Monday, March 10, 2008

They always find someone to take my mind away

Exhausting weekend. Apparently the open house was very well-attended, and the cookies I baked were a big hit. Also, rumor has it the people who came in to see the place before the open house liked it quite a bit. Yes indeed ... but I'll wait to see if that chicken hatches before I count it.

The whole day Sunday started with a snafu--I had completely forgotten to set my clocks back Saturday night. I had been too exhausted to remember. So Sunday morning, la la la, I'm puttering around vacuuming and spiffing up the joint thinking I have oodles of time ... then I stopped to check e-mail and the clock on my computer said "11:50 am." Yikes, think I, those people could be here in 10 minutes!! So I quickly hide whatever clutter needs to be hidden (I only hope I can remember where I've put everything over the past few weeks), stash the laptop and grab Pinky's crate. It was not a moment too soon--they were coming up the walk right at the stroke of noon. So I went out, apologized and asked for another minute while I got the dogs on leash and into the car (with Pinky practically strangling herself trying to go meet the new people). We then headed out to Northgate Park for a bit of a walkabout.

Then I came home and baked up the cookies (I carried the fresh-from-the-oven baking sheets around the house to spread the smell!), placed them alluringly on the table next to a put of mums and the listing sheets, and trundled the dogs into the car again. This time we headed down to Forest Hills Park, where Lucy taught Pinky how to flush a rabbit from the tall grass. A good time was had by all. Except maybe the rabbit.

I still had more time to kill, so I decided to go drive by some houses. First stop was Woodcroft, where there is a house just over my price cutoff, but I wanted to look at it anyway. I don't really feel like a Woodcroft type of person, but the miles and miles of walking paths make it seem like it would be a great place to walk dogs. Plus it's very close to my dog training place and a quick hop to I-40. But I can't really afford anything but a condo there, and I don't want a condo.

Then I went to Hope Valley North, where there are two "contemporary" houses at the top of my range. As luck would have it, both were having open houses. I found shady spots for the car so the dogs wouldn't fry and went in. I really liked one of them, although the yard was too "natural" (i.e., overgrown with brush) and so not only would I have to fence it, I'd have to clear out a lot of stuff to make it usable for my purposes. Plus there was too much carpeting inside the house. I prefer wood or even laminate flooring to carpet.

I was finally allowed home, but left quickly again to go looking at houses with my agent. We started with a house on Woodland in Trinity Park. We didn't get very far inside before turning around and leaving. It looked like it would need another $100,000 just to make it livable. The same was true for a house on Glendale in Duke Park--it almost made me want to cry.

I cheered up a lot upon visiting a place on Englewood ... the drawback being that it's in Walltown. The house is newer construction (2004) that's designed to look like the existing bungalows, and I prefer older houses. Plus it's got vinyl siding so I wouldn't be able to paint it in some kind of wild color scheme (chartreuse-and-grapefruit, maybe?). But the house is really nicely laid out inside so that it feels spacious and airy. The back yard, while not huge, is nicely flat and open--I'd just have to fence the sides. Still, I'm trying to decide if I would really feel secure living in Walltown.

I also looked at a couple of places in Lakewood on on Huron Street. Lakewood is a spotty neighborhood with a few scary/depressing areas, but Huron Street is really lovely. Like, "I can hear the mariachis" lovely. I liked both of the houses I saw, but they're just over my cutoff (one more than the other). I can always just try making an offer, though ... one of the listing sheets says "bring offers" which I think is real estate agent code-speak for "we know we're being ambitious in our price here ... let's make a deal."

I looked at a place on Bivins Street that had a chained dog next door and junky neighbors on both sides. Do Not Want. Another place on Hillcrest (the street behind the Broad Street Rite Aid--in what I call "Interstate Heights" because it overlooks the newly-broadened I-85) had a washer and dryer serving as kitchen countertops on either side of the stove. Do Not Want.

There are still lots of places to see, and I can't even make an offer until my house goes under contract (hatch already, chicken!). My agent keeps assuring me that I'll have a lot more to choose from in another month as the spring housing market blossoms. But I'm starting to get tired of this whole thing--selling a house, buying a house. Bleah. I just want to lie on the sofa and watch movies now.


dcrollins said...

Hey Lisa, I know this is kind of random but can you put in a good word about my friend's band to the program director of WXDU? They are a bunch of Dukies from the class of 1988 who play psychedelic surf guitar music (with go-go dancers on the north side of 40 yrs.).

Anyway, they're all coming down here for reunion weekend (12 April) and would love to get some airplay or even a gig. I'll look up their website and send you some tunes.

Very sorry to see that you're leaving Trinity Park.

Lisa B. said...

Does your friends' band play originals or covers? Because if it's covers, there's not really a chance they'll get much 'xdu buzz. The best way to try to get on playlist is to send a cd to the music staff: Music Director, WXDU, PO Box 90689, Duke Station, Durham NC 27708. If there's some sort of note explaining that they are Dukies that might help. Also if the music is really cool ;-) I'm part of the music staff ... except that I've been too busy lately to go to meetings. I also don't really have any gig-getting connections to speak of, but you can send me the info/links and I'll give 'em a listen.

dcrollins said...

Covers? Puh-leez. This is Reverb Galaxy ( I would say it's not exactly my cup of tea, but who knows you might like it.

The guitarist and I are both former XDU DJs from way back in '87, and confirmed Robert Pollard fanboys if that means anything.