was GREEN GREEN GREEN oh my god GREEN. And they had some trollops there representing a whiskey company and they gave us a free shot of said whiskey and then they gave us all kinds of swag that I still own from said whiskey company and as usual Marianne made deep friendships with these young salesgirls, as that is the way of her people The End.

My point is, soon I will be able to move about the country, so I can go back to mulling this move. I wish to be closer to family and also I can keep my job; I’d just have to be a contractor. I realize that’s not ideal but it’s something that makes moving not impossible.

Plus, this neighborhood is bugging me. I’d kvetch about it but I don’t want anyone from this neighborhood to read this and abhor me. I mean, Faithful Reader Audra who lives on the next block reads me, but she’s bugged by the same things that bug me.

But on the other hand I love things about this house. I love the back yard, and all the light my little house gets. And how it’s six minutes from work, which will be back to being a thing soon, now that our break is over. I got on the habit of calling it a break and now I can’t stop.

My point is this: I’ve been sending my mother out on real estate hunts just in case I DO move, and I thought maybe it’d be fun to take you with us on our hunt. For Red October. What the hell is that? I mean, I know it’s a movie, and I assume it’s a BOY movie, so I never saw it because if anything gets chased or blown up, I do not care about it. Was Red October someone’s period? Was someone not wanting to be pregnant so they were hunting for it?

So, let’s look at the houses I’ve looked at and sent my mother to, so far.

Wait. First let’s look at one of the texts I’ve had with my friend Sandy.

I’ve been writing my Michigan people this week alerting them I might be moving their way. I had a long discussion with Hulk, of course. Hulk has retired and is bored so he’s looking for some sort of job to fill his time. I mean, he can now do ANYTHING, even be a cosmetics saleswoman at the Chanel counter, which may or may not be one of my dream jobs. We spent a lot of time trying to dream up a job for him, and it turns out our pal Hulk is frighteningly literal and it’s hard to get him to dream.

Somehow we meandered onto a job I loved: being a secretary at the old Episcopal church. I liked it cause it was such a beautiful old gothic church, and I mostly worked alone, except the occasional old parishioner would come in and I adore older people, especially now that I’m one of them.

“I could never work at a church,” said Hulk, who has to be literal about everything. Did I mention?

“I know, I just meant…”

“I mean, do you know how inappropriate I am?” he asked, on a roll the way I am about calling the pandemic a break.

Finally, we decided that if he got a job in a church they’d start a new movement called #YeToo, and I never could get him to see I meant to PROMPT him to think of a job he’d like. I also tried the prompt: “If they paid you in something other than money, what would you want? Concert tickets? Plane tickets? Kittens?”

“I’d need to work for money,” said Mr. Linear Thinker. Said Mr. Ima bout to get slapped directly in the ass by June.

Anyway, I also told my friend Saundra what I was thinking, and she texted, “Holy crap!” about 109 times.

So, she wants me to move right next to her, and see above where I warned her I’d be Wilona on Good Times, and then she made fun of my current references and really, we were roommates in college and we shared clothes and makeup and never fought even once, so moving near her isn’t out of the REALM, really. Her husband is tying a noose as we speak.

But let’s look, shall we?

OK, OMG, look how cute this one is.

Will I be, like, sued if I plop in photos? Here’s a photo from that house.

I have always wanted an entryway. At my apartment in LA we had an entryway. It was my favorite place I’ve ever lived.

OK, now how about this?

And, finally, here’s one in my actual home town, and I would have to redecorate, but I like to redecorate.

So, that’s what I’ve got so far and I will keep you posted and WHO EVEN KNOWS if I really will move. But I can shop. Shopping is free.

Talk at you,
June

78 thoughts on “House shop with June

  1. An entryway? Oh, the memories. My family’s had a coat closet on one side, and on the other, four sort of organ pipes hung down and played the Westminster Chime when anyone rang the doorbell. Every single person who removed a coat there let loose a whangle bangle bong.

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  2. I loved them all! How exciting to have something wonderful to look forward to. Each house has it’s own special draw, first one is move in ready, nothing to do but pack and move. The second is adorable and looks like you. The third is brick,ess maintenance. So much to consider.
    I can’t get over the prices, here in middle Tennessee, you would get a hovel.

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  3. How exciting to move back to family you love and already established friendships! And the prices are affordable to boot.

    For those who are worried about it… animals don’t just randomly fall in pools. If they do, they swim out. Cats are actually good swimmers. With dogs, you just have to teach them how to exit the pool by swimming to the steps. Once they know, they’re good. We have a dog and two cats and none have fallen in our pool. neither did our prior pets.

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  4. Swimming pools are extremely expensive to maintain including replacing liners, pumps, etc. One of my neighbors with a pool sold their home after having to replace the liner and make pool repairs when they realized they no longer used the pool and they were spending big bucks to maintain it. When looking at homes, consider the cost of painting and maintaining it, but you know that already.

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  5. House shopping and June’s great humor!! It doesn’t get much better for me! One thing I’ve lately wanted when looking on Zillow is a great view of a rising full moon!!! So house orientation matters–don’t waste a southern exposure on the garage!

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    1. My beleaguered mother is off today looking at a new house for me. They TOOK DOWN the tiles in the bathroom and made it gray, and I’m telling you I will PUT THEM BACK UP if I get this house. My point is, I asked her to look for southern exposure.

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  6. Looking at houses and criticizing them as though I have all the money and time in the world is my most favourite thing to do. A Dutch colonial or anything craftsman or cottagey like with lots of original moulding would make my heart sing. Also, I love hydrangeas, though I somehow kills them. Keep the photos coming!

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  7. I’m a day late for the house shopping extravaganza, but wow, moving, maybe! Can I donate one of my extra shovels to you?

    Love the green house, as it feels like you. I cannot believe that price. In my area of So Mpls that would easily be 400k.

    I believe Audra needs to come up and plan the renos for you, and then do some work as well. She can plan the pool removal — hah!

    My only first thought, is this your “forever house” or might you still move again. That would be where I’d probably want to be on one level. And does it have a garage (snow)?

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  8. Holy Crap!

    We had a pool at our old house, the house I grew up in. I miss it SO much. I wish whoever was taking the pictures would have taken them of the ROOMS instead of a close up of their bed, for example. That would have been helpful. This is exciting!

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  9. There is nothing holding you to NC, but so much waiting for you in Michigan. Wishing you the best.

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  10. I love house shopping – I was planning on cashing in on my bungalow last spring and moving to an apartment so no maintenance but then the plague hit and I stayed and had the bathrooms redone so now I might stay – who knows I feel like I should be making some life changes. I live in Ontario so nearish to Michigan – and the winters lately have been good – you still get your messy snowy icy days but it is so much less than it used to be – the summers are humid but bearable except for a few days here and there but on to YOUR houses – the green one while pretty – the maintenance alone would opt me out – too much house and yard (but I am lazy and have no maintenance skills) – the others perfect with a little redecorating – one level – smallish but enough room. This is so exciting – fingers crossed that the stars align and you get what you want – whether or not you move.

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  11. House hunting with June. How fun! They are all so cute. That first one has a great interior. I think it had a fence? Thinking of Edsel. The green one is MY DREAM what with the giant front porch and all the rooms and the bathtub and the IN GROUND POOL. And the brick one is also great. Fence, gigantic garage. I love them all. I’m so helpful.

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    1. I found one last night that’s 5 minutes from my mother’s house. Someone clearly flipped it and Joanna Ganes it to death. Is it Gaines or Ganes? Whatever. So I’d have to make it less … modern but it’s an old house so I’m not that worried. But the more I look at the green house the more I adore it.

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  12. OMG how fun, I love looking at homes! I say #2, #1 & 3 are too close to busy roads, #1 is ON a busy road, the traffic noise would make me crazy. #2 has a finished basement and is so charming, you could foster cats like Howard and Beth!

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  13. I am SICK over this. SICK. I am so busy (at work)(no social life)(and not because of The Break) I just saw this new post NOW. I want to examine every house and I CAN NOT because I’m too GODDAMNED busy.

    But I’ll be back, if I’m ever not busy.

    GodDAMNit.

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  14. I really really love the green house! It makes me happy to just look at it! Hulk has a pool so he could be your pool maintenance person. Tadaaaa, there’s a job for him!
    The first house is also very nice, but the third one is very bland to me. But then again, I have no imagination, I am sure once you move in and decorate, it would be super cute!

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  15. These prices are simply amazing. That bungalow sitting next to railroad tracks would be double here. In a decent neighborhood it would be 500000 dollars. And I live in freaking Utah. Now I want to move to Michigan too! Really that little green bungalow was just adorable.

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  16. Doesn’t hurt to look! And that way if one day you suddenly just decide and are ready to go, you’ll have a good idea of what you want and where you want to be.

    And also it’s just fun to look at them!

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  17. OMG, the green one with the pool!!!! That is my dream, to have a pool. I would buy that one in a heartbeat …. everything about it is gorgeous! Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

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  18. Oh, the bungalow is adorable. I hope my next house is as cute as that. A pool is a lot of work but maybe a service would be affordable and maybe there’d be a hot pool guy.

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  19. I think this is the best idea you’ve ever had. In 2015, my two children lived on opposite coasts. I didn’t think they would ever come back to Boise considering opportunities and a probably pay cut. But now they’re both here and they (including the daughter-in-law) they are very happy they made it happen especially now that work from home is so prevalent.

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  20. Houses one and two are adorable! That entry way kills me. They both have character. Which seems like a perfect fit for you.
    Pools are a lot of work. House three is bland. The prices killed me. Here in NJ you can barely get anything for those prices.

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  21. You should totally buy the green bungalow. Pool, check; covered porch, check; garage, check…. and I can’t forget to mention all the charm. This is kind of like one of those HGTV shows whereby you get three options. I’d pick the Bungalow.

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  22. So I have watched Hunt for Red October and even though it’s not my preferred genre I liked it. Sean Connery is great in it. It was engrossing.
    All the houses are great. But can you handle the winter? I grew up on the east coast and moved to CA and I k ow I could t survive it. But you Michiganders are much tougher I suppose. Good luck with the decision!

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  23. I had to stampede immediately to comments without reading the others which is something I rarely do.
    I love the Bay City house. I loved it before I even looked at the pictures. The picture of the front of the house alone sold me. It has a POOL. Even though it’s not downtown you’ll be driving all the old men crazy in your pool.
    Wait! I’ll be back.

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    1. Also?! Just a short 5 hour drive would separate us. We could meet half way to consummate our love.

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  24. They are all nice but I like the first one, on Albee lane. I really like the foyer/entryway. It reminds me a bit of the home you live in now, small, cozy, cute and easy to clean. Plus, it has a huge backyard for Edsel to chase after Blu. The house with the pool? All I can hear is splash, when Edsel starts running around back there. And, all those leaves to rake, yuck! The rambler is okay, but cozy is missing.

    Prices are not bad at all in Michigan, even though real estate prices have gone crazy in the past year. I live in NY, about 6 hours from the city, and the homes around here sell in a day, for thousands more than asking. I have heard that many people have left NYC for a more rural area. A young couple just bought the house next door, and they offered 10K over asking. It was the 5th home they had put an offer in and they didn’t want to lose this one.

    I love “hawking” homes. It’s kinda neat to see how others live. Thank you for sharing.

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  25. Oh my God, those home prices are KILLING me! We have 1,200 square foot houses in my neighborhood selling in the $900K range. I’m getting calls and letters from realtors every day asking if we’d be interested in selling our house because the market is so hot right now and people want to move to my neighborhood (location location location). Despite thinking I’d live in this house until I was carried out feet first, we actually have been talking about selling because our house is worth so much and well, retirement is looming but we just can’t figure out WHERE we would want to go. Both of us have lived our entire lives in Southern California and you just can’t beat the climate and nothing comes close to that. Decisions, decisions.

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    1. I know!! Those prices! I am in MA – property here is ridiculous. We pay $1700/mo for a 1 br, 1 bath apartment in the armpit of MA!! Wowza. Who knew?

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  26. Oh that green house with the stainless steel counters and the soaking tub!!! I love that one the best. I also like the last one because it reminds me from the outside of my childhood home in the Chicago suburbs. It’s exciting for you now, since your job is stable, you can just look for housing and not have to worry about a new job, too.

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  27. I want house number 2. But that’s a whole lotta house, pool, land for one person. Heating bill? Oy. So number 1. I personally cannot stand brick and the current owners have no yard imagination. In the end it sounds like moving back to the area is a good idea.

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  28. The green house is yummy. How do you get to see the rest of the listing? I can tell you, I still miss my house on Holly – that is where I lived when Marc died. You were at my house I think? It was so adorable and in a horrid neighborhood (per many critical friends) but it was historic and I never had trouble there. Now I have moved all about and still miss that house. sigh. Just saying. Maybe you could rent yours out for now? Or maybe best to sell – you can always buy again.
    I hope all goes well whatever you choose. Life is about taking risks and enjoying. Being close to family may be a sweet time. I have no one there anymore so I stay here – but really do miss Debbie. She is in New Bern and that is far from me in a pandemic. Soon though. I get my second shot on St Patrick’s Day! haha

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  29. Wow! Holy crap! It will be an interesting drive with five animals in the car.

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  30. I like them all, love the green one. In the last one, it mentioned roof sprinklers as an update. What are they for in a city?
    Anyway, have fun looking, whether you move or not. I look at these beautifully staged houses, then look at my 43-years-worth-of-crap-filled house and am green with envy for your ability to even consider moving.

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  31. I too am mulling a move to be closer to family, but it’d have me move to the hot deep hell of South Carolina and I’m just not so sure about that. UNLESS I could live near the water but by the time I work the streets to be able to afford that lifestyle, I’d be 135.

    In any event, I completely understand your moving idea and your thoughts on the ‘hood. My version of it is different than yours, meaning more tolerable, but still. If only we could pick up our houses and easily transport them to anywhere else. Moving closer to family is a good reason to move especially as they get older.

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    1. We just left SC. It was getting hotter every year and we’d lived there 8 years without any hurricanes. Had to evacuate once every year for the last 5 years. So we came to MD where we’ve had 185 snow and ice storms this winter.
      Tornados in the mid west anyone???

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      1. My parents live in Summerville and I think the only place I could live would be Charleston. But heat and I don’t mix. I’m lucky I make it in NC.

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        1. LOL! We were in Goose Creek! What about Mt Pleasant? It’s a little further out but slightly less expensive depending on which side of the bridge you pick.

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  32. That green house is a dream. I kept looking at the kitchen photo for the stove. Finally, I see it’s one of those flat top things. My only experience with those was at a rental house and it was a huge PITA to clean. Just a little FYI in case you are leaning that way.

    I am always impressed at how you just up and make changes, move houses, get new furniture, etc. I have a hard time doing anything until I make lists and list of pros and cons and generally suck the fun out of everything. I will be anxiously awaiting further developments!!

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    1. Okay, I commented too soon. I didn’t notice that I could open the link to see loads of photos of EACH house. I still like the green house the best. And yet they all have great features. Another thing to consider is that the green house has very little lawn to mow.

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  33. How exciting! We’re still not eligible for the vaccine so just over here tapping a finger. I’m content to live vicariously through you. Hate moving but the fresh start is so refreshing. Tired of our neighbors already and it’s only been a year.

    I big puffy heart love the green house – but would the Eds and feline assortment be ok with the pool? I mean, sure, a certain Milhouse defies all cat rules and knows how to swim but everyone else might not be so gung ho? That house is so gorgeous though…. I know charm is cliché but right even down to the pink room!

    The rambler looks like it’s been well cared for – even the flashing on the chimney seems like it’s been highly maintained so not likely they’ve ever had a chimney fire but that orange. I know this is someone’s home so I don’t want to say anything other than that’s a bold choice for many walls.

    Also, drooling over the housing costs in Michigan. If it weren’t for the winters, man. $150k here gets you, well, nothing. $350k barely gets you anything. We need to move too. Grr.

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    1. I looked at the Google maps satellite imagery for the green house and it looks like a LOT of houses in the area have pools. I agree with everyone else that it’s the cutest of the three, but it does seem like a pool would be incompatible with your menagerie. Interestingly the house isn’t green in the Street View image (from 2012). That image does show, however, that the driveway is separated from the neighbour’s by a little speed bump curb which makes it (1) rather narrow and (2) probably too narrow for a snowplow. Which means either shoveling or a snow blower.
      Are you sure you want to move somewhere that snow removal is a necessity?

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  34. Oh man. These prices kill me. We are looking at buying in SoCal, and anything that works for us *starts* at $750K. And, that’s for a fixer-upper in a not so great neighborhood. *sob*

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      1. Born and bred Californian here and never, and I mean NEVER, have I ever called my state “Cali.”

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  35. I just love the home in Bay City. The Midland house is a close 2nd. I enjoy looking at real estate.

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  36. Oh count me in on loving this idea. I do think being close to family is a lovely idea. I mean, they make you crazy, but they also share your BRAND of crazy, if you know what I mean. And Hulk to boot. I mean, what more can one ask for?

    What darling houses! I’m in love with the green one – so beautiful that front porch! But I do love a good entryway! Oh how fun!

    “Her husband is tying a noose”. HAR!

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  37. Okay, the house with the entryway, and that arched doorway, and that lovely glass front door? That’s obviously the house to buy. Of course around here all of those details mean the house is either inexpensive and falling apart or quite expensive. I don’t know if that’s the same in Michigan though.

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    1. Houses are still pretty affordable there, although they’ve recently spiked and it chaps my hide. Just when I consider returning, they start costing an actual amount and not $89.

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      1. Everything is on a boomerang rebound right now – happens every time there’s a spike in the stock market after the presidency change – the real estate market is bound for a crash soon. The market was starting to dive in some areas before the pandemic but ended up riding the wave of the low interest rate and work from homers. Now that those are fading away, it’s not going to be pretty (for sellers anyway).

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