I was looking at houses yesterday (the San Diego housing market's tanked; and I'd be a fool to not pick up the pieces of someone's broken dream). There were a few other people looking around at the same houses I was looking at, so the Realtor and I had to wait for one someone else to finish looking one of the houses I wanted to look at (it's apparently not kosher for 2 people to look at the same house at the same time). To pass the time, we on a whim decided to look at the garage sale next door. The gentleman holding the garage sale was being foreclosed on and either trying to sell off some stuff to get some extra money or just trying to minimize the amount of stuff he had to haul out of the house. I looked around at some of his stuff and found a beautiful set of end tables and a coffee table. The guy wanted $70 for the set, but since I only had $65 cash, that's the price we settled on. The Realtor ended up with an electric hedge clipper, so I guess we both lucked out. The tables are big enough that it took two trips to haul them all home, and they're currently sitting in my dining room because that's the only place they'll fit in my apartment. But honestly, how could I pass up that bargain? You usually can't even get three tables made of particle board for $65 these days, let alone a set of finished oak tables.
If I may digress slightly, one thing I don't understand is the amount of time some people spend looking at houses. At one house I was really interested in, I spent an hour looking around, taking detailed notes of the house's condition, and photographing every square foot of the house such that if I wanted to, I could recreate the floorplan from my photos. In that same time, two other people looked around for 10 minutes each. Now maybe they weren't that interested in the house, but I've seen people take longer inspecting a car. Hell, I've seen people take longer inspecting a refrigerator. It just seems that one would take longer researching what will probably be the biggest investment most people will ever make. Now maybe I'm wrong about all that and people do spend a long time looking at properties they're interested in, but that was the impression I got. I'm certainly not experienced in the house-buying game, so maybe others who are can comment on their decision-making process.
When last I used this title, I was excited about getting a free CO2 tank for a kegerator I wanted to build. These days I'm excited about getting a good deal on a living room table set. How priorities change over 2 years. These days one might even mistake me for some sort of responsible adult. They might even be right. I'm sure some of you have come to that startling realization in your own lives, though I'm sure you all have differing opinions on whether or not that's that's a good thing.