Buying a Half Basement

Barry Pomeroy

Sam knew the protocol of buying a new house. He knew that you had to walk thoughtfully around the premises with the realty agent, knock carefully on pipes and make contemplative noises at window sashes and door frames. Sam also knew, although he couldn't bring himself to do it, that he had to look into the basement.

The basement is the bones of the house, realty people would tell him. You need to know more about the foundation than you do the paint. For Sam, the bone talk was creepy, and basements were off limits. He had made up his mind not to buy a house with a basement, preferring instead the solid concrete three foot slabs that underlay bungalows, but the housing market in Winnipeg was such that he was left with no choice. That is why Sam was knocking on exposed pipes in the bathroom and running the faucets, avoiding the inevitable.

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