It has the look of real money


So lately Mrs. Chief and I have been looking for a home. Now is quite an exceptional time to buy, since housing prices are falling while interest rates are also low and still slipping. Another reason why this is an excellent time to buy is because we Chiefs are VERY particular people, and in this market, we’re hardly rushed. Sellers are approaching desperation in many cases, and we’ve heard all kinds of offers from sellers about what they’d do to help sell their homes.

Now many people have invested money into remodeling rooms or their entire homes, or the homes for sale are flips, meaning someone bought it cheap because it was in crappy shape and they remodeled in order to sell for a profit (ie. – “flipping” the house). Now for what I’m ranting about today, I can almost excuse the latter types, but the former? Well, their thinking, imo, is part of what’s wrong with America. I call it, “it has the look of…”


First, let me say what I’m going to describe infuriates me to no end. It’s the idea of buying something that, in theory, has the look of something which you really can’t afford but you want anyway. Take for instance, cars. Lots of people woudl like to have a luxury sedan from Lexus or BMW. Sometimes there are fairly decent models from a lower strata, but essentially, if you want a quality luxury sedan, you’re going to have to pay big money. Ah but wait! Those Koreans make an affordable sedan. Problem solved, right? No, it’s a piece of crap. Face it, you can’t afford quality but rather than find a cheap alternative that’s comparable, you just bought something that broadcasts to the world that you’re a dumbass who’s either cheap or can’t afford what they want. Another area where you see this is tvs. Hey, that’s great you have a 56″ flatscreen. Only $699 at Walmart, huh? Coby? Oh look, the lettering looks just like Sony. Too bad the picture doesn’t look like Sony, jackass.

So what’s this got to do with houses? Here’s a short list of “has the look of” which are examples of what I’ve been describing:
• wood veneer cabinets
• “wood” veneer cabinets
• laminate counter tops with a “granite finish”
Bathfitter bathrooms
• plastic railings and fences
• vinyl flooring

All shit that someone put in to have the look of something else, something that’s actually good, instead of crap. Possibly my #1 pet peeve is Bathfitters, and I have their own tv ads to thank for that. In them, they show a nasty ass tub and shower with mold and filth and the next day, like magic, you have this new bathroom. Well the “magic” is they have a prefab plastic shell that fits over your old space. Why, they even make them to look like it’s made of tile. So hopefully you have the same question I had when I saw the ad – so is all that filth still there, just sitting and festering underneath that plastic sheath? Who knows? Only the homeowner (maybe) and Bathfitters. Uh, no thanks. Besides, it looks like shit. You know, my grandmother had her furniture covered in plastic. That looked like shit, too.

So house after house we see Bathfitters, fake wood, fake granite, fake metal, and fake stone, but hey, it has the look of the real thing! Gosh, does that mean I can buy the house with Monopoly money? It has the look of real money, as well as that shit has the look of the real things they’re supposed to be emulating.

The whole thing is systemic of delusional thinking. Nevermind fixing something correctly, or buying something of quality, as long as it has the look of real quality, or close enough so that someone who wishes and believes hard enough, can pretend things are the way they wish them to be. Well that shit doesn’t work for levees when hurricanes hit, it doesn’t work for “creative” accounting which makes institutions seem more financially strong then they are, it doesn’t work for continuing to trust wealth in the hands of the few when it’s obvious they’re just for themselves, it doesn’t work for pretending some lipsticked pig will magically be ready to lead the country if need be, it doesn’t work for trying to convince me we’re safe because of color coded alerts and plenty of plastic and duct tape, it doesn’t work for pretending the Constitution can be ignored when it suits us, and it sure as shit doesn’t work to try and sell me a house that has the look of a nice house when actually, it’s just a lipsticked pig.

FYI, a special hint to realtors: it REALLY doesn’t help sell a home if you’re 15 minutes late to start an Open House, and the first thing you do when you get there is go to the bathroom and take a shit.

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8 Responses to “It has the look of real money”

  1. A few questions that I found worked wonders with sellers:

    * Which parts of this house did you upgrade?
    * When?
    * Why did you do that?
    * What’s under/behind the upgraded [whatever]?
    * Where did you purchase the materials for the upgrade?
    * Who actually did the work?
    * Based on your experience upgrading this [whatever], can you give me an idea of what it might cost me in time and money to change this upgrade to suit my own taste?

    You’ll hear some lies, of course. But you’ll also be surprised at how much truth dribbles out.

  2. Oops. I forgot to subscribe to this thread. I never want to miss the comments at You Made Me Say It.

  3. Well I’d love an opportunity to actually chat with the sellers. I don’t get that. These damn agents are the intermediaries.

    I’ve also learned that I need to bring tape measures, because “motivated sellers” tend to have that motivation drive their measurements. I’m tall, but if I lay with my feet on one wall, and I can touch the opposite wall, it’s not 11′, damnit!

    My favorite so far was a so-called eat in kitchen which was about 8×9. Now there was a half bath off to the right, so I suppose you could leave the door open and eat on the throne, but I don’t think that should count as an eat in kitchen.

    FYI, tip to sellers – a finished basement is not one where you simply put up wood paneling. If I want to work with mold, I’ll buy a cheese factory, not a house. Oh and no, IT DOESN”T LOOK JUST LIKE REAL WOOD!

  4. We have increasing house prices in Australia and due to the Government intervention in the Northern Territory builders and laborers are getting paid more than doctors.

    Good luck with house hunting.

  5. Great post. It’s amazing how many Americans get conned into thinking that cheap shit is better than good shit.

    Wanna go out tonight?
    Yeah, let’s grab a sawdust burger at McDonald’s. After that, we’ll go to the Cinemax and watch that new Bruce Willis movie.

    Blech.

  6. it doesn’t work for pretending some lipsticked pig will magically be ready to lead the country if need be

    HA! Caught you! I knew you guys were really talking about Sarah.

    So, the worst day house-hunting is better than the best day broke. Remember that.

  7. Remember? How can I forget? If more people weren’t suddenly broke, I wouldn’t be looking for a house. Thanks conservative leaders in the pockets of wealthy bastards! You’ve ruined the economy just enough for me to get a house.

    Now I just need Obama to get in and create some huge tax credit for converting to geothermal and solar and I’m set. :)

    Maybe this is the new way to look at politics. Pretend you’re a third world country during the Cold War. You play the two parties off each other, exploiting what they bring to the table for you. Fuck expecting any one of them to fix shit and set things right. That ain’t ever gonna happen.

    Sorry to hear about Oz. I have friends who may move there in a couple of years. I guess they’re in for a surprise.

    Chaplain, it’s not entirely about people getting conned, but people willing to con themselves into believing things are not the way they really are, kinda like religion.

  8. You kint cheat ‘n honest man.

    Con, my ass. We loved it. They’ve been telling us what we want to hear my whole life and only occasionally do we question it or look at the potential negatives down the road.

    Since WW2 (at least) this society has been built on greed and rampant consumerism. If you don’t want to make the ridiculous personal sacrifices to get the best, you make enough of a sacrifice to fake it with something less that looks good.

    Either way, we’ve focused on having more and having it faster and easier. Moderation be damned. Collateral damage? Don’t confuse us. Scary terrorists out there? You’ll make us safe to go shopping for goods made in faraway lands under unfair labor practices? You’re the man! We vote for you!

    Ya kint cheat ‘n honest man.

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