The Rich Life — Day 33

Where has my day gone? It’s 3:11 a.m. and I’m still awake. I wanted to be in bed an hour ago.

I slept late today. I turned my phone off and didn’t wake up till my alarm went off at 1:30 p.m. It was much needed sleep after the late night I’d had the night before. The hang over is almost gone.

The reason I even set my alarm was because Kelly and I had a date to go new home shopping. This week is the Parade of Homes. I haven’t done this in a long time but while I was dating Sam it was a yearly event. We’d get up and pretend to be on the market for a new home. Of course I’m no closer to buying a new home now than I was then, but it’s nice to pretend.

Kelly and I decided that since we couldn’t afford any of the homes on the list, we should concentrate on the expensive ones. So we only looked at house above the one million dollar mark. There were many to choose from so we stuck with the ones closest to us. In all there were six. After about 3 hours (It takes a lot of time to get through a 6,500 square foot home) we decided that if we were going to spend 1.6 million dollars we’d either design and build it ourselves or move someplace else cause the homes here sucked.

First, who decided that a mixture of modern and “old world” charm was a good idea. Or is it that we are just out of touch with modern design choices? Either way it wasn’t working for either of us. If you want old world charm then buy an older home. If you are buying modern then sure add some wood work to it, but trust me when I say that the 6′ tall chandelier made with the antlers of dead animals is not a good idea. Nor is the dead animal lying on the floor below it. Or the 14′ wrought iron gates in your living room that are in front of the wine closet. (And if this is your choice, then pay someone to finish it. The holes in the jam where the original door was attached might want to be patched. And remove the thingy that turns on and off the light when the doors opened.)

And you might want to have someone who’s actually lived in a house help figure out the ground plan.

It’s great to hide away the laundry room at the end of the house, so no one sees it. But when your house is almost 7,000 square feet that’s a long way to walk to do laundry. And if it’s the only laundry room, then the 12 people sleeping in the 12 bedrooms upstairs will have to fend for themselves.

And what’s the point of an in ground pool that’s only big enough for two people but not at the same time. And no it was not a hot tub. And why would you have a 6′ x 6′ strip of grass. If that’s all that’s left, pave it over, make it part of the patio and be done with it. Do you really want to pay a lawn boy to push a lawnboy to mow a 36 square foot piece of grass?

And speaking of patios. If you are going to have outdoor space. And you are going to spend this much money, then damn it, have a patio space. My mother’s back porch is larger than a couple of these patios. With the pool. And I’m sure someone thought it would be great to hide the grill so it’s out of sight, but it also means that the person cooking is out of sight. And this is only a great idea if you’ve hired in help to do the grilling. And don’t plan the outdoor space so that to get to the grilling area you have to walk out onto the drive way and around. It kind of kills the effect. And spend some fucking money on some outdoor lighting. Don’t just throw up some flood lights in the corner of the yard and call it done. For 1.2 dollars I’ll come in and hook you up with a nice design.

Kitchens. We saw a kitchen today that didn’t have a microwave in it. The microwave was hidden in the pantry around the corner. I’m sure there was some reasoning behind this but I can’t for the life of me think of why. We did like the built in coffee/espresso maker. That was hot. And we liked the fridges that matched the cabinets. And the drawers that sucked themselves closed. But do you really want to have to walk 12 feet to the fridge and then 12 feet to the stove and then 12 feet to the sink. Isn’t there supposed to be some sort of triangle configuration? The bar idea on the island is a great. It’s kind of nice that I can sit and watch you cook. But the barrel stools that were being used look like they came from some 1970’s home.

Master bedrooms. It’s not enough that it just be big. Especially for 1.6 million dollars. The fucking thing better have some charm. And some design. We saw one today and it was just a large rectangle. It had all the interest of a rectangle. Give us something. Anything. The ones we liked best had seating areas and fun ceilings and some charm and interest. My mom’s ranch style house has a big master bedroom and it did NOT cost 1.6 million dollars.

Bathrooms. Don’t spend 1.4 million dollars on expensive marble and detailed wall treatments and then put a Home Depot toilet/sink/bathtub in it. It’s my guess that it’s done so you can customize it yourself, but if everything else is decked out, why not the bath. It is nice when the toilet is doored off from the rest of the room. And when the his and her sinks are not right next to each other but on different sides of the room. And her’s should have a vanity. And the master bath better have the most kickass bathtub ever created. EVER. And big, does not mean better. I do have to admit I like the showers that are built for two and it’s a good thing because if I’m going to live in a house that costs this much it means that I finally found a RICH boyfriend, it sure won’t be because I bought it.

Walk in closets are great. And his and hers are also great. But finish them out. And under no circumstance. And I mean no circumstance should fluorescent lighting be used anywhere besides the garage. I almost ripped the fixture down myself today that was in the master closet. And they had a nice little gadget that allowed you to use all the space to the ceiling and then pull a little rod and it would pull toward you. Except that some bright person had hung a chandelier right next to it making it impossible to pull it down.

A urinal? Really a urinal? We saw a house today with a urinal in a first floor bathroom. And not an interesting one. Nope, it looked like they went down to the local Applebee’s and stole it off the wall. A urinal? Really?

Rooms designed for kids are great. But someone should be smart enough to know that unless it’s a house full of small people that eventually kids get bigger. And the room that was great for little Timmy at six doesn’t work when Timmy is 6’4″ and is too tall to get into his kid’s sized closet.

Wet bars? Why do you need a wet bar that’s exactly 10 feet from the sink in the kitchen. Do you really need it? Or is it just for show? You only need one if say the entertaining area is NOT near the kitchen.

Why would you put the kids dance studio in the basement, with the only access through your home office? (This is the one with the lovely antler chandelier and the animal skin rug on the floor).

Speaking of basements. Seems they aren’t common here in the land of tornadoes because of the bedrock the land sits on. So in tornadoes you have to fend for yourselves. Or you can have a safe room. As did one of the houses we saw today. This is a great idea in this house except for a couple of things. It’s located at one end of the house not central to anyplace in the house. Meaning it will take forever to get there in the event of a real emergency. It is also located just off a room that is a wall of windows. So your body will be pelted with tiny shards of glass as you run for cover. And the best part of all. It’s ony 4′ X 4′. It’s almost big enough for 3 people. If you don’t breathe. And I guess the family of five will just have to decide who gets to live and who gets to die because there sure isn’t room for little Timmy and his playmate. Too bad. We never liked them anyway.

And well, if you are going to spend 1.6 million dollars on a house the most important room in the house in my opinion is the media room. Yes, I want a room dedicated to watching movies. It better have recliners, and cup holders and a popcorn machine and a fridge, and a large screen something, and great sound, enough room for a good size crowd. And what would you know. That only existed in one house and the rest of the house sucked. There was one, that didn’t have room for my sofa let a lone a wall of recliners. There was one that had five recliners in it, but didn’t have room for anything else. One was okay, but it was 10 minutes from the nearest bathroom and if you want a new drink you’d have to pause the movie and wait till tomorrow to finish watching it because it was that far from the kitchen. Come on. It’s entertainment. How hard is it to figure out. Make the “pretty” entry way upstairs smaller, push out some walls, put the wet bar up here, not in the kitchen. Throw in a mini-fridge and we’re done. It’s not that difficult. And I might even be willing to pay 1.7 million for that.

And can I just ask. Why does anyone need a garage bigger than my entire NYC apartment. They are equipped with heating and cooling. And they are huge. Does anyone’s family need a four car garage? Or am I just deluding myself to what rich people need. Any rich people out here want to comment.

Here are some photos I stole off line from one of the houses we saw today.

Notice the white building to the left. That’s the next house. Because they all butt right up to each other. Wouldn’t you think that much money would buy you some privacy. Although I didn’t mention that the community was a gated community. Inside a gated community. Inside a gated community. That’s right. Three gates. God forbid you have visitors.

Check out the iron railing on the stair. And the beams on the ceiling. And the wrought iron chandelier with lights that look like candles Modern/Old World.

This was our favorite bathtub. It kind of looks like a coffin, but the water squirts out into a tub within a tub, so you get the sound of a fountain as you soak. And although it isn’t in the picture, there is a TV mounted above the photos so you can watch TV while you soak.

This is the room with the tornado safe room. Check out all those windows you have to run past to get there.

And here’s what 12 million dollars will buy you in Oklahoma.

I don’t think I could pee in this bathroom.

And I like this picture because I was doing a screen shot when the picture faded to the next one. I thought it was cool.

Tune in next week when I go shopping for a new car to park in my new driveway.

They don’t make expensive car pictures with boys in them. At least not in the five minutes I spent looking for them.

What will 1.6 million dollars buy you in your neck of the woods?

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5 thoughts on “The Rich Life — Day 33

  1. Lemuel June 24, 2008 / 05:09

    Your post reminded me of many things, among them a “mansion” built in our previous home area by a pizza mogul. Let’s just say that his pizzas were the only thing with taste.

  2. sorted June 24, 2008 / 05:27

    I had to laugh at this post. I agree these builders put some centerpiece in only to ruin it with Homo Depot crap all around it.

    And a tornado room with windows, really, doesn’t that sound like a trailer park — one just ready to hit.

  3. Rick June 24, 2008 / 05:30

    Wow, those are some houses! What a great idea to do a Parade of Homes out of your price range. Could be fun. I’ll have to give it a whirl sometime.

  4. urspo June 25, 2008 / 00:22

    being in the Southwest, a few million doesn’t go far these days.

  5. Mike G July 3, 2008 / 10:36

    This was a great post. I love how you took apart all of the design issues that come with a multimillion dollar mansion these days. In a lot of ways they are so impractical – how often are you expected to use 90% of those rooms anyway? Once a month? Once a year lol.

    Also in the midst of the credit crisis or whatever you want to call the poor economy, you’ve got to think the realtors trying to sell those houses are pulling their hair out trying to make a sale. It must be so hard for them to close a deal on one of those piles of elaborate fussiness. Tear.

    Ah schadenfreude.

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