Monday, August 5, 2013

Rustic? Or Run-down and Dangerous?

The listing on says "The Little House" at 958-1/2 Ocean Boulevard in Hampton NH "has been updated for comfort and convenience."  I don't really want to nitpick, but the only updating is that some vinyl windows were installed and some vinyl siding was nailed to the outside.
958-1/2 Ocean Blvd Hampton NH -- Here's the
"updated" kitchen which the listing notes
is "fully equipped" and "will please the best of
cooks." Also notice the exposed wiring and
broken microwave.
  • Exposed electrical wiring: Electric junction boxes, outlets, and wiring is exposed throughout the entire structure.  That's because there are no internal walls -- no paneling, drywall, or plaster covering the framing. Very dangerous for all, but especially for small children (and probably violates building code).
  • Nails sticking out of the walls: Hundreds of them.  They are holding up the vinyl siding on the outside of the walls, but the nails are protruding int the interior by about an inch. Very dangerous for small children (and probably violates building code).
  • Sleep in a garage: The "short-stay guest/storage/laundry room" advertised in the listing is a garage with two twin beds in it, and a clothes washer/dryer.  This is not obvious from the picture or description posted on the rental site.  But in the welcome kit sent to renters by Susan Koster she herself refers to it as a garage (for example, "The key will unlock the left 'Garage' door.  Walk through the garage, through the bathroom, and into the kitchen.").  The "short-stay guest/storage/laundry room" has shovels, and hedge trimmers hanging from the walls.  My 2-year-old daughter slept here.  My aunt who is recovering from cancer slept here.  When I made up my aunt's bed, a big black bug crawled out of the sheets.  I was stressed out the entire vacation.
  • Shabby kitchen: There is not much updated about the kitchen.  There is a microwave but it is circa about 1980, the display is broken and hence it is impossible to reset it's clock, rendering it useless.  In fairness there is an old coffee maker and a dishwasher that both work, I suppose you could consider that "updated" if you really stretch the definition.  The statement from the listing that "The fully equipped kitchen will please the best of cooks" is woefully overstated.
  • Run-down bathroom: There is not much updated about the bathroom, the info packet sent to us once our final rental payment was received apologizes that it is old plumbing and begs you not to overload it. 
  • Overheated: There's no A/C.  No problem, I didn't really expect A/C.  There are ceiling fans in the living room and the "short-stay guest/storage/laundry room".  Surprisingly there were no window fans, so since we arrived at the tail end of a heatwave I needed to go out to Wal-Mart and drop $75 bucks on window fans just to cool the place off the first night.

I was prepared for rustic.  I grew up vacationing with my grandparents at their rustic cottage on a lake in Wisconsin.  And I loved it.  But please be honest about your accommodations when you are describing them on your rental website.  At least be honest about it, Susan Koster, when your potential renter inquires specifically if the place will be appropriate for his 2-year-old daughter.

More pictures:

958-1/2 Ocean Blvd Hampton NH -- This is the "short-stay
guest/storage/laundry room." As you can see, it is really a
garage, and there are ladders, hedge trimmers and other
dangerous items scattered all over the place. This is where
my 2-year-old daughter slept.  Terrifying!

958-1/2 Ocean Blvd Hampton NH -- More of the
exposed wiring. If you zoom in close you can
also see dozens of nails sticking through
the wood walls. These nails are holding up the
vinyl siding on the outside of the walls, and there
are thousands of them. Thank god my 2-year-old
daughter didn't fall into the nails or wiring.

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