One year ago today, we bought ourselves a sweet little fixer-upper.
It feels like we’ve lived here forever, pouring our blood, sweat, and dollars into this home – but also our love, energy, and attention. Cosmic balance!
I asked Jason last night: at what point we will have sunk more money into the house than we will ever recoup? For example, if the value of the house is X and the purchase price was Y, is X minus Y our renovation budget? We’re not interested in selling any time soon, but we also recognize that a big four bedroom house (with an upstairs master suite) may not meet our needs for the rest of our lives.
I don’t think there’s a good answer. We got an amazing deal on the house, and we’ve paid for all the renovations in cash. Even if we used the formula above, where list price minus asking price equals renovation budget, we’ve only spent half that amount. In that sense, I feel good about the choices we’ve made so far. And, with any luck, the value of the house will continue to increase over time, which means the reno budget is
always usually expanding.
How do I love thee, house? Let me count the ways:
- I love that this house was designed for this particular climate. It has deep porches and an airy crawlspace, which makes the house relatively easy to cool in the summer.
- I love, love, love the amount of natural light we get. I frequently forget to turn on the lights when I’m cooking in the kitchen because the windows provide so much illumination.
- I love that we were able to move my mom over here; that our guest house has been the perfect accommodation for her. It’s separate but close, and she feels safe there.
- I love that we will never, ever, ever run out of projects. Ever.
I don’t miss much about our previous house, but I do miss having alternate “living” spaces. Previously, we had a formal living room, a family room, AND a sun room. Here we have a living room. We use the porch as a second living space, but it would be nice to have an indoor, TV-free area.
We’d planned to take the first year to complete the big-ticket, necessary renovations, and by and large we’ve done that. I think we both hoped to be done painting by now, but no such luck. We just started painting Hollyn’s bedroom a couple of days ago, and the rest of the children’s rooms need addressing.
Next up, we’ll tackle projects that are not strictly necessary, but which will increase our happiness. Remodeling the kitchen is high on our list, as is adding a sound-dampening fence along the Thomasville Road side of the house. Jason would like to add a plunge pool, and as the summer drags on, I’m warming up to the idea.
We are not on a television show, so we’re not on any kind of deadline. I’m comfortable living in an unfinished house, as long as each improvement we make is thoughtful. If it takes us another year to get the house “done” (or rather, “done enough” – a house this old is never done!) I’ll be happy.
I am happy. I’ve loved our first year here.