Houses I’m Not Trying to Buy in Pittsburgh

There’s not an immediate Plan B if I don’t get the house I posted about yesterday. I mean, Plan B is to wait around and see if any similar REOs come up in the next several weeks probably. And if not, then punt and just buy best-available whatever.

This isn’t about Plan B, though. This is about my having looked at, like, seven houses today and most of them being variations on awful that I hadn’t necessarily considered possible. The sloped rooms and all. I mean, really. Here are the seven:

  1. Horrifying salt box in West View that needed, at a minimum, a new everything. Most particularly a new smell.
  2. Kind of interesting big, old three-story house in West View that had a cool yard, a slight slant to the floor in the living room, a two-car garage, and probably required more time and money than I was gonna give it.
  3. Frightening three-bedroom in Morningside where you couldn’t really walk around for all the cobwebs and stuff piled on the floor (and on all other flat spaces). There were ruddy crosses finger-painted above every bedroom door. Non-positive vibe. My agent had hand sanitizer in the car.
  4. Interesting-enough, small two-bedroom in Greenfield. Very narrow house, obviously had spent most of its recent years as a student rental, awesome kitchen flooring.
  5. Unfortunate three-bedroom in Greenfield. In kind of a weird part of the neighborhood and walking from its front to back made me seasick with all the variations in, like, flatness. OTOH, the toilet worked.
  6. The house in Lincoln Place on which I’m making an offer.
  7. Another slant-floored house in Lincoln Place. The “kitchen” and “bathroom” were both located in the basement for some reason.

Here are some photos. Everyone likes photos. (All but one of these are from nos. 1 and 4 above; really should have photographed the lamb’s blood in no. 3.)

The shame of it is that the artist didn't sign his (her?) work.

You can't *really* tell, but the wallpaper in this one is reflective silver. Would have worked great in East Germany.

(Which is not to say that it doesn’t work great in Pittsburgh.)

A boiler.

A boiler! My agent said it needed to be replaced (by a NEW boiler!). And unfortunately we didn’t not come into contact with any of what he called “octopus furnaces”.

Needs a new garage door.

Pittsburgh toilet

A Pittsburgh toilet.

This is a real, functioning toilet that’s in the middle of the basement floor (or off to the side, I guess). Apparently this is a thing here in the Burgh — it’s actually called a “Pittsburgh toilet”. According to legend, the steel mill worker would come home covered in soot and slag, enter through the side door, then head to the basement to… well, take a crap I guess. There was probably once a shower head down here next to the toilet, which may have helped with the soot.

And no walls. Basement toilet stall walls are gauche. Or they were 100 years ago.


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