Friday, May 13, 2011

Shhhh! I'm hunting house hunters

Welcome back to House Hunters International! Grant and Sara love their 12-bedroom home in a remote suburb of Orange Country, but Grant’s job as a financial whatever and Sara’s job as nothing leaves them stressed-out with the fast-pace of life in the States. Having vacationed on the island of Barbados many times, and under the impression that they are revered and welcomed by the locals, they are set on finding a second home there. Today they’re meeting their realtor, Mike …

Mike: Okay, so, first we have this awesome three-bedroom home near the beach. It’s got a pool, and uh, some other things. Also, it’s in Barbados, near the beach. Do you want to make an offer now? And of course by “make an offer,” I mean “provide HGTV consent to get the place for you without any of the red tape and logistical nightmares that face less-wealthy and not-featured-on-television homebuyers?”

Grant: Hold up, Mike. How much is this place going for?

Mike: Does it matter?

Grant: Not really. Still though.

Mike: $265,000 U.S.

Grant: What does that equal in Barbados dollars? Like, a billion?

Mike: Well, considering it's a British island, and it's 2011 ... (breaks out calculator, pretends to punch keys) ... two zillion pesos. Aren't you in finance?

Sara: This kitchen is kind of small, Grant.

Mike: I can see from your high heels and ability to open and close a microwave door that you know your way around a kitchen, Sara …

Grant: One time she almost made an omelette!

Mike: Indeed, this kitchen is a bit smaller than your sprawling, obnoxious, American kitchen, but the truth is – many in Barbados don’t have humongous kitchens, because they consider kitchens utilitarian as opposed to luxurious. Also because of the poverty.

Sara: These tiles are weird.

Mike: Excellent observation, Sara. These tiles are hand-crafted by local artists and pay homage to the rich history of Barbados.

Sara: I don’t know if I like that, Grant. I wanted brown tiles.

Grant: She wanted brown tiles.

Mike: Not to change the subject, but I’m not sure if you guys noticed the gentle ocean breeze coming through the open windows surrounding us.

Grant: You know, Mike. I’m glad you mentioned that. The beach looks so far away!

Sara: Yeah! TOO far.

Mike: I realize that it looks far away, from the 15th floor of this luxury condo, but the beach is a two-and-a-half minute walk. I timed it earlier.

Sara: (turns to Grant, puts her arm around him) You had your heart set on something on the beach, honey.

Grant: (turns to Mike, sadly) I think we were looking for something closer to the beach …

Mike: Okay. Indeed, that ride down the elevator and brief walk to more leisure can be burdensome. I’ll see what I can do …

Next day…

Mike: Grant, Sara. I see you brought your kids today. Fantastic.

Grant: This is Conner, Maddy, and Hunter! Their input is going to play a major role in our decision.

Mike: Wonderful idea. It’s great to bring young children, who have no idea what they are talking about, into the process of a major financial and life decision so as to elevate them to the level of responsible adults. They will come across well on television, I am sure.

Sara: Of course they will! Maddy, show the camera your toe ring ...

Mike: Anyway, today we have this 4-bedroom luxury villa, the only of its kind on the island. As you can see, it is on the beach. Literally. So much so that in 1986, a high tide washed it away completely and it had to be rebuilt from scratch the following year. You could not get closer to the water if you were (looks at Conner) … SpongeBob SquarePants!

Conner: (gives Mike middle finger) Where’s the pool, Daddy?

Grant: Hold on, buddy – Mike will get to that later.

Mike: Ummm, are you serious? There is no pool. The ocean is the pool.

Maddy: Daddy, no! That water smells!

Sara: Hold on, sweetie. Let’s at least go inside first.

Mike: Okay, yes, moving inside … as you can see, marble countertops, gas fireplace, balcony off of master bedroom has a golden canopy, fully furnished, brown tiles, each of the six bathrooms has a walk-in shower and a bidet, and, just as a reminder, we're still in Barbados. Also, the bedrooms are a decent size. In fact, let's check one out here ...

Sara: Yikes. Red paint? I don’t know about that, Grant.

Mike: Red is a vibrant color. One thing though, Sara, that a lot of people, like yourself, who are featured on HGTV shows don’t realize—you can actually paint over paint. With a paint of your choice.

Grant: Kind of screams “fixer-upper” to me.

Hunter: How are my toys going to fit in this room, Daddy? It's only 800 square feet. EXPLAIN THAT!

Sara: This is pretty far from downtown, too, don’t you think, Grant?

Mike: Would you like me to ask downtown if it can move here, closer to the beach, which is where you told me you wanted to live like, yesterday?

Grant: Can you do that?

Mike: Are you ... sure, hold on. (takes out cell phone, dials ... cell phone of an HGTV producer in the background rings ... he picks up) Bill? I quit.

2 comments:

Joe S. said...

Ha! Almost sounds like a real episode of HH International, especially the "they vacationed here once and fell in love" part. If I reacted like that to vacations, I'd have a house in San Diego, Phoenix, Palm Springs, New Orleans, and Orlando.

I actually used to enjoy these shows until my wife and I purchased our house in 2009. Turns out that the REAL house buying process is nothing like what they show on TV. Who knew?

mkenny59 said...

Joe, no kidding. I love that they have to choose between three houses, and whichever one they choose, they just, like, get. No issues whatsoever. I don't know why it drives me so crazy to watch others experience a pleasant, seamless, homebuying process, but it does.

You have a nice selection of potential alternate home locations, by the way!