Green Lake = Cheap Date

[photopress:date.jpg,thumb,alignright]A young couple on a “cheap date” wandered into my Open House yesterday. I can certainly empathize with guys who need to find a way to entertain women on a date, without spending a lot of money. But when the cheap date escalates to cheap ways to look like a bigger man by trying to cut someone else down to size, I have to draw the line.

Any woman who has ever been on a “first date”, knows when a guy is sending back the wine just to look important. I liked the time the waiter said, “You are quite right sir, that is a bad wine. Maybe if you tried one that costs more than $5.99 a bottle, you would find one more to your liking.” Some guys aren’t satisfied with the cheap date scenario, unless they can find a way to go on a cheap date, and look like a big important guy, all at the same time. So what does sending back the wine, and an Open House “date”, have to do with one another?

It starts out innocently enough. The guy follows one of the suggestions for a cheap date noted in the links above, and ends up “walking around Green Lake”. It’s a great first date scenario. It’s free. You can test out if the girl has the stamina to make it around the 2.8 miles a few times, without huffing and puffing or whining that her feet hurt. But after three times around the lake, it gets a little boring. He’s out of ideas on what to talk about. He’s decided he likes this girl, and wants to impress her, but how do you impress a girl when you have no money to stop for dinner at Duke’s?

More than once, both he and she have small talked about how much they like Green Lake, to fill the dead spaces in conversation. So he gets this brilliant idea to pretend he can afford to buy a house nearby. What better way to “pretend” to spend a lot of money, without having to spend a dime? He passes that OPEN SUNDAY sandwich board on the third time around and says, “Do you mind checking out this house with me? I’ve been thinking about buying a house here. Oh, she’s impressed! Mr. couldn’t buy her a snack at World Wraps, is all of a sudden thinking about buying a house, within walking distance to Green Lake. She doesn’t believe a word of it, but she’s bored by this time too, and says sure, let’s go to ALL of the Open Houses.

The big sign out front says, “Open 1-4” and it is only 12:15. They see the door open, as I’m busily doing some last minute sprucing up. Opening the windows and doors to air out the vacant house, making sure there are no dead spiders on the carpet, etc… He pops his head in and says, “I know we are early, but do you mind if we take a peek around?” I can pretty much tell this is a cheap date scenario, and have no trouble playing along, until the guy starts his I’m smarter than you routine, to impress the girl.

I go through the house to turn all of the lights on, and check out the areas I haven’t been to yet. I’m listening to their conversation, and can tell they are not really people looking to buy a house, and in fact hardly know each other. But like I said, that’s fine with me, I have lots to do before one o’clock. They have no “real” questions about square footage of lot or house. No questions about how old the roof or hot water tank are. None of the obvious, we are checking out this house to maybe buy it questions. Everything’s going fine and I’m even playing along with him by answering a few of his questions. I tell him he’s right about a few things, to help him impress the girl. Until he starts hitting me with off the wall questions, one after the other in a non ending stream, to make sure he can impress his girlfriend without being “found out”.

Where does this wire go? I tried to head him off at the pass and show him the brand new electrical box showing that all of the wiring had been up dated, yada yada yada. But he was on a roll of obscure nonsensical questions. “Is this a hot water pipe or a cold water pipe?” Where does this vent go? Why does this pipe turn left instead of right? What year did they install this door? It looks newer. Since the house was built in 1905, and everything was changed at some time or another, I’m quickly figuring out this this could go on all day.

In between his onslaught of off the wall questions, he is turning to the girl and saying, “Now this pipe is a really good pipe, see you can tell by this blah, blah. She’s impressed. She’s so impressed her eyes are glazing over, and she wants to get out of that basement so badly, she’s almost ready to cough up the thirty bucks to go to Duke’s. When the questions just would not stop and I had to get back to the business at hand, I tried to gracefully break away, but no, he had to play the “send back the wine” game with me.

I almost feel badly about spinning him around three times, and making him look like the fool that he was, by the end of “the show”. But some guys just don’t know when to quit while they’re ahead 🙂

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

12 thoughts on “Green Lake = Cheap Date

  1. Well, first you have to know the question that went “too far”. He stands in the fully fenced yard and wants to know where the SIDE lot line is. Now if he had asked where the rear lot line was, that question would have at least made sense. The lot clearly extends beyond the fence at the rear, into the off street parking provided by the “street to street” lot. So had he asked where the City easement ended at the rear and the lot began, that would have been an intelligent question. But in the City of Seattle, if you are seeing a fence between two lots on the side, asking if the fence is truly, exactly, without an inch of give either way, ON the lot line…well, that’s going just a tad too far 🙂

  2. As I am in the midst of pulling permits to install a fence on my side lot line, you are 100% correct!

    So, what did you end up telling him? I probably would have been a complete smarta** and told him both fences actually belonged to the neighbors, were 100% on their property, and could not be touched!

  3. If he was asking whose fence it was, that would be easy.

    I asked him if he had an agent. He said “OH YES, I HAVE an agent”. I figured he HAD everything, an agent, a big bank account, a big new car that hapened to be “in the shop”…LOL Good call, figured he wouldn’t answer, “No, I don’t have…”whatever.

    I said well maybe you should ask your agent that question and your agent can explain the details of a survey, and how to read the Title Report to identify encroachments. I went on to explain how a surveyor would maybe have to survey the whole block to be totally accurate…his eyes glazed over and he split real fast.

    Did you have a survey done to get your fence permit, Tom?

  4. I didn’t know you still handled listings in Greenlake. For the record, the best cheap date food near the lake is Mighty-O Donuts.

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