I took a little bit of a break last week because it appears the Mr. and I have gone under contract to buy a house.
In keeping with my forward mantra of 2018 we have taken a leap in that direction. A leap that I was completely and overwhelmingly prepared for and unprepared for all at the same time.
I’m not sure owning your own home is as huge of an “American Dream” as it once was; with the Great Recession I understand why owning a home is not exactly all it’s cracked up to be. Also, the Mr. and I have already had one house and all the work that goes into a house sometimes I wonder why we just don’t rent. I know…I know…. “renting is like throwing money away” but sometimes I think the convenience factor might make that well worth it. I pay extra for pre cut veggies, why not pay extra so I never have to replace a water heater again? Sometimes the idea of having a landlord is so appealing, “you mean I’m not responsible for ANY of this??” but in the end I get it, it’s never really YOURS so alas here we are attempting to upgrade to a slightly larger house to accommodate the Mr, the Munchkin, myself and potentially a number 2. We are technically “under contract” so this whole deal could go south between now and closing but the Mr. and I have our hopes up.
I was well prepared for this process from an organizational stand point since I just filed the 2017 taxes and am generally a well organized individual. However, I was not mentally or emotionally prepared to start looking for a house but this place came on the market and it’s so stinkin’ cute! Our realtor took us to see it and we really loved the place. It needs some work, it could be classified as a “fixer upper” but it’s really not in that bad of shape (at least from what we can tell, the inspection will be forthcoming) but needs lots of updating. I have been on an HGTV fast and now I’ve gone back to binging it like a mad woman trying to get ideas of what we can do. Our budget doesn’t really include money for rearranging the entire floor plan BUT there are definitely some things to do to the place that will make it much better for our family. Luckily the Mr. and I are both relatively handy with power tools so we’ll be able to do a lot of the work ourselves. Along with the BFF who’s a master painter (although we might try out a paint sprayer with how much needs to be painted), Uncle Messy and a few other friends who are talented I think we’ll be able to do what we need/want without too much hassle or extra expense. Home Depot will benefit from our purchases I’m sure.
This process has sped along at a clip that I was not expecting. On one hand I’m ready to get out from under Babci’s feet but on the other hand I’m going to miss the small moments she gets to spend with the Munchkin as well as keeping her occupied so I can go to the bathroom.
On one hand I’m ready to take this next step but on the other I am greatly missing my father who passed away 5+ years ago who was the ultimate handy man. My father gutted and re-did the kitchen in the first house, did doors, created a patio, helped us refinish the hardwood floors, and a myriad of other projects. I helped with some of the projects and my father has always been the handy man. My parents’ house is 100+ years old and he was always working on something. From the time I was very little I remember my dad watching This Old House and The New Yankee Workshop as well as some of the original home improvement shows before HGTV and DIY network existed.
My dad had every tool known to man (at least it seemed to me) and I had the luck of being able to watch, learn, and use many of them myself. When I did Alternative Spring Break with Habitat for Humanity, they were all impressed with my tool wielding prowess and allowed me to do quite a bit of work, that was a moment I was proud to share with my dad as well. I remember calling and telling him how I “toenailed floor joists today”.
Now, without my father, my brother and the Mr. are carrying the handy man torch. My brother has also continued his handy man adventure and become a pretty damn fine woodworker. He’s amassed himself an amazing wood shop and has been able to make quite a few nice things.
This (or a different one) house will be a new adventure for us in many ways but we’re looking at making it our own, it may take a few years to be exactly what we want but when the Munchkin and any other kids grow up I want them to be able to look at it and go “that was our house” much the way I look at Babci’s house now.
The memories that soak into the walls of houses over the course of time are like the prayers that soak into old churches. After a while you can just feel the life oozing out of them both good and bad. I want my kids to remember where they marked the floor boards that squeaked right around Christmas so they could sneak down stairs and see the presents (Santa gifts weren’t wrapped growing up), the shrapnel grenades made out of legos we would throw at each other, and all the other things that happen when families live in a house. The house that the Mr. and I end up moving into will hopefully be the house that we will stay in for the next 25+ years; hopefully it will be a place for our kids and their friends to feel welcome and at ease. The house that will protect us and watch us grow as a family and individuals. Houses become homes by being lived in and loved even if they aren’t perfect.