“Marvin come quick! They’re back.”
“Who is back?” asked Marvin from his favorite chair.
“That couple I was telling you about. They just stand out in front and stare at the house. I think they’re casing us. Maybe we should call the cops.”
Marvin put down his book and moved to look out the window with his wife. “They’re not casing the house. I bet they’re just admiring it. I’ve seen them around town with what’s her name from Townsend Realty.”
“Well, I think it’s creepy.”
“Oh let up Caroline.”
“Why can’t that one be on sale?” she asked.
“You know there is something wrong with it,” he said.
“Nice big porch. Yard big enough that we can enjoy it, but not so big that it would take all day to mow. The outside has been well cared for. It could be perfect.”
“Perfect but for the fact it’s not for sale.”
“If I could just see the inside….”
“That’s insane,” she said.
“What?” he asked.
“Stand back here with me. Looks like a totally normal kitchen right?”
“Sure. A nice one even.”
“Okay. Now go open a drawer.”
He walked across the room and pulled open a cabinet drawer. “No way,” he said.
“What?” asked the realtor.
“The drawers are plastic,” he said.
“So are the cabinet doors. It’s particle board bases covered in plastic wood grain veneer. I’ve never seen such a thing,” she said.
“You know, the rest of the house is nice. We could just tear these out and go to Ikea,” he said.
“Really?” she asked.
“I bet the particle board comes out really easy,” he said.
“Something to consider,” she said.
“Are we sure we want to buy in this area?” she asked.
“Don’t you like the town?” he asked.
“I like the town just fine. It just seems like we’ve seen a lot of things we don’t want to buy and maybe two whole possibilities that we’re not all that excited about.”
“I’m not sure we’d be doing any better anywhere else.”
“You may be right. But can I show you something?”
She led him over to her computer and pulled up a listing for a local house. “So just to see, I added fifty thousand to our budget. I wanted to know what saving for a little longer was likely to get us. Since there is not a real pressing need for us to move yet.”
“This is not the best listing, it’s just the best one I could find that makes my point. This is a nice neighborhood, but not that much nicer than the neighborhoods we’ve been looking in. And the square footage is equivalent to most of the places we’ve seen.
He clicked quickly through the listing. “It is kind of in rough shape.”
“The kitchen cabinets are hanging of their hinges, and there’s a huge dog in three of the pictures, and the rest of the house is just a mess. And they want fifty thousand more than the top of our budget.”
“Maybe the old guy napping on the couch without his shirt, and gardening in the backyard shots doesn’t want to sell his house.”
“Honey he’s practically mooning the photographer in most of those pictures.”
“It just sits so oddly on the property,” she said.
“Not only is it not centered, it faces the alley that runs to the right the property rather than the street along what should be the front front.”
“I noticed. I just don’t think it is that odd. It was probably the first house built out here, and the rest grew up around it.”
“So it’s okay with you that the back of our house would always face the neighbor’s front yard?”
“I don’t see why it would matter,” he said.
“There’s no back yard.”
“There’s a huge side yard.”
“On the busy street side of the house. ”
“Afraid I’m going to run into traffic?”
“I just don’t know,” she said as they came down the front porch.
“Well think about it. This house has tons of potential,” said the realtor.
As they reached the lawn two police cars pulled up two doors down.
“I don’t think this one is going to work,” he said.
“Heating bills,” he said looking at the cavernous living room.
“Air conditioning bills,” she said.
“We’d have to rebuild the porch.”
“We’d have to clean it.”
“But look at the hard wood floors,” said the realtor.
“Those are nice floors,” he said.
“I wonder how much it costs to fix the roof. All those pointy things.” she said.
“Gables and dormers,” he said.
“Sounds like a law firm,” she said.