The Joys of (Old) Home Ownership

It is raining here at the house. Outside, it is 65 degrees, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky! However, in my basement, it is raining. Again.

My hubby and I inherited (well, we are in the 2 year long process of inheriting---thats ANOTHER story!) his childhood home. Yes, that is wonderful. Yes, that is the silver lining to the horribly sad experience of losing the best mother--in-law I could ask for. Yes, its a big house with a huge backyard and a TON of closet space (important when there are 2 girls in the house!). Yes, I am glad I have a home to call our own and I know that we could not have afforded the house (or one like it) without this inheritance.

HOWEVER.......the pipes spring pinhole leaks at least once every other month, there are 6 pieces of siding missing on one side of the house, the driveway has more potholes than I-66 (if you live in DC, you know what I mean!), and the yard is being overrun (not really, but I feel like it) with old dead bushes/scrubs/trees/plants, Oh, did I mention the lime-green marbled-look linoleum countertops in my kitchen (they match the scallop-edged cabinets in my master bath!). Every time we turn around there is something else to be done. Yes I know, "Welcome to Home Ownership:. Everyone tells me that and I know that these things happen but right now I want to bitch.

So far, we have replaced all the floors on the 2 main levels, stripped the wallpaper and repainted the walls, and have one bathroom that was remodeled about 5 years ago. Next on the list: kitchen remodel. But as time goes on, I am finding so many other things----replacing cooper pipes, new deck (Grace got her first splinter the other day and I really dont want to go through that again!), landscaping (i.e. ripping out the old dead spreading scrubs all over the place), and buying new couches to replace the "it-used-to-be-blue-velour-in-the-1960s-but-now-its-blue-and-green-and-silver" couch that does not match the rose pink loveseat in any way whatsoever!

Sometimes, I think it would be easier to just sell this house to someone who has the money to handle these maintenance things. At least with a newer house, we wouldnt have to worry about these things ALL the time. Maybe we could make it 6 months without seeing the My Plumber van in the driveway. Maybe we could be in a neighborhood where there are kids Grace's age. Maybe we could live in a house that we could actually work on, make decisions bout, throw a child's birthday party in, without permission from the "head of the family" (FYI: working through a loved one's estate is NOT fun for anyone involved!). Maybe, maybe, maybe. But the emotional attachment is so strong to this house that those maybes are not even an option. And so I move on........

Hubby is home this afternoon waiting for My Plumber to stop by to pick up another check from us. Seriously, the operators at My Plumber probably recognize our voices by now. I need to end this post on a "silver lining" to prevent the tears of frustaration at work----at least by the time we are ready to do the kitchen remodel, the plumbing cost will be lower than expected becuase we are replacing the piping 3 feet at a time!!!!

Pity Party is over now! Back to your regularly scheduled leaky pipes...oops, I mean program!


Kristen said...

We rent an old crappy home. I'm not sure if it's worse - since our landlords suck - we love old houses, but we'll probably buy new if we ever get out of this place!

Kris said...

we haven't had as many problems, but we definitely live in a fixer upper. And many many times I think it would be easier to just sell it. But then I think, after all the work that we've done, I want to enjoy it! But then I think, we're at least $20K away from enjoying it. Aaargh. It could be worse, I guess, but I feel your pain.

KatieJoeandGrace said...

wow, a lot of work. I'm sure it will be worth it in the end, but it's hard to fix it up I'm sure. Sorry for the rain, but at least the weather outside is nice!
Have a great weekend, TGIF!

kbfixit said...

I hear ya. Everytime I take something apart in my house to repair or improve it, I find something else the previous owners neglected. This weekend was working on ceiling fans and we found one that wasn't properly anchored to the ceiling. I'm sure glad we didn't turn that fan on much. This is common sense, people!!!

On another note, let me know if you guys need an extra pair of hands. Always ready to help out...

- kb