I Swear This Won’t Become A House Blog

Posted By on February 1, 2009

So Saturday was my first day of looking at condos. I had originally planned to go with my realtor on Thursday evening, but it didn’t work out with the agents showing the units. Because apparently some sellers are not that anxious about showing their places to WILLING buyers. Because apparently some agents are too lazy to drive in from the suburbs. Good luck with that commission, seller person.

I had a full afternoon with my realtor and saw six different places. It was a very productive day and I saw some very cool places. I also saw the difference a few blocks can make in the size of a bedroom. I saw that there are some weird people out there and also people who clean less than I do. Which I didn’t think was possible.

I love my realtor. I loved her before I met her, but after spending like four hours with her, I would recommend her to anyone. She’s a great person to have on your side and totally understands how stupid first-time buyers are. And she has your best interests at heart. I honestly know that. So if anyone out there in Chicago is looking for an awesome realtor, let me know and I will happily refer you to her. As long as I like you. And you haven’t left me some assvicey comment (or two) about me venturing into home buying and it being a ridiculous mistake.

The first place we went to was a short sale. It was in a great location and I really liked the building. The unit itself, well, I did like it. I think. Well, I liked the photos online and in the brochure. I didn’t see the second bedroom because the client’s roommate was still sleeping. It was 1:30 PM. Also, in the future whenever I think I’m a slob and never clean my house, I shall be reminded of this place. Two guys live there and it looked worse than a frat house. The bathroom was disgusting and there were empty rum and Coke bottles littered on the beautiful granite countertops.

Now, I’m no expert by any means on real estate. But, if you’re doing a short sale, pre-foreclosure, don’t you want to sell the unit? Wouldn’t you rather impress a potential, eager buyer? To avoid foreclosing on your house and creating a mess of trouble for your credit in the future? Call me crazy, but that would be motivation enough for even me to clean the bathroom sink and recycle a few booze bottles. And maybe get up before noon.

The third place I saw I really liked. It was a re-sale, but it was a good size with a big deck and good-sized bedrooms. It also had an exposed brick wall in the living room. The person who lived there clearly knew how to sell a place and had cleaned better than the other unit. It wasn’t spotless, but not gag-worthy like the other one. And why I love my realtor is that she pointed out some water damage by the windows. She’s all about making sure I know everything before I hand over a shit-ton of money.

The next place we went had two units available in the same building. It was in a good location, not too far from where I am now. The first unit in this building that we saw was decorated nice and it was clean and there was even a cute puppy. (Sadly, he didn’t come with the place.) The problem is that the second bedroom was 7 feet by 8 feet. Which can’t fit more than a desk, especially since the room has French doors that open into the tiny bedroom. I don’t think any future house guests would like to sleep in a desk drawer.

The other unit in that same building was just odd. First off, the woman who lived there apparently was still “living” there. But there was only a futon in the living room, a stereo on the floor, a side table with Hello Kitty stickers on it and some paintings in the office/teeny bedroom. There was nothing in the main bedroom. The paintings, that were hers, were um, risque? There were a lot of titties. And unwaxed va-jay-jays. And oh my nipples!

But that wasn’t even the oddest thing. The seller’s agent, a very nice guy who was very mellow, decided to tell us about this studio of this artist guy he knows who makes “dolls.” And they are all very lifelike because the guy that makes them uses all organic things like cat hair and goat’s teeth and pieces of bird skulls. Or something. And then he told us how he went there and was going to make a doll for his mom even those these “dolls” aren’t really dolls that his mom would like and then I stopped listening and brain matter oozed out my ears and might have left a stain on the hardwood. I apologize in advance to the person who ends up buying that place because I’m not sure how to get GREY MATTER stains out of wood.

The final place I looked at, I fell in love with. (I’ve posted some photos here. The photos are of the place I love and also the leaky window place.) It is a new unit, never been lived in. Brand new appliances and awesome all-around. It has a large master bedroom and a good sized second bedroom. It has a nice patio and built-in shoe racks in the closets. And did I mention the best part? No, not the washer and dryer. No, not the CENTRAL AIR AND HEAT THAT I CAN CONTROL. No, it isn’t the elevator. But, alas, not any of those things, which are all AWESOME things. It is the designated parking spot. While it isn’t covered, it is in a lot behind the building. Which means I don’t have to worry about finding parking and getting RAPED or KILLED or STABBED walking from my car to my house.

I think I’m ready to make an offer. I’m second guessing EVERYTHING, which is so not me. But this is also a ginormous purchase. I have never made a decision this big in my entire life. I also have to take into account that my lease doesn’t officially end until the end of May. And I need to some other lender-y things. Plus, I want to take my brother and/or my mom to look at it to make sure that the agent didn’t somehow drug my realtor and I into thinking this place is really as awesome as it is. Because even my realtor (her of pointing out leaky windows) said she couldn’t find anything wrong with this place.

So, um, I think I’m buying a condo.

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


47 Responses to “I Swear This Won’t Become A House Blog”

  1. Chibi Jeebs says:

    Woo hoo! It’s exciting and daunting and scary all at the same time. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your offer is accepted! 🙂

    Chibi Jeebss last blog post..Housekeeping

  2. HouseofJules says:

    VERY exciting! Love the pix, too. Can’t wait to hear what Bacon thinks of having a new home.

    HouseofJuless last blog post..Nobody puts Baby in the corner Stairmaster!

  3. jodifur says:

    wow! Good for you. Buying a house made me feel more like an adult than getting married. Good luck.

    jodifurs last blog post..An Anniversary I Would Rather Forget

  4. Matt says:

    I know what you mean about the short-sale stuff. What’s weird is, every house we saw that was a foreclosure was trashed (which makes sense, I guess) but the short sales were like that too.

    The best I can guess is that the folks who are going through that are so depressed and messed up in the head that they are not thinking as logically as, say, a snarky blogger named Kristabella or a super-genius named Matt.

    Seriously. They should ask US before they try to sell their houses. We could have a show on HGTV like those shows with stagers, but we could specialize in people trying to keep from getting foreclosed. It would be 23 minutes of you and me yelling at these people “For crying out loud, use a goddamn Swiffer, will you?”

    We are going to be SO RICH.

  5. Matt says:

    Incidentally, while I was typing that last post, my laptop screen went totally blank, but luckily I did not lose the post. I’m pretty sure that someone is monitoring my network connection for Million Dollar Ideas and they were trying to sabotage our new TV show pitch.


    Matts last blog post..How to rock Facebook but maintain some respectability

  6. pseudostoops says:

    The pictures look great! I particularly like your first choice, especially the warm-looking kitchen.

    pseudostoopss last blog post..Bless you, Ina and Deb

  7. Raven says:

    When we were house shopping, I was so surprised at the state of some of the houses; clearly not everyone watches those staging shows on HGTV.

    I will forever remember one house in particular that I dubbed the Beetlejuice house. Who has striped hardwood floors? WHO DOES THAT?

    Ravens last blog post..the honey salt scrub

  8. gillian says:

    Hey, congratulations!!! That’s exciting. 🙂 Looking forward to more “house blog” posts. We’re renting right now, so if you don’t mind, I’ll live vicariously through you. Thank you very much.


    gillians last blog post..gettin’ my scrap on

  9. Sheri says:

    Nice places. Regarding the foreclosures, I’m guessing they don’t care anymore. And some people live like frat boys. They both sound good. You know how you live, whether or not you like to have people over to entertain or are a more go-out type of woman. As far as clean, well, don’t let it totally deter you, because you can clean and probably will after they leave. And re: leaky window, if you really like the place then a home inspection should clear up matters there…..and get one.

    Congrats on finding some really pretty places….I’m voting for big kitchen place. But then again I’m 40 and have three kids so go figure!!!!

    Sheris last blog post..Interviewing Kirsty

  10. ali says:

    i am petrified to sell my house…there’s no way i could ever get in clean enough for people to, um, see the floors. haha.

    so exciting! is there room for when i come to visit?????????????

    alis last blog post..the difference between #1 and #2 (and we are not talking about my bathroom habits) (y’all are gross)

  11. Angella says:

    I’m so excited for you! Off to look at the photos.

    Angellas last blog post..Grace In Small Things – Dos

  12. Firstly, stay far far away from any short sale. Most of the owners involved in a short sale are under the delusion that they can get themselves out of the situation and therefore make it impossible to buy the house. And even if you do decide to buy it you still have to wait forever to see if the bank decides to sell it to you. It’s terrible.

    And just go with your gut. No matter what you are always going to have some form of buyers remorse.

    Dutchess of Kickballs last blog post..Why I’m No Longer Allowed To Mix My Own Drinks

  13. witchypoo says:

    I would have to say go with the bigger kitchen place, and with a tiny guest room/office, you can always do the Murphy bed solution.

    witchypoos last blog post..Carrot Cake-Better Than Mens?

  14. -R- says:

    AWESOME! I second-guessed myself a lot before I bought my house, but I think you just kind of know. It sounds like you know! Yay!

    -R-s last blog post..Windshields Below Zero

  15. Um, there was a MAN SLEEPING in one of the condos???

    Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system – congratulations! So very exciting. And I’m sorry you had to endure the, er, intriguing other condos to find one you think you might like, but maybe that helped clarify things?

    Legallyblondemels last blog post..The Grace Experiment, Part 2

  16. christina says:

    Congrats. I am so glad that you found a place that fits you. I am so jealous of your parking spot.

    Where is the condo?

  17. Gorgeous photos! I have my fingers crossed for you.

    Jen on the Edges last blog post..I want my MTV

  18. Ree says:


    Rees last blog post..Mute Monday – Creatures

  19. TUWABVB says:

    It seems like you had a lot of great choices – I’m so excited for you! The top 2 choices look amazing!

    You would be surprised what some owners do when they are faced with a foreclosure or short sale. As I told you, my husband works soley in that market and people will walk off with the weirdest things. Such as a sink, various appliances, all of the doorknobs in one house! I’ve seen it all.

    TUWABVBs last blog post..8 out of 25 Things About Me (That May or May Not Interest You)

  20. Sara says:

    The best part of house hunting is people’s weirdisms

    Saras last blog post..Old John is dead, survived by the sink and urinal

  21. Your first choice is GORGEOUS! Love the kitchen!

    I can’t believe there was a dude sleeping when you were looking at one of the condos and how gross it was. I had guy housemates in college and just thinking about it makes me shudder. EW.

    Good luck! Can’t wait to hear what you decide!

    Anonymous New Yorks last blog post..Tag

  22. Lori says:

    Congrats – I know you’ll end up with one that you love.

  23. Jen says:

    I am so excited for you! Sounds like you had a really productive day and I really hope you get the place of your dreams. Our househunting efforts this weekend were particularly poopy – after disagreeing for what seems like months on areas/houses we like, my husband and I found the perfect house, and phoned the agent within minutes of seeing it to make an offer, only to discover that it had already been sold…before the open house?? It really was heartbreaking. I am crossing my fingers for you!

  24. Candy says:

    This is very exciting. I’m off to look at pictures now. Assume the mortgage is settled??

    Candys last blog post..In Which I Turn to You, Gentle Reader, for HELP!

  25. Giggle Pixie says:

    SQUEEEE!!! I’m so happy for you! Good luck!

    Giggle Pixies last blog post..Politically Correct Vocabulary Lesson

  26. You’ve been sucked in! You’re using terms like short sale and exposed brick. Now all your posts are going to start with “You wont’ BELIEVE the deal I got at Home Depot this weekend!”


    thecoconutdiariess last blog post..A Case of the Awkwards

  27. Celia says:

    Hooray! Congrats on finding an awesome place in your price range!

    Celias last blog post..Wordy Wednesday

  28. Darcey says:

    My inner house-hunter is cheering you on. And also screaming that she wants to play, too!

  29. betsey says:

    congrats KJ! good luck with the process and everything – i know it’s stressful but will be totally worth it in the end! 🙂

  30. Woo hoo! The pictures look fabulous!

    nancypearlwannabes last blog post..Testing… Testing…

  31. Oooh, I’m lusting after that kitchen!! Although maybe you should consider the first house, if the frat boy comes with it. Stove, fridge, living room curtains, and frat boy.

    Regardless, congrats, girl! I remember the night before we wrote the big down payment check we were looking at each other, thinking oh man, we’re really, really, reee-ally not old enough for this. It makes you feel weirdly small and incapable, and it’s probably even harder when you’re making the decision on your own. But then the next day, after the previous owner handed us the key, we walked inside the empty house from room to room touching the walls, the faucets, everything, thinking, This is MINE, this is MINE. It’s the most incredible feeling.

    So go for it, Kristen! You’ll be so, so glad you did. (Unless, of course, the house has problems, in which case it will be the worst mistake of your life. 😛 Which is why you should try and barter for the frat boy, since he might be handy.)

  32. Allison says:

    Wowie, wowie, wow. I know I’ve been MIA on the comment section of your blog for a bit but I just played major catch up reading through everything and HOLY COW! You’re buying a condo!!! That’s awesome!! Congrats!!!!!

    Allisons last blog post..Movies 2009

  33. Jess says:

    The pics are awesome and it looks like a great opportunity for you. The overwhelming feeling of nausea that comes with signing your life away will last for a bit but in the end you’ll be so happy. Good luck!!

  34. December says:

    GOOD LUCK! Its scary, and confusing.
    I had no idea what the heck I was doing when I bought mine.
    as long as you trust your agent, you’re going to be okay!

    Decembers last blog post..In Case you Were Wondering.

  35. OHmommy says:


    You should totally second guess yourself. It’s natural. It IS a boatload of money and you have to love LOVE it.

    My friend bought a place in the “city.” The first time I drove out there we kept driving away and away and away from the skyline. I was all like, “What? Are you sure we are heading to the right place?”

    OHmommys last blog post..OHmommy’s wardrobe staples & a giveaway…

  36. jen says:

    I would do terrible, terrible things for a washer/dryer and a garbage disposal in my place…

  37. Melissa says:

    Wow, nice place! And the kitchen…hello, I think I’m a little green with jealousy!! Don’t think twice put an offer on it…well, maybe you should take mom first.

    Melissas last blog post..Waiter, There’s A Fly In My Soup…Uh, No Really!!

  38. jennster says:

    THIS IS SO EXCITING! and dude, it’s okay if it’s all about houses for awhile! that’s what is going on in your life!!!!!!

    jennsters last blog post..let’s pretend you won the lottery

  39. jennster says:

    dude, just looked at the pics. the place is GORGEOUS!!!!!! i love it all, even the paint! so cute and really nice!! just remember that since it’s already all updated, there won’t be much you can DO to it to make it worth more than what you bought it for- except for just wait for the market to go big again (which it totally will). 🙂

    jennsters last blog post..let’s pretend you won the lottery

  40. Eileen says:

    Squee! So exciting. Love the photos. When we were looking at places there was one house with a HUGE pile of dirty laundry in the bedroom with a cat turd on top. I mean honestly, if you can’t clear the turds I’m thinking you don’t really want to sell.

    Eileens last blog post..Crazy is a Matter of Geography (or: Why I may be a Jedi)

  41. bikerchick says:

    Congrats on falling in love with a condo! My suggestion would be to take your time to go back at different times of the day to see what the noise level, traffic and general vibe of the place is. It might be important since you are sharing ceilings/walls with these peeps and you don’t want to find any windchimes or potsmoke lurking next door 🙂 I say this as the One Who Lived In The Condo From Hell Complete With Stalker Dude Neighbor that might have been completely avoided if I took my time. Then again, maybe not. You have a good gut and should trust yourself. Keep us informed! (p.s. I would love to have your ace realtor’s info as I may be moving sometime soonish.)

  42. AHHHHHH! SO cool! I love both of them!!! And does this mean I have somewhere to stay come July? =) (Kidding.)(Sorta.)

    Camels & Chocolates last blog post..Retroblogging Lake Louise

  43. slynnro says:

    But the most important matter- how close is the closest H&M? (What hood is this?) (as though that will mean anything to me)

    slynnros last blog post..This is not part of the Snuggie Lifestyle.

  44. Kara says:

    Something that most people don’t know about short selling is that it damages your credit almost as much as a foreclosure. So when you’re saying that you’d think these people would be making a big effort to impress buyers so that they could avoid foreclosure. . . well, it just really doesn’t make that much difference one way or the other, their credit is screwed anyway, so yeah, they probably don’t care. You wouldn’t be doing them *that* much of a favor by buying their place.

  45. jen says:

    If it feels right, then barring any major structural problems it probably is. Fingers crossed. I’m excited for you.

    jens last blog post..A new journey

  46. Sarah says:

    You HAVE to buy this condo! I love it!
    It sounds like you have a good feeling, and that’s all it took for me to buy my first condo and the house I’m currently in. I believe in gut feelings.

    Sarahs last blog post..Snowbound

  47. Kimberly says:

    LOVE IT..and it has room for me in July 🙂

    Kimberlys last blog post..I Know You Wanna See Me Salsa