July 27, 2010

Home Ownership Is Overrated!


Image by That Canadian Grrl

When CycleGuy and I got our first house, we were so excited. It was the symbol of the American Dream. We had a house with a 2-car garage, a bonus room and way more space than we really needed.

We didn’t live in that house very long because he took a job in Ohio, so we sold it and moved on to House #2. A charming two-story Georgian beauty. Looked very vintage. Until you walked it and it was very contemporary and minimalist and so unlike you would expect it to be from the outside. Again, though, we weren’t there all that long. But it was a gorgeous house that we built. I say we, as in, we picked out all the stuff and the builder built it.  I really liked that house. But, again, it was way too much house.  If it weren’t for the fact that the office was on the 2nd floor I don’t think we’d ever have gone upstairs.

Now, we’re in House #3 and have been here for almost 14 years. And I’m feeling we should have moved a long time ago. CycleGuy and I have talked about our next house and how it won’t have a yard and probably will be a condo or something that does not require much maintenance.

It’s not really that home ownership in and of itself is overrated. It’s all the stuff that goes with being a homeowner that I hate.  Some has to keep the yard nice. And since that can’t be done at 2am, when I’m awake, we need someone to do it. Besides, when we did attempt maintaining our yard it took hours. Yes, hours. And it was hard work for little reward. Sure people saw it and complimented us. But when you spend 3 hours on yard work every two weeks, I think of all the other things I could have been doing. Indoors.

Then there is the bug program. To spray or not to spray? We use an organic pest control company and they’re really good. But some varmints need the big guns. (You hear that Mr. Scorpion and Mr. Termite!) And it’s not just the bugs inside, it’s the ones outside too. Luckily, Don comes every other month and his organic magical bug reliever is awesome!

And after 14 years, we’ve dealt with our share of ‘routine maintenance’ items. I just want it to be like an apartment building where you call the super when something breaks and they come and fix it. Where it’s fine if you’re not there because they just come in and fix it.

But no. Not with a house. I have to wait around all day for someone to show up between 1 and 5, only for them to call at 4:58pm telling me they’ll be there in 30 minutes.  At least they called, right? Then there is the matter of paying for these repairs. I’d rather go to France than get pay for a new water softener. Hardwater isn’t all that bad, is it? Oui? No? (practicing my French right there!). And I’d much rather stow away a few extra bucks than have to think about re-keying the house because I can’t find the extra set of keys.

A house is a house, but a home is wherever my family is!

What is your take on homeownership?



TracyC July 27, 2010 at 9:23 am

I so agree with you! While we love having a yard for the dog and kids to play in, nothing will grow in it, so in essence they have a dirt lot to play in. We can’t let them play out front unattended-it isn’t that kind of cul-de-sac, and the weeds are problematic at best. I am ready for my condo thank you!

Joanna @ Starving Student Survivor July 27, 2010 at 1:23 pm

It’s good to know I don’t have to be in a hurry to leave apartment life.

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