House Hunting In Hell

Now that we’ve invested huge amounts of time and money into renovating our kitchen, landscaping the yard, and decorating the house, I’ve decided it may be time to move, which makes total sense to all you design junkies, right? So this weekend, Hunny Bunny, the baby, Karly and I, solicited the help of our realtor friend Kurt to look at a house in one of the most amazing neighborhoods in Austin — Travis Heights. Oh, Travis Heights, how I love thee! When we drove into the hood, I thought about living within walking distance of the shops at South Congress, and I looked at families pushing strollers down tree lined streets with a misty sense that this could be our new life.

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And how cute is this 1930s house? With a little paint and some new plants, it could be killer. Plus, did I mention that the neighborhood rocks, and the lot is STUNNING.

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Yep, that’s your own personal creek running through a little patch of wilderness, 5 minutes from downtown, 5 seconds from South Congress. Insane, is what that is. And astonishingly, it’s (barely) within our budget. Hmmm.

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As we pulled into the carport, Karly started her “Unh, uh” routine. Ok, so the backside of the house was a little ramshackle… The picture above captures about 1/3 of the length of the house. The carport was caving in, there appeared to be a strange 1980s addition tacked onto the back, there were about 500 doors opening to various outdoor areas, and the landscaping was a bit odd, but still workable. What can you expect at such a bargain basement price? And then we walked inside.

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Is this part of an old garage? What’s up with the “stairs” to nowhere? How come that doorway appears to be mounted upside down on the wall??? Why oh why does it smell like death in here…?

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Ben held the baby into the mystery opening to get a closer look, and Ike — who heretofore was perfectly placid — started screaming BLOODY MURDER, which is obviously what took place in this room vampire cave. Now, normally I’d go spelunking to check out the “vintage” furniture in there, but I figured Ike knew something I didn’t. Obviously, he sees dead people. After that, things got hazy. Karly declared the house was “haunted as shit,” and decided to take Ike outside to calm him down, but I was not to be deterred from a bargain by a few measly poltergeists.

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We pressed on to the 80s wing, which featured lovely wall to wall carpet in red — to hide the bloodstains, naturally. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of the leg breaking spiral staircase straight out of Vertical Limit, or the disgusting bathrooms, but truly, these things were only pedestrian gross. You’ve seen them before. But I bet you’ve never seen this:

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I’m just going to give you a second to reflect on the situation.

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There is a TREE in the middle of the house — in the kitchen, for goodness sake, which is somehow even more offensive. And lest a tiny part of you think that it might be cool to have a tree in your kitchen, remember the other rooms. Whoever built this patchwork piece of shit house built it out of plywood, cardboard and duct tape. The roof leaked all around the hole where the tree is, and a foundation was laid over the tree roots. Not good planning.

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Plus it looks like sandworms from Beetlejuice are attacking the exterior of the home, and nobody wants that.

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Here’s another shot from the other side. DO NOT be fooled by my pretty picture. Imagine filth, crappy construction, and cheap materials everywhere. It is completely uninhabitable, and I have a VERY high tolerance for fixer uppers. Somehow I neglected to get pictures of the random door that opens onto an unstable, unfenced roof (dangerous, much?), or the creepy door to yet another pit of hell under the house that looks to be the spot where Buffalo Bill held his victims in Silence of the Lambs. The only thing that will save this house is a bulldozer.

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And it’s sad, you know? The original house was probably 1000 square feet, with period hardwoods and built ins, and it was tiny and cute. Then some morons decided they should add on 2000 square feet of crappy disconnected boxes, with absolutely no floorplan in mind, and they ruined it. Plus there are the dead bodies. I know they’re in there somewhere — Ike saw them.

Oh, and when we left, Ben backed into a stupid, random brick mailbox that had fallen and was laying in the driveway. Our bumper is totally dented in, and now we have to hire a man that actually goes by the name of “Crackhead” to pull the dent out.

But, guess what? I was never so happy to pull into our driveway and walk into our own nice, remodeled house. So, stay tuned for my dining room makeover on Wednesday. I figure that — relative to this gem — it’s gotta look amazing.

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UPDATE!

Kurt sent me the pictures he took that day:

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Just a lil group shot. You can totally tell Ike is screaming his head off. Also, Karly is too tall to live in this hobbit house.

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I have also been informed that “Kentucky” will be fixing our bumper instead of “Crackhead.” Good to know.