Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The cost of ambiance

Around seven years ago, I felt like it was time to enter the home ownership market.  Well meaning friends had convinced me that renting was not building equity, and the equivalent of "pouring money down the drain".  I was frustrated with the landlord - we had lost boxes of books in basement flooding. 

The home my husband and I chose is over sixty years old.  But it was fifty years younger than many of the homes from the suburb I grew up in, so I thought we would be spared the drama of an older home. Ha!

Much to my grandfather's disappointment, I inherited very little ability in fixing appliances, plumbing, electrical work, etc.  My paternal grandfather could fix just about anything, and built homes around the same age as ours.

I thought that too would save us.  My distorted thinking was, I didn't want a recent, modern, cookie cutter home, since those usually have shoddy construction.  I wanted something from an era where people took pride in their work.

So the house has character.  But, it's also expensive to maintain.

Each year something (or multiple things) need to be updated or replaced.  It feels overwhelming at times.  I also have this tendency to think that the people who work on the home are screwing us over, which doesn't help.  Sometimes they will notice someone else's work and criticize how "the other guy did it".  I need to see this as a sales tactic, but some days it's difficult.

I keep wanting to blame people like the home inspector (number one on my list).  In the end, however, I went into this endeavor, despite my eyes being closed.  *I* chose a home of this age, it had the right location. I liked its character.  Much like my college choice, it has been an expensive proposition.  I don't know if I would choose it again.

Magnolia 2011
There are things I love about this home.  I love the windowsills. I love the magnolia tree.  I love that my kids are going to grow up here, this is the only house they've known.  I love having a big enough dining room that we can invite friends over for dinner.

There are simply days or weeks when I wish I had made a different choice, understanding the repairs and costs involved in maintaining where we are.

1 comment:

Freckle Face Girl said...

I happen to love old homes, but I am glad that mine is only 4 years old for that same reason. Still, sometimes I dream about buying an old craftsman style one with a huge porch.