Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Tommy Situation

Another couple walked into the house to view it while we were there for our first visit back in February.  I had already declared it mine in my mind—it immediately felt like home right when we walked in.  So the race was on.  We needed to beat them to the realtor’s office with our completed applications and the application fee to get first dibs on being considered.  I hadn’t washed my hair, so I was wearing a hat—it was one of the actually cold days we got in Dallas this winter, and it was sooooooo windy.

I insisted on going home to sit down and complete the applications, and while we were there I could wash my hair to look more presentable to the realtor [if anything was going to win this house for us, it was going to be my hair].  We got freshened up, completed the applications, purchased a money order for the application fee and we were on our way back downtown.

The realtor’s office is in the Lakewood area, and even though I’m familiar, his office happened to be on the opposite side of the large building from where we parked.  We weathered the bitterly cold wind in the shade of the building and made our way around to the sunny side where his office was.  My hair still looked great, don’t worry.  So we went in, all excited and confident that we beat our competitors to the finish.

The realtor came out of his office to greet us, and we were all grinny when he told us that we were the first applicants to arrive—all we had to do was pass inspection and the house was ours!  I wasn’t too worried about that part, so we had a win as far as I was concerned.  I gushed about the house to the realtor and elaborated on a few of its features that I really appreciated and assured him that we would be very happy there.

The realtor said with a smirk, “Yeah, it is a lovely house; the main thing that sometimes turns people off is The Tommy Situation.”  The only logical question to ask was, “What is The Tommy Situation?”  The realtor went on to explain that Tommy comes with the house as a package deal—he is an older fellow who lives in the garage, which has been converted into an efficiency apartment.  He said that Tommy is quiet and keeps to himself; he will get one covered parking space and we will get the other.

My immediate knee jerk response was discouragement.  Part of my excitement about living in a house after living in a condo for so long, is the added benefit of finally having a yard and a garage.  Now, not only do we not have a garage, but only one of our vehicles will be covered.  Even at the condos right now, both vehicles are covered.

I still really wanted to live in the house, but having a property-mate was not at all something I had anticipated as a possibility.  Should we continue to pursue this?  Was this a deal breaker?  I decided to go to the most level-headed and rational person I know for advice—my dad, the cop.  Daddy brought up great points about Tommy being older, so he will probably be at home more often and able to keep an eye on the property while we’re away.  And if we had an emergency, Tommy would be a built-in neighbor who could possibly lend a hand.

That next week, once we found out the house was ours if we wanted it, I had a few questions for the realtor—like, is Tommy going to pop up in the backyard at one of our barbecues?  And is Tommy going to be sitting at my dining table reading the paper when I get up on Saturday mornings?  The realtor assured me that the only property access to which Tommy is privy, is the garage apartment and one parking spot in the carport.  He said that Tommy will have zero access to the house proper, and he will not be in the backyard—and the backyard shed is our storage space solely.

So we completed the agreement, paid our deposits and are less than a week away from the move [why am I not packing right now?!].  We plan to make one last visit out to the house today to clear some shed space, take a couple of final measurements, and finally meet Tommy.  Since we made up our minds to be positive about it, we have let our imaginations run amuck with the possibilities.  Is Tommy a superhero?  Is he a serial killer?  We have absolutely no idea, but we are so excited to find out!  I personally have pictured him as Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons—I hope I’m not let down.  He better be in overalls this afternoon because I’m coming over!


  1. So, what was the outcome of meeting Tommy? What type of person did he turn out to be?

  2. Tommy is not old like he was made out to be--I would guess he's in his early to mid 50s. He works odd hours, and he comes and goes from day to day. Tommy has been friendly, but not overly so--he has called me twice: 1) The night our power went out, to let us know why it was out, and 2) The day our water got shut off, to let us know it was off.

    He's put the garbage and recycle bins out on the curb before, and he'll even bring them back up the driveway for us on garbage day. We've only seen him a handful of times, but all exchanges have been pleasant. Yes, it would be nice to have sole custody of the carport, or even have a garage!, but I like having him there. He's not caused any problems, and I don't anticipate any.

    And no, he sadly does not look like Groundskeeper Willie. He is average height and size, dark tan with grey hair.