I think House Hunters and other HGTV shows have ruined the general house buying public. People have become spoiled, uninformed, and don't seem to understand basic physics or economics when it comes to home buying.
The premise of most House Hunters involves a young couple moving to a new city. They have an unreasonable wish list for their new home, and are looking for sleek modern architecture combined with classic Victorian decor. It has to have a lot of space, a big yard with an Olympic-sized swimming pool, be two blocks from the office in the heart of downtown, and they want a view of nature. Plus it has to have four bedrooms, a man cave, a fitness room, and a wine cellar, but be less than 2,000 square feet.
And they want a stable for their unicorn.
Their budget is usually several hundred thousand dollars, much more than a freelance web designer and a part-time yoga instructor should reasonably expect to earn in their lifetime. But there they are, magic pixie dust wish list in hand, and they're ready to buy.
They visit three houses, and share their views about what they loved and didn't love. The wife (where appropriate) is usually a creaky-voiced princess who picks the dumbest things to whine about: I don't like the color of that wall. The countertops aren't granite. There's too much street noise downtown. The garage floor is dirty.
"Hey, Robert, I saw Lindsey on House Hunters last week?"
"Lindsey? I don't know any Lindsey."
"Lindsey? No, I don't think so. We have a son named Dylan, but no Lindsey."
"Yeah, Lindsey. She was best friends with my daughter for 18 years. I officiated her wedding."
"Nope, doesn't ring a bell."
Last year, when we sold our house, we heard some of the dumbest, whiniest complaints, and I began to wonder if we were secretly on an episode of House Hunters.
One family complained our four bedrooms weren't enough bedrooms for them and their one child.
Someone else said we hadn't done enough landscaping, and the backyard looked barren. Other people didn't like the landscaping we had done. And still other people complained that the yard was too small.
There is nowhere in Fishers, Indiana — a town that grew from 2,000 people in the 1980s to 75,000 people in 2015 — where you can find a large yard, unless you lived on a farm. There are also no farms in Fishers; they're all housing developments.
Wall color was another factor, and it was the end of the damn world for some people. We had a single 10 foot wall in our kitchen that was painted a bright green. More than one buyer said they hated it, but apparently couldn't figure out how to fix the problem themselves.
Other people praised us for the bold wall color, and then complained they didn't like the gray walls in the master bedroom.
Our home buyer didn't like the green wall either, so he hired someone to repaint it before he moved in. Problem solved. The difference between him and House Hunters buyers is he knows what a paint brush is.
We were told our six year old kitchen was "dated." Someone else said they were looking for a small house, under 2000 square feet, but said our 1800+ square foot house was too small.
The annoying thing about the whole process is not that people didn't like our tastes. We could deal with that. Everyone likes different things, and no one can agree on any one thing, except for this obsessive fixation on granite countertops. Do we even have enough granite in the world for every home?
It's just that everyone seemed to think they were auditioning for the next episode of House Hunters. They picked every nit, griped about every tiny detail, and were unreasonably inflexible and lazy about things they could easily fix.
Or they would complain about things that we couldn't do anything about, like the size of the bedrooms, the size of the house, or the length of the driveway.
In the end, we were able to sell the house to someone who was happy to have it, and find a rental home in Florida that we could enjoy and appreciate, while we look for a final home to buy.
I want a 4,000 square foot castle with 12 bedrooms, a home theater room, and a moat.
But no gators. If I see a single gator, we're out.
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