July 7, 2012

House Hunters: All roads lead to Wicker Park

Description: Mary is a perfectionist, so when it comes to buying her first home in Chicago, she knows exactly what she wants. After looking at homes for 6 months, nothing meets her standards. Will Mary find the perfect place or is this the recipe for a perfect disaster?
Available on HGTV.com

Today's house hunter is Mary. Like millions of other Americans, Mary suffers from chronic stank face.

So this isn't really a stank face - don't worry, there will be some - and I didn't even intend to get a bad shot of her, but I've decided to keep it. 

Mary is 28 and has lived in Chicago for 5 years. I swear, no one who lives in Chicago - or at least downtown and on the north side - is actually from Chicago. They're all from the north suburbs and Iowa and Ohio and Michigan. Never Indiana, though, which is kind of weird. Mary says she's "definitely a type A personality when it comes to everything [she does], especially work and lifestyle." Ok, I get what a type A personality at work is, but what's a type A lifestyle? Whatever it is, it sounds like the worst kind of lifestyle ever. Like wouldn't a dictator have a type A lifestyle? Anyway, Mary also says she has very high standards, so this ought to be fun!

Mary's realtor is Lynn and she and Mary have been looking for places for 6 months, but none of them have been up to Mary's very high standards. So what are Mary's very high standards? She wants a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo with high end finishes in River North for $250,000. All that for only $250,000 in River North? Her budget might as well be $0. 

Condo #1 is 1 bedroom in 800 square feet for $250,000 in River North.

Stank face! Mary doesn't like the monthly $330 assessment. 

The apartment is on the 30th floor so it has views of the river, the lake, and the Hancock Building. Did you know that the odd shape of the Hancock Building makes it a portal for evil spirits? It's true! Allegedly. 

Mary bitches that the apartment doesn't seem like 800 square feet, but Lynn points out that there's actually room for a dining table in the apartment and that things do double duty, like the entryway has a closet and the washer and dryer and that Mary might even be able to use the kitchen's peninsula as a breakfast bar. 

Stank face! Mary bitchily says, "No you can't. Look at this. Even if I was sitting here, I couldn't put my legs under here. Can you?" Yeah, Lynn, you dumb bitch. Maybe you should kill yourself.

Mary doesn't like that the bathroom is not attached to the bedroom. I get it. Look at how far she would have to walk. That's like an extra 7 feet.

O hai, there's my office building again. But from a different angle this time!

Because Mary doesn't want to compromise on space, Lynn's decided to show her a place in Wicker Park. (Hmm, IMDB is telling me Diane Krueger and Rose Byrne were in that terrible movie. It's funny that Josh Hartnett was the only famous one at the time.) Condo #2 is 2 beds and 2 baths in 1050 square feet for $265,000.

The first thing Mary says is, "Oh wow, these hallways are really narrow." Uggh, like Britta, Mary is the worst.

Speaking of the worst, those floors are pretty terrible. Why are people putting hardwood on the diagonal?! And what's with that border? Good hardwood floors don't need all this extra shit. 

Mary immediately spots a crack in the glass blocks, but doesn't question why a bathroom and basement window is in the kitchen. It seems weird to me.

Stank face! Mary doesn't like (maybe she should just legally change her name to Mary Doesn't Like) that the front balcony is opposite a police station. Whatever, at least no one will try to break in to your place.

Mary Doesn't Like also doesn't like the bathroom counters and that it would cost about $800 to replace them. Well, then you better learn to live with them.

Mary Doesn't Like does like that there is a back porch off the master bedroom, but she doesn't like that it faces the alley. Ummm, where else would a back porch face?

Mary Doesn't Like doesn't like that the same countertops are in the master bathroom. Lynn tries to point out the positive:

This ridiculously nice shower, but Mary says, "No! I'm not ready to talk about the shower. I want to talk about this!" Seriously? She sounds like a fucking brat. I have no idea how Lynn hasn't smacked the shit out of her. She better be getting a good commission.

After they're done looking at the condo, Lynn says, "I think Mary should seriously consider..." Therapy? "...the condo." Dang, I was really hoping it was therapy.

Condo #3 is 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in River West for $274,000. 

Mary's lived in Chicago for 5 years, but still has to ask what this is. It's rock salt storage, dumbass.

Mary Doesn't Like doesn't like that the condo is near the expressway and she says, "I can't even hear you talking with the freeway right here." I think you're lying Mary because you heard her explain about the rock salt.

Mary likes the exposed brick in the master bedroom because of course she's the kind of person who likes exposed brick.

She also likes the master closet and I have to agree. Looking at pictures of organized closets is my version of porn.

The apartment has all the high-end finishes assholes like Mary like.

Ok, that's a pretty awesome pantry. I'm really jealous of these people.

Stank face! Mary Doesn't Like doesn't like that the condo is by train tracks.

But it's the effing Metra, so she should really calm down.

Mary and Lynn discuss the three condos they've seen. Condo #1 is only 1 bedroom, but it's in the neighborhood Mary likes. Condo #2 is overbudget and in Wicker Park, but it's the two bedrooms she wants. Condo #3 is gorgeous (says Mary), but it's near the train tracks and salt trucks. Mary decides to go with #2.

2 months later and Mary and her boyfriend are just getting around to measuring the window. 

And somehow she has learned to live with those countertops. 

Mary sits around with a group of people who I don't think are her friends because she stiltedly asks them, "Have you guys spent a lot of time here? Do you like it?" Plus, can you really see someone like her being friends with the bearded dude?

Here's the thing about House Hunters: it's fake. Even if it's not as fake as that article implies, I've heard before that the people on the show have already bought the house they ultimately choose in the episode and the other two are just shown because they need to fill a half-hour. So knowing that it's fake, why is it that so many people on this show choose to represent themselves as assholes? They're not stressed about getting a house because they've already got the house, so why go around being a dick? I don't get it.


  1. Hysterical commentary that matches almost exactly what I was thinking the whole time I watched this episode. Well while I watched half the episode. The rest of the time was spent googling the result of Mary's journey, as I was sure it would end in homicide with Lynn rocking back and forth in condo #2s shower.

  2. I kinda liked Mary (mostly because she had pretty big tits for an Asian girl). The stank face was a little off putting.

  3. Just watched this episode and did a google search within the first minute to see if other people thought Stank Face was awful. Thankfully, I came to this blog and could not stop laughing. Dead on!