Here’s some pointers for purchasing a home in this struggling economy. Despite rumors, they were gathered after several intensive interviews with real estate experts, and years of research. Cats had nothing to do with it:
Someone tapping Morse code from the septic tank is never good.
If your neighbor’s fence is actually crime scene tape, walk away.
Never buy sight unseen, especially if the Internet advertisement says, “House may not resemble palace pictured above.” If a link opens to, “Go Green! Adopt a Superfund site!” — let me know immediately. I have to renew a web contract.
If people shout ominous threats from passing cars, like, “I’ll never forget what you did and death will come slowly,” reconsider.
If you’re inspecting the house, and a plane passes overhead, you may want to inquire about the airport location. If there are silhouettes of trees blasted into the ground from engine thrust, you may want to pass.
Buying foreclosed properties can be a smart economic move, but if the agent happens to mention how the previous owner, “held-up well on that old electric chair. Too bad his murderous twin sons are still at large,” you may want to move on.
If you smell septic gas from the pool area, don’t change into trunks.
If you’re a man, and a sultry, sexy, underdressed woman gives you a solo tour, leading you upstairs to where she promises to show you “the most sensuous bedroom you’ve ever laid eyes on,” and she keeps mentioning how uncomfortable her clothes are, and how she loves afternoon frolicking, and oh look, the bed has just been made . . . you really need to call me immediately, and tell her to wait, just wait a few minutes while your handsome friend rushes over to see that very bedroom. Yes! And then, and then, oh . . . sorry, I got off track there. Let’s move along!
If the place is cluttered with electronic devices, and the owner was “really handy with homemade explosives,” leave carefully.
While touring a potential house purchase, I usually carry large handguns and shoot any pests immediately. Even if you jump and shoot at the corner, shouting “Got ‘em!” — it should do the trick. This establishes a kind of “alpha dog” pecking order with sales people, and gives you serious leverage when negotiating price. I remember a real estate ad that beckoned with, “Watch gentle deer grazing from your living room window.” Ha! I learned quickly that they weren’t some kind of fake mechanical robots just for show!
If the agent mentions how you would “never know it was a meth lab,” just move along.
If the sunroom faces any kind of prehistoric land beyond time, you may want to reconsider.
Never take home-buying advice from a humor piece, unless it’s written on a bar napkin at closing time. That’s when the very best ideas come around. Some day, if I ever attempt humor writing, I’m going to try that. Now I’m just old and tired. Where were we? Oh yes, cats!
Never take home-buying advice from a cat. You may not know this, but many of them aren’t even licensed!
Eighteen was the legal drinking age when I played hockey in Maine, which reminds me of real estate.
If you ever come across a massive bookcase, start fiddling with the books. Any student of Scooby cartoons knows that the bookcase will spin you into a really cool secret room. Careful though, many cartoon dogs aren’t even licensed!
Beautiful landscaping can add a lot to any home, but not if it’s hiding carnivorous predators who outweigh you by several hundred pounds (see “carry large handguns” above).
If you’re interested, I happen to have one of the few licensed real estate cats in the business, and she will be happy to hear from you, and perhaps meet in a discreet area, where she will direct you to show the catnip, and back away. Don’t even think of calling the police, because we all know handcuffs are useless on a cat, as the APB explains, but my cat had nothing to do with that, and retains her real estate license, which is legal in every state but Hawaii, because cats aren’t good swimmers, and burn really easy.
That covers just about anything you need to know about buying real estate in a down economy. And remember, it’s not called “real” estate because it’s fake! Ha (meow)!