Monday, 11 August 2008

House hunting hell

Good grief! If there's one thing I don't want to do on a Sunday is drive around looking at show houses. But that's what we did for five hours yesterday.

Maybe if I hadn't spend the majority of my Sundays as a child being dragged through other people's houses by my parents (who, for some inexplicable reason think it's actually fun), I might not hate it to quite the extent that I do.

At least we had company. R and A, our best "couple friends"* in Joburg, are also considering buying a house. But A is currently away visiting her mother in KwaZulu-Natal, so R is on his lonely ownsome. He thought it would be fun to tag along with us to house shop. Hah! How wrong can a man be?!

TSC and I are impossible - he's from the construction industry so he's uber-pedantic about structural issues and waterproofing problems, and I am just pedantic for no good reason. So we make our way around the properties like two secretary birds, with our hands clasped behind our backs, picking out faults.

"It needs to be repainted."
"Yes, and WHAT is this supposed to be? A design feature? Phah!"
"The rooms are small."
"And there's no cupboard space."
"The carpets need to be replaced."
"Hmmm... what would make anyone paint a room with mustard stripes?"
"Colour blindness, perhaps?"

The estate agents, with their large stick-on smiles follow us around, getting more and more neurotic by the minute, spinning lies at a rate of knots ("The huge, littered open field next the house is not a security risk... it just means you won't have to put up with noisy neighbours"). And R, poor man, probably had a massive migraine after the 15th house had been picked apart by the two house-busters.

But, being the resident creative genius, I decided that once 5pm had passed and the estate agents had packed their smiles away (with their "On show" boards), a drink was in order. and so we happened upon the ever-so-cute Cantina Tequila just off Cedar Rd. AND... It just so happened to be happy hour, so all cocktails were half price. Score!

They don't have a menu, so you just tell them what you want (a Cosmopolitan for me, a Long Island Iced Tea for TSC and a Caipirinha for R) and they make it up for you, with a bit of a twist. The slice of orange peel in my Cosmo gave it a lovely tangy taste. Mmmm... yum.

Being well-behaved, we declined the tequila that was poured straight from the bottle down the throats of eager patrons. "Next time!" shouted the waiter. Maybe.

But for now, I'd settle for a cabin in the woods where none of my freelance clients can harass me!

*Friends that both of you get along with that you see as a couple. Very rare species.


Charmskool said...

Argh sympathies! I loathe house hunting. Worse yet is being dragged around by estate agents so they can show you a "marvelous house my dear" and then have to go in some grimy depressing weird coloured uncupboarded can tell I've had to do it more than once hey? Now, as for half price cocktails - that's better!

Slyde said...

God, how i hated house hunting... what a chore it was for me!

elizabeth said...

Think I'd have had no choice but to accept the tequila - how much fun are you guys though.

angel said...

heh heh... i've been flat hunting- but that was years ago!
so i take it you didn't find anything?

phillygirl said...

Wahahahahaha, you sound just like me when house hunting. I think the only thing I came close to finding was an offplan ... and even that I wanted to change before it was built ;) Although none of it happened. I am uber-fussy when it comes to my living space. So good luck and I'll be holding thumbs for you guys, it can be so exhausting.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to go house hunting!! :) I know, I know. I'll hate it when it has to be done. Until then I can just dream of being a home owner. Hopefully in a year or two.

Good luck though! :)

sweets said...

i love house hunting! am i the only one!!! you people are so strange...

how exciting that you're buying a house hun :)

Ruby said...

i like house hunting when i'm not actually looking to buy a house. We went house hunting in Knysna by the Koppe once.....of course we couldn't afford those R10 million houses, but we had fun looking around anywhoo;)

boldly benny said...

How exciting that you're buying a house, but you're right that it can be a real pain! My folks also dragged me around houses on Sundays when I was a kid - hated it!

Sounds like the freelance work is going very well - good for you!