Oh, horrors. Have you ever moved into a new place and had it turn out differently than you expected?
I visited my mother-in-law’s new place over the weekend. It’s a cute little place, set peacefully on the end of a cul-de-sac where we figured it would be quiet and restful–no traffic, pedestrians, and no noise. Admittedly, I helped her choose the place, making sure that the place would be neat, tidy, and a good place to rest and rejuvenate. I thought I did a great job, as the neighborhood was quiet and the views out each and every window made for peace, privacy and quiet enjoyment. In fact, that’s what really sold us on this place. All the windows and the yard look out serenely out over a charming, little pond. It was a great view, no neighbors, no retaining walls–just pure nature at it’s best. What a great place to rest, relax, and recooperate for sure, and certainly the crowning jewel of this home!
Well, come Saturday night as twilight crept up on the tiny cottage, the setting seemed even more appealing as nature began her evening serenade…the faint sounds of frogs and crickets chirping quietly in the distance. But then, it hit us–not like a ton of bricks, but stealthier than that–like the peaceful trickle of water which somehow turns into a raging flood! One frog, two frogs, three frogs–pretty soon there were like 600 frogs all croaking away endlessly, in their deep, husky voices! Argh!!!
I’m sure you’ve had something like this happen to you. Despite all the housing inspectors you hire or the number of walk-throughs you make, there are things about any home that you just won’t find out about until you get there. Things like:
- The house you pick is underneath Seatac Airport’s flight paths. Don’t think that you’re safe if you don’t live anywhere near the airport. I tell you, wherever I live, it’s under a major flight path! Ok, I get it. It was at least foreseeable when I lived in San Diego, not too terribly far away from Miramar Airforce Base. Our condo turned out to be directly under the area where the Blue Angels practice their maneuvers for air shows, which I guess was reasonably foreseeable! So you would think that when we relocated to Woodinville, we shouldn’t have to think about this. But n-o-o-o-o! How is it that our tiny corner of Woodinville is in the flight path??!!
- Your house is the elementary school bus stop. Ha! Luckily I haven’t been a victim of the bus stop thus far, but each day as I contribute to the havoc of the morning wait, I feel very, very sorry for the homeowner whose yard we stand in front of. Being the meeting place of like 20 moms, kids, and dogs (who incidentally poop whenever they are near marked street corners) at 8:10 a.m. each and every morning can have its downsides.
- Your house is at the bottom of a gentle, rolling slope. Beautiful to look at and easy to picture yourself on, reading a novel on a warm summer afternoon. Well folks, water flows downhill, and if your home is at the bottom of that gentle, rolling slope, guess where the water ends up!
- You get to experience nature firsthand. If your house is on a greenbelt or within close proximity to nature in some way, you may get to know the local fauna up close and personal, be it croaking frogs, biting mosquitos, or nightly visits from furry neighbors.
- Your house is a premium parking spot for special events. You think that you live far enough away from the local elementary school or park to enjoy the proximity and still avoid the cars and traffic, however, during Back to School Night or Saturday morning soccer games, you might find that the front of your home is a convenient place to park!
Sometimes, the only thing you can do to prevent this sort of thing from happening is keep a critical eye about you and anticipate what each characterstic of a house, yard, or location might mean. Listen to others tell you their tales and tuck it away in the back of your mind, until such time it’s needed. Sometimes, that’s ll you can do…
Have you been a victim of something you didn’t know until you got there? If so, leave a comment and tell us what it was! (Maybe, just maybe, your tale will save some other poor sucker down the road…)