Michelle's Front Page

Ahhh…the joys of home ownership

August 23rd, 2006

When Steve and I began looking at homes, we quickly realized that we wanted a house, not a townhouse or condo. (Steve has a thing about agreeing to rules which limit his freedoms to do what he wants with his own home. Yeah – we would go over big at the condo association meeting.) Because of our shared disdain for cookie cutter McMansions (although I do love their kitchens and walk-in closets), we also realized we wanted an older home because they tend to have more character. This is an easy decision to make where we live because it is an older city. The McMansions lie further out in the farther flung suburbs and we wanted a short commute. We had a couple of other criteria: 1) we didn’t want to be mortgage poor no matter how great the house, 2) I refused to buy a house without a driveway (on street parking is very common in many neighborhoods), 3) I refused to lug groceries up 2 flights of steps to get to our front door (this is a very hilly city and people like to perch houses on the edge of small cliffs), 4) I wanted enough space between me and the neighbors that I couldn’t stand between the houses and touch both (also not uncommon in this old city of ours), and 5) I didn’t want to live in a valley near a creek (there had just been a pretty major flood). It was November, I forgot to put central a/c on the list. (Stupid, stupid, stupid!)

With the character of an older house, you also get the quirks. The couple who owned the house before us lived here for 50 years. We bought it from the widow after the husband passed away. The man was a do-it-yourself kind of guy. He DIY’ed before you could run to Home Depot and find everything you needed. Standing in my basement and viewing his handy work makes me think of my own grandfather fixing things around the house. In that day and age, you fixed things so they worked – there really was no right or wrong way if it got the job down. Well, viewing the work many years later, I have to say perhaps using coat hangers and twist ties to hold up the pipes and wiring works but it sure ain’t pretty. And these unorthodox ways of completing projects makes any home improvement project we tackle much more difficult.

So why this meandering narrative about our house? Well, it is to set up tomorrow’s post. I have been without a bathroom sink since Sunday. That is largely due to the older house we bought (from the man who liked to do it himself) making it a less than easy job. I’m waiting for running water before I declare the project a success and show the before, during, and after photos. My father-in-law is involved in the project now. I’m no longer worried. I will have running water AND a vanity which is mostly intact after this evening. That was in question for the first couple of days.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 at 10:59 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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