5 Features You May Have That Are Gross, Tacky, or Just Have To Go


1. Remove the cat litter box from the shower

Human shower/cat bathroom
Human shower, aka cat bathroom


For the first house Retta visits in Flagstaff, AZ, we learn that the current owners paid 5% over the asking price for this wildly imperfect place. The reason? These buyers swooned over the idea of drinking coffee on the front porch while admiring the mountain view.

Inside, however, Retta is quickly greeted by a smell that ruins the ambiance immediately. She pinpoints the source in the bathroom. Apparently, this home’s previous owners had installed a cat entrance on the shower door, so the cat could wander in and do its business over the shower drain.

It’s one thing to have a litter box that can be taken outside and cleaned, but it’s a whole ‘nother level of gross to turn your own shower into a cat toilet. Retta is rightfully horrified.

2. Hide the water heater

Small, under stove water heater
Small, under-stove water heater


Next up for Retta is a trip to High Rolls, NM, where a set of three connected geodesic dome homes sits like warts in the middle of the Lincoln National Forest.

Built in 1990, this home’s round shape is certainly unique, but it has no interior walls or closets. Plus, the water heater, which is about the size of a trash can and sits awkwardly in the kitchen under the stove, doesn’t produce a fraction of the hot water needed.

“This doesn’t even make enough hot water to fill the tub,” owner Liliane explains. “So we put in 2 inches of water, then we put bubble wrap over the top of the water to keep it warm, while [the water heater] takes another two hours, roughly, to generate more hot water. Then you can have your bath, but only one of us can bathe per day.”

While most water heaters don’t sit out in the open, many heaters can’t accommodate a hot shower or bath for everyone in the same hour. If yours is too small for your home, chances are it’s also old and needs replacing. Even better for your utility bills and the environment, try a tankless water heater.

3. Trim the bushes

Bushes covering windows
Bushes covering windows


Anyone who has a yard might be guilty of this faux pas: bushes, trees, and foliage so thick they block the windows and keep all natural light out. That’s the first thing Retta notices when she drives up to a Phoenix home built in the 1970s.

Trimming those overgrown junipers would be one of the easiest and least expensive ways to lighten and brighten the interior, yet Clois, the homeowner, hasn’t gotten around to doing it, or to fixing any of his home’s other major flaws.

4. Banish carpeting in the bathroom

Sculptured brown shag carpeting in the bathroom
Sculptured brown shag carpeting in the bathroom


“What is with the carpeting in the bathrooms?” Retta asks as she steps into Clois’ bathroom and finds the floor covered in brown shag. Let’s face it, sculptured brown shag carpeting anywhere in a house is a crime, but it’s closer to a felony in the bathroom.

“In those days, that was plush,” explains Clois. “People loved it. Now it’s just ugly.”

5. Retire the Regency curtains

Regency curtains with tassels
Regency curtains with tassels


Last but not least, Retta takes issue with the Regency curtains she finds in the living area. They may have seemed regal at one point, but no more. Not helping matters much are the tassels on the curtains.


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