I have an obsession with houses. I love to look at other people's houses. Old, new, big, small it matters not. Driving through neighborhoods when it is dark and going by a house with the lights on and blinds open, love it. Not for any freaky voyeur reasons...but because I love to see how they have decorated...is it cozy, sterile, too modern, too outdated? Going to someones house that I have never been to...love it! Sometimes if insomnia hits at 2am, I lay in bed and think about how I would decorate a house I have been in.
I love all "home" magazines, not because I aspire to have the latest decor, but more because I like to gather ideas. I even love looking at houses for sale online like on Coldwell Banker or whatever...the still lived in houses, not the already vacant ones. And blogs...oh have mercy that is why I spend waaaaaayyy to many hours blogging....I get to see inside houses! Oh bliss.
Maybe I should join a 12 step program?
My dream career would be that of a realtor. They get to see houses for a living!
On Thursday hubs and I will own the 3rd house in our 14 years of marriage.
When we got married we lived in an apartment for the first almost 3 years. Hubs wanted a little piece of land so he could keep his horse there. We searched and searched to find one in our budget. Our budget was...small! Hubs was a police officer and we knew we didn't want to buy including my salary because our goal was for me to stay home after babies.
So we found a little fixer upper on an acre. I would show you a picture but that was before digital and I am too lazy to scan right now! It was a little 1700 sq. ft. house with a basement. It was really cute, all stone on the outside. When we bought it, it was horrible on the inside. In need of updating and rather dirty. But we could afford it, so we worked our fingers to the bone cleaning and doing all of the cosmetic updates ourselves. The only thing we hired out was getting new carpet installed.
We made do with what we had, hand me down furniture, my couch from college and a wealth of frugal decorating ideas from my beloved magazines! And it turned into a warm, inviting, cozy home.
We lived there for 7 years. By then the Marine was in the teenage years, blonde rascal was 5, the street we lived on was going down hill, the school district was not the best, we knew any further improvements on the house would not be recouped in a sale...so we decided to move.
Hubs had retired from the P.D. at that point and gotten his job in the auto resale field so finances were not quite as tight and we made a pretty good profit on the sale of our little stone house. We found our 2,400 sq. ft. house that was only 2 years old. We loved everything about it. Hubs loved that it was on 10 acres & had a roping arena. I appreciated that it was his "country" living but it was still a neighborhood, so I could borrow a cup of flour when needed!
That fact that it was relatively new was great. Everything is fresh and current...but I never could get that cozy feeling that I love. I have told hubs that while our house is nice, it just isn't me.
I miss something about our old small house. Was it because that was our "first" house as a married couple? Was it because that is the house we lived in when we brought blonde rascal home from the hospital? I am sure those both have a lot to do with it, but I think it was because it was lived in and quaint!
The plain truth is that I am an old house person. Granted wherever I live will always be "home" because the people I love live there with me. However, my preference would be to own an older house. It doesn't sound right when I say that I don't like our house because it is very nice and we are certainly blessed to have it...but it is just not me!
The way I see it now, after having owned both an older and a newer house, is that a new house with all the bells and whistles dictates how you will decorate. Whereas an old house that you have to paint and primp...takes on your own very unique thumbprint. Our current house with columns and arches and curved ceilings, trendy paint techniques, high ceilings... has led to a more stuffy feel. New homes have beauty & style and older homes have charm. Sign me up for charm.
(This is all MY opinion of course....love the house YOU are in for your own reasons!)
We would have stayed in our current house forever, and I was fine with that, had our life plan not changed a little!
So tomorrow we will own our 3rd house. A 2,000 sq. ft. house built in the early 80's. We have to give it some paint, love and TLC....but then it will be "us". My goal is to have the house be warm, cozy, a little quirky, charming and welcoming. I have no doubt that we will achieve that and I am very excited about it.
We have been to see it 4 or 5 times and every time we go, you know what it feels like? A vacation. Not a fancy 5 star resort (there is NOTHING fancy about it I can assure you!) but more like renting a cabin in the woods type vacation. A get up and watch the sun rise with a quilt and coffee on the porch type vacation. Or watch deer from the porch at dusk. BBQs on warm summer nights. Swimming, exploring, entertaining friends. And then best of all ending up back in the small cabin, snug as a bug, with my family.
I honestly can't wait for my old, small, quirky, charming house!
What about you? What do you love about your house? Are you an old or a new house person?