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Lo Che Non Si Puo Fare, Non Si Fa

I’ve just e-mailed my realtor and have told him I’m ready to put in an offer on that loft. It’s an airy 700-footer in one of the hippest parts of town with great windows and great light and it looks out onto the bridge and river. It’s priced far too high for me, especially combined with today’s climbing rates and the condo fee which always throws a monkey wrench into your affordability plans. But I have to try and this dead August when the market has imploded and it’s incredibly hard to get a loan, it’s the best scenario to put in a low bid and hopefully not be laughed out of court, as it were.

The city hasn’t suffered nearly as badly as other places and while that’s good in some ways, it’s also kept things from dropping in price so much that there are enough people out there who still think their houses are worth what they think they’re worth. And it keeps the city’s better neighborhoods harder to afford for someone like me. It’s a disgrace that I can’t afford a better place because my pay is so low. Hospitals suck. Anyhow, moving on.

The reason this particular condo as slipped through the spring selling season with a fantastic location is it’s older. It hasn’t been lived in by the owner and it shows. It’s been a rental for far too long. Everything is older from the 90′s and bland and standard issue. White bland paint covers everything, including architectural details like the old factory’s cement columns and cement plank ceiling. Mauve carpet covers the floor when hardwood would notch up the visual value considerably. The bathroom is tile, but the cheapest white, non-textured stuff and the European showerhead has been hung too high for a short person. People in the market for Old City condos usually want everything brand new and while this one has great space, good light, and solid details, it’s all been smudged over by the blandest materials and finishes. Actually, it can be said it has no finishes of any kind.

What made other people skip over it is exactly why it’s perfect for me. I’m a bit of a design snob and I know my way around the color wheel. Nothing needs to be done right away since everything appears to be in good working order (I ran all the appliances when we were there last), so I have time to feel out what I want done to it and save the money I’ll need. The kitchen is a galley with good counter space and a newer range and oven. It even has a pantry. There’s enough counter space for a rolling pin with more to spare. It has unfortunate fluorescent lights and white, cheap cabinets and the fridge door doesn’t open all the way since it’s been jammed in too small a space. But it works. I could make that place into a million dollar space.

It’s owned by an investor, so the total absence of personality and general unlovedness makes sense. It was used as a rental cash cow for years. The tenant has moved out about two weeks before we first saw it. It’s been on the market since December. The number I’m thinking of putting in will be low, though more than the 20% off I was counseled to ask for. I’m willing to stretch a bit to get it. The worst that can happen is they’ll say “No”, right? I wonder if they’ve had any offers at all.

I’m stressing out over it since I’ll be back to square one if they reject it outright. I really like the place but am doing my darndest to not commit the cardinal sin and fall in love with it. If it can’t be done, it will not be done, a lesson I heard repeated in Italy when I was there last and the Italian version being the title of this post. If it cannot be done, it will not be done. If it doesn’t happen, it won’t and then I’ll have to wait until after Labor Day and begin perusing the new (hopefully) listings that should hit the market around the time. September 30 is my last day to reject or renew my lease. This is coming down to the wire and I’m aging in dog years.

To keep myself calm, I’m baking. I threw caution to the winds and spent money today when I bought a cookbook I’ve been eyeing for the longest. Tartine, written by Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson in California and named after their bakery in San Francisco, is one of the mast carefully written cookbooks I’ve ever used. No detail has been missed. It’s also up to my standards since I’m a fairly accomplished baker though I balk at over-decoration. I’m making the hazelnut biscotti. I plan on taking some to work and giving some to my realtor.

I freaked out yesterday and ate chocolate all day. Really. Tons of it. I hate when I do that.

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