June 30, 2013

House Hunters: Ladies, amirite?

Description: Monique, an interior designer, and her husband, Tim, a contractor, want to buy a second home, or pied-a-terre, in New Orleans. But, this home will be more than just a weekend hangout for the family. With plans to have clients over for meetings, it has to showcase Monique's design work and Tim's contracting expertise. But, Monique wants to practically gut every home she sees and can't be bothered by budget, which is Tim's concern. That's why they're turning to a former client and experienced Real Estate Broker, Colleen Loria, to help them find a place that will satisfy Monique's creative drive without breaking Tim's budget.
Available on Hulu

So our hunters of house today are Monique and Tim.

Monique is an interior designer and Tim is a contractor and they have two sons named Jean-Luc and Jacques. That's a shame.

Monique and Tim live in a faux chateau (fauxteau?) in Lafayette, Louisiana and they are looking for a second home in New Orleans because their interior designer/contracter business is expanding and they are sick of staying in hotels because the hotels can be pretty loud being that it's New Orleans.

Their realtor is Colleen and Tim and Monique tell Colleen that they want a home in the French Quarter - wait, so they didn't like how loud the hotels got, but they want a house in the French Quarter? - with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a nice kitchen. Tim says their budget is $300,000, but Monique, whose nickname should really be "Ladies, amirite?", isn't opposed to a higher budget.

Before we get to the houses,

can we talk about how ridiculous this doorman's hat is? It's like the safari hat of a World War I German soldier.

House #1 is a 2 bed 2 bath 900 square foot home in the French Quarter for $349,000. It was originally a single family home but has since been converted into four units.  

The front door opens directly into the living room and Colleen explains that the house is shotgun style, in that you could fire a shotgun in the living room and it would go through all the rooms in the rest of the house.

So that's the first bedroom off the living room and you have to walk through it to get to the kitchen.

The kitchen is pretty small and awkwardly shaped and Monique lays out her plans for gutting the kitchen and I don't care enough about it to write it down.

The master bedroom is in the back off the kitchen. It includes an en suite bathroom.

Monique doesn't like that the washer and dryer are in the bathroom and says, "The washer and dryer is not working, it's not happening."  Ok.

There's a private courtyard in the back and

they can buy this shed/former carriage house for an additional $60,000.

House #2 is 2 bed 2 bath 2000 square foot loft in the Central Business District, which is more family friendly - i.e. not disgusting and teaming with sexually transmitted diseases. Colleen says that, at $499,000, the loft is more within Monique's budget and Tim asks how Monique's budget is different than his budget.

Monique explains that she and Colleen were talking and they think they should raise the budget from the mid-300's to the mid-400's. Ladies, amirite?

Monique likes the openness and says, "it feels open and airy like you can breath in here." The air is notoriously thin in small apartments. That's just a fact.

But, "the kitchen is gonna have to be gutted." They use the term gut/gutted more than Charlie from True Life: I'm Getting Married. And seriously, how happy was I to hear that Charlie and Sabrina are still together

That sink looks like those sinks you spit into at the dentist's office. Monique says the bathroom will be "nice when it's gutted." Tim is getting concerned about the cost since they're already at half a million and Monique wants to completely redo the kitchen and bathroom, but Monique isn't concerned with the budget. Ladies, amirite?

The master bedroom is really big, but it also has a bathroom that has to be gutted, possibly like the piece of shit it is. 

Monique explains via more hand gestures that she really wanted a old home with southern charm and crown moldings and what not and that this loft is a "bit of a diversion from that."

House #3 is a 3 bed 3 bath 2800 square foot single family home in the Uptown neighborhood for $455,000. 

There's a really big dining room that Tim likes.

And everything in the house, including the electrical work and heating and cooling, was updated within the past few years, which Tim also likes because as a contracter he knows that all that shit can get expensive. 

This kitchen is the largest that they've seen. But...

Monique gets crazy eyes and says that she's "not crazy about the cabinets." Colleen asks, "You can't just put some new hardware on them?" No, she can't Colleen, God!

Crazy eyes!

Crazy eyes!

Monique does not like the window layout in the master bedroom and says that "this congestion is concerning [her]." 

She then describes how they would have to board up those two windows and then build a padded head board into the wall to cover the boarded up windows. Colleen counters that "most people would just buy a new bed." 

Crazy eyes!

God, Colleen! They're not most people!

Colleen points out that the master bathroom was recently remodeled and Monique says, "Let me stop you. 

I'm feeling a little 80's in here, 

so as far as I'm concerned, 

all of this has to go."

Colleen says that "most people would find this a really nice space." MONIQUE AND TIM ARE NOT THE AVERAGE CLIENT, COLLEEN!

Monique and Tim discuss their three choices. House #1 was the cheapest but also the smallest. House #2 was large and open but the most expensive and they would still have to pay for renovations. House #3 was the largest, but it also had a lot of renovations to consider.

They pick house #2.

Monique says, "I just really did what I wanted. I have to tell you [ed note: she says "I have to tell you" as if she's about to tell you something noble or heroic she did], I did not let budget control this project and my vision really came through." Ladies, amirite?

So what is the vision of someone who would choose to wear that blouse?

Tacky and over-priced.

June 10, 2013

House Hunters: Bein' Quirky

Description: Annette has moved back home to Michigan after completing college in Chicago, and is ready to purchase her first home in the hip college town of Ann Arbor. She'd like to find something historic with vintage charm that matches her artsy personality. She loves to craft, and would like space for her crafting supplies. She also works from home, so a home office is essential. Helping her with the search is her childhood friend, Elisa.
Available on xfinity.com

So on today's episode of Bein' QuirkyHouse Hunters, we're following the adorkable antics of Annette.

Funny story. My mom's name is Annette and I always thought it was pronounced the normal way, like A-nnette. Then like a year ago I found out that it was actually supposed to be pronounced Ann-ette, because she was kind of named after my great aunt Anna. It's weird when you find out that your mom has a different name than what you thought it was. And fun fact: my mom is way cooler than this Annette. Because my mom woud never say the following: "My friends would describe me as very artistic, creative, a little unique, a little quirky." 

And what, pray tell, makes Annette such a special quirky snowflake?

Her love of fancy gift wrap.

Her love of crafting. Or as she explains it, "I do sewing. I do like painting of small figurines."

Her love of artisanal cheeses.

Her love of cutesy tea sets with cats and owls on them.

Her love of baking. Of this she says, "I love to bake cookies. I've just started tackling bread. I love to do cakes. My friends love me because I give them baked goods a lot." My friends love me because I snark on House Hunters a lot.

And this is a serious question: when does a quirk become normal? Because I know a ton of people who are into baking and being crafty (the good kind of crafty, not the bad kind of crafty). I mean, quirk implies like rare or idiosyncratic, when the stuff she's into isn't really either of those things. Maybe if she had bangs. [Ed note: I have bangs, but only because I have a big forehead and I hate plucking my eyebrows. These are utilitarian bangs, not quirky bangs.]

ANYWAY, Annette is 30 and was born and raised in Dearborn, MI. She came to Chicago for school, but moved back to Dearborn a year and a half ago because this town ain't for everyone. Especially "quirky girls." "Quirky girls" stay away. Annette is looking to purchase a home in Ann Arbor because she says "it has a wonderful vibe to it." Of course she wants to live in one of those bullshit towns where you can pay for a sandwich with a song.

Annette's budget is $225,000 max and she wants: an older home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms near downtown with built-ins, hardwood floors, a fireplace, a formal dining room, a dishwasher, and a kitchen with lots of counter space. Her realtor is Alex and her friend Elisa is coming house hunting with her.

Hunting houses is the most dangerous game.

House #1 has 4 bedrooms and 1 bath in 1100 square feet for $220,000.

Stank face! Elisa doesn't like that it only has 1 bathroom since Annette said she wanted 2.

Annette likes the living room, but Elisa points out that it's kind of small.

Stank face! I forgot what this was about.

Alex tells Annette there is not a formal dining room and she tells the camera, "I'm pretty concerned that there's no formal dining room in this house. That's something that's really important to me to have in the home and that fact that it's not here, I'm not really sure where I'll be able to entertain, especially in the wintertime." Ok...I'm not really sure what a formal dining room has to do with wintertime entertaining, but whatever. Also, is it just me, or does Annette add like a lot of extra words to her sentences?

Stank face! Annette and Elisa are asking Alex where the refrigerator is and he explains that it's on the back porch so the kitchen would seem bigger. Annette says she's "not going to the backyard for eggs," and I yell at my TV, or more accurately, my computer screen, "The refrigerator doesn't have to stay on the porch!"

Stank face! I'm starting to think maybe that's just how her face looks. Elisa doesn't think there's enough closet space in the house because "Annette has two storage units full of clothes." How many cardigans and a-line dresses does this bitch own?

Wow, however did this "psychic" figure out that the girl in this outfit wanted an old home?

At this point, you're just wearing a fucking costume.

House #2 is a 3 bed 2 bath 1090 square foot home for $210,000. This house is closer to downtown than the previous house.

Ok, I know I normally criticize the homeowners who are like, "Look at this wall color!" but, for real, the paint colors in this home are ridiculous and like none of them go with each other.

To wit:

Seriously, I'm dying to see what the decor was of the people who thought these color combinations were a good idea.

And also:

there's a total murder bathroom in the basement. Well, maybe not murder; maybe just botched, at-home abortions. That's why we got to keep it legal, folks.

Stank face! And if I saw a botched, at-home abortions bathroom in real life, I would totally make this face too. I feel ya on this one, Elisa.

I do not, however, feel Annette's "Wowy, wow, wow, wow" reaction.

Here Annette's quirkily spray painting a record stand for the new house and "[she doesn't] even have the house yet." That is quirky!

House #3 is a 3 bed 1.5 bath 1500 square foot house for $250,000. It's $25,000 above her budget and further away from downtown Ann Arbor. What's even the point of Ann Arbor if you're not near its downtown?

It's a pretty nice space. Although I would paint the walls a brighter white because I think that off-white color with the wood makes the room look kind of dingy.

Annette likes that the formal dining room is right off the living room, which makes it better for entertaining. Especially in wintertime.

But she's concerned that there's no room on the counters for her mixer because the cabinets are kind of low. She kind of looks legit pissed about this.

They check out the den space, which Annette describes as a bonus room, but Elisa points out that it's "not a free bonus," as the cost of the house is $25,000 over-budget and Alex looks like he wants her to just shut the fuck up.

You guys, for real, I want to see the decor of the people who thought this looked good.

I'm just throwing this in here so you can see her ridic outfit.

So Annette and Elisa go over the three houses they've seen. House #1 had a decent kitchen, but it was further from downtown and there was only 1 bathroom. House #2 was in a good location and within budget, but it had a botched, at-home abortions bathroom. House #3 was the largest house but also $25,000 over-budget.

Annette picks house #2 and pays the asking price.

Oh and there's the record stand she bought before she even had a house. It's a good thing she got a house, or else that would have made her look quite the tomfool.