"This is going to be really great. We're going to find you a house in no time."
The time was 10:30 AM. My mother, father, brother and I were sitting in a Starbucks around two sides of a small table. Across from us, a realtor. We were ready to get moving -- the weekend was the only time we had available for finding a house to rent. We were hoping to get everything in order over the weekend, if at all possible.
She was hoping to chat us up.
The conversation started out fine, but I have grown accustomed to a certain level of distrust toward anyone trying to sell me anything. Nothing against her (yet), but whenever anyone tries to show me anything with the intent on getting profit, there's a nice amount of room for me to get screwed. To add to that was my dad's earlier comment. He had spoken to her on the phone, and afterwords described her as "sounding a bit like a nutcase."
Crazy doesn't find you a house.
We had previously told her the neighborhood we wanted to look in. It was a place with nice houses, a great school district, and several other factors thought out and researched. We aren't madmen, however, and noted that a neighborhood with a nice house a few minutes away would not be out of the question. A few minutes away. Only.
She began with a long speech about renting. I won't bore anyone with the details: basically she told us, in as many words as possible, that in this market renting was the only sensible thing to do. Everyone knows this.
We tried, at this point, to tell her that we were only looking for houses to rent, and that she knew this because she only handles renting anyway, and that we really wanted to go look at houses.
But she would have none of that! Customers are to be seen, not heard. She continued.
The renting market is the best, you know. Smart people rent. We're educated. We know this. You know that right? Everyone should rent. Everyone.
She finally began to talk about houses. Namely, how many she rented before we got there. In our requested neighborhood. And how good the market was for renters. Did you know that everyone should rent? Renting is the only responsible thing to do.
"I have one house in the neighborhood you want," She told us finally, after another renting lecture, "But you don't want to live there. It's so dirty, and it's leaking. You can tell when something is leaking. The walls get discolored. We're educated people, and educated people know when a place is leaking."
She continued on with this, though it struck me as odd. This did not sound like the neighborhood we had asked her to live in.
"That is the only property for rent there. There isn't anything else. But I have a few to show you that I have a bit of a vested interest in, in a manner of speaking."
No houses. In our neighborhood. Really? That did not seem right.
She took us to see the first house. It was, from the outside, a wooden cabin painted puke pink. The only entrance was a two-story flight of narrow, wooden steps. They creaked as we walked up them, and as the realtor tried to open the door we stood motionless on them.
"This entrance is different, isn't it?" Small talk as the realtor fumbled with her keys.
"Well, no one here uses the front entrance. It's just for show." The only entrance.
How does one get in?
We didn't find out. The realtor's attempts at opening the lock were futile. She called her boss. We climbed down the stairs. Carefully.
We went around back with the realtor and peered through the large windows there. Green carpet adorned the bottom floor and blue carpet was generously covering the upper floor. I spotted a red carpet in an open room. In the center of the green carpeted living room was a small, round, glass atrium. When the realtor walked away the four of us speculated as to what the room was for.
70s sex parties? That would explain the clear glass in a way I would never want to think about.
Ritualistic murder? That would explain the red carpet upstairs, but not the blue or green carpet.
Nothing could explain the blue and green carpet.
We left. Fast.
The next house was nice. It was just what we needed.
An hour and a half away.
"But doctors and lawyers live in this neighborhood!" The realtor assured us, "intelligent people know to rent here."
After that was a house "only eight minutes away from my house!" as the realtor put it. She timed it. It was thirty minutes from where we wanted to be.
Patiently, we wasted our time looking at houses too far away and too expensive. We drove back to our hotel worn out and tired of hearing how only intelligent people and doctors and lawyers rent and find stains and have houses built for ritualistic sacrifice (By the end of the night that is what I thought must have brought her to this world, from her dimension of insane house market professionals. That's a real thing. Probably.).
We found a house after another day of looking -- though it was admittedly realtor-less. It was in the neighborhood we wanted, the one without houses for rent.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Don't summon demons. It really only hurts the housing market.