Empty Houses

As I mentioned last week, I have recently been told which ship I will be going to after my shore duty ends, and we will be staying in San Diego for at least a few more years. This means quite a few things, but one of them is that it’s time to buy a house.

We have never actually owned a home, and while we’ve had very good luck with landlords and apartment complexes over the years, it’s time to get a place that we can call ours. This is an incredibly complicated process, and if we didn’t have an excellent real estate agent, I would be completely lost. (The stress of this process is also why I am writing this post at 4:00 a.m. after not being able to sleep for the past few hours.) There’s one thing that I know, however. Kids absolutely love an empty house.

Over the past 2 months, we have probably looked at 30 different houses. That doesn’t include all the open houses that we have visited over the past year. All of them have been a little different. Some still had people living in them. Some were so clean that you could have performed brain surgery in them while cooking a meal for a 5 star restaurant. Some looked like the owners did motor cycle maintenance in the living room and smelled like they trained their pets to go to the bathroom in the dryer. All of the houses had one thing in common though. Our kids loved them.

They could have been fast asleep in the car, but as soon as we get to a viewing, it’s go time. Their favorite areas are the back yard and the stairs. As soon as we walk through the front door, that’s where they want to go. They couldn’t care less if there was a kitchen at all. They just want to take this opportunity to run around in a place without furniture.

The carpet could look like the house was used as a storage facility for circus animals, but they immediately have to tackle each other and start rolling around on it. The backyard could be paved with concrete and rusty bayonets, but they have to run around until one of them falls down and loses a limb.

Our kids are normally very well behaved, but if you put them in an empty house, they become demons from whatever dimension it is where the demons are really, really cute. We normally end up rushing through the houses carrying kids that are crying because they really wanted to explore why the fireplace was so rusty. Eventually, we’ll get back into the car with a vague impression of the house. We’ll end up asking questions like “How big was the kitchen?” and “Were there bedrooms?”

Maybe this renting thing isn’t such a bad idea after all…

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