Good grief! It’s been awhile since I’ve been here at FaM! In the interim, the real estate search project has continued. Tony the Romanian Landlord has made excellent progress on his project to convert our former neighbor’s home into a nursing institution. And I’ve learned a bunch of things.
I’ve been quietly and not-so-quietly looking for someplace else to live. Someplace not Sun City, not Payson, not Tucson, not Boise, and on and interminably on. Which is to say, someplace else to live in Phoenix, preferably in the zip codes that make up the “North Central” district.
Real estate is radically hot here just now. Any house that’s even faintly desirable moves within three days of appearing on the market. So it seems, at least. That is literally true in many cases, and in others, kinda metaphorically so. Nothing stays on the market for long.
And the prices simply defy belief! We are in California territory, folks. I thought I paid too much for this house when I bought it for $232,000. It’s now worth at least $550,000!
My son’s charming but tiny little house? $480,208.
Can you imagine? It’s hard to conceive how young people can even dream of buying a freestanding house. And apparently they don’t: apartment blocks are springing up all over the city.
Oh well. In the interim, what else has happened?
Among other things, I learned that the quiet, elderly couple who live across the street from me are yet more of Tony’s relatives!
They are Pretty Daughter’s in-laws! Her husband’s parents.
“Were” is, at least partially, the operative term. The old man died, and the elderly woman has been living there alone. My guess is that as soon as Tony finishes the nursing home two doors down, the first tenant will be Mom. Then he’ll glom her house and turn it into a nursing home, too.
Meanwhile, my eccentric next-door neighbor, who occupies the house between the Funny Farm and Other Daughter’s place, drained her swimming pool. She also had some masons lay two rows of large cinderblocks atop her back wall, so no one can look over her six-foot (now about ten-foot) wall into the yard.
When you drain a pool here, you often end up with a shallow puddle of water in the bottom of the deep end. This pond then merrily breeds mosquitoes. The damn thing is way across her yard from my side fence, so I can’t tell whether any such breeding ground is there. But her pool is right up against Other Daughter’s fence.
And lo! A few days ago Other Daughter reported that she came down with encephalitis! And she damn near died. Apparently at one point the doctors thought she was going to die. Then, when she came back around, they thought she would never walk again — she couldn’t move her legs!
Eventually she did recover control over her legs and is now walking briskly around the ‘Hood, as has been her wont forever.
The type of encephalitis that holds forth here is called Western Equine Encephalitis. A-a-a-n-d…it’s carried by mosquitos!
I haven’t seen her long enough to catch her and clue her to the possible connection between this terrible illness and our neighbor’s mosquito-breeding pit. But if I’m right, she needs to tell her dad about it. If anyone can put the eefus on that, it’s Tony.
Otherwise, though, I have two big containers of mosquito bits. If Other Daughter could ascertain whether water is standing on the bottom of that pool, we could throw a fistful of that stuff over the wall, and that would take care of the problem.
But problem it is: if O.D. could catch a horrific ailment from bugs growing in a neglected pool, then so can other folks in the neighborhood. Including me. And Ruby. And all those old folks in Tony’s planned institutes.
That poor young woman! Can you imagine? What an ordeal!
Meanwhile, life goes on, for the rest of us as well as for O.D. The weather is beyond gorgeous. And I most decidedly do not want to move out of my house.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve driven from pillar to post, searching for some replacement for the Funny Farm. There’s precious little out there. Certainly precious little in the price range I can afford. There are some cute places here and there…but the cost is in the many hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the desired neighborhoods, affordable places are close to fine thoroughfares like Conduit of Blight Blvd., which emanates a deafening roar 24/7. Or they’re 900 square feet. Or they require tens of thousands of dollars worth of repair and upgrades.
Meanwhile, I become more and more aware that I like my house — nay, I love my house, and I do not want to move out of it. Within the next week or two, it’ll be too late to peddle it to some unwary buyer, because Tony will have his latest nursing home in business. And you know, maybe the correct attitude is, to quote our Late-Unlamented First Lady,
I don’t care.
Those Eastern Europeans! Maybe they’ve got somethin’ there!