I suppose it is a sign of returning stability that Dirtman and I have begun casually searching for a house to buy.
Okay, maybe "searching" is too strong a term. Considering the rare alignment of circumstances, moods, cash flow, planetary alignment and moon phase that have to be in place for us to be able to become homeowners again, we stand about as good a chance of finding someone willing to float us a mortgage to buy a house as we do standing on the front lawn waiting for one to fall on us.
Let's say we're waiting for a house to call to us. One that the owner is willing to do the financing; a very trusting and understanding owner -- to take pity on us. Ironically, with rents as high as they are right now, it's infinitely cheaper per month to pay a mortgage and who couldn't use a little loosening of the ol' cash flow?
Oh, we're well aware that we are in the "fixer-upper" category in terms of what we are willing to go into debt over.
People don't do "fixer-uppers" anymore, though. They just tear down and build new. So "cheap houses" are sold for the land value and, around here, a property with a septic site goes for about the same amount as a "fixer-upper."
And then there are the "fixer-uppers" that are just beyond our abilities -- such was the case today. It was one of those creepy houses that the previous inhabitants, while dead, haven't quite abandoned yet.
This one would have had Dark Garden running out the door screaming.
Don't believe me, DG? Well, in the bathroom (the one with exposed pipes, no ceiling and hole-pocked linoleum) situated over the commode, was a sticky note that said "Don't forget to replace Mrs. Schneider's teeth in the morning."
Yeah, this place was special, all right. There were still canned goods in the pantry, covered with cobwebs and nailed to the wall in one of the outbuildings were instructions on what to do in case of a nuclear attack. And then there's that smell we who frequent abandoned houses all know -- that lovely blend of kerosene and mouse droppings.
Actually, it would be a dream come true for a person really interested in serious restoration. Because underneath the layers of linoleum and lime green plastic bathroom walls and tacky, cheap paneling was a 19th century log cabin. Gutted and restored, it could be a beautiful old house.
But I'm no Bob Villa.
So I had to be content with exploring the remnants of outbuildings that dotted the property while Dirtman pretended to still be interested in where the drainfield was located and how much trouble it would be to hook up to public water.