Posts Tagged ‘buying a house’

Why Blog?

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I donít want to blog, but a really smart woman convinced me to do it. Thank you, Maryjo! So, here I am, even though I've always preferred journal writing over blogging because in my journal I can make mistakes and say whatever I want. I donít write because Iím eloquent, I write because it's always been my number one obsession, a kind of†tortuous self-therapy on automatic pilot. Even before I knew what I was doing was called writing, I did it. I find solace in it, but it's also horribly painful. The psychological hold and emotional aspect of the work can be too much at times. So, for my blog, I decided to take a break from my writing obsession and focus on some of my other obsessions. Some are things I never imagined Iíd find interesting and some are things that have always been my obsessions whether I knew it or not.

My first obsession:†My house. Or ìourî house, I should say. I say ìI should sayî because I couldnít have done it without my husband Dave, yet part of me is possessive because I bought it before I met him. It is my baby. When we talk about possibly selling it one day for a ìbetterî house, I scoff. There is no better house! After all, it is my first. After all weíve done to it, I have such a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. And I canít wait to do more!

Iíve always wanted my own house, even though I didnít realize it.†The desire came to light when I moved to Colorado for graduate school. My first thought was, why continue to pay rent when instead I can put those payments toward owning my own house? It was pure economics. What I didnít realize is that I wanted a house for other reasons: security, creativity, stability. I started to crave those things in a more tangible form after graduate school, when I began to recognize my flair for decorating. Even though I had lived in dumpy apartment after dumpy apartment since my sophomore year in college, I had always made those dumps my own. Posters, rugs, candles, lampsñwhatever it took to make my space comfortable. When I started fantasizing about painting my apartment walls and then tearing down those same walls to make an open floor plan, I knew I had to buy a house.

After finding a real estate agent who would actually help me after hearing my budget and finding out I was a poor, single woman, I finally found a house I knew I could love because I could make it my own. It was in terrible shape, but there was something about its style that I liked. I didn't know it at the time, but that style is "mid-century modern." "Brady Bunch house," I called it; probably because of the cathedral ceilings, the picture windows in the living room and the moss rock fireplace in the "den," which is really a converted garage. But the house I bought certainly was a fixer-upper; one friend later admitted that after he saw it, he wanted to warn me not to buy it. I wouldn't have heeded his warning, though: nothing could dissuade me, save for the inspector telling me the foundation was sinking. Luckily, he didn't say that. He did say a lot of other things, and since buying the house, I have done a lot to it myself and even more with the help of Dave, and I feel a sense of pride because of all we've done. Iím glad I didnít chicken out of the deal. I almost did, but my parents told me to go for it. I thank them for encouraging me. I think their faith in me gave me faith in myself. The one thought that kept going through my head, though, was, ìI canít buy a house!î Thankfully, that thought didnít win out.

In 2002, I started my home renovation by chopping down all of the overgrown foliage around the house and in the front and back yards. This was no easy task, but I needed a blank slate...

Tune in next month to find out where spiders go when you chop down their living quarters, what I found in the giant juniper bush as I hacked away at its branches, and handy landscaping tips for poor people, including, ìDonít stand on top of your roommateís van to trim trees with a bow saw...