My husband bought our house when we were dating. I participated in the house shopping, and even had a say in the purchase, even though I wasn’t living there at the time. It was going to be a great house for a few years, and then we would move on.
Now, eleven years, a wedding, and two kids later, we’re still here. For the last several years, we’ve talked about putting it on the market. We really need more space. Badly. But, we love our street, have great neighbors, and frankly, I’m intimidated by the whole house purchase thing. Funny, especially since I’m a licensed real estate broker.
We’ve made some minor improvements (major if you ask the frugal husband): new carpet, Corian countertops (totally should have gone with granite. Live and learn), hardwoods in the kitchen and dining room. And, by the way, the hardwoods in the dining room replaced CARPET. Who puts wall-to-wall carpeting in a dining room?
We did a minor update to the guest bath….nothing fancy, but at least it looks like it’s from this decade now. Also lots and lots of painting.
The Husband’s favorite quip regarding home improvements goes something like this: “If we line the house with gold bricks, will that also increase its market value?”
He’s a funny one, isn’t he?
It’s been a great house for us. A ranch with a (rarely-used) bonus room. Not having to climb stairs with babies was great. Everything has always been easily accessible. But, we just need more space. More living space, more storage space. We need a more grown-up house.
Will we put it on the market this spring? That remains to be seen. We still have some tidying up to do. I’d need to get my kids out of the house for probably two solid weekends to get it all done. Let’s see, I’d need to clean out closets, touch up paint on a few walls, maybe completely repaint Ava’s room (it’s awfully bright), de-clutter everywhere, and do some overall cleanup in the yard. I don’t know that it would be too big an undertaking. I think it’s do-able.
So why the hesitation? Well, taking on a bigger mortgage payment scares the heck out of me for some reason. I don’t want to be house poor. I like shopping, going out to lunch, shopping, Starbucks, shopping. You get the picture.
Also, the idea of keeping my house ready for showings is really stressful to me. I have two children, one of whom is around most of the time. He can mess up a clean space in about half a second. And in this market, I’m scared we’ll have to be showing-ready for the next 8 months. Yuck.
But there are pros, too. A new house would be fun and exciting. More space would make me really happen. A bigger kitchen would rock my world. A closet in my own bedroom would thrill me. (I currently occupy the one in Ava’s room, which is pretty sizable. She has one of the two in Davis’ room. He has the other. And the Husband has our master walk-in, which is smaller than the one I have, for some reason).
I’d also like a master bath with 2 sinks. Ours has one. Only one of us can be in there at a time. It’s not working anymore. And I’d kind of like to have 2 stories. As I said before, a ranch is really great. But we can’t really get away from each other when we need to. Morgan needs a man cave. I need an office. And the kids need a real playroom.
We also need a windfall of cash to make it all more comfortable.
Stay tuned. We’ll see what happens.