Monday, January 22, 2007

How do you like the house?

Since we bought a house three months ago, my friends keep asking how I like it, I guess to make conversation, possibly because they're really interested in my answer. I can't imagine they're really interested, though, because I think I talk about my house too much. I've been making a conscious effort not to let it monopolize every conversation I have. Maybe I've been making so much of an effort NOT to talk about it lately, that I might not be talking about it anymore at all.

Anyway, the short answer: I love it. Especially the space.

Our two-bedroom apartment was pretty big by apartment standards: 1100 square feet. I don't know the measurements of the new house, but I can tell you it's huge. Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two-car garage, full basement, one acre of wooded land, and a one-bedroom in-law suite attached to the house. So half the rooms in the house are empty, and it will be a while before we have the cash to fill those rooms with furniture and window treatments and all.

My parents are moving in this spring, though, so they will be bringing lots of stuff we can use. They're downsizing from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom apartment, so I know they're grateful to bring along many of their things to our house. I'm concerned about getting overrun with their stuff, though, because I really value my open space and this is the first time I've had this much of it. I'll just have to stick to my decisions when I choose not to take some of Mom & Dad's things. It's hard to say no, though, especially if Mom pouts.

The house has absolutely no carpets. It's all hard flooring - vinyl tile, ceramic tile, and wood laminate. The previous owners once had a carpet cleaning business, so they know how dirty carpets are. It's very hard to keep them as clean as hard floors. A few months ago I bought a Scooba, one of those robots that mops the floors, and I love it. I haven't mopped once in the three months we've lived here. However, my Swiffer has never seen this much action. I've found that I have to sweep the hallways and bathrooms daily. And I haven't mastered the Pergo floor care yet; the Scooba seems like overkill because there's low traffic in that part of the house and it never seems to get very dirty. And the cleaning solution leaves streaks on the floor unless I fill the tank with dilute vinegar. I've been sweeping or vacuuming every couple of weeks and it's clean enough so far. Maybe I'll just pull out the mop once a month for that part of the house.

We also love having a garage. Today it snowed for the first time this season, and we didn't have to scrape our windshields or anything because the cars were protected inside the garage. Such a treat! I'm glad we didn't buy a snowblower yet because it would have been little more than decoration.

I've always been told that it's a lot of work to take care of a home. A big responsibility, you know. But this is one of those truths that you can never fully appreciate until you experience it yourself. And my parents never clued me in to the reality of all this maintenance. I thought taking care of a house was just a matter of keeping it clean. We've already had to replace the roof ($5700, ouch) and re-line the chimney (estimates still pending). Even something as "little" as changing all the locks ended up costing several hundred dollars, which was way more than I thought it should cost. I moved a big chunk of our savings into CD's in order to prevent me from accidentally draining all of our money on the house. Of course, we did HAVE to buy a plasma TV before the spending freeze, though. We're really glad about that decision, as irresponsible as it may seem.

We have some remodeling in mind.... the bathrooms were done with cheap materials, including the selection of tiny little stall showers. And the master bedroom has woefully inadequate closet space. The first project on my wish list is to open the wall between the master bedroom and one of the secondary bedrooms so that we can have his-and-hers walk-in closets. Then I want to install a doorless / walk-in / walk-behind shower, whatever you call it. The bathroom is big enough to put a separate tub enclosure, and a double sink, but that will have to wait a couple of years till the cash is there. We've finally clawed our way out of our most expensive debts so I'm determined never to borrow from credit cards. I'd rather cancel cable TV and shop at thrift stores than to get into debt again.

So that's the long answer.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Space. I don't think you talk about your house at all. Then again, I can say that because I don't talk to you very much. :-)