The Chillest Wine Bar in Town

Just on the edge of the point where midtown meets downtown and just before it hits EaDo1, there sits the chillest wine bar I ever did see. 13 Celsius seems to be at once a hipster mecca with a lounge-ish vibe while at the same time packed with business people who know a great bottle of wine when they see one and wine newbies cutting their baby teeth on those slick glass corks. How I have not been to 13 Celsius before today is mind-boggling. And it’s a shame because this is definitely my kinda place.IMG_5904

The interior is bathed in an industrial-modern feel that is very on-trend. Everybody’s doing the industrial thing but, for some reason, 13 Celsius makes it feel authentic and real. The bar itself is a giant block of white marble (my personal fave) that screams cool and buttoned up all at the same time. And they have purse hooks! Praise the purse hooks gods! The mismatched club chairs paired with sleek leather sofas in small sitting areas make you want to sit and stay a while, which we did. And did I mention the patio? Oh, the precious patio. Perfect on a bright sunny day with friends or with its twinkly lights at night that’s perfect for you and your date’s first kiss.IMG_5908

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The staff…oh, let’s talk about the staff! The staff at 13 Celsius looks as if they stepped straight out of the latest Billy Reid catalogue. They are perfectly hipster coiffed from the beards to the large plastic-framed glasses to the plaid flannel button downs and the well-loved Converse. With the look and feel of the place, you’d think the bartenders might not give you the time of day, but nothing could be further from the truth. They were all very warm and genuine, and could pretty much tell you something about every one of the wines in the tome they call their wine list. It was quite impressive. Not only can they tell you something about each of their wines, but they’ll happily let you taste any of their wines, too. I think I’m in love.IMG_5907

So let’s talk wine. As I was at a work event, I could not be my usual party animal self; rather, I had to be my semi-reformed party animal self and take it easy. I had two glasses of a 2010 Mt. Beautiful Riesling, a North Canterbury, New Zealand Riesling that was outstanding; it was dry and petrol-y on the nose, but had a honeysuckle citrusy finish that I love in a good Riesling. It was fantastic and a steal at only $11 for a full pour. Let me reiterate that, were I not at a work function, I would have likely downed the entire bottle. One of the neatest parts of the wine menu was  the “Most Unique” category. Being the adventurous person I am, I had to ask. Rosso Contadino 8 (2010) is an Italian wine by Belgian-born winemaker Frank Cornelissen. His philosophy is to avoid using any kind of man-made interference on his land or vines whether “chemical, organic or biodynamic.” It sounds like he may or may not stomp the grapes himself. On the nose, Contadino smelled of black cherry, licorice and terroir, with a finish that was smoky and meaty, sort of like drinking a piece of beef jerky. It really was the most unique wine I’ve ever tasted and I’m glad I went for it because what is life if it isn’t a food adventure?IMG_5899IMG_5903

Now let’s talk food. The menu at 13 Celsius is wonderful. The owner’s grandfather, Joseph, apparently had a butcher shop that was the inspiration behind the menu. The 13 Celsius menu is filled with wonderful cheeses — soft and pliable ones; firm and hard ones; and my personal fave, triple cream ones. The combinations, or “Combinazioni”, allow you to choose several cheeses and are served with sliced baguette, fruit (sliced Granny Smith apples!), nuts (Marcona almonds!) and strong, grainy mustards. The boards they were putting out were simply beautiful and simply delicious. I wanted to move in and eat every morsel on those boards! They also serve panini with meats sliced to order; the basil was fresh and, like the meats, chopped in front of my very own eyes.  I tried a little bit of everything on the boards but really wanted to try a panini, so I settled on the Mortadella. The Mortadella panini was like warm chocolate cake for my soul. Served warm, it was bathed in grilled mortadella, tomato, provolone, chopped cornichons, mustard and a fried egg all on a pretzel bun. And served with house made chips. Seriously. It was stupendous.

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Lastly, I love when they think of the little things and one of the little things I loved at 13 Celsius was the little lights they sit on the mini clipboards they give you with your bill. As it’s a bar, it is obviously dimly lit and the little light avoids the need for people to blind everyone within a five foot radius by breaking out iTorch, because no one needs to lose their eyesight when they’re simply enjoying a night out. Thanks to the owners of my new favorite bar, though, because they have simply thought of everything.20140316-234207.jpg

Being that I live a bit away from downtown, 13 Celsius won’t be a neighborhood joint for me personally. However, I will go back as often as possible because it’s fantastic and because I love supporting awesome local merchants who are creative and have a passion for their craft. My advice is to get out your iCalendar and schedule yourself a night at 13 Celsius as soon as humanly possible. You can thank me later. IMG_5911

1Is this really what we call this area now? That’s so NYC Tribeca, NoDo and SoHo of us.

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Let’s Dish. Or Not.

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I wanted to love this restaurant. I really did. But I just didn’t and here’s why.

Ever since my days in Toronto when I ate brunch as often as humanly possible at Lady Marmalade, I have been searching for a brunch spot in Houston that was even marginally as awesome, but without any luck. In fact, I was SURE I had blogged about the other-worldliness of Lady Marmalade’s eggs bennys on my beloved Canadian blog, but after a quick search, my blog tells me I’ve only made very brief mentions of it. I guess I’ve just been chatting with people about it IRL. Imagine that. No matter, though. Just know that Lady Marmalade’s mango and bacon eggs benedict was literally the only food group I ate for weekend brunch for nearly three years — I stood in line outside their teeny tiny digs in snow, ice, blizzards, thunder snow, heat waves, humidity1, and every other kind of weather situation just to have the mango eggs benny. I don’t know if this says more about me or the dish, but I’m going with the latter.

I first learned about Houston’s newest brunch spot on Instagram. My fingers nearly caught fire from googling it so fast. I liked the concept of Dish Society. I read a couple of articles about it and it sounded like the owner/proprietor had done his homework around what people, specifically Texans, wanted in their comfort food, so I had high hopes.

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First of all, Dish Society is on the ground level of an apartment complex. This is not uncommon in “walking” cities like New York, Chicago, and Toronto, where there were three restaurants in the bottom of my building. But as we all know, Houston is anything but a walking city (did I tell you about the time my friend drove from the Chick-fil-a at Richmond and 610 to a new parking spot at Best Buy at Richmond and 610?), so it felt odd to park in the parking garage of an apartment complex and enter the restaurant through the complex’s atrium area. The nice part about that, though, is that there is plenty of parking which is one of my main complaints about so many restaurants in Houston.

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Once inside, the build out is open and airy. Its look-and-feel is like so many other trendy farm-to-table restaurants — lots of concrete and metal finishes. And, my biggest restaurant pet peeve also makes an appearance at Dish Society in the form of lightweight aluminum chairs. I HATE THOSE CHAIRS! Granted, they are only used outside, but that is where I ate because there was no room inside. My other favorite brunch spot, Adair Kitchen, uses them too, and I re-loathe them every time I go. Those chairs are so cold and hard that I want to eat and leave as quickly as possible. Sidebar: obvs, not every one feels this way because every time I eat at Adair, we have to stand in the back and wait for people to stop their incessant chatting and GET UP SO THOSE OF US WHO HAVEN’T EATEN CAN SIT DOWN. But I digress. I just can’t imagine how a restaurant owner can test chairs and settle on those cold chairs? How can they say “ooooh, I like this one! It’s warm and inviting and comfortable!” They are anything but. So I was disappointed when I saw them repeated at Dish Society.

I fully acknowledge that these things are my own personal issues. It may not bother anyone else that they have to sit on those ding dang cold, hard chairs in their shorts they’ll end up wearing nine months out of the year in Houston’s godforsken heat after they’ve had to park in an apartment complex parking garage! Clearly, I have specific environmental needs when it comes to dining out that not everyone may have. I GET IT! But this is my blog and five — FIVE — of my readers demanded I write this review and what my readers want, my readers get. Please and thank you.

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Let’s move on to the reason we all go out anyway — le cuisine. I wanted to compare the breakfast I normally get at Adair to Dish, so I ordered migas and (tried to order) a bowl of granola and milk. Their menu referenced “house granola” as an oatmeal topping, so I asked if I could get it in a bowl with milk. Yes, they are newly open, but you would have thought I had asked if they could send me to the moon and back. Good lord, it was tough. The manager even had to come over to enter it into their system.

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The food was cold when it got to me. This was good for the granola and milk, but bad for the eggs. I am an adventurous eater, but I like my food to be temperature appropriate. I hate cold food that should be hot; hot food that should be cold; and, most of all, lukewarm food. Yuck. The migas were bland, although the salsa was tasty. In fact, I should have just gotten a bowl of salsa. The granola, which is pretty hard to mess up, was terrible. I kept chewing it trying to figure out what it was, but the best way I can describe it is that it was overly seedy and kind of overcooked. You know how overcooked pieces of rice get really hard and almost breaks your tooth? That’s how the granola was — as if I kept biting into rocks. The flavor was very date-ish2 and there were no chunks at all. I personally prefer chunky granola. I didn’t finish the bowl and I usually always finish a bowl of granola. #wompwomp

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The Cliff’s Notes version of what I liked about Dish Society are:

  • the yellow and white gingham shirts worn by the staff
  • and how said shirts matched the yellow coffee cups and yellow painted bar. Definitely a cheery touch.
  • they serve Maine Root soda. I like to mix the Mexican Diet Cola with the Mexican Cola and off to Heaven I go.
  • free wi-fi!

The Cliff’s Notes version of what I didn’t like about Dish Society are:

  • pretty much everything else.

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I really wanted to like this place. I really wanted a new place to meet my girlfriends for brunch! But it was not to be…at least in week one. I will go back  because I am a helper and a lover, and I want Houston to have great brunch places! I am crossing my fingers and toes and legs and eyes that they do make some quick improvements. Quickly.

1Yes, Toronto has humidity. And tons of it, too. #lotsofbadhairdays

2The things you eat, not the things you go on.

Fusion Food That’s Not Fusion. But That’s Really Really Good.

IMG_5519It’s fair to say I was somewhere near a retail center last Saturday when hunger pangs struck. Knowing it was National Margarita Day, a holiday that is less “time honored tradition” and more “spirit industry at work”, I ran down the list of mexican restaurants in the area. If you’re like me, you don’t need an excuse to lift a margarita but, still, the only restaurants I could think of were a) overpriced and b) probably overcrowded. It just wasn’t going to work out.

Last year, I was lucky enough to get two tickets to the Houston Culinary Tour of Long Point Road with Chris Shepherd of Underbelly fame and Bryan Caswell of Reef fame as our tour guides. Let me just say that if you have never been on a Houston Culinary Tour, finish reading my blog and, only after you’ve finished reading my blog, click through to the site via the link love above. Run, do not walk to get tickets, because they usually sell out within minutes of going on sale, unless it’s the Vegetarian tour and then it doesn’t. Yes, the tours are just. that. good. 

I remembered a place the chefs mentioned on Gessner near Long Point called Vietnam Poblano, a random fusion of names from Vietnam (obvs) and the interior-Mexican city Poblano. I thought “what better to do on National Margarita Day than eat Vietnamese Mexican food”?! So I did.

There are tens of thousands of hole-in-the-wall restaurants on Long Point. Adventurous foodies could spend weeks hitting the diverse, exciting and delicious restaurants along this stretch of Spring Branch north of I-10. The best part about these holes-in-the-wall is that they’re affordable — heck, I’d say they’re downright cheap! — so even if you stop at some taco truck or Korean barbecue house and hate your food, you’ll still probably only be out a ten spot. Vietnam Poblano is one of these places. It sits at the end of the Royal Oaks strip center next to Tony’s Multiservices and an empty parking lot. IMG_5515

I fully expected to find some kind of viet-tex fusion but instead found a fairly typical Vietnamese sandwich shop. I asked what was good and the guy behind the counter told me they are known for their banh mi, a meat-filled sandwich on — you guessed it — banh mi, or french bread. Sidebar: Vietnam was a French colony for about 90 years and influenced the country not only in its cuisine, but in its religious beliefs, architecture, and broader social culture, as well. I ordered the BBQ pork banh mi (#1), the Gogi Beef fried rice (#10), Thai tea, and a delightfully-wrapped package of four tiny pastel macarons. I always over order when trying a new place so I can get the flavor of more than just one dish. I usually take at least half of everything home or, in the instance it’s really, really good, I don’t. 

The verdict of Vietnam Poblano? It was sublime. The BBQ pork was very thinly sliced with a hint of sweetness. I later learned this is because they add honey to their BBQ sauce. The sweetness of the honey partnered with the biting flavor of the fresh cilantro2 and deliciously pithy jalapenos on the crusty, fresh french bread nearly brought me to tears. I asked if they made their own bread and was told that they focus on the “guts” of their sandwiches and leave the bread baking to the bread bakers. Wise move, in my opinion — their meats and vegetables are cut in-house daily; they pickle their own vegetables; and their butter is made in-house daily, too. Without a doubt, it was the best banh mi I’ve ever had.

IMG_5517The Gogi Beef fried rice was very different but was delicious nonetheless. The meat had a smoky flavor to it and the fried rice was not greasy in any way. The dish was served with julienned pickled carrots into which I could have put my face. Like the banh mi, it was topped with a giant mound of fresh cilantro. They were outstanding and I was assured that they use only the finest of vinegars to pickle their veggies — you know, Heinz. Bottom line: soy sauce, so often needed to add flavor to bland fried rice was not required in any way, shape or form at Vietnam Poblano. It was also served with an egg roll, but it was flavorless and dry; clearly, the egg roll is not made in-house daily. My advice is to skip it and save your stomach space.

Rounding out my dinner was Thai tea and the bag of baby macarons. They were good, but at $5.99 for four macarons the size of a quarter, I can do without.

The service was great, the restaurant was clean and the prices (save the macarons) were very reasonable. In fact, their daily special that includes a banh mi, a side and a drink is a mere $4.99. You can’t beat that with a stick. Like I said, even if you go and hate the food (which you won’t), you’ll still only be out a five spot.

My suggestion? Run, do not walk, to Vietnam Poblano. I can’t wait to know what you think but I think you’re going to love it.

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1The foodie word everybody has come to hate. Yours truly included.
2I love cilantro. I mean, I LOVE cilantro. I know that you either love it or you hate it, but I love it. The End.

Burgers and Beer: The Only Kinda Combo Plate

The base of my food pyramid is inclusive of several things that includes, but is not limited to: french fries, Texas peaches, roasted corn, Mexican beer and a great burger. It was no surprise then that, when I was invited to CultureMap’s 1st Annual Backyard Burger Grill Off, my response was somewhere in the neighborhood of “not yes, but YES!”

The Backyard Burger Grill Off was held downtown at Discovery Green and was designed to find Houston’s best burger, something I know a thing or two about. For $40, patrons could taste all-you-could-eat sliders from some of Houston’s best restaurants with all the necessary accoutrements, and unlimited as-much-as-y0u-could-stomach beer from some of Houston’s best breweries. Discovery Green was bustling, mostly with parents trying to get their children to run like the wind so they wouldn’t be up all hours of the night, but also with a hip and hungry Houston crowd ready to decide the proprietor of our fair city’s best burger.

The first stop was the Southern Star Brewery table where we kicked things off with a big (plastic) glass of Bombshell Blonde. Not only do I love the cheery blue label complete with a blonde bombshell on it, I actually really love the beer. It’s a not-hoppy American Blonde Ale that is perfect for a hot Houston day. We paired this with the Tasting Room’s Corn Maque Choux and their slider topped with shredded pork. As much as I love The Tasting Room, I was disappointed with their slider; it was bland and, if a burger can even be this, kind of meeley. The corn maque choux was decent, but wasn’t life-changing by any means.

The next stop was the Saint Arnold Brewery table for some Santo. I am nothing if not a die-hard Saint Arnold’s fan, so when I saw they were serving Santo, I made a bee-line. You just cannot go wrong swilling anything from Saint Arnold’s and I may or may not have loitered around their table far longer than a properly lady should have.

The other burgers we had were from J. Black’s (which was great); Roots Bistro (meh); BRIO (decent); Vic & Anthony’s (really good); and The Grove (who won my “pink marble” for best slider of the night). As far as the beer was concerned, I liked the Weisse Verse from No Label and the Oktoberfest from Saint Arnold; however, I especially loved the Leprechaun Dry Cider! As adventurous an eater as I am, I have never tried a hard cider before last night and I absolutely loved it! It tasted like a cross between beer and champagne and, really, what could be better than that? As I always say, the only pain is champagne and combined with beer makes it just that much better.

As a side note, Whole Foods was serving their homemade potato chips (Vanilla Pepper! Maple Pepper! BBQ!) that I didn’t even know they made, and grilled ancho-chile pineapple. Pure deliciousness!

The winners of the best burger turned out to be a tie between J. Black and The Grove, although if I’d have known that they were going to close the voting at 7:30, I’m pretty sure I would have been the deciding voter. Silly swing voters.

The only downfall of the event was that they didn’t have any water — not even to buy. In fact, they had nothing at all to drink except beer. I get that it was a beer-sponsored thing, but it was about 100 degrees with the humidity and I would have paid $1,000 for a bottle of water. I must have looked really desperate at The Counter‘s table because they actually gave me one of their bottles from their own stash. Sweet y’all, so sweet.

All in all, the 1st Annual Backyard Burger Grill Off was a fantastic event. Being there with such great friends in a place I don’t normally go in Houston and finally being able to be outside after a brutal Summer made everything all right.

The post script of this story is that we went to The Railyard when a group of people more senior than us came in celebrating a birthday and carrying a blow up doll. That is certainly not something you see every day and, let’s just say I developed a bit of an affinity for this young, plastic man. He was handsome with big blue yes, trim, polite, and quiet, although a bit shoddily dressed. We snapped a picture and swilled a beer together, and it was actually the best date I’ve had in a long, long time.

My Favorite Meal of the Week

The brunch board at Tiny’s

Here’s the scene: you go out on Saturday night, binge on vodka sodas, slink home at 3 a.m., sleep off your hangover late, wake up, and go to brunch. Brunch is simply genius. It lets you take a few hours out from the everyday hundrum of life, chill at some cool little restaurant,  talk about the food, read the NY Times, have a drink, and catch up with friends. It may be loud, but it’s low-key.

In Toronto, brunch was an institution. I met friends at Lady Marmalade — my absolute FAVORITE brunch spot on the planet — nearly every single Sunday I lived in TO. Nothing on earth is as tasty as their cheddar and mango eggs bennie — nothing. I think Houston’s brunch scene is catching up to other big brunch cities and while brunch here may not yet be an institution, I’d definitely at least call it a statement; an opportunity. That notwithstanding, I have a few Houston brunch favorites including, but not limited to, the Migas at Tiny Boxwoods and the Fried Egg Sammie at Max’s Wine Dive. Yes, please!

Here are a few reasons why I basically want to marry brunch and have its first born child:

1) Combining foods normally served after noon with foods normally served at breakfast is my idea of a damn good time. 

2) Brunch is the one meal a week that lets me lollygag around and lie in bed for hours watching Sopranos re-runs while still ensuring I get to eat all my favorite breakfast foods. Which brings me to #3…

3) The vast array of foods you can eat at brunch that you probably wouldn’t eat on a normal day. For example, you can dump eggs and salsa down your groaning GI tract. Or you can wolf down pancakes, waffles and french toast to soak up all the liquor acids still in your belly, or more specifically the Reese’s Pancakes at Frank’s in Baton Rouge, the Pecan Waffle at Goode Co. Taqueria, and the Creme Brulee French Toast at Max’s Wine Dive. Dear god yes.

4) Brunch is the perfect excuse to day drink. Not that I normally need an excuse, but swilling a carafe (or three) of an alcoholic beverage at 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday without any judgment is that for which I live. “Why yes, we’d like another round, please.”

Fried Egg Sammie at Max’s Wine Dive

5) Brunch is the one time of the week my friends and I can get together to discuss the haps and/or the gong show that was “about last night”. Basically, we gossip about boys, unless boys are present in which case we gossip about girls.

6) Brunch sets up the day for the perfect Sunday afternoon nap, while still giving you enough time to get your afternoon errands done. Full by 2 p.m., a nap until 3:30 p.m., and Nordstrom by 4 p.m.

7) But my most favorite thing about brunch can be summed up in two teeny little words: bottomless mimosas.

Real-Estate Chaos

When I moved back from Toronto, I gave myself a year to decide what I was going to do: either move back to Canada or stay in Houston and buy a new house. Living in Toronto was like living in utopia and I loved every single second of it, including living through the second snowiest winter in Toronto’s history. I applied for Permanent Residency, filled out the 974 required forms, got fingerprinted, got paperwork from both the FBI and the state of Texas saying I wasn’t a felon, and gave the Government du Canada a ton of cash for the privilege. But once I got back to Houston and started planting roots again, I decided to stay put. After all, my family and friends were here, the job I loved was here, I started dating awesome Texas boys, I made some fantastic friends in the Junior League, and just decided that it was less important to me to live in a place with an amazing quality of life (and yes, the sales and income taxes to go with it) than it was for me to stay in Houston for the things and people I loved. So I got my gajillions of dollars back from the Canadian government and started thinking about putting my condo up for sale.

Fast forward to January 2012. I found a way cool house and put in an offer to buy it. It was a foreclosure and needed about $100K worth of work, though, and after I started dealing with the bank (which was a complete and utter gong show) and thinking about how I was going to manage redoing a house while oh, I don’t know, working and living my life, I backed out. We’ll call this house #1. Then came the insanity of the Houston real estate market. Linsanity ain’t got nothin on the ding dang real estate craziness that was Houston over the last few months and, naturally, I was right in the thick of it.

I changed my focus from the location of house #1 to the Houston Heights, but low inventory and clambering to get into one of the two “good” public elementary schools in the Heights sent prices to infinity and beyond. Multiple offers were being put in on houses that weren’t yet active; sellers got brave in their asking prices, inflating the market even more; interest rates dropped and the school year ended, which caused even more chaos. I made offers on two houses (both of them <1,000 square feet, I might add) with multiple offers on both, and got zero.

Once again, I changed my focus and finally hit something. By that point, I’d become an official HAR whore and saw a new house in Braes Terrace come on the market. We were there at 9am the next morning, had put in an offer by 2pm and, by that evening, another offer had been made. We were asked to submit our “best and final offer” — an expression I came to loathe — and, after writing a letter to the sellers expressing my undying love for their home, got the house. Under contract we went!

Then came the fun part. The mortgage broker I’d been working with for four months — FOUR MONTHS! — informed me that since I hadn’t yet sold my condo (a teeny tiny oversight on her part), I didn’t qualify to “own” both houses. We knew my condo would sell fast, so we purposely hadn’t listed it so I wouldn’t be homeless. But the sellers of house #4 didn’t want to go under contract with a contingency, so I had to back out of the deal. It goes without saying that my heart was broken. I loved this house. It was exactly what I’d been looking for when I started this whole crazy mess, and I was beyond bummed. Everyone told me it was for a reason, just like they tell you when a relationship doesn’t work out. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “it happened for a reason” which basically sent me into finger-down-my-throat mode.

I expanded my search even further and started looking in Oak Forest. I saw a house I liked, but the seller received an offer the afternoon I looked at it. I saw a house I really liked in Timbergrove Manor and made an offer the same day. Thirty-six hours later, we still hadn’t heard back from the sellers and we knew — multiple offers. Sure enough, someone had outbid me on the house even though my offer was the first in the door, and they started and completed negotiating with the other buyer without ever telling us a thing. (I’ll also add that they had crosses all over every single room of their house but their behavior in that deal was anything but Christian, if you ask me. The selling agent was Elizabeth McCormick of Heritage Texas Properties. I never, ever speak badly about people or things on my blog, but I felt the way she handled that deal was completely unprofessional and, frankly, pretty slimy, and I would personally never use her or Heritage Texas. Like ever. But I digress.)

And then it happened. I was scouring HAR for the 27th time that day and saw a new listing. We were there at noon as the listing agent was putting the lockbox on the door and submitted an offer by 2pm. I made a full-priced offer — because that’s how insane things in Houston are right now — and found out the next morning that, although four other offers had been submitted, including two full-priced offers, the sellers had chosen me because my offer was in first. THOSE are the kind of people I want to deal with and a million angels began singing in the heavens!

This was three weeks ago. The inspections were good, financing was going well and the appraisal was ordered. Lo and behold, it didn’t appraise. Educational moment: before a lender will give you money, they want to know that the property they will essentially own is worth what “they” are paying for it, so the mortgage lender orders an appraisal. For example, if you try to buy a house for $500K, but the appraiser says it’s value is really $450K, then you either have to pay the difference in cash (and are essentially overpaying for something) or the seller has to lower their price (or go to another buyer and hope their appraisal might be better). There are apparently many appraisers out there and no two appraisals would likely ever come back exactly alike, but the number is what it is. When a house doesn’t appraise, you essentially go back to the negotiating table to work things out, which is where we are today. 

In the midst of all the buying drama, I sold my condo in three days very near what I asked for it (a good thing!) and will essentially be homeless later this month. Not one single part of this process has been easy. I’m sure it never is for anyone and I’m sure everyone has a real-estate nightmare story or two. I’ve been a homeowner for nine+ years (albeit a condo), so I’ve been through the buying part, but never the selling part and never in a real estate market that is New York-esque in nature. Who ever thought people would be paying over list price for a tiny house in Houston, Texas?! I sure didn’t and I can confirm that what they say is true: buying or selling a house is one of the top three most stressful things a person ever goes through.

All the drama notwithstanding, I’m glad I stayed in Houston. I know it will all work out like it’s supposed to. And if house #6 is “the one”, then I’ll be pretty psyched because it’s a great house with great bones in a great location. In the meantime, I’m living amongst boxes and not-so-organized chaos in my condo, and trying to find a place to live until everything unfolds. The moral of my story is this: if anyone needs a cute, sweet, cleanly, employed, very short-term roommate, you know where to find me. 🙂