Cozy Craftsman

It took Honey and me about 10 minutes to decide on a house plan. We knew we wanted a Craftsman home, so we entered some parameters on a home plan site and we both loved the way this one looked in the render. The floor plan is also perfect for us; nice and open, not too big or too small.

I can’t decide whether I want a gray or green exterior, but it will be a while before we have to make that decision. I love the tapered columns, the stonework, and the front steps. It looks very cozy, and I know it will look great perched on the hill overlooking our pond.

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Fixer upper

Yesterday afternoon we went to see the house that I mentioned in my last post. Honey has been warming up to the idea a little, so we thought it wouldn’t hurt to call up the realtor and see how the place has held up over the years.

I was appalled at the condition of the property. The beer cans strewn all over the lawn should have been a good indicator of what we could expect inside the house. Most people trying to sell a home would attempt to make it as presentable as possible, but this seller is the exception to the rule.

The inside and outside of the property has been so neglected that it’s virtually unlivable. The bathroom sink has been removed and is lying out in the driveway. Buckets are positioned to catch rainwater that seeps through the ceiling, and large sections of the bathroom floor covering have been ripped up. Central heating and air conditioning registers are missing from the ceiling and cover plates are missing from electrical outlets. It reminded me of the homes that get flipped on HGTV.

I know the house still has potential, but it would cost several thousand dollars to bring it back to life. It needs a new roof, new central unit, complete bathroom remodel, new appliances, paint, and who-knows-what-else.

On the plus side, it has a great location, three acres of land in the county, a full basement, and real hardwood flooring. The lawn would be beautiful with some TLC and I would thoroughly enjoy working on it.

When I called my sister to tell her about the condition of the house where we spent most of our teen years, she reminded me of all of the bad memories associated with the place. My parent’s marriage was crumbling, our parent-child relationships were tumultuous, and it was there that I overdosed and subsequently came out to my family. The few good memories have become cloudy over the years.

Part of me feels a need to save the place, since it was the site of so many important events in my personal history. The other part wonders if looking to the past is really the best way to achieve a happier tomorrow.

Honey actually kind of likes the property and thinks it has a homey feel. He said if we bought it, we’d make our own memories.

Right time, right place

One of the homes that I lived in with my parents when I was a teenager is on the market. Dad and I drove by it today on the way to my sister’s home, and I immediately began fantasizing about purchasing it, doing extensive remodeling, and turning it into our dream home.

The house is quite small, but sits on three acres of land in a rural location. I imagined how we’d add onto the existing structure, landscape, even dig a pond. I was so swept up in my fantasy that I was certain Honey would feel the same way.

After arriving home and telling him about my amazing discovery, we drove out for him to see it in person. Where I saw potential, he saw a mountain of debt. As we discussed the amount of work and money it would take to whip the property into shape, I realized that he was right.

I seem to have an emotional attachment to houses or neighborhoods where we lived while I was growing up. Maybe that is why I currently live in the house that’s only two doors down from the home my parents lived in when I was born. It was over eleven years ago that I discovered this house was for sale, and I couldn’t buy it fast enough! Perhaps my eagerness over the house we looked at today is more a testament to my sentimentality than anything else.

Sitting at home with my dreams dashed, I began to pout a little. Then the phone rang. The neighbor’s son was calling to ask if we could get his mom up off the floor. As familiar as this scenario has become, it never fails to elicit feelings of panic and dread. We scurried over to find her in the kitchen floor, wincing in pain with blood dripping from two open wounds.

We cleaned and bandaged her scrapes and helped her into the recliner – reassuring her and her son that they can call on us anytime they need help.┬áThat’s when I realized that we’re probably right where we need to be – at least for the time being. The dream house will just have to wait.