Surprise. Shock. Amazement. Those are the reactions we’ve gotten over the last couple of days when we’ve told people that we were actually contemplating selling our 97 year old house and moving into one that was built in 2005. It may be hard to believe that old house nuts like ourselves would consider doing that, but we have realized that we may be at a turning point in our lives. What point, you ask? The one where we woke up and realized that we’re really, really getting sick of always having to work on the house. The point where we realized that the house owns us and not the other way around. The fact that we just figured out that we now have two little kids living with us.
It all started last weekend, when Stephanie found a listing for this house in SE Portland:
The first question you might ask yourself is why someone that lives in a perfectly good house that’s at least 80% remodeled needs to be looking at listings on the internet. I ask that question all the time, because once in awhile something like this happens. Most times I can take a look at what Stephanie found and point out that the house was actually a remodeling setback, and then she’d say “yeah, you’re right…but I really love it” and let it go. Well, this time I was really interested when I saw the pictures, too, because as Stephanie pointed out…this was a house that needed no work! And it looked like a seriously cool loft, but with a yard and without the monthly dues.
We ended up getting in there for a tour, and it really was a great house. In the end there were some practical considerations that caused us to rule it out (like the fact that it had only 1 bedroom), but it really got us talking. If our current house had actually been far enough along that we could have sold it, I’d probably be posting about our new house right now. There were some ways that a room or two could have easily been partitioned to create an extra bedroom (hey, that sounds an awful lot like remodeling…), but in the end common sense prevailed.
We are actually open to the idea of living in something more modern, but what we can’t stand are all the generic, characterless houses that have been built over the last 4 or 5 decades. If it’s not going to be old, it’s got to be unique. We may even consider building something someday. Just today I learned about container houses, where people are converting used steel shipping containers and using them for the structure of a house. They can be used for portable housing, low cost housing, emergency housing or just to make a statement. I can’t imagine anything stronger than a house built out of them. It’d be pretty much everything-proof. I’m getting the vibe that Stephanie isn’t willing to live in a collection of cargo containers , but if I were single I’d go build one right now.
We have decided to start hiring out more of the work around here, which should accomplish two things. Ideally, it will just make us feel less oppressed by all the projects and get us back on track. If not, it will get us to the point that we could realistically sell the house, allowing us to consider other options.
We welcome anyone’s input on this. Have you ever been in a chronic remodeling situation and wanted out? Did you take the plunge or not? Did it work out like you thought?