Hello, my name is Peg, and I am an addict. I get shaky if I go a day without a fix. I’ve got a monkey on my back and HGTV is the organ grinder. I love to watch those shows about people buying, selling and renovating homes. My favorites are House Hunters and House Hunters International, and I’ve watched so many of them, I’ve got the patter down cold.
House hunters always say:
“Now that we’ve got Aiden, we need more space!”
A concerned mom holds her 14-month-old baby and explains why their current 3,000 square foot home, considered a palace to most of humanity, is a shoe box now that they’ve added a 25-pound human to the family. The camera pans to a huge living room filled with so much brightly colored plastic you figure the place is either a daycare or a Toys R Us showroom.
“We have a strict budget of $400,000.”
Realtors nod solemnly at this. They are rigorously trained not to laugh in the faces of the earnest homebuyers. Realtors know once they show these newbies the hovels next to the dump that are in their price range, they will beg, borrow and double-mortgage to get the $700,000 house they need so Hayden’s life won’t be ruined.
What I want to know is how every 27-year-old in California can afford a $400,000 “starter” house?
“This doesn’t have granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.”
This verdict is delivered in tones of deepest disgust when they enter the offending kitchen. They sound as if the realtor has offered them a poop sandwich.
Every home must have granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Period. Anything else will require the young couple to add $60,000+ to the budget for a studs-out remodel before they can set foot in the place. Otherwise Caeden will starve.
“This bedroom is pretty small.”
Any child’s room smaller than an airplane hangar gets this response, understandably. If Braiden’s room doesn’t have a media center, play stage and indoor horse riding ring, how will he develop properly?
“We need space for entertaining.”
Everyone buying a house overseas is concerned about this. Who are they going to entertain? How many friends does the typical retiree from Peoria HAVE in Botswana? At the end of the show they show the house hunters sitting around their new deck with a big group of people, toasting their new life. You know these are shill friends; members of the local realtor’s family who the producers hired for the glasses-clinking wrap-up shot.
The chances are slim many friends from home will be dropping in, either. The cost of the airfare should keep most of the riffraff off their doorstep.
“Our lives are so stressful; we need a relaxing place to get together as a family.”
How about the backyard? I don’t get how a vacation place thousands of miles away makes sense for a family with small children. Sure, international travel is broadening, but how many times per year is a family of five going to be able to afford to fly to their Nicaragua vacation home? And you know teenage Jeighden will insist on bringing friends along. The airfare is going to cost more than the mortgage payments on the new place.
If any HGTV talent-spotters are reading this, pick me to be on your next house-hunting show - I’ll be perfect! All I need is somebody to spot me $500,000 for the down payment on my next place.
Peg Schulte and her husband, Bill, are agents with Dimond Bros. Insurance in Peru. Her blog, pegoleg.com, has more than 16,000 readers. Blogging platform giant WordPress has chosen her site to be on their shortlist of Recommended Humor Blogs. Peg can be reached at email@example.com.