May 20, 2012

House Hunters: What happens to a dream deferred?

Description: Atlanta couple needs to find a cheaper home right away.
Available on

So I got a cat, Charlie, about two weeks ago and I haven't blogged since I got him. Here's how my first attempt went.

I don't normally have a flat sheet on my couch. It's so he won't scratch the side of the couch.

Anyway, this week's house hunters are:

Liz and Alex from Roswell, Georgia, and they are the 99%. Alex lost his job in the real estate segment of a bank, so now they have to sell their 7500 square foot, $635,000 custom home.

The columns date all the way back to 1972 2008. Liz gets verklempt talking about selling a home they've only had for two years. She says, "I thought this was gonna be the house that my kids were gonna be taking the pictures for their wedding." Clearly structuring sentences isn't her strong suit. Also, what? Your oldest kids are in their teens. Why are you thinking about weddings? Alex says that Liz has been "amazingly supportive" throughout all this. Yeah, it's almost like she took a vow to do that or something.

They're going to miss their master bedroom the most because it's large and because the master bathroom has "two restrooms." I think Alex means it has two toilets. The master bathroom also has columns because that's class.

They can only afford a $400,000 house now. If only someone like Lorraine Hansberry could write about their plight so that we too might know the struggles of upper middle class white people. 

The first house their realtor Karen shows them is a 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 3300 square foot house that costs $389,000. I think it looks like a funeral home. 

Liz puts on her stank face and says "it's a little bit small." 

Liz and Alex agree that the kitchen needs to be updated.

They also think the bathroom needs to be updated, but I don't see what's so bad about it. It's a half bath with a working toilet and sink.

Liz and Alex aren't crazy about the master bedroom and bathroom. Alex says, "This is definitely smaller. What do you think of the open toilet?"

Heavens to Murgatroyd! An open toilet! Somebody fetch my smelling salts!

The second house is 4 bedrooms and 4 baths in 3300 square feet for $335,000. 

Liz instantly doesn't like the foyer because "the ceilings are kind of low."

Once again, Liz and Alex don't like the master bedroom and bathroom, especially because the master bathroom also opens to the hallway and that just won't do at all. Where is the butler with my smelling salts?

After checking out the bonus room, Alex says, "I love back stairs. I think they're neat." I feel Alex on this one. But I would never use the word neat.

If I recall correctly, there's a video of Kurt Cobain and like Kathleen Hanna reenacting this scene, but I couldn't find it.

There's an additional bonus space in the basement, but Alex thinks it's "kind of low and dark." Yeah, who's ever heard of a basement being low and dark?

The third house is $395,000 and is 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in 2400 square feet. 

And another foyer does not live up to Liz's high foyer expectations.

She says, "It's a little cramped right here, coming in right to the stairwell." Bitch, please. My entry way is like 3 feet by 2 feet.

The living room is, wow, ugly. There's no excuse for that wall paper. 

Alex thinks the deck is too small and that it wouldn't fit even one-quarter of their furniture. Well then sell some of your furniture and get your broke ass some money. That's the main problem rich people face when they become poor slightly less rich. They don't know how to hustle.

Of course they love the stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

Um, what is going on with the light fixture in the dining room? That thing is bananas. It looks like a brass octopus. And you know the cameraman thought it was bananas too, because why else would he focus on it?

The master bedroom furniture is pretty heinous too, but it's not as bad as that place in St. Petersburg. Alex would prefer a master bedroom on the first floor, though, because "once you get used to having that master on the main, you forget your sunglasses or you want to go grab a hat, you don't have to go up and down the stairs all the time. It's something [they've] really gotten used to." How much shit are you forgetting that it's that much of a hassle to walk up some stairs?

Liz loves the "private potty room." Adults who say "potty" should be punched in the mouth. Same with "tummy." These people sure are obsessed with not peeing in front of each other. I bet they're WASPs.

Liz and Alex discuss the houses. House #1 has a first floor master and lots of potential, but all that potential costs money. House #2 is the cheapest, but for Alex "that house is just OK." Sick burn, Alex. House #3 is move in ready and has, Liz says again, a "private potty." So I owe Liz two punches to the mouth. They decide to go with House #1. 

Two months later they've made the ugly cabinets uglier.

As much as I do not like these people, this would make a cute photo.


It was Sonic Youth, not Kathleen Hanna.

May 2, 2012

House Hunters: Enlist the other cat in the impending class war

Description: Two friends weigh their wants versus needs for their new bachelor pad.
Available on

Meet Tony, our first house hunter. We're just going to ignore the highlighted elephant in the room. Tony is an "Internet marketing whiz," according to the narrator. "Internet marketing" sounds like an absolute bullshit job. Tony has been on two episodes of House Hunters before, once in Las Vegas and once in LA. 

Tony and his friend - and in this instance, I don't think it's "friend," I mean, would a gay guy have hair like that? - Jason, who isn't important enough to get his own close up introduction, are looking for a "bachelor pad" - God I hate that term - in Chicago because they occasionally do business here. This will be a second, or third in Tony's case, home for them. 

O hai, there's my office building. Tony and Jason go on a boat tour to discuss what they want. Tony says that, "Being in Las Vegas and being from Hollywood, [he's] gotta be in the middle of the action." The narrator responds, "In Chicago, that means the upscale magnificent mile area."1.) No it doesn't, only people from out of town think that, and 2.) just an FYI, no one in Chicago actually calls it the magnificent mile. Michigan Avenue or Gold Coast or Streeterville, but not magnificent mile. Anyway, they want a 2 bedroom, 2 bath 2000 square foot apartment in a high rise with a balcony for $1.5 million total. Jason says that he and Tony want their place to have a "vibe and a pulse about it." I have a feeling that vibe is a little date-rapey.

Their designer James is coming with them so he can offer some guidance, along with their realtor Kristine. 

Apartment #1 is 2 bedrooms and 2 baths in 2400 square feet and costs $750,000. It's off of Rush, which is kind of perfect for these d-bags.

The apartment has lots of windows, good views, and an open floor plan.

The kitchens seems perfectly fine, especially considering they'll only be a here a few weekends out of the year, but James says, "To really personify it for you guys, I would have to rip everything out." Personify? I think he means personalize. And he says it as nonchalantly as one would say, "We're going to have to put out some ant traps." And Tony, Jason, and Kristine all reply like, "Oh yeah, obviously." What's wrong with these people?

James also says of this perfectly fine bathroom, "This all has to come out." Because obviously, duh. 

Before they leave, James again says that they'll have to do major renovations to "personify both [their] tastes." Again, personify?

Apartment #2 is a 2 bed 2000 square foot apartment in the Ritz Carlton Residencies on Michigan Ave that are under construction. And are still under construction, as far as I can tell by going past it everyday. The apartment is $2 million, which is over their budget. But they do not have to pay any upgrade fees, regardless of the finishes they choose.

The Ritz Carlton representative shows them the floor plan she thinks will work best for them, which has the bedrooms on opposite sides of the apartment. She then shows them a sample master bathroom. 

Tony doesn't like the bathroom because it's too traditional, but I don't like the bathroom because the layout makes like no sense. Why is the shower jetting out into the middle of the room? That's so dumb.

This is the sample living room. I really like the arched doorways.

And this is the sample kitchen. I love marble. I'll probably never be able to afford it, but I love it. It's far superior to granite. Tony likes the oven, but says he probably won't need that good of an oven because he never cooks. The Ritz Carlton representative tells him that, as part of the building amenities,they can request a private chef to cook for them. 

They go see the actual building and the floor they'll be on, so can see what their views will be of.

I love the Tip Top Tap.

Apartment #3 is 4000 square feet, 2 bedrooms, and 2.5 bathrooms in the penthouse of a building in the west loop. Tony doesn't like the location and says that "it's not the worst location, but it's not in the middle of the magnificent mile and everywhere that is hot in Chicago." It bears repeating, but everything that is hot in Chicago is not on Michigan Ave.

Tony says that this is "a little more wood than what [he's] comfortable with." First of all, hardwood floors are awesome. Second of all, tee hee.

And once again, a perfectly nice kitchen is not good enough for Tony or James. James says he would get rid of the island. I say it's not an island if it's attached to the wall.

In addition to a balcony on the first floor, there's a really good sized terrace with great views on the second floor.

James, who is officially the worst person in this episode, says of the terrace, "you could easily spend $100, $200,000 alone" on this outdoor space. Yes, you could, if you were an asshole.

Tony, Jason, and James go to lunch to discuss their options. Apartment #1 is the least expensive and they'll have lots of extra money for renovations. Apartment #2 is the most expensive, but the price includes high end customization. Apartment #3 is the largest and has good outdoor space, but Tony doesn't like that it's "not in the elite location [he's] used to." Ugggh. Yes, the west loop is practically Garfield Park. Very far east Garfield Park.

Despite his concerns, Tony and Jason decide to buy #3. 

It was smart to add a new staircase. The spiral staircase was too diminutive for the space.

This is how they decorated the apartment? It looks like a shitily designed office. And they got rid of the nice, though not my style, kitchen to get sage-colored cabinets? More money than taste.