When you hear stories about people getting a house, it’s usually one of “We decided to get a house”, and either it happens, or it doesn’t. I had been working on restoring my credit for years after a bad relationship had wiped me out financially, and after inheriting my part of Dad’s estate, I set about correcting all the problems that I had been previously unable to. Sure, a lot of my repairs were still taking effect, but I was confident that with some time and perseverance, I could do this. Besides, with the economy self-destructing, and the housing bubble burst, there seemed to be no better time.
One story you never seem to hear is about how a house hunt can consume your life. Personally, I don’t think you hear such things as it’s not supposed to. You live your day to day life with this plan happening on the side. I thought I would be freely able to live life, and continue my newly established adventures.
The Guy Chapman of 2009 was a very naive sort.
The roadtrips continued on, one of which was deciding that one of my fairly regular meal hangouts would be in Kingman, Arizona, because, well, why not? After all, living in San Diego, it was not uncommon for me to skip the Mexican border over to Tijuana to get some authentic Mexican food (though I suppose they just call it “food” there).
In any case, my vice was Cracker Barrel, full of down home Southern goodness to appeal to my inner Texan. Anything with a lot of meat and gravy is usually a pretty big deal, and I think having to explain its appeal is unnecessary.
The worst part was having to sit in traffic around the Hoover Dam. Before they built the bridge, you just sat there:
But making due in Las Vegas’ 100+ degree weather is a test in itself. 100… 110… even 120 degrees is not an impossibility during a typical Vegas Summer. I had to find ways to pass the time.
Revisiting places from the previous two months…. Still adamant was I that all of this could be mine during a house hunt.
That in itself was a creative exercise. The ChapTeam(TM) looked at a few places, and learned a few important things: The downside of foreclosures is that you can see the anger of the previous tenants. I’ve seen doors smashed, holes punched in walls, nasty messages written in soap, ripped up carpet, wallpaper, yards, fences…. It gets ugly. And somewhat physically impossible to do for what those soapy messages suggested.
Not that irate former tenants were the only problem. One location, the house was backwards, as it the back of the house was facing the street, while the front of the house faced an vacant dirt lot filled with rusted out junked cars. I did admire the craftsmanship someone had taken the time to do in terms of nailing beer bottle caps along the trip of the house. I thought that added that certain little… something you just don’t see in decorative choices for most houses.
We traded realtors along the way, to one extremely adamant that he could land that “dream house”.
At the time, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.