Sunday, July 27, 2008

NOT What We Were Expecting

Today we signed a lease and picked up keys to the rental house.

Our experience with the new landlords has been positive thus far, save the head-shaking wonder with which we watch their realtors flail about. While I hesitate to call the realtors "bumbling incompetents," let's just say that working with them has really made me appreciate our realtor and her ability to get things right on the first try.

For example, the realtors emailed us a copy of the lease that had been faxed too often to be legible. We asked for a better copy, so we could at least make out the name of our new landlord and the address to which we should send a rent check. The realtors re-sent the same document, just as fuzzy as the first time.

After we explained that we wouldn't sign something we couldn't read, one of the realtors suggested we meet at the house. We could sign a less-faxed version of the lease and pick up the keys. She wanted to meet in an hour and a half. We changed our lunch plans and herded the kids out the door.

Maybe I'm being overly critical here, but if you were meeting someone to sign a lease, wouldn't you make sure to bring, oh I don't know - THE LEASE? Because that's what I would do. Maybe that's just me, because this realtor brought several copies of a document that was NOT the lease.

She decided to run to the closest office and print out the correct document. The realtor returned 40 minutes later - with the lease this time! - except it was the same illegible lease we had been emailed. Twice.

This was yesterday. After 45 minutes on my feet in an echoing house with two screaming children and no lunch, I was fried. Bump worked out today's solution with Brilliance the Realtor while I sat on a forlorn coffee table the owners hadn't moved yet and yelled at Lumpyhead to STOP SLAMMING THAT DOOR. That one, too.

This morning we left the tormentors with Aunt Bob and went back to the house. We were greeted by two men: the Richard and James listed on the lease. Bump was expecting a father and son, maybe brothers. I was expecting a couple - I had guessed "Richard," but maybe "Janie" or "Joan" or "Joyce" on the illegible lease - but certainly neither Bump nor I ever imagined our landlords would be younger than us.

They're brothers who bought the house in 2003. One got married and moved out a few years ago, and the other had been living in the house with roommates until his girlfriend demanded they move closer to the city (and I'm guessing away from roommates). It's a great house for a family, and I can see how it would work as a group house, but it's not right for a couple starting out.

Bump, Aunt Bob, Scrubly and I lived in a house not unlike this one many years ago. I wonder if this house has seen the same drinking games and poker nights and beer pong as that house on Quincy Street. While there's an extra fridge in the basement - a beer fridge if I ever saw one - I don't think this basement has seen same the spilled beer and drunken drool that it would have had we lived there right out of college. These boys seem a little too responsible. (It is my theory that if you are a new graduate who can buy a house with your brother, find tenants to help pay the rent, and maintain or even improve the property over the course of several years; you're not drinking as much beer as we did.)

I regret that we cannot show this house how much fun the childless versions of ourselves could have had in it. While I expect Aunt Bob and Pete will come over for beer, pizza, poker and wii bowling; we'll be checking the baby monitor while we demand Aunt Bob finish her beer for throwing a strike. Even if Scrubly can take a weekend away from his job as a corporate lawyer in New York and come see us with his beautiful wife and two children, I bet he won't get drunk and pour water on his own head or tackle a recliner.

Instead this house will hear the echoing laughter of overtired children who slam doors and chase each other in circles until they fall down. Maybe this house prefers that.

Oh, weirdness alert: when we told Aunt Bob the address, the first thing she said was "We almost bought a house on that street." It's not a very long street. In fact, the timing is right, so Aunt Bob and Pete may have made an offer on THIS VERY HOUSE five years ago.

That's almost creepy.


Melissa said...

If you haven't settled on a name for baby numero tres yet, you might consider Brilliance the Realtor. It does have a certain ring to it.

Misfit Hausfrau said...

How did your head not explode with such incompetence all around you?! I was all sorts of bitched-up when I was pregnant and can't imagine not killing Brilliance.

Em said...

That is *so* freakin' weird about Aunt Bob and Pete almost buying the house you are renting!

I had fun visiting the den of delinQuincy. That visit was when we used a Vogue quiz to decide if you, Aunt Bob, Pete, or me were the bitchiest.

Auntly H said...

Em, who "won"?

Julie said...

Ohhhh, bring the LEASE!!! You are a real estate genius!