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Blonde perdition

Another weekend, another real estate hunt.

We saw two places: one a converted 2BR, 2-level loft on Orange, the other a 2BR condo near Wooster Square.

The first one did not impress with its garish lime and bright blue walls, and oddly constructed sheetrock armoires. I think it’s interesting that a lot of people want the cachet of loft living, but very few know how to live in lofts. We’ve seen so many potentially beautiful open spaces marred by ad-hoc walls and enclosures. If you want bedrooms and traditional space division, why not just live in an apartment?

The second place was superior, though like all property we’ve looked at, in need of major repair and cosmetic touch-ups.

I don’t understand people who say, “it’s in move-in condition!” What the hell does that mean? Every kitchen we’ve seen needs updating, every bathroom needs to be torn out and designed from scratch, all conduit needs to be better camouflaged, and all hideous paint needs to be eradicated.

It’s funny to me that people buy property, live there for a few or a lot of years, and never do a single thing to improve it. Then when they sell, they get greedy and figure a fresh coat of “groovy” paint will entice buyers to shell out more than market value. I know that seemingly minute surface improvements can go a long way towards increasing perceived value, but c’mon. A paint job does not justify raising your asking price $10,000+ more!

The Wooster place has been on the market for a month already, and the listing price was recently reduced by $30,000. According to the agent, this means they’re motivated to sell. When we looked at the apartment—whose owners have only lived there 4 yrs—it was clear to us that they had not invested $30,000 into the place. This is probably why it was so easy for them to knock $30k off the top. Knowing that, we still offered $24k less (so a full $54,000 less than what the selelrs were expecting a month ago.)

Will they go for it? Terence is terrified they will say yes. I think the owners will be insulted and want us to counter.

Apart from that, this weekend we made some new discoveries. We ventured west to Greenwich and Westport, to see what all of the fuss is about. Well, both places are affluent with good shopping and good restaurants and so cutie cloyingly quaint you want to barf. It took me a while to figure out why I felt like a fucking martian walking down the street, then it struck me: other than the “help” running errands and minding children, I was the only non-blonde (real or otherwise) olive-skinned person there.

So weird to be someplace so white, uptight, and outta sight.

12:37 p.m. - 2004-04-12

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