Monday, February 20, 2012

No, I'm not going to miss it!

I was going to talk about books (Temeraire! Cutter!) but I gotta get this off my chest first. People keep saying "oh your house looks so nice now, you won't even want to sell it anymore!" I'm sort of confused and annoyed whenever I get that comment. I'm going to try to articulate why.

We didn't buy this place to retire at. It's not our perfect dream house - the plan was to live in it for 10 years or so and then get something different, depending on what life looked like then. And remember, I only thought it was our decade house for three months. As soon as G interviewed in SF, I started emotionally detaching myself from it. I love Reno far more than I love this particular house, and ehh, hopefully one day we'll get to move back to the mountains or the high desert.

Anyway, for more than a year now, I've been looking at the house as an investment that needs to be divested sooner rather than later. I am having a lot of fun (in the same sense that endurance riding is fun*) fixing the house and making style/budget/skill choices to make it look its best, but it's not like it's an extension of my self.

I started painting houses when I was 14 - a trailer for rent as a business was the first thing I ever worked on, actually. In between college and "real" jobs and more college and more horrible "real" jobs, I kept coming back to remodeling, learning more skills over time. When I worked for S, the last four years before I left Memphis, we did mostly huge high-end home renovations. He had a very small crew, so it was rarely a whole house, but we'd do a whole kitchen, or paint the entire downstairs, or build a new room off the back of a house. Long term stuff, where you'd show up to the same job site for weeks or months, end up with a truly beautiful finished product, then pack up and move the hell on. I (and everybody else in the trades I've ever talked to) get bored after a while. Even if the pay is really good and Home Depot is only a half mile away and there's a ton of cheap places to get lunch, you just get sick of driving to the same job site for weeks on end, and you start to look forward to the next project.

I think about my house the same way. I'm kind of in the weeds today, feeling like I'm never going to get the kitchen 100% done, much less finish the whole punchlist of stuff I need to do, but still - it's almost done. Almost time to move on. It was fun, and if we were going to stay here I'm sure I'd be plotting out a new chicken coop and maybe finishing part of the inside of the barn and I wonder how much new windows cost... but I'm not staying. I'll take lots of pics. I learned a lot prettying up this dump, and I can't wait to buy another ugly heap and do it all over again, but I'm about done here. So, yeah, I'm totally looking forward to selling it, even after (or because of) all this time and labor.

*One often thinks "why the fuck did I pay money to do this to myself?! while in the middle of renovations or endurance rides, but as soon as you finish either one you're like "hell yeah that was awesome, when's the next one!"


  1. Makes sense to me.
    We had a succession of houses when I was growing up, that my dad (and eventually my brothers) always addes a family room, a pool, and various other upgrades to. Just when he'd get it nice, we'd move on to the next one. Never quite understood it then, but your explanation fits.

    On the other hand, I cringe at the thought of ever leaving my barn (the house, not so much) --though it may not be the most appropriate design, now that I've pulled back from the breeding thing...

  2. I had a good guess what this post would be about from the title. It makes perfect sense to me. It isn't any different than the way some people can put so much time and effort and energy into training a horse just to sell it and start over with another one. I'm not wired that way but lots of people are.

    I am like you and get bored easily. I always have projects of some sort going on, and I am a bit OCD about finishing them. I don't like unfinished projects at all!

  3. ES - LOL at your menfolk. Yeah, they were done, time to get a new project house! And you have a project barn... just sayin' ;)

    Melissa - I was thinking horse selling is a good analogy. I, like you, am not the horse selling type, but the people I know who can are like "No I don't miss him, I put some miles on him / trained him / got him green broke and now I'm done with him!"

  4. We have done the same thing. Started out with a old single wide when I was still in college. We then bought some land and did everything from putting in the septic to building the barn and completely refurbishing the inside of the trailer.

    We did buy a "finished" house one time, and we both hated it. Nothing to do but boring maintenance! And the ornamental rose garden, ugh- the watering and weeding were not for me.

    Our current place, we bought an old farm house built in 1934 and solid tongue and groove wood from floor to ceiling. We had to fence the whole place and built a 9 stall barn with hay storage, several outbuildings and a garage.

    I feel the same way ES does about her barn! I could leave the house, although I've gotten really quite attatched to it- but the barn???

    We'll do it again though, I already have some plans for the next farm! Hopefully somewhere that the sun shines :)

  5. I felt the same way about the house we sold to move here. It was a dump, and we worked so hard on it. The nicer it got, the less it felt like ours!


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