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Archive for August 2010

She Tried to Make Me Buy a Rehab… (Bloodhound Blog)

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-But I said, “no, no, no…”-

Truth is; I can barely swing a hammer….Let me rephrase that; I can swing the hell out of a hammer but just not in a constructive way. I am not the fixer-upper type, in case we haven’t met.  I probably err to the side of demolition, if anything. Clearly, I’m a real estate blogger.

That being said, my lovely Wife (and occasional muse) found a possible second home that, in theory, could fulfill our retirement needs during those forthcoming platinum years that the late Dennis Hopper used to pitch on those Ameriprise commercials. All things equal, he was my favorite corporate sell out so far this century, that Dennis Hopper. Cool, quirky and rich (until the very end) beyond words, for sure.

“Sixty is the new forty,” exclaimed my man, sharply dressed in black, The Spencer Davis Group blaring in the background, and looking unlike any be-shaded 72 year old cat I’ve ever met. And I was all over it. According to the departed DH, I still have forty more good ones ahead of me. According to his math and blueprint for living (oh well), I’m barely thirty-four. When he used to appear on the plasma in high def I got a sudden urge to run out and invest in something spectacular before I lost another precious second. I yearned to join the expedition, or at the very least, embark on the journey to financial freedom. After all, one man’s destination is another man’s starting point. Ask any truly wealthy person (nine figures+ by my definition) and I’m certain they will tell you as much. “It’s the journey, not the…” whatever.

But the ‘hidden gem’ my Wife came across this past weekend, a shack on the Tennessee River, needs some serious attention; more attention than I’m prepared to pay for, quite frankly. She found it on the Film Location site our own house is registered with (unbeknownst to me until a few months ago). And in case you didn’t know, there is a market for short term property rentals (upwards of $30,000 a month–the first 14 days tax-free) ‘wherever motion pictures are regularly filmed near you.’ And guess what? We qualify! Hell, everybody who pays the $199 enrollment fee qualifies, come to find out. It’s the Barbazon School of Modeling for overly proud home owners. Our modest, generally untalented house is the white picket fence version of Little Miss Sunshine. Sad but true, I’m a default stage parent by the sacrament of  Matrimony, although I’m pretty sure I may have been ex-communicated two marriages ago.

So, after discovering this (our house registration, that is) and upon further examination, I found that the Film Home Locator is just another portal for slinging rental property for a nominal listing fee. A smooth talking ‘location consultant’ named Bud convinced my Wife, in a weak moment, to fork over our Amex card info and enroll our own humble residence in The Directory. So much for the Parental Control field I activated on my laptop although it is only the two of us living there. (And just for the record, eight movies are being shot on Chicago real estate this year and not one Hollywood Director dropped by the crib with our 30K.) Anyway, some other mullet that Bud clubbed over the head is trying to dump a river house on the same site and this immediately caught the eye of my Wife.  My Google History report tells me she logs on to The Directory nearly everyday, checking out the visitor meter and counting the unique clicks to our own home page, no doubt. Poor thing. She yearns so badly for our house to become famous.


“Maybe we could have mom and dad drive up and take a look,” she offers over our morning coffee, standing at the bistro table next to the chairs I’ve been meaning to fix.

My in-laws live in Dyer, Tennessee and would love nothing more than for us to buy a house on the river, only a few hours away from their own home town. They are wonderful people, my Wife’s folks. My father-in law bought me a $300 24 position adjustable and expandable ladder from Home Depot as a house warming gift.  My birthday present from my Wife this year was a Makita 13mm 1500 rev per minute Lithium powered 18 volt power drill kit. I’m afraid to take either one out of its box although, since the gun laws are so strict in this city, I have considered using the Makita as a weapon in the event of a home break-in or unfriendly intrusion. (Note to self: better read the instruction manual,  just in case.)

Buying me an expensive power tool is somewhat equivalent to giving my cat a steak bone and a Kong, presenting a piccolo to a professional rugby player or convincing Amy Winehouse (too late, sorry)  to….well, you know what I’m saying. Some things just aren’t in our inherent genes and for me,  it’s the art of construction; or lack thereof.

“Honey, I’m too old to fix up the house we already have… much less rehab a lean-to in the woods eight  hours away from here. In fact, according to any 30 year amortization schedule I’ve seen, I may even be too old to buy anything that doesn’t have 4 wheels and a radio.”  I just don’t have the tools.

“I bought you that drill,” she said. “Dad bought you that ladder. Your boss bought you that power washer.”

Just a quick aside: I do love that power washer although, much to my dismay, it doesn’t do a very good job of blasting snow off my sidewalk. (But then again, neither does the leaf blower my own parents bought me back when I had a much smaller house and a much bigger wife.) Anyway, I wasn’t referring to the physical tools. I have a whole basement full of those. The tools I was referring to have more to do with talen,t and my true real estate talent lies in the art of negotiation, to be sure. I just need a level playing field and a willing partner…

“Baby, why don’t we just find a nice condo in Naples instead,” I finally bargain, not sure the compromise will fly but throwing it out there, just for openers.

“Florida or Italy?” she asks.

See what I’m up against?

Geno Petro


Written by Geno Petro

August 8, 2010 at 3:22 am