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OPEN HOUSE : MAR 28th

Today we went Open House-ing. On Sundays, the Lady has dragged me out several times before but I have never really felt compelled to write about it.

Now I do. Now the sun shines.

So - on and off - for three months the Lady's been looking for a little one bedroom place to call home (and let me crash): "somewhere in the West Village would be nice... or maybe Greenwich, OK then Chelsea, I suppose East Village will do..."

I normally spend Sunday mornings trying to avoid the Lady who gets an impulse to tidy the apt. Tidy frantically and complain about the mess I make. Trying to avoid someone in a studio apt is a little difficult.

At first - when she got the property bug I saw this as a way of curtailing the manic scrubbing out of a lazy Sunday morning and the chance to wander the streets and explore.

For months I've wandered from East 9th to West 21st - from pokey alcoves in grey apartment slabs to dank one bedrooms in pre-civil wars. After the first three or four weeks of being buzzed-in and registering our names as we came through the door I began to have a sneaky suspicion that the Lady was often more interested in seeing how other people live. I concede that I may suffer the occasional urge whilst walking past someone's house to look through the windows (In my current financial affairs this often brings misery when I spot amazing kitchens backing out onto beautiful cared for gardens) - but I am beginning to wonder whether the Lady has any interest at all in finding a place. No longer do we just turn up to any old Open House - but she checks to see if the owner has moved yet - the ultimate find is the Private Sale (i.e. the owner's still in situ and actually there to show you their humble abode). In fact, it's as if she's started a little club filled with the fellow buyers we regulaly see on Sundays. Sometimes - normally on stair wells - she bumps into one of the club and there ensues a few remarks about the way people live.

It is only with the sun that the Lady has refocused her efforts. The sun brightened NYC so much today that suddenly there are queues of people lined up and down every stoop in the Village. All holding printed Internet pages or folded copies of the NY Times Property Section.

A feeling of being an oldtimer transcends you. You can't help but both sneer at these new upstarts and panic that they'll find that perfect home in less time than you. It's pure school playground, it's pure fraternity. Now the Lady and her club friends close ranks: at the front door they tell newcomers the wrong apartment number, as the elevators open they point them the wrong way, 'oh - that one, it's gone already' they pronounce loudly when they pass a queue outside a brownstone.

But what really happens is that the Lady finally makes an offer on a sweet 1 bedroom in West Village only to find that these new fiends have driven the price up 35K. In a panic, she puts in an offer on a dull north facing slab: it's got 4 offers already, dear - over the asking price.

She looks at the Pre-Agreed Mortgage Advice thingy letter and compares the amount she can borrow with the amount she has to pay.

We think : Google search - banks, west village, new york, security weakness

March 28, 2004 in Diary | Permalink

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