Turning Them Down is Easier

If I hear from another person about walking into a home and knowing that it’s right for you, instantly, I will instantly smash their toes with my heel.  I don’t know.  I’ve been in and out of dozens and dozens of houses and I’ve put offers on two and I have yet to walk into any house and say “Oh, yes, this is the one.”

The thing is–there’s not going to be a “perfect” house in my price range.  Well, maybe there is, but I just don’t believe it.  I think there’s going to be quite a few just fine houses with big flaws and I just have to decide which ones I can live with.

I like the house on Litton.  I liked it when we walked through it weeks ago and I like it now.  I think it’s quite cute and I love the room and I like the layout.  I like that I could just hand the basement over to the Butcher and a ton of the stuff that’s clogging up my living space would disappear into the basement where I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

And it has a fireplace and a window over the kitchen sink.

A girl could get used to that.

I love the location.

I’m nervous about the siding.  It appears to be buckling in places and I’m not sure if that’s just a bad siding job or an indication of larger problems.  I’m not sure the flipper did the greatest job in the world on it.  Some tiles feel uneven.  The main level bathroom feels strangly unfinished, but not in a way I can put my finger on.  We couldn’t get the garage to open.  I’m nervous about pulling out of the driveway onto the street, because there’s a big honking piece of concrete blocking the view that marks the edge of the neighbors’ yard and I’m afraid you’re just asking to be hit and I’m not sure how to fix it.  I could be wrong, but I suspect there’s no dirt in part of the yard.  I think it’s fill covered with sod. 

And the house is 60 years old, though I find that charming as well.

Is it “the” house?

I don’t know.

We saw one on Elvira that was also very cute.  And it has a huge yard.  So does that count for more than being in a neighborhood you like?  I don’t really dislike the Elvira neighborhood.

And what if I’m wrong and I should hold out for the house that makes me say “Oh, yes, this is it!  Here is the fireplace; here is the big yard; here is the perfect location; here is the porch and the deck and the this and the that and, yes, that’s where this will go and that and that.”

Here’s what I don’t know, though, and this is what makes me sick to my stomach about it–what if I hold out for the house that makes me say “Oh, yes!” and that house never comes along?

Today we saw a beautiful, I mean exquisit, rehab on Buchanan.  It was amazing.  The floors were level, the tile work was perfect, the counters were beautiful, and it had such nice touches–little details everywhere for your eyes to rest on.  He’s asking $145,000 for it.  He’ll take $135,000 for it.

It’s two block from the projects, right on the interstate.  You can hear the cars from every place in the house.

Walking through it, it’s obvious that he should have done less work (though hopefully still at that quality) with simpler finishes and tried to get $120,000 out of the house.  Or he never should have bought a house with an interstate running through its front yard and a housing project within shouting distance to rehab and flip.  It would have been nearly impossible for him to pick a worse location to try to squeeze $145,000 out of a house.

And yet, there he must have been, day after day, doing the most beautiful rehab job we’ve laid eyes on.

I feel like that guy.  Like there is some wise decision to be made, that there are signs and portents all around, and I, I don’t know how to see them, how to make sense of them, who to ask for help who could give me help in a way I know how to hear right now.

I don’t know what to do.

And I’m afraid to even like the house on Litton because I just don’t want to go through that crap of liking it enough to make an offer and having it not work out.

And I feel like there’s both no hurry–I don’t have to move–and this whole thing is about hurrying–because you don’t want someone else to get in there and make an offer.  I feel like when I’m rushed, I make bad decisions.

And yet, when I talked to my dad, he said “Well, if worse comes to worst, you can always turn around and sell it to some other artsy fartsy idiot.”

I found that comforting.

Nashville Rock City

So, I’m doing some research on East Nashville, just to get a more insightful insight into the area when I read this (pdf).

Today, Rock City Street connects Ann Street and Litton Street in South Inglewood.  It is the site of the original Rock City area that was settled by approximately forty African American families in the early to mid-1900s.  It was know to be a close-knit, caring community.  Its residents were primarily homeowners and upstanding citizens. Many of Rock City’s residents were employed as housekeeper and farm laborers in the neighboring communities.

Well, of course, I’m immediately like “Hey, I want to know about this ‘Rock City’.”  So, first I google the street.  And then I google the city.  And I find “In April 1861, in response to the growing secession crisis in the South, the Nashville, Tennessee militia—the Rock City Guards—was expanded from one company to three.”  And at first, I’m all “How could a small black community north of Nashville have three companies of men?” 

But then I find this.

So much for the first negro company in the Rock City. The editors of the Union and American, King Isham’s organ, were evidently chuckling over the prospect of seeing the bloods of the “Rock City Guards” followed by nigger Jim Dunge’s Rock City–Black Guards, all bearing the Stars and Bars, playing Dixie and huzzahing for King Isham and Jeff. Davis at the top of their lungs.

So, clearly, the Rock City Guards were white dudes.  And Rock City was Nashville in general (you can even march around to the music, if you want).  Here’s a history of Rock City Construction, which also gives Nashville’s nickname as Rock City.

And so, I’ve discovered that Nashville used to be called Rock City, but I discovered nothing about any small community near Nashville called Rock City.

So, there’s that.

I Keep On Searching, Searching

Kathy and I are going back out today to look for houses.  We’re even looking in Madison.  Yes, folks, that’s what it’s come to.

I have no optimism about today.

I am convinced that we will not find anything.

Yes, I have become somewhat superstitious about this whole thing.  Every other time we’ve gone out, I’ve thought, “Well, today could be the day we find something” and every day has brought me nothing.  And so today I’m changing it up.

Of course, if the Butcher won the lottery last night, look for Mrs. Wigglebottom and me on this porch.