Saturday, February 17, 2007

Home, Sweet Home

I hate home improvement. I do not enjoy painting, spackling or laying tile. I do not like spending my weekends in the local home improvement store with other people who are also neck deep in home improvement projects.

I wasn't always so negative about home improvement. We did our share of home improvement projects, and some of the neighbors, in our last home. In our last home, we repainted the family room the same day we closed. We built shelving, laid sod and a beautiful stone patio, painted all the rooms at least once and did our fair share of bathroom remodeling.

Everyone on our block was a new homeowner and in their early to mid-twenties, so it was like college except with much bigger dorm rooms. We worked hard on our homes during weekends while our kids played together, then we met up for Bunco or a game of darts or Foosball later in the evening. It was so much fun! But, just like college, people evolve or move away. The friendships suffer and Bunco groups break up. Gossip spreads like wildfire and feelings are hurt. We were the third original family to sell our house. Dan and Jennifer moved to Indiana; Texas was the destination for our friends next door. Our other friends, who swore they were "lifers," put their house on the market last year.

Our new neighborhood is completely different but that's why we chose it. It's a quiet, established place with mature trees and older homes. We were tired of the cookie-cutter suburban life, but our new life comes with a steep price.

Our old home was brand spankin' new. We chose everything from the type of carpet to the cabinet finish. We knew every crack, every leak, every problem. Our new home is much older but we embraced the challenge. A lot of work has been done for us and we thought we could conquer most anything since we are experienced DIY folks. For the most part, we can do it ourselves but I'm overwhelmed by how much we have to do.

Since closing a year ago, we have built a much-needed fourth bedroom, installed slate counter tops, replaced appliances, planted three trees and eight holly bushes, laid a stone sitting area, built a shelving unit for the basement and garage, repainted the bathroom (twice), replaced light fixtures, and repainted the breakfast room and we have so much more to do.

Today, in Home Depot, I just got angry about all the projects we have. Angry, because houses costs so damn much these days, especially in Colorado, but they are works in progress. A good friend recently looked at a house priced at 650k. She told me, after touring the house with her realtor, that it needed A LOT of work. WTF?!

The only thing that keeps me going is Colorado's historically high appreciation. We are in a low appreciation period right now but we will cycle out of it, and when we do, all of our hard work will (hopefully) be handsomely rewarded.

On tap for this weekend: installing a super sweet garage door opener, crown moulding in Lizzie's room, and framing the study.

No comments: