I’ve been looking long enough to see prices jump $100,000, make multiple offers on homes, pull out of offers because of inspection, get beat by offers by $30k, decide to make an offer and 30 seconds later see the listing change from “Active” to “Pending” on the MLS, and find the PERFECT house that has only been listed for 7 minutes, only to find out it went pending 1 hour later. I’ve been looking long enough that buying a home lost its “fun” long ago.
And because of how long I’ve been looking, I have been to more open houses and home walk throughs than I can even remember. I remember when my best friend said she was exhausted after seeing six homes (she bought the 7th). Ha. Ha. I’ve walked through three times that many in a weekend. I’ve seen so many homes in the neighborhood where I’m trying to buy (Fishtown, the best one) that I can look at the front of a house and the street its on and tell you what the layout is going to be without going inside.
I’ve seen so many houses that I’m super judging most adults living in Fishtown, Philadelphia.
If you want to feel good about your life’s choices, browse the MLS listing pictures in a hot market. Houses are going so fast that people aren’t even cleaning up before pictures are taken. Toilets don’t even look flushed. I’m not joking.
But house buying (or, in my case, not buying) has made me realize that there are a few key things that can take your house to the next level. Mostly, I will like your house over another if it seems like a grown-up lives in the house. Because there are adults, with mortgages, who live like they’re still in college. (Don’t get me started on the houses we see that have renters living in them. It’s doubtful any of those houses even have a working vacuum).
So here is my super judgey feedback from other people’s houses so you can be an adult in 2019:
1. Make your bed.
It’s not hard. I’ve timed us in the morning. It takes 30 seconds with a partner. It might take you 30 seconds extra without one. A made bed makes your whole room look clean, and your bed looks extra inviting at the end of the day.
2. Close your toilet seats.
Not just for the photos, but definitely do it then, but before you flush. Here’s a fun fact to start your week:
When you flush a toilet, the swirling water that removes your waste from the bowl also mixes with small particles of that waste, shooting aerosolized feces into the air. source
If you don’t close your toilet seat before your flush, poop particles will get on your toothbrush. Think about that next time you’re brushing those pearly whites.
3. Figure out why your teenage son’s room smells like that.
Because the Febreeze you’re using to cover it up is not cutting it. There’s a source somewhere. Find it, (better yet, make him find it) and throw it out.
4. Bye, Bye Bugs.
If you expect me to envision my future climbing down the spiral staircase to the 6’ tall basement to do my laundry 2x a week like you have for the last 30 years, at least kill the family of Daddy Long-leggers who have taken residence in the corner by the laundry.
5. Please don’t have a snake in the cage in the basement.
Snakes are gross.
Bonus: No one wants the cookies at an open house. Just show me a house, nicely lit, at the right price on a good block. But if you do see a guy putting down fistfuls of cookies in the kitchen of that gorgeous corner property with a formal dining room at the very top of your budget that you fall in love with (the house, not the guy), he’s definitely the asshole who put the offer in before the open house was even open.