Tuesday, November 2


"What do you feel like doing?" Noah asked me when he got home this afternoon.

"Umm...lying down and weeping for awhile?"

"I thought you seemed off."

"I just don't like judgment."

*     *     *

So the judge I faced today wasn't exactly Pontius Pilate. He was a cheerful middle-aged man named John. Still, I felt compelled to approach him with the bitterness-tinged ingratiating demeanor one reserves for people you don't necessarily like but who hold your fate within their hands.

John was a home assessor.

We flew around the house this morning preparing for his 10:30 visit, cleaning and tidying and cataloging every irritating flaw in the house, minor blemishes that now seemed to swell puss-like and red on the face of our humble abode: The sliding glass door that's missing a handle; the unprofessionally finished edge of our kitchen's chair rail; the unpainted risers we added to our deck stairs; et al.

The man was by all accounts lovely. Unintrustive, friendly, I might even say quietly jolly. In short, very smart. Because the last thing a this homeowner wants is a person coming in to assess the value of the place with an in-the-hole attitude. Still, I bristled at the very nature of his job.

I know what the house is worth to us. I pity the assessor who walks into a house like ours, because in my opinion the value of our home can't be quantified with a measuring tape and a balance sheet of improvements and defects. Certainly my scale isn't practical; I'm not sure the bank would accept a high score on "coziness" or "representative of homeowner's independence" or "yard provides hours of fun" as marketable qualities.

Still, I'd feel better if I could submit an essay to supplement John's official assessment. Actually I'd feel better about most things in life if attaching an essay were allowed.

Ethan, of course, has put his stamp on the refinance at every turn, from expressing his artistic urges on the mortgage manager's expensive leather bag to calling John "Stinky Pete" several times throughout his brief visit (always genially, I should add).

I can only hope they'll take pity.


Locusts and Wild Honey said...

I saw that Stinky Pete thing on Twitter and thought, I need to meet this lad.

Try not to stress about the appraisal. I don't know if it helps, but we totally bombed our first one and then aced another one six months later. If you don't like your first, you're allowed to get a second opinion.

And remember, it's just based on comps and stuff. It's not really what your house is worth.

Dan said...

We are also in the process of getting our house valued. Unfortunately the place is in such a state that it takes us a week to tidy up enough just to have friends over, so the entire process is a complete nightmare.

I'm seriously considering just burning the house to the ground instead.

Erin said...

L&WH—Luckily we've had some pretty good comps lately, so that should help.

Dan—That idea isn't half bad. Then you could claim insurance on it. I believe that's called "insurance fraud" in the U.S., but it's probably legal over there, right?

B said...

Oooooh! I like that idea, to attach an essay with everything. Love it!!!

Jen said...

I can only imagine how much a home-assessment would require an essay, but, regardless, I am 100% with you on the attaching-an-essay-to-things idea. I spent the last many months applying for jobs, and I feel that you should be allowed to supplement your cover letter with an essay describing why they should actually hire you, aside from the boring organized and detail-oriented reasons. I would like to attach essays entitled something like, "But seriously, I am really awesome." Is there some authority to whom we can send an essay about getting this policy implemented?

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