Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Never Say Never
I told myself and my husband that I would never buy a fixer upper house again. It took us 10 years to finally finish our first home. Someone once told me to beware when you finish fixing up your house; it means you will be selling it soon. I just laughed, shaking my head, “No way. We are going to be enjoying this house for many years.”
We finished our back bathroom and a month later we sold the house. We only used the enormous, beautiful bathtub 3 times.
As we packed up the house, I reminded myself and Dan, we are going to buy a finished house. We are going to buy a finished house. We are going to buy a finished house!
Our next house would be livable, beautiful, perfect. We already put time, investment, and sacrifice in; now was the time to reap the rewards.
So we began looking in my “dream” neighborhood for a house to buy. As we drove around looking at different houses, I flipped through a stack of ‘for sale’ fliers advertising the homes for sale. I knew that this neighborhood was high priced. I just didn’t know how high. I started to notice a pattern in all of the prices. This was an unbelievably expensive neighborhood. My husband and I looked at each other with disappointment in our eyes.
Suddenly I felt a strong attraction to fixer uppers.
We drove up to a fixer. Trying to be positive, I looked at the house before me. With a lot of paint, new molding, new windows, new landscaping, new front door, this could be a beautiful house. As we entered the front door that looked like a hobbit’s door from The Lord of the Rings, I looked around. “Oh, no. This is a lot.” The house was huge. It had good bones, but everything, I mean everything needed to be redone. Cottage cheese on the ceilings. An empty pool with a couple of feet of green moldy water in it- a breeding cesspool for the West Nile virus. Water damage and stains on the carpet throughout. The kitchen had not been updated since the 50s. And what was that smell? I pulled out my Wet Ones and started bathing myself with them. I hadn’t touched anything, but I was sure the germs were flying through the air sticking to me. My husband began to look skittish.
“Come on, Honey,” I assured him, “We can do this. It may be tight for a while, a really long while, maybe forever, but we can do it.”
We looked down at the price on the flier. It was way out of our price range. Money would be so tight. How and when could we ever fix it up? Maybe I could get the carpet cleaned? Spray it down with deodorizer?
My husband Dan stood there quietly; his mind full of thought. Then he finally spoke, “I can take on more hours at work, and maybe put out my application for some part time work on the side.” Oh, good, he was still considering it.
We left the house in silence, both of our minds were filled with deep thoughts. His thoughts were of our future livelihood. My thoughts were deeper than that; I was thinking about how I am going to keep my children from laying on the carpets.