Days of Beer Cans, Mushrooms, and Roses

Real estate mission accomplished. We looked at six properties last night and two this morning. First the interesting homes, including the “Mushroom House.” (Not very original, but it’s easier to get a quick men tal image with a nickname than an MLS number.)

I’d need a real camera to capture neat close-ups, but one house struck me for the dozens of fungal fruiting bodies (aka mushrooms) pouring out of the ground hear a stump on the south side of one house. The fungal mass underground has probably been feeding off the dead tree stump and roots for a few years. The mushrooms themselves are just the spore-spreading mechanism for the lifeform which is about 99% underground.

Here’s a distance shot:

The mushrooms were cool, and the house was number two on the list, but with years of heavy smoking within, we would have been looking at tearing up carpets, throwing open the windows, washing and/or painting, and doing a lot of fumigating. My sister is closing on a smoker’s house next week and I don’t envy her task.

Most of the home viewing was sad. We saw a home than had an “owner’s friend” in residence, but the gardens were two to three years unkempt. The window in the back shed was ajar and even though we didn’t have keys, I could see through the window that vermin had taken refuge there. We called it the “Rose House,” because in about four days there’s going to be about three dozen roses in bloom on untrimmed bushes.

The one house I had my eye on 0.95 miles from church has housed four students for a while. Brittany and I dubbed it the “Beer Can House.” Billed as 1 3/4 baths, but if you put all the stuff in the house together, it would be only one full bathroom. Pass.

We saw a sorry house this morning. It must have once been a pride and joy, standing tall on a corner in a residential neighborhood, with a wrap-around porch.

It was an ideal time for househunting, as Ames has had six inches of rain the past few days, and if ever a basement is going to leak, flood, or do something in between, it was sure going to show.

The curious thing was that these eight homes were all about $10,000 to $20,000 more expensive than what we viewed on April’s trip, but until we saw house number 8, they were all bigger disappointments. We settled on a nice ranch with a finished and dry basement on the west end of town, 1.6 miles from church. (That’s a 25-minute walk for me.)

The kitchen was bright and huge. The living room has a fireplace. The whole place was clean and well-kept. The only drawback were the small bedrooms, but I think we’ll manage somehow. I told my wife we’re going to me mostly unconscious in this room anyway, right? Who can complain about a basement with five nice rooms?

The backyard is spacious, and offers a wide view of the sky. City viewing is usually bad for galaxies and nebulae, but I can keep track of solar system objects when I can’t get out to the local astronomy club.

Bottom line: they took our offer this afternoon. I was a shade nervous about leaping in, but our realtor (a man we trust) said this house at this price wasn’t going to last long in the market. So it feels good to have a second home. Anybody want to rent my first?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to Days of Beer Cans, Mushrooms, and Roses

  1. Jimmy Mac says:

    From my childhood days in a very small midwestern town I have wonderful memories of my grandmother’s wrap-around porch. I lust after something like that again, but in suburban Northern California, fat chance!

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