I love houses. I’ve always loved houses.
I love to go to open houses on Sundays.
I have never lived in a house more than 7 years in my whole life. My dad was a corporate dude who was transferred every 5 years or so and so we moved to a different part of the country and into different houses. My mom is a great homemaker and so she would make the new home homey and we were all together and quickly new places became home.
My mom has a way. She can hang her artwork,
light a candle and it makes it a home.
As an adult, I still get antsy for a new home every 5 years or so. I loved to find a fixer upper and work on it, sell and roll the money into a new place, thats bigger, needs work, we get it finished and I start looking for a new project. Stanley hated it. He would like to live somewhere until they carry him out in a box. He would go along with the move if he saw it was a good investment. In the time we were married, he moved in with me into my first house, a precious little Queen Anne Victorian in a historic district that was completely renovated and like a doll house. I made $40K on this house but not from anything I did, just market value.
Like this but much smaller.
We brought The Boy home to this house.
After a few years, I started looking for a project and found a 3/2 ranch built mid century in a nice kid friendly neighborhood that had horrid green shag carpet covering hardwood in every room. It had never been renovated and was disgusting but had really great bones.
I had to get stitches in my hand from an injury scraping cabinets.
We brought Jumping Bean home to this house
We stayed there 5 years and I started getting the itch. It was smallish, I got bored and started looking for a project. Boy did I find one. We rolled the $60K we made on this house into a Greek Revival that had been renovated but then had been foreclosed on and there were holes in the walls, no countertops or light fixtures, no sinks, the floors were ruined, it was awesome. Not this big, but big.
We brought Merlot home to this house.
This was the house where I told Stanley we needed to work on our marriage.
I started getting antsy again. But Stanley and I were also in counseling and it wasn’t going well. I started thinking that we needed to sell because at that time the market was good and I thought we had nearly $200K in equity in that house. We had done the work cheaply, got a great initial deal and we were doing great, helping our financial stability with real estate. Then the market crashed. At the same time, I found out our financial situation was pretty bad. Stanley had charged a whole lot of stuff. I started looking at smaller places and had hope that we could get it all back together, our finances, our marriage. After the market fell, we made $100K on that house.
This was the house where we decided to part company.
I find myself looking at the pretty houses as I drive by.
I imagine the happy families inside, not touched by divorce.
When I used to go to Open Houses on Sundays, I would see them for what they are. They could be so gorgeous on the outside with ivy growing up the side and rose trellis’ by the front door and you would get in and find blue shag and bad wallpaper, outdated kitchens they smelled of cat pee.
Now I find myself instead of antsy to move, trying desperately to stay. I’ve never held on to a house before. But, I feel myself clinging to this. Not because it’s great, because it’s not. I miss my other house with my big bathroom and soaker tub not to mention the expansive laundry room with all those cabinets. Now I have a tiny little laundry space and horrid master bath with paint peeling off the walls. But it is somewhere that my kids call home. I can light a candle and a pan of brownies and it feels comforting.
Although, I guess that would be the case anywhere.
I wonder where I will end up next.