Sunday, August 7

How to lower your expectations in California.

When I began the vast search for a new home mid-July, I was pretty adamant in staying with the same quality of life that we had. We're creatures of comfort and moving into Little Guadalajara is not my idea of a great idea. But to give any house a viable shot, I'd tour it because then I could drive the neighborhood looking at cars as well as tour the property.

And because I can have a better work schedule to take tours, I did just that. I was the Entrance Exam tour guide. If it didn't pass me. It didn't require Mr. Wookie to take a long lunch to quickly walk a property. 

Our current home when we moved in last year.

So my plan was to tour a property, take pictures of every aspect, pretend we're interested, then bring in Mr. Wookie if he was needed. Mr. Wookie only toured 2 places, that's how minimal it was. I toured somewhere over half a dozen (our pesky dog was a huge factor on that number, even when I tried lying, "Oh, we have a cute little English bulldog, she's about 28 pounds" - hahahahahahaah, she's more like 60 pounds!).

I agree with Mr. Wookie, it's all about location, location, location. You can have a great home, in the middle of GhettoVille, and have your car broken into (true story, not us though). So with every property I contemplated, I pulled up the police blotter because a milblogger can never be too safe when Mr. Wookie won't be around next year.

But let's pretend you're on my tour too, and we find a beach house that's a mile from our current place and available mid-August. Walk with me...will you?!

Yes, this was one home that didn't pass the test. Yes, that's yellow tiled counters. Yes, that's an avocado green electric stove. And yes, that's wallpaper. I was told that the old woman who owns the place was put into a retirement home. Buuuuuut I'm not quite convinced. I think she may have died there. No thanks.

This house had an amazing location of being 40 yards to the beach, but I couldn't shake the notion that we may need Ghostbusters to help tame the old broad. Plus, one room was fully engrossed in wood paneling. I hear wood paneling is making a comeback a la Apartment Therapy, but still no thanks.

These test failures were common. I toured a decent place, built in a mid-70's HOA neighborhood updated a few years ago with a magnificent kitchen, but at the end of the block was HUD housing (aka the projects aka low-income housing aka poo' folks). And it's not that we're judging, we just know that everyone wants to live in a neighborhood with similarly lifestyle'd individuals. You just want to fit in somewhere.

And we don't mind HOAs. If you don't know what an HOA is, it's a HomeOwners Association. It's usually a group of retired busybodies who don't have anything better to do so they make up rules and regulations for the neighborhood to maintain the aesthetics of it all. There's usually monthly or quarterly meetings, bylaws, blah blah blah associated with it all. We've never had an issue with following the guidelines and making sure our exterior fits the bill. Plus, we're guaranteed to never live next to a Hoarder: Buried Alive whose collection can't fit inside the house, or someone who decides to decorate with a broken-down car in their front yard.

Last night did have me slightly worried since I've already started to pack up things like books, camping supplies, Christmas decorations (things we won't need between now and finalized move). Miss Sweet Pea threw up a tineytinyamount. So I panic! I tweet for a dog whisperer and whether she's manifesting stress from seeing boxes appear in our home! And with massive Googling efforts, I find that a dog can vomit from stress and moving is stressful to them

"You did NOT just WebMD the DOG??!!?!"  --Mr. Wookie

Hello, can you ever be too careful with our furry friend??

"I'm pretty sure the Internet has articles that disprove gravity." --Mr. Wookie

I bet him $5 he couldn't find an article for that, mainly because I wanted to see if it was true but wasn't about to stop enjoying my cocktail since it was way past 5pm here.

But in my down and dirty research, I read that it's good to take the dog to the new location so she can assimilate 'home' with both places. So that's what I'll do. When I'm taking a trunkful over, she can join in and roam around the world frolic in a YARD!

Wait, how did this post get hijacked by Miss Sweet Pea again?? Wilma!!!

How can this post not end up on me? I rule this roost.


  1. I want your 'old' kitchen please. Those cabinets make me drool.

  2. I know! It's fantastic. That and the bathrooms were major selling points. And the whole "available now" when we DITY'd across and were living out of the BOQ! It fit the bill back then...we've just expanded a little now and need a tineytiny yard. :)

  3. Settling for something less than wonderful is my big fear! We are in on post housing now which I am pleasantly surprised with, but we want to move off post when Daniel gets back. On post has been great while he is gone, but we won't be here forever, and we actually want to enjoy living in Hawaii. One, problem, it is so freaking expensive. People actually rent out rooms... in stranger's homes. Shudder. I am sure we will find something suitable, it's just few and far between.

    I am shocked though that you didn't go for an avocado colored stove! I thought that would be a huge selling point! LOL

  4. The randomness of this blog made me smile. :) Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed it. Good luck on the house hunting.

  5. Luckily, the house we moved into here was MAJOR work on our part to make it even decent (the people before us had (count 'em) SIX INDOOR dogs (who obviously owned the house). That's the only good thing about starting out on a less-than-amazing house (with a kitchen the size of a book of matches) is that everything at our next base is going to look like a mansion. lol Good luck with everything!!

  6. Yeah, I agree with Eights- love that old place!