We're pretty certain we are going to buy a pre-existing home rather than build, but we wanted to go looking at builders today, just to make sure we're doing the right thing. We brought all 3 kids with us, of course, because 1. we don't have a babysitter to watch our kids for something like looking at houses and 2. our children are rather well behaved even for boring crap like looking at houses.
We get there to the model home and the sign is up, "Showing houses, call us at XXX-XXXX". So we call up the number and the dude is actually inside the building, he had just forgotten to turn the sign over. The very FIRST thing he says to us is, "Oh, man, you've got your HANDS FULL with all those kids." I hear this or something like it every single day of my life, so I didn't sweat the comment too much, just an inner eyeroll at yet another person who considers 3 kids to be a hell of a lot of kids.
We go in and I start explaining, "Yeah, we've been approved for a home loan, at X amount of dollars, and we were thinking that we would look at new homes to see if that might be the route we want to take or what." He doesn't look at me. Looks directly at my husband. Says, "Hi, I'm John Asshat, and you are?" my husband is all like, "Jim Lastname, nice to meet you, this is my wife, Ivy." Mr. Asshat puts his hand out to shake Jim's hand, but when I put my hand out, it's like I am offering him the plague, he doesn't want to shake my hand. Fine, whatever.
So then he asks Jim who approved us for our mortgage. Jim doesn't have any clue, I'm the one who has been doing all the running around taking care of things, since he works 6 billion hours a week and I'm a stay at home mom with nothing (tee hee) else better to do. I tell the guy, "Oh, it was Firstname Soandso with Yaddayadda Mortgage Company." Well, this guy works as a team with someone I can only assume is his dad because they have the same last name and go by variations of the same first name (like Tom and Tommy or Bob and Rob. Something like that.) So Mr. Asshat says, "Oh, Otherguysfirstname Soandso? Yeah, I know him." and rolls his eyes like the guy's a major idiot. Then back to schmoozing my husband. "Well, Jim, we have one house in your price range that I think you will like. Would you like to go see it?" Jim says sure, and we all hop in his car and go to see the house.
Jim has me sit up in the front seat and he sits in back with the kids. So Mr. Asshat drives like a complete idiot all the way there, and we find that the house he wants us to look at is right next to the most ghetto trailer park in the world. My mom teaches in the school district that these houses are in and has told me that there is known gang activity (trailer park gangs? wth? what's next?) in there. I'm not so sure of that, but I really don't care for my view from my back window to be of the scenic local trailer park. But, whatever, if the house is fantastic, I might be able to overlook it. We go in the house. It's TINY. I mean, T-I-N-Y. So I ask him, "What's the square footage of this house?" He says, "1004." I'm thinking to myself, man, we have THREE kids, and you want to put us in a one thousand square foot house? ay yi yi. So I'm looking at the kitchen because one of the most important things to me is a nice, large kitchen and it HAS TO HAVE a MINIMUM of FOUR DRAWERS.
The kitchen I have now is a nice size, but only has three drawers- two of them absolutely tiny. Well, this kitchen in this house we're looking at has only two drawers. I say, "Well, it has two drawers, I can't live with that." The guy looks at me like I am a total nimrod and is like, "What would you want more than two drawers for?" so I say, "Oh, you know, cookbooks," and he cuts me off with, "Well, my wife stores HER cookbooks in a bookshelf." I say, "Cookbooks don't do ya much good unless they are in the kitchen..." He said, "It never bothered my wife, of course, my wife has all her recipes memorized." Whatever, you asshole. I said, "Well, also I need drawers for things like hot pads, regular silverware, larger silverware, utensils..." He cuts me off AGAIN. "Well, I'm sure you can find SOME way around that." Yeah, sure, I can, like I have at the townhouse we live in now, but it's a giant pain in the ass. I want to buy something better than what I have now. It's half the reason we're buying.
So the kids take off upstairs and I go up after them to look at the upstairs. Later, I find out that while I am upstairs, Mr. Asshat is asking Jim whether or not he thinks I would settle for this particular house. Jim assures him that, no, I would NOT settle for this house. He THEN tells Jim that "You've gotta strongarm these women a little. She doesn't know what she wants, she depends on you to tell her the what-for." So we finish looking around at the place, and he asks, "What do you think?" I said, "It absolutely will not work for us, do you have anything else in our price range?" Then he turns to Jim and asks HIM, "Well, what do you think?" Jim, too, says, "It's not working for us, sorry."
So the guy sighs and says, "Well, we have something else in your price range, but it's more expensive." OK, dude, show it to us. BTW, this guy never DID mention the price of any of these houses til later. So he takes us on down the road to the next house. It's on the same street. Same problem with the view of the trailer park. We go in the house and size wise, it's OK. I ask the square footage, he says, "1200 square feet." Yay! six more square feet than we have now! @@ lol. Well, anyway, it's pretty much the same story as the last house. Kitchen has 2 drawers. Absolutely no interesting design details. It's just not really what we want. But, yeah, we tell him we like it a lot better than the first house.
So he takes us back to the model home and the baby's crying so I take him into a back room to nurse him while he talks numbers with my husband. He keeps trying to get Jim to, I guess, make deals without me, Jim won't. Jim's just not that familiar with our finances to be comfy making any kind of decisions without consulting me. The guy is like, "We can have our mortgage specialist here within 15 minutes and get you approved right now." Yeah, man, but we already HAVE our mortgage stuff taken care of with Firstname Soandso. So Jim finally asks the price of the houses we looked at, and GET THIS- the FIRST house is TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS more than we were approved for on our mortgage. The SECOND HOUSE is TWENTY FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS more than we were approved for on our mortgage. WTF?!?!!?!! The guy tells us, "Oh, well Theotherguy Soandso is an idiot, he doesn't know how much you're approved for." OK. So you're telling me a salesguy knows MORE about how much mortgage we are approved for, than our loan originator?? Nevermind that the loan originator has pulled our credit, worked up all the numbers, etc yadda, and has approved us for a house we can actually AFFORD? Ay yi yi.
There was about a half hour more of this crap which I will not submit y'all to, since this is getting ridiculously long. Let's just say, we will NOT be building, and especially NOT with this company. I get home and there's an email from my realtor with some houses he thinks might work for us. I felt all bad about looking at builders and possibly cutting my realtor out that way, now. It's just that this is the biggest investment we have made in our lives, and we don't wanna screw it up, and not look at all of our options.
Needless to say, we'll not be buying from these oxholes.