John has wanted to see this house for months. He's watched the price drop and the description get more desperate; he also thought it was marvelously quirky (from the tiny bit you could see on the listings). We drove past it on our way to see the house we DO like, and I agreed that we should tour it when we met with an agent. When he set up our appointment on Friday, he asked that this be included, and the agent was able to make it happen. (It was the only house that was occupied.)
Words can't accurately describe, and pictures can't show you how truly bizarre this property was. I couldn't take pictures of how disorienting and claustrophobic the second floor was, or how scared we all were on the stairs.
Aside: Last Friday I went to an Uppercase Living* party at Jdub's. A few of us got to to talking about buying/selling houses and the subject of setting/staging the house came up. Someone said they'd heard (on a TV show) that emptying the house and removing all of your personality was essential (paraphrasing). I said that we'd done that with my dad's house and the real estate agent told us that we needed to move furniture back in so people could visualize better.
Well, this house taught me that there must be a happy medium. I understand that the owners are still living there, but even if the stairs hadn't been dodgy, and the roof hadn't been sagging, and the second floor hadn't been claustrophobic, there was just no way I could envision this as our home, largely because of the decor. When a wall is a boring white, maybe you can imagine it as a stony gray/green. But when it's a vibrant royal blue or a shocking sunshine yellow, it's much harder.
I didn't photograph the pole barn in the back. I'd been excited about the second floor (ooh, studio), but the entire thing was rough -- crushed asphalt on the ground (downstairs), and no finishing upstairs. The entire thing, top-to-bottom was full of stuff (think Sanford and Son).
Going left to right, row by row:
- What's not in this pic: the moat/pond that's under that deck approaching the door. and all the bizarre statuary.
What you can't see in any picture: how uneven the deck/ramp is.
What you can see: the roof sagging, ever so slightly. It appears that the entire house was built out of salvaged materials.
- The back of the house. Pretty good indicator of what was to come. (We went straight out to the back to check it out.)
What you can't see: the deck made with too-thin wood and too-widely-spaced supports.
- Quirky little details all over the place. Lots of strings of fake flowers. These may be attached to a string of lights (I don't remember).
- Always look up. I totally missed this little detail, but John caught it. The ceiling of the hallway leading to the bathroom was white pegboard, with translucent pushpins, a la Lite-Brite. (For fun, here's an online version.)
- More of the hallway
- What you can't see: the wood stairs are only ½" thick (there's a closet underneath) and are not uniformly shaped.
What you can't feel: the linoleum-over-carpet squishiness, the disorientation of the oddly-shaped stairs.
- The hanging object to the right (on the cherub's left) is a string of reflective dart "feathers."
- Took this for Heather. There were odd collections of things all over the house, but this and the big burro on the stair-wall were my favorites.
*The party was lovely! (Jdub was, as always, the hostess with the mostess.) I found several items I'd like for our new home - after we move; however, word of advice to home party sales people: don't distance (there's a better word, but I'm blanking) your customers by announcing that you would never use a particular line of your own products! In this case, it was the Halloween-themed items. I'd immediately honed in on several that I wanted, or I thought would make cute gifts, and the sales rep announced that she didn't celebrate Halloween, and that she'd never use any of these because she'd offend everyone that entered her home. Better to say nothing at all, sweetie. Talk all you want about your favorites, but keep your trap shut about the things you don't approve of. (Unless you don't mind not selling any.)