This is the true story… of two people… who chose to buy a house…work on a renovation and blog about it… to find out what happens… when people stop being polite… and start getting real…The Real World: Hollywood Riviera.
Let me catch you up. A week after our house went into escrow last December, we went under contract on another house. She was gorgeous. And, you could see Ferris Beuller’s house from the backyard. A dozen inspections and a super stinky pool guy later, we just couldn’t make it work with the sellers (that house is STILL hasn’t sold…so, we weren’t crazy). We cancelled the contract on the house we were buying less than a week before closing on the house we were selling. We hustled, put 80% of our stuff in storage, got lucky and have temporarily returned to the geography of our misspent youths: Hermosa Beach.
This is the view from our apartment. The ocean is three blocks away.
But, that’s not my point.
A couple months later. TD’s 50th birthday. We go into escrow on another house.
Still stinging from the almost purchase of a house that was asethetically beautiful on the outside but rotten (and probably haunted) on the inside, we took a different approach. Or more truthfully, I talked TD into it. Okay fine, I wore him down with ROI algorithms and promises of an outdoor kitchen.
This time we passed up the pretty but mean girl for the diamond in the rough. The ugly duckling. The Cinderella. The Laney Boggs (or Janey Briggs if you prefer).
Here is how I feel about this house (just pretend Rene Zellweger is talking about this house, not Tom Cruise):
Here is how TD feels about it:
Fine, 50 and F&#@ed Up
Conventional wisdom tells you to buy the worst house on the nicest street. We did them one better.
We bought the worst house on every street.
In every direction.
It was a flirtation that came on like the impending bankruptcy it inspired – little by little, then all at once. One day you’re flush with disposable income, the next you’re the proud owner of a 50-year old, bona fide, four-alarm dumpster fire.
And whether your world-view is biblical (“pride goeth before the fall”), homespun (“no good deed goes unpunished”) or just plain practical (“just don’t f&$# up”) it’s clear at this stage our decision to sell our condo and ride this horse is, at present, the financial equivalent of, “hold my beer and watch this!”
Allow me to enumerate the positives of Via Corona:
1. It has a nice view off the deck
2. You can see the Goodyear Blimp take off and land from said deck
That’s it! That’s the list! Everything behind the deck is, to put it mildly, an utter disaster.
All together now
As you can see, we have very different perspectives when it comes to this house. Early on, we realized that we had two choices: butt heads, take it too seriously and probably get divorced as our nest egg dwindles to jelly beans OR make fun of ourselves. We’re attempting the latter. And, being grumpy gen-exers in a millennial world, we decided to take you along for the ride.
Welcome to TMH 2.0…Real World Renovation Hollywood Riviera. We haven’t quite worked out the format. Sometimes TMH will write. Sometimes TD will write. Maybe we’ll write together on occasion. I’ll even throw in a recipe or two baked in our rental kitchen (get out your kaftans and fondue pots).
Each Thursday for what our building contract says is the next couple of months (which we interpret as for the unforeseeable future) we’ll bring you weekly updates. It should be fun. Or maybe it’ll be a train wreck. Which should be fun.
Welcome to Via Corona:
Episode 2: Before