For Sale

That's the amount that these jokers have listed on the shitty Kinkoís copies rolled into the Info Tube that's wired to one of the posts on the porch.

Real estate is crazy, I mean, that bitch is stone cold crazy in my county. Even in my marijuana-smelling, half-way housing, central neighborhood.

I took the dog for a walk because I am having trouble moving my legs without looking like a palsy patient. 2/3 of the muscles are fine but the 1/3 that is not fine is really, seriously, NOT fine.
So I've been walking the dog and in my neighborhood, that's always a treat. There's the Golden Pyramid Cult House. These people, I don't know what the deal is, but they have a truck with a golden pyramid painted on the side. And not well, I might add.
Then they painted a golden pyramid on the side of their house. The second time must have been a little easier because the one on the house doesn't look so drippy.
Now they seem to be building a slump-block wall around their house and they are building it, you guessed it, with triangle-shaped slops of mud and gravel and hay or whatever else it is that actually comprises slump-block.

There's the PRIDE house. This house has a rainbow flag on the porch and the fence is purple slats with hot pink posts enclosing the property and sometimes parked outside the fence are two Volkswagen Beetles, the cute ones. They have a couple of dogs that always wind up right when Rosie and I walk by. Chihuahuas, of course.

There are some really gorgeous properties, too. My neighborhood was founded as an artistís district and the homes that have been maintained are big, Arizona homes. They are deceptive adobes that look small but that stretch back and into themselves with very few rooms and cool dyed concrete floors. They have lots of fire places, big kitchens, guest houses, and courtyards. Those should sell in the 2-3 hundred thousand range.

The house whose curiosity got the better of me last night is NOT one such house. First of all, it's located across the street from a small grouping a rented casitas, one of which features a fenced-in rotweiller and a trampoline in the front yard.

On either side, the neighbors have cars on blocks and you can't even see the front doors because the houses are so covered in over-grown Oleander and Lantano. I can't be sure of which side, but I'm pretty sure one of those cars has had a blue tarp covering it for at least two and a half years.

The neighbors alone don't mean that the house isn't a $325,000 home. I have seen some of the really luscious properties in my neighborhood - the ones with courtyards and art and really rich texture sell for $260,000, $423,000, and $328,000. These are homes that have tropical landscaping, tiled breezeways, guest houses with separate entry, and gated parking. Wealthy Liberals live in these homes and they spend their evenings readig the Times in the soft light of their outdoor lighting. They have large, well-behaved dogs that don't bark when Rosie and I walk by because when their dogs are outside, so are they. Their garden-gloved hands wave hello, and I can feel their smile even behind their wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. They can tell from my own hat and sunglasses, tan shorts, and running shoes that I am proabably a kindred spirit and 20 short years away from their same, breezy lifestyle.

The house I dragged the dog to last night was not one of those homes and it was most likely not previously been occupied by Wealthy Liberals. It was a re-hab that some idiots thought they could buy and fix up and sell for a huge amount of money. I looked in the windows and saw bee-hive apartment-style countertops in what I could see of the kitchen. You know? The yellow Formica particle board?
For $300,000 I better see some goddamn rock on my countertops. I don't care what kind of rock, but it better look richer than what I rented when I was 25. Even my shit hole apartment has stainless on the 1.5 feet of countertop that I lovingly call my "kitchen".

The rooms were all broken up, the fire place was gas, the floors were laminate and those look good in a new house but they can look really out of place and schizoid in a poorly restored, old adobe. Plus, heating and cooling in those houses? They take care of themselves pretty naturally if they're allowed to be open and airy. There are only a total of 12 or 14 weeks in the year where Tucsonans have to be overly concerned about staying cool or getting warmer. Most of the time, it's 80-some degrees and lovely. They advertised a pond and room for a pool but all I saw in the back yard was a stagnant tub of rain water and I guess there would be room for a pool if you mean one of those stand-up pools - buy today, swim tonight! You could put an above-ground pool in at your $325,000 home, if you wanted to.

And while you're swimming in it, you could watch the pot growing across the street.

I want to know how much doob these guys smoked before they came up with $325,000. Clearly they've been spending too much time in my neighborhood to be able to think rationally about selling a place with no garage and a falling-down ugly fountain (no tiling) for $325K.

I get that I live in one of the most expesinve real estate markets in the country right now and I get that itís really hard for me to think about buying a house when what I can buy would otherwise be zoned for condemnation but I have to say that I am going to be watching that sucky property around the corner from me like a hawk. If they sell that stain for $325,000 then I will pack it up and pack it in because thereís just no way.

You can see the half-way house from the front porch and thereís NO WAY you will convince me that even in a market like this one, $325,000 only buys a view to the loony bin and Formica counter tops.

arizonasarah at 7:57 a.m.

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