I feel like we (as in, the Mr. and myself) spend most of our weekends either cleaning the house (lest the pet hair take over and slowly kill us, cocoon-style), securing provisions for the house and its' inhabitants (lest we run out of animal-specific food and they decide to go all "Donner Pass" on our asses), or attempting repairs on the house (lest the ceiling in the dining room cave in because of the the leaky toilet upstairs, again.)
Looking back at our (now) 11 years of possessing of a home, I can't say I'd do it all again the same way, given loads of cash and a step back in time. For those of you considering such a
- Do buy within your price range
- Don't buy a house basically because you're tired of looking and like one architectural aspect of it- say, a "bridge" stairway between the entryway and the kitchen- and the thought of looking at even one more house makes you want to peel your own skin off to start a line of eco-friendly lamps.
- Don't forget to notice if the house has a washer and dryer hookup, because it turns out those things are sort of necessary if you want to wash your clothes at home rather than at the laundromat down the street that is frequented by white supremacists.
- On a related note: don't assume that you can just have any old reputable electrician come and install said hookups without also having to re-wire the whole house, due to silly "codes" and "safety issues".
- Don't assume that you'll be able to afford to re-wire the house any sooner than 9 years after you purchase. Start stockpiling quarters and swastika temporary tattoos , baby.
- Don't buy a house with no appliances in the kitchen when you move in, especially when said kitchen looks like it was last remodeled in the Spring of 1937. This is what those fancypants literary folk call "foreshadowing". Pay heed to the foreshadowing. PAY HEED!!!
- Don't forget to check if the ugly pastel tiles covering 75% of the house (including, oddly enough, the entire upstairs) are made primarily of asbestos. Oh well, at least you'll have a good time learning how to work the word "mesothelioma" into the story of how you decided to remove all of those pesky tiles yourself and just skip the "professionals".
- Don't forget to check if your potential new home has any insulation. Any. Even crumpled up newspapers/dead rats stuffed into the walls. Just...something.
- Don't assume that one bathroom will suffice for two people. Well, not unless you want to start thinking of the back yard or plastic grocery bags as a "half-bath"
- Don't hire a plumber who will die in the middle of installing your new second bathroom.
- Don't assume that a bigger back yard is better, unless of course your idea of "fun" is spending 80% of your precious free time in the spring and summer doing things like "mulching" and "picking weeds". While those words, when taken out of context, can sound pretty fun, I assure you that they aren't.
- Don't ever paint any room inhabited by humans a shade of green called "swamp fog" unless you really like painting...and repainting.
- Don't ever think it would be a good idea to spend actual dollars a paint CALLED "swamp fog"
- Don't hire a handyman randomly off of Craigslist. Well, not unless you like walls built without the aid of a level, in which case I say go ahead- you won't be disappointed.
- Don't buy a house that was built before your grandparents were born. Ever. Try to remember that this was a time when people still used leeches as "medicine" and thought tapeworms were a useful diet aid. Would you really trust these people to build your house? I think not.
So on that note- I don't know what you all will be doing this weekend, but I sure know what I'll be doing.
Operation Fix This Fucking House, part two: the sledgehammer chronicles.
Happy Friday, my plaster-covered, asbestos-inhaling bits of sweat equity. Happy Friday.