This house adventure we’ve been on and made me introspective. Buying an older home, (built-in the late 60’s and needing quite a bit of updating) has been at times frustrating and consistently enlightening. C & I’s relationship with homes has been a bit lackluster. We were ideal renters for years, always being the ones who kept the peace, paid on time, cleaned up after ourselves and left places nicer than when they became ours. Our first adventure into home ownership tragically came to an end about 6 months after we signed the papers. We were young and this had been a personal transaction between family that came with strings which complicated things greatly. In the end, it was easier to give the home back. Though I loved it a bit, those months had been so full of sad and our marriage was coming to an end. It was time…
After our reconciliation we stepped up our rental game and renovated a beautiful home in New York for a landlord. It was an absolutely fun experience which tragically resulted in a job transfer out-of-state as the reno came to a close, so we never got to enjoy the home we had poured our hearts into. After moving we went into an apartment complex where the manager actually said “You guys are dream tenants, people like you don’t exist.”
It was after that lease that we explored the buying route again, and we got so lucky! We bought a beautiful condo in a beautiful development. We had amazing neighbors and loved absolutely everything about it. Nothing went wrong, decorating was a dream… And then the economy crashed and our fixed mortgage came to an abrupt expiration. You know the tale by now, so many were telling it- the value had dropped and no one would refinance. No condo is worth a four thousand dollar monthly mortgage payment, nor could we have afforded even if it had been worth it. I still, eight years later, cannot look at photos from that home.
We rented again, jaded and broken. Our property management company loved us. The owner of the house we rented constantly asked my husband to do improvements because he knew C was capable and he liked us staying there. When we transferred to Michigan in 2013, it was fast. We’d had so much of a life in that little house, it was sad to leave it. Last year when we visited, we drove by and it was a wreck. The landscaping destroyed, the pergola a wreck and trash everywhere. Sad. I wanted to climb out of the car and lay a hand on its siding, to apologize for the abuse it had seen after the love we’d given it. That house had held our love and laughter; it had held family…
Buying again has been terrifying and exhausting. Plus, I’m so tired of moving… This house though, from day one has decided to set itself apart. Things have gone wrong from the beginning. We’ve replacing plumbing, water lines, every faucet, nearly every appliance, some electrical stuff and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This was ALL unexpected. I’d wanted my tiny budget (which we well over exceeded) to go to pretty things like paint and art. Once a renter… Ha! I guess you could say, so far, we’ve been unlucky. But, if you think about how lucky our rental reno went (and then we had to move), or how lucky our condo adventure was, (and then we were unlucky and lost it) maybe this unluck is our luck. Confused? Me too… I think it’s the stress and endless amounts of money pouring out that has made me dizzy and delirious…
In all of this sleepless chaos, stress and such though, I thought I’d share a bit of how our February went…
– I haven’t been to the gym once.
– I threw my back out. (true story.)
– I have moved more boxes, packed and unpacked more stuff, cleaned (DEEP) more stuff than ever in my life.
– I didn’t need to go to the gym.
– Moving a ginormous dinosaur fridge with your husband, at 10 o’clock at night can actually be a really funny thing.
– My husband is the hardest working man I know. He’s incredible.
– Parenting is HARD. Parenting in stressful situations is a million times HARDER.
– We moved in the WORST weather imaginable (with injuries to prove it). It’s a great story now, but BRR!
– Home Depot is somewhere I spend far too much time.
– In fact we went four weeks without grocery shopping while making seventeen emergency trips to Home Depot.
– Spotify keeps me sane.
– We switched from Comcast cable to Direct Tv. The customer service has improved a bazillion times over, but we REALLY miss their on demand service.
– We have had no time to watch TV, but we realize this anyway.
– Even the small changes we’ve made, since most of our energy has gone to moving, cleaning/painting the rental we moved out of, or the unexpected repairs are amazing! We LOVE this house!
Now that it’s March, we see a light at the end of the tunnel, and some form of normal coming… Resuming podcasts are insight and I’m thrilled! Any reno peace of mind, encouragement or wisdom to share? I’m also open for distraction to, don’t get me wrong…