August 30, 2014

House Hunters: How funky is your chicken?

Space for Chickens in Chicago
Description: Chicago couple, Scribner and Amanda, are looking to get out of their five-hundred square foot apartment and into a house with a lot more space for themselves, plus room in the back for their latest interest: urban chickens. But their style preferences are not the same. She wants a place with plenty of vintage charm. He prefers something with modern updates, especially in the kitchen. Can this hip young couple find a nest that will make them both happy?
Available of Amazon

So today's house hunters are Amanda and Scribner.

Amanda and Scribner are a couple of basic bitches who think they're hipsters, so, once again:

Amanda is a 27-year-old psychotherapist and Scribner is 29 and works in advertising. They moved to Chicago from Tampa a couple years ago and are currently renting in Lakeview. They point out that they don't have a car so, "we walk everywhere or we ride our vintage bikes." It's a good thing they pointed out that they ride vintage bikes, otherwise I might not have figured out so quickly that they're d-bags. (Please note: it's not inherently douchy to ride a vintage bike - really, who cares? - but it is douchy to specifically point out that your bike is vintage. It's like when someone makes it a point of saying they're drinking a microbrew instead of just saying beer.)

And they're the kind of assholes who ride their bikes on the sidewalk. I feel like I should legally be allowed to shove anyone who rides their bike on the sidewalk. Besides, in Chicago it's illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk if you're over the age of 12.

Anyway, they're looking for a house in Logan Square because Lakeview is too expensive. Their budget is $350,000 and she wants a vintage home but he wants something modern. Man, a problem like that has never been on House Hunters before. They also want an updated kitchen so Scribner can "whip up creations" and a backyard because they both want "urban chicken." I would have bet dollars to donuts that they made up the term "urban chickens," but then I would have lost some dollars (but plus side, I would have had some donuts). According to Amanda and Scribner, owning chickens is legal in Chicago, but they also rode their bikes on the sidewalk, so I don't think we can trust them as far as legality goes.

This is Amanda casually knitting, just like how they casually mentioned that they ride vintage bikes and casually mentioned that they want to raise chickens.

Anyway, their realtor is Jon.

House #1 is a 5 bed 3 bath 2000 square foot single family home in Logan Square.

The home was built in 1892 but was recently renovated.

That kitchen, though...I don't know. I don't like tile in general, but I get why they're used in homes in warm climates. Here, though, I think they should have continued with the hardwood floors or used a darker tile or something. It looks like they accidentally plopped a new construction kitchen into an 1890's home.

The backyard is "perfect for chickens."

They check out the upstairs which has two bedrooms. This is ostensibly the master bedroom, since it has the attached bathroom.

Scribner thinks he "might need a neck brace," but I think that if he just doesn't stand in that exact spot, he'll be fine.

The master bathroom has some weird stripes, but they like that it's updated and has a dual vanity (which is on the wall you can't see).

They also check out the basement which has more ugly tile work and...

The ugliest effing bathroom I've ever seen.

House #2 is another 1890's home in Logan Square. It has 3 beds and 2 baths in 2000 square feet for $350,000.

Amanda loves the stained glass, which was the original transom above the door.

The house still has the original flooring.

And the original stainless steel appliances.

Amanda says she likes the sink because "it's a little retro-looking." Umm, no. It's from the 80's, not the 50's. Amanda and Scribner seem like the kind of people who would think the ugliest thing was cute as long as you told them it was vintage.

For example, Scribner says, "These stairs are awesome," because they somehow think 80's is vintage.

The pink carpet continues into the master bedroom. At least the comforter kind of matches.

They don't like that the master bathroom does not have a shower or bathtub because, "If you forget something, you have to come all the way back up here." Why couldn't they just leave everything they need in the downstairs bathroom?

The basement has a bedroom, full bath, and kitchen, so they can rent it as a separate apartment if they want to.

Thankfully there is plenty of room in the backyard for some chickens.

Before seeing house #3, Amanda and Scribner go to a coffee shop and have a really scintillating conversation. "I love coffee shops." "I love coffee."

House #3 is actually in the Medical District and is a $239,000 two flat. They would own both flats, but rent out the top one, which is 1 bed and 1 bath. The owner's flat is 3 bed and 2 baths in 2000 square feet.

I know I've said this before, but I could not live in a place with the hardwood placed on a diagonal. It would drive me crazy and I feel like it would give me headaches.

The kitchen was just kind of thrown into the corner of the living room.

The "second bedroom" in the basement is totally not a bedroom. And legally they can't call it that since it does not have a window.

The actual bedroom in the basement is a good size, but it's short.

So short that they had to chop off the top of the door to make it fit.

They don't like the master bathroom either. I'm pretty certain that window was put in upside-down.

The rental suite is pretty dated, but Jon thinks they could get $900 to $1000 a month if they updated it.

This place doesn't have a yard but Scribner says, "We still have a place to come out and stretch our stems." Ugh, stems? There's only one person who can use the word stems and he's a fictional character.

And Scribner is no Christian.

Amanda and Scribner talk about the houses they've seen. House #1 has a big kitchen, but it lacks the charm Amanda wanted. House #2 has more charm and a big backyard, but they don't like the master bathroom. House #3 needs work, but it's a good price and has a rental unit.

Amanda and Scribner pick House #1.

And they have their chickens now, so I'm sure their new neighbors are really going to love them.

August 24, 2014

House Hunters: A Study in Poor Decision Making

Description: Rob works in advertising and his girlfriend Amanda is a middle school Spanish teacher in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They'd like to find a home by their one-year dating anniversary and have enlisted the help of Rob's mom. Rob would like a home with historic charm and character, while Amanda prefers more modern amenities. They're also at an impass about where to settle; Rob would like to stay in Ann Arbor, while Amanda likes the nearby town of Plymouth. Rob's mom certainly has her work cut out for her, since this newly-dating couple rarely see eye to eye when looking at houses.
Available on ULive

So the second pair of house hunters today are Amanda and Rob.

Amanda is a 26-year-old 8th grade Spanish teacher and Rob is a 25-year-old internet advertising strategist. 

Poor decision #1: they have been dating for less than one year and they are buying a house together. Oh honey, no. Do you not watch Judge Judy? There are like no protections for couples who are not married who break up and then have to divide their assets. And why should you be worried about a break up? Because...

Poor decision #2: Rob is probably gay. Being gay is neither poor nor a decision, obviously, but buying a house with your probably gay boyfriend is. I mean, not all gay men talk like that, but all men who talk like that are gay. What does their realtor think about all of this?

Poor decision #3: Their realtor is Rob's mom Eva and she apparently has no problem with an unmarried couple who has been dating for less than a year buying a house together. Why, Mom? Do you not see how bad of an idea this is?!

Well, since they're "ready to take the next step," let's find out what their wish list is. They want an older home with charm but with an updated kitchen (i.e. stainless steel and granite countertops) and bathrooms, and a formal dining room for $275,000. Rob currently lives in Ann Arbor and would like to stay there, but Amanda would prefer to live in Plymouth, which is 20 miles away. And they want to be all moved in before their first anniversary.

As far as being move-in ready, Rob says, "Well we wouldn't do it ourselves. We all know how handy I am."


House #1 is a 3 bed, 2 bath 1500 square foot home in Plymouth for $273,000. 

The living room is right off the entryway and the dining room is to the right.

Amanda doesn't like that the dining room isn't more open to the living room, but they can enlarge the doorway. Rob says, "We all know that I'm not going to be able to do it myself, like take a saw and enlarge that wall." Yes, Rob, we know.

The house also has a sun room, which my basic rule is always go with the place that has a sunroom, but Amanda doesn't like all the wood.

As I was trying to get a screenshot of the sunroom, I got this, which I've decided to throw in since that look on her face is kind of priceless.

Amanda says that, "This kitchen is a modern person's dream." Is it? It has stainless steel, but everything else is kind of not that modern.

They check out the backyard and once again the cameraman is moving too God damn fast and I can't get a clear shot, but there's a nice brick patio and a small grass area, which Amanda likes. Rob makes a confession which will surprise absolutely no one, "I've actually never used a lawnmower." You don't say.

House #2 is a $250,000 4 bed, 1 bath 1220 square foot home in Ann Arbor. Rob thinks it's the perfect location.

They both like the living room, but Amanda doesn't care for the textured ceilings. Rob likes the ceilings, though, because, "It makes it look very medieval, like a castle." 

The bedroom that is currently being used as the master isn't very big and Amanda's worried about the storage space in the room.

Presented without comment.

They check out the kitchen and Amanda asks, "What is that? Why is there a fan inside the wall?" She's a real brain trust, this one. Eva says that it's an exhaust fan.

Amanda then points out that "these [appliances] are not stainless steel." Yes, we all have eyes, Amanda.

They go see the two bedrooms upstairs, which are both pretty small, but the upstairs could be converted into an entire master suite.

Amanda asks, "What are all these like mini doors?" Eva says they are storage.

House #3 is a $300,000 3 bed, 2.5 bath 2000 square foot home in Plymouth.

Amanda likes that the kitchen is open to the living room, but she doesn't like the "ancient oven." What is it with these people and ovens?

Rob asks if the countertops are granite and I guess Amanda isn't the only brain trust because I can tell from here that those are laminate.

They of course love the entire master suite.

And props where they're due, that's a really nice backyard.

Amanda and Rob go over their three choices. House #1 has charm and character, but it only has a one car garage. House #2 needs updating, but it's the cheapest. House #3 has the nice master suite, but it is the most expensive.

They pick House #1.

They've widened the doorway between the living and dining rooms.

And they've changed the fireplace facade. They were able to move in before their first anniversary, of which Amanda says, "The fact that we met that is really important to me."

I really hope HGTV gives us an update as to where they are on their second anniversary.