I’ve done it again. We had a plan and I keep trying to mess with it. Four years ago we rented our house with the contract to buy it two years later. We did that. We bought it and then immediately listed all the ways we wanted to change it. We made a plan to roll out our dream home, room by room.
We’ve done some simple things-paint, throw rugs etc. But, now it’s time for the big changes and even the beginning prep work has set my heart plummeting. I have flashbacks to our last house that we renovated and thought we’d be in forever. We all know how that turned out. (In case you don’t it ended in us moving away from the new kitchen and landscaping, and losing all sorts of money on the deal.)
This time, we’re trying to be smart about it all, every step of it. We want to make decisions that make sense for our family now and in the future. Like, if the world throws us another curveball and we have to cut and run, can we sell without a loss even after renovations? Which brings us to how I’m messing with the plan.
I committed the cardinal sin of home renovation: I started looking at local real estate.
I blame, Amy. She listed her house and put it up on Facebook and all I could dream about for weeks afterward was her kitchen (It’s freakin’ glorious, you guys.). And then I started looking around my humble abode realizing that no matter how much renovating I did, my kitchen could never look like Amy’s kitchen. Then I started thinking about how this house, no matter how much money I put into it, will never be my dream house. It’s smart and practical and so damn full of love, but it is just not what I envisioned I would spend the rest of my life in when I started having those visions a million years ago.
So, instead of trying to make this house fit my vision, I started envisioning we skip the dirt and dust and pack some boxes instead. I learned very quickly that I am the only member of this household willing to ditch town for a pool and new kitchen. The rest of this clan is firmly planted in this town and I am never winning that fight.
The problem is this town is full of tiny old houses like mine or giant waterfront homes like Jon Stewart’s. You can imagine which pool of available real estate I’m swimming in.
So, I’m back to trying to place my dreams firmly in my very un-Amy-like kitchen. I set a purpose every morning upon waking up to find what I love about this old house. Currently, I’m feeling the kick-ass cross breeze we get due to our
bowling-alley-like er, open, breezy floorplan. Also, even though it’s lacking the beauty and warmth of Amy’s, my kitchen is full of sun and light most of the day and into the night. That is hard to replicate in any house, so I think I’ll keep noticing it in mine.
I still haven’t embraced the terror of home renovations, but I am trying not to stalk Zillow with the frequency that I once was. After all, smart and practical and so damn full of love works, no matter if my countertops are marble or formica.
Incidentally, if your clan isn’t tied to your town, I’d highly recommend you buy Amy’s house. Then invite me over for coffee at that island or a drink by the pool. Please?
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.
Not all renovations will lose you money, done might in fact bring you not money when or if you soneday sell. If you are able to hold onto the house for a few years and be smart about what renovations you chose you could do well. Sexy kitchens and modern baths week most always enhance value. Good luck. It is really important to me to live in a house that makes me feel at home.