The first home that Jim and I bought together was located in the foothills of Mount Helix and had 3,984 square feet, 1.84 acres of land, a 35,000-gallon swimming pool, and a 5,000-gallon spa. I used to come home from work Friday at noon, start the pool/spa heater, and swim like a SeaWorld whale until Monday at noon.
When we moved in, the house was in my specialty area, i.e., pretty much a dump—1971 shag carpeting, worn and torn; a leaking roof; a pool and spa that looked like a Louisiana swamp; and 1.84 acres of non-landscaping.
I put in 1.84 acres of landscape lighting and irrigation, had the pool and spa replastered and retiled, and installed tile floors in the entry foyer and the 77-foot hallway. I never got around to doing the roof because by that time the gas & electric bill was more than my mortgage payment.
In fact, in June 2000, our gas & electric bill was a whopping $4,571! Jim and I decided to sell. We knew that we didn’t want to pay $4,500+ utility bills for the rest of our lives. And what good is a pool, spa, and landscape lighting if we couldn’t afford to use them? At one point I set the landscape lights to come on at 8:00 at night and go off at 8:05, just to make sure that they still worked!
Sadly, we didn’t find out until six months after we sold that the reason for the high utility bill was because Enron was manipulating the energy markets west of the Mississippi River. Once Enron was forced into bankruptcy, from which it never recovered, things returned to normal. However, we never bought a house that big again. It was simply too much for two guys, especially two gay guys who don’t fit the gay stereotypes of cleaners and interior designers…… LOL
Here is the house where we lived, 11141 Valley Lights Drive:
So while I don’t miss living in a house that big, I still enjoy visiting neighborhoods of the extraordinarily wealthy who enjoy putting on the show.
Here are four pictures of the 1% in a neighborhood surrounding a grade school where I teach chess in the after-school enrichment program:
Rumors abound here in San Diego that Mitt & Ann Romney’s $12,000,000 La Jolla home is on the market. It’s not in the MLS if it is but that has never squelched rumors before.
Nonetheless, I already have decided not to buy it….
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