Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Red Dirt

Red dirt has a different smell than black dirt. It's sort of a grainy smell. You know those days when the elevators on Hiawatha Avenue are moving grain to and from trucks? It's a Purina smell. I've always associated that smell with dog food, but now I think of housing construction when I smell it.
They are building 3 houses simultaneously on my street. One of them is right next door. Sadly, there are no owners ordering the building of that house. It's a "spec house". But I'm glad all the same to see it coming up, because that means when it rains we will no longer have a river of red mud running down our driveway. They will sod and seed and plant the two bradford pear trees that we all have, and the bushes around the front. It will look lived in.
We have two other spec houses right close to us, and a house that was built for a family who ended up losing their contract. I still hold out some hope that they will move in eventually. They have kids. Right now we have only 5 kids on our street, out of 9 occupied houses. But the other 3 kids are too young for our guys to play with. Anyway, this family that lose their contract...they built the same house we have, without a couple of the additional features we have. But their house in Charlotte is not selling. I've heard it was over-priced and the agent might not have done a very good job marketing it, either. I don't know the background there. Maybe the family didn't have much equity in their house and needed that price. Or maybe their realtor is just lazy or incompetent. Or, it could be that they are just victims of the slow market for existing homes in Charlotte. One can buy a brand-new house for the same amount of money as an older house that might need work or cleaning.
But of course, when you buy a brand-new house, you might be in a neighborhood that is still being built out. So you might wake up to that Purina smell of red dirt each morning. It's the smell of anticipation.

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