Opposites Attract, Part 2

February 13, 2011

That was a long introduction into the actual writer’s prompt I’m borrowing from: describe the homes you have lived in. We’ve owned three homes. The first was DH’s bachelor pad. I convinced him not to sell it–we could use it as a vacation home. Not very practical and it ended up a rental property for about 2 years. I applaud DH for letting me have some say and letting me try to be a landlord. I soon learned it was more work than I was willing to give. But I wasn’t alone in urging him not to sell–his parents had hoped he’d keep it as a vacation property too. When we did sell it, DH only broke even if you stretched the numbers but it wasn’t a huge loss.

We owned this property at the same time as our starter home. How many 22 year olds own a home right off the bat from graduation let alone two? Our circumstances have often set us apart from many around us. For example, right now we are thinking DH’s about retirement–many our age have children younger than ours and are decades away from retiring.

This starter home was 1700 square feet, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath. It had vaulted ceilings–a plus for DH who spent much time in cramped quarters and work spaces. The small yard was a plus for me for upkeep and then keeping the expense of hiring someone else to do it while I was pregnant to a minimum. We were fortunate that though it was a big neighborhood, we backed up to a watershed and therefore no construction could infringe upon our “extra” backyard.

After about 6 years, DH and I started talking options for an addition to the home to increase the size. Ultimately with the lot line, putting on an addition was impractical. We moved when the housing market was crazy in our area but still respectable just miles down the road. We sold high and bought low, doubling our square footage and our acreage.

We had gone house hunting on a Wednesday; put in a bid on a serious fixer-upper and lost. We went again on a Monday and fell in love with the last house we had seen. Our agent wrote a personal note that included “the buyers can see raising their children in your home.” We later learned that ours was not the only bid but it was this letter that made them choose ours. That Friday we did a walk through and the following Monday DH left for sea.

We hadn’t even sold our current home. I had two weeks to get it ready for sale. I barely got de-cluttering done (DH had moved all his woodworking tools to a storage shed). Our house sold in less than 48 hours. This was the day and age before staging was so important. I hadn’t even gotten things repainted!

I closed on both houses and moved in less than 6 weeks. I hired a moving company. I was asked if we had large pieces like a piano to move. I was asked what my square footage was. They never came for an estimate. They sent only one truck and three men. I was still packing. You see, the home may have been only 1700 sq. feet, but I had 3,000 sq. feet of stuff–and no piano! Eight hours of just loading the truck and we still had an hour drive to the new place. I desperately called my agent to see if she could meet us at the new house so we could just get it all unloaded while the big furniture was put in place. That alone took 3 hours! Everything else was dumped in the garage for me to move and unpack later.

DH did not see the new house again for three months. Talk about an episode of “While you were out.” I did all of this while he was gone. While that may seem daunting, military wives do it all the time. But DH claims it was the best way to move. In some ways, the stress to doing it on my own was probably less than the stress and strain DH and I would have had if he had to move my “things” again. I do think we would have purged more though. In the end I just boxed everything to get it done with and I found myself wondering why on earth I moved some things. I will admit I felt like SuperWoman and credit the medication I was on after T2 was born to this “I can do anything” feeling. I would not want to try moving solo again.

This is a forever home. I think some of that is because DH does not want to uproot the children. Part of it is we are done having children so the space is not an issue. About 5 years into living here I did get antsy for change–while I may not have moved, having significant change every few years was a big part of my life (ex., middle school to highschool, high school to college, children, moving). This house was perfect for adding an addition. It is a raised ranch (unlike our split level starter home) with 2000 sq. feet on the main level and the other 800 in the finished basement. I got to add a 10×20 sun room onto the master bedroom. Only after I agreed to get my credit card paid off–talk about incentive!

We’ve done some other renovations–hard wood floors and a dining room remodel. My office has been customized. We also in the process of remodeling the living room with custom-built bookcases. We will be tackling the children’s rooms soon as they are approaching middle school and are in desperate need of new carpets and new decorations.


One comment

  1. […] we began our married life we purchased a quaint home that was geographically 10 minutes from my parents and my in-laws, making a cute little triangle. We […]

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