Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

It Was the Best of Listings, It Was the Worst of Listings

A few days ago I mentioned there'd been an impressive 90 showings at our old house since June, but it had yet to sell. It all comes down to one word:


The front part of the house grades gently toward the front door. That alone has deterred many would-be buyers. Never mind that the structural report states the settling stopped years ago and the house is stable. They can't get past the slope.

Which is too bad, because the truth is when you live there, you don't notice it at all. In our ten years in the house, the slope affected our lives in only one way: if we wanted to keep the front steel door open, we had to use a doorstop. That's it.

Interestingly enough, the buyers who briefly had contracts with us backed out for a different reason. Both were first-time home buyers with FHA loans, and balked when they realized older houses require maintenance.

Of course, others also passed for reasons other than the slope. Some said no because:
  • "The front yard is caving into the middle." 1
  • The garage is too small.2
  • We can't afford a mortgage right now, but would like to rent-to-own.3

    ...and of course, the old stand-by...

  • The basement ceiling is too low to convert the place into a man cave.4

Oh, well. It'll happen eventually. Sometime this year, our Tale of Two Mortgages should have a happy ending.

1 The yard is completely level. In the middle of our yard is a walkway. I'm not sure what drugs the realtor was on when she wrote this, but I want in.
2 Apparently, people actually want to park in it. And then be able to get out of their car. Yeah, that's not going to happen in any 1-car garage on our street. Not without a Mini or a Smart Car. Or one of those classic orange and yellow ones.
3 Um, then maybe you should have been seeking out house rentals. This one is for sale. If you're not going to maintain the place and pay at least 90% of each mortgage payment for us, we're not interested.
4 But many caves have low ceilings! It'll be authentic!


  1. When our house was on the market, a lot of people complained that it had wallpaper. And that the basement ceiling was too low to convert it into living space.

    The fact that there was an 8-track player and turntable built into the wall in the kitchen (and why would they? That was the reason I decided to buy the house in the first place!) didn't seem to bother a single soul.

    But yeah. Selling a house is deathly irritating. The HGTV network has ruined it for all of us.

    But if my house eventually sold, so will yours.

    1. HGTV is definitely to blame. And I am, too. Knowing of the HGTV impact, I made sure to take beautifully staged photos, which has brought many people in. (Without a built-in 8-track and turntable, we had to do something.) But the house doesn't live up to the expectations HGTV and those photos created.

      Maybe if they came in expecting crap, they'd leave pleasantly surprised and make an offer. Ok, new plan.