We looked at the first three houses before Lut got off work, and he met us at the fourth. The first house of the evening intrigued me; it was the only recent building i looked at, built 11-15 years ago. But it was a HUD repo and it showed signs of ill-use. Water damage in the basement, an animal stench in the front room, a crack in the ceiling. The bedrooms were big, though, and the master bedroom had a walk-in closet off the bathroom. Mm. I've always wanted a walk-in closet.
But the basement was only partly, and shabbily, finished, with the laundry hookups in a little unfinished room.
The fourth house was nice but not impressive. It had a huge yard. Lut looked out the window at it. "It was big, and I noticed there was a large shed at the back," he said afterwards.
"That shed is only halfway through the lot," I told him. Behind it was a gigantic garden plot. The earth looked freshly churned and weed-free, all ready for planting next spring. Someone who wants a garden will be very happy with that place.
But I don't want a garden.
The power had been turned off at the fifth house. By the time we got to it, it was 5:45PM and dark out. It was the only house that didn't have power. We had to look at it with a flashlight. Amy was annoyed that she hadn't been warned by the seller's agency; if we'd known we could've come by there first instead of last.
It had a gigantic screened porch, hardwood floors in the bedrooms, and vinyl floors in a bizarrely laid-out basement. They'd put a sink and a stove where the washer/dryer should go. A sink. Five feet away a toilet squatted, open to the rest of the room. On the other side of a wall from the toilet was a concrete shower stall. I couldn't imagine what they'd been thinking with this layout. it wasn't even as if there were any rational way to enclose both toilet and shower as part of the same finished bathroom.
And I don't want a stove, or a kitchen sink in my basement, either.
I want the Bright Blue House.
I asked Lut what he thought, and he said, "You know, there are a lot of houses that I would've said 'this is good' about, if i hadn't seen the Bright Blue House already."
So I asked Amy to draw up a contract for BBH. I'll sign it tomorrow and put down some earnest money, then arrange for an inspection if they accept my bid. I bid their asking price, but asked that they pay the closing costs. I'll see how it goes.
I hope they accept it, and that no one else has bid on the house since we were there on Saturday. There were some other good possibilities, but this is the one I want.
I could've signed the contract tonight, but I wanted to get to the polls before they closed, and I wouldn't have had time if I went back with Amy to her office. I did go vote. I am obscurely proud of not having placed getting the bid in tonight over voting.
I went to the polls to vote on the resolutions on the ballot. A Democrat and a Republican were vying for the remained of an unfinished Senate term. I didn't know anything about either of them and I am long past my days of feeling a party affiliation with either camp. So I didn't vote for either. But I voted in favor of a resolution to raise the sales tax in order to fund the bus system, and against a resolution to raise the sales tax even higher, for longer, to fund a new light rail system. And in favor of selling one of Emerald City's trashed parks to a private entitity in return for their promise to fix up the property. And against a resolution to make it harder to get resolutions on the ballot. I like ballot resolutions.
The only non-Libertarian vote I cast was in favor of the subsidy for the public transit system.
In theory, buses are one of those things that the government doesn't need to do and so I shouldn't be asking the government to do it.
In practice, I've been relying on city buses my whole life. But I think what really got me was minor_architect writing, a few days back, about how much tougher it is for poor people if there's no bus system in place. When you can't afford a car, public transportation gives you a chance: more options for where to live, and where to work. I can hardly argue with that, given my personal experiences.
I would rather that bus systems were privatized, or subsidized by charitable donations. But I don't live in a world where that's going to happen any time soon. Maybe I'm not supposed to live like it is. Maybe government-sponsored extortion isn't so bad. I don't know.