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I spent the morning evading prowling real estate agents by hiding in a tiny yet efficient office in 0ur basement, headset on, phones a-blazin’, pen, ink, computer all at hand, the very image of modern efficiency. I learned stuff!
Points! Fixed rates! Variables! Equity! Debt ratio! Sign me up with Solomon Bros! All this means we get a pretty good (not kick-ass, as our debt ratio is a few points shy of Ideal) interest rate on our desired house. Debt ratios are silly. I mean, really, it seems to me the way to figure if we can afford a payment (especially on a fixed rate mortgage) would be to look at income vs outgo. Do they do that? No, they look at the percentage of your income you spend. See, if we wanted to buy a $250,000 house, and you look at income vs outgo, we could, technically, do it. We wouldn’t eat out much ,and the vacation would be to Six Flags instead of Disney, but we could. We are looking at a $150,000 house, the same as the house we are in now, and asking for a $130,000 note, with the $20,000 downpayment. The rest of our equity would go toward improvements in the new house: wood floors, modern kitchen, etc. Do they look at that? Do they look at how we can easily afford the payment, even be able to double payments? No they don’t. They have a computer that makes the decisions and “we have to do what the computer says or the loan won’t be approved.” Talk about dehumanizing something as elemental as shelter. Sheesh.
Anyway, I learned alot. I also learned that if they took my name off the mortgage agreement, the debt ratio changes and approval is no problemo. What?? I don’t earn any income! Do they think if my name is off I won’t spend anything? Boy are they wrong about that. I plan on spending alot on that house.
So after all that time, some emails, and a loaf of fresh baked bread later, someone wants to look at the house tomorrow at 10. I’ll bake another loaf so the house smells nice. Finally my bread machine is useful for something!
It’s all the psychology of selling a house. The first impression is the smell. Is it good? like bread? or is it foul? like 20 years of dog pee?I looked at a perfect house that reeked of 20 yrs of pee , and refused it. The second is space. Is it roomy and open? How do you achieve that? By taking out half the furniture and turning on all the lights. Half of our property is now in the basement. Empty the closets of all but the bare basics : 2 pr of shoes, a dress, a jacket. Makes the closets look bigger. The third is light. No one likes dark rooms. Turn on all the lights even if it totally goes against your Scottish penny pinching nature. All the lights: closets, hall, bathrooms. Fourth is make it modern. Stainless appliances, plenty of countertops, tiles in the bathroom, sweet rag rugs on the floor, and whatever the current Coloure du Jour is. Right now it’s gold and cinnamon, fortuitously the colors of our formal living room and dining room, the first rooms you see as you walk in. Have the beds made, clothes picked up, no toothpaste on the sink. People don’t want to see your bodily emmissions. And for God’s sake, no floaters in the commode. The house needs to look like a family of robots live there. Of course, that psychology is wasted on me, except for the smell one. I look for a house with solid walls, rip-outable walls, and stuff I’d never spend money on but want anyway, like a 1000 sq ft brick patio w/ 8ft high serpentine brick lattice wall. Ahmo luv that.
ok thats all for tonight, laundry to fold, chirrens to wash, teens to yell at, books to read.
The latest edition on my read list is “The Sociopath Next Door” a psychological thingy about how 4% of us are concienceless monsters who’s only desire is to manipulate and harm. Not a novel or a light read, but I do love psychology, especially when it’s about evil people and why they are that way and how we can’t do anything about it except recognize and avoid. Maybe one day they’ll find a gene for this and put them all on an island to eat each other. Lord, so grim after such a light and positive post…