Sunday, April 20, 2008

Haunted house hunting

We've been doing a little house hunting. Guy's commute is killer, and as much as I love where we are and love this house, it's not worth having him on a dangerous stretch of I-40 in stupid crazy traffic day in and day out. He wants to move, and I'll of course, go with him.

Yesterday we saw some great houses. They aren't exactly where we would like for them to be, but they had the lay out we need and were reasonably priced.

With the exception of two.

The first exception was the very first house. It was in a newish subdivision and had everything we wanted down to the double ovens (once you've had double ovens, you can never go back). The only issue was getting in to see it.

Our realtor had made an appointment, but when we arrived, there were people there. Tenants. Tenants with very little English vocabulary. They refused to leave so we could see the house, and our realtor refused to leave without seeing the house. A stalemate.

A few moments of staredown and our realtor moved in. It was unnecessary, as the house was run down and smelled of all kinds of smoke. The master bedroom was locked and they would not let us in to see it. We decided it was where they were growing their pot. Turns out, those tenants have been evicted, and are currently just squatting in the house, refusing to let it be shown. Nice.

The other exception was a house not on our list, but in the same neighborhood as one we liked. It was the same price, so we went in for comparison. The outside was quite lovely, and showed no signs of the creepiness to follow.

The first thing we noticed when we walked in the house was the smell. Whereas the unruly tenants were probably growing weed, this homeowner must have been growing nasty silk flowers drenched in cheap perfume in some closet with blue lights.

The next thing you noticed was the music. The house featured an intercom system that was piping the creepiest modern choral music I've ever heard throughout the entire house. It was as though there was someone on the other side of a screen shouting at us, "Don't go in there! Don't go in there!"

Instead of looking lived in, the home had been staged. The pantry was eerily posed with two boxes of cereal placed at an angle. The dining room table was set with fine china and a giant floral arrangement that featured tropical flowers and artichokes. There were even clothes in the closet, but arranged like a catalog, not like someone actually dressed there daily.

The horror flick was complete when we went upstairs and found two disturbingly staged bedrooms. Each bedroom had a twin bed and a nightstand with no other furniture. In one room, there was a stuffed dog on the end of the bed like a child had just tossed it there. There were uncompleted puzzles left on the floor, with the boxes stacked at the same carefully placed angle as the cereal boxes. The other bedroom was full of scary scary dolls. The dolls combined with the creepy choral music were enough to send us scampering quickly out of the house.

I wish I knew what notes our realtor will leave for that seller.

"Creepy house with a choppy layout. Evidence of children who met an untimely and tragic death particularly turned off the buyers."