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This quirky old house and other real estate thoughts

June 27, 2009

We finally had to break down and turn on the air conditioner.  It’s been such a nice rainy June!  I’ve loved it.  I love leaving the windows open day and night so we can smell the cool fresh air and having it wafting through the house.  But no more.  Summer is here and with it are two quirks of this house that I most definitely will NOT miss.

First, our bedroom has no vent.  It’s an add-on to the original house and they didn’t put a vent in it.  So it’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer.  Flannel sheets, two thick quilts, an electric blanket, and sleeping with socks (which I really hate) get me through the winter.  Summer is somewhat bearable if I turn off the A/C at night, open the window, and turn on the ceiling fan.  Somewhat.

DH would prefer to leave the A/C on at night and sleep on an air mattress in the living room. 

We open the windows.  Air mattress or my memory foam?  That’s not even a choice.  It also helps the other quirk I hate about this house.

We live in an 1896 bungalow which was remodelled sometime in the 1950s by this sweet little German couple who sold it to us in 2002.  We have been amazed at what they did with what little they had.  The house is quirky though.  I know there was a root cellar to the original house, but we’re pretty sure they dug out the rest of the basement by hand.  And didn’t put in a drain.  The laundry and bathroom are both upstairs, so who needs a drain in the basement anyway?  Well, we do.  The A/C unit drips water from a PVC pipe into a bucket in the basement any time it’s running and all we have to do is remember to empty the bucket 1-2 times a day.  Remember being the operative word here.

If you don’t empty the bucket, it overflows and without a drain, you just have to wait for the water to evaporate.  Luckily the floor is uneven and it just trickles over and pools in the corner underneath my food storage shelving. 

I can’t even carry a full bucket of water up the stairs to empty anyway.  So I have to remember to check the bucket even more often.  For that alone, I can’t wait to move.

Speaking of moving, house hunting is just so much fun!  And so full of questions.

How many bedrooms do we need?  Well, we have two currently and could fit the bunk bed, trundle bed, and crib in there.  But having four children in one bedroom might be a little much for our sanity. 

How many do we want?  Well, I’d really love 5 bedrooms.  We could actually have somewhere for the grandparents to come stay without them having to pull out the air mattress and sleep on the dining room floor.  They’ve done it before, but…

Would we rather have 5 bedrooms and an ok yard, or fewer bedrooms and a huge yard?

Then there are the houses with 5 bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, family room, and several bathrooms in about the same square footage as my house.  How is that even possible?

Then there is the gorgeous house with the gorgeous view, unbelievably affordable…oh, tested positive for methamphetamine use.  Nevermind…

And all of these are really irrelevant at this moment as we still haven’t even applied for a loan so we know exactly how much we can afford.  Although we have a good idea that the houses we can definitely afford are probably in neighborhoods we’d rather not live in. 

Then there is the question of whether we should try to fix up this house enough to sell it now, seeing how its current curb appeal is pretty low, and considering we’ll have a prepayment penalty on our mortgage if we sell before November.  Or if we should rent it out, which would be great if we could find a renter soon, so we wouldn’t have to pay two mortgages for a while.  Been there, done that with our rental house up in Weber County and I don’t care to repeat the experience.  


What a way to spend the summer.  I’m just dying to put all my school books and things in order, and there are some bookcases I really want to buy, but it would be pretty silly to buy furniture for a house that you haven’t even met yet.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2009 2:40 pm

    I am going to go with bigger house, smaller yard. We have a huge yard and it takes up your whole life. Go for living space! I can’t wait to see what you pick! Hey when is the babe due?

  2. Michelle permalink
    June 27, 2009 8:26 pm

    Tough choices–I totally sympathize! I’m still wondering if we made the right choice ourselves, but if not I guess we can move again in a few years. 🙂

    Good luck!

  3. June 28, 2009 7:32 am

    House hunting is really not fun. Not that I am any expert by any means. We are still renters with little hope of ever buying a home in this, the still way beyond our price range despite the fall in housing prices, part of the world.

    I think I agree with the bigger house/ less yard option. But I know how important a yard can be. Just don’t go too small. You have little guys now but picture them as teenagers. They won’t want to be on bunk beds forever. But then we all do what we have to do.

    Good luck! I hope everything turns out well and that this stressful time will pass quickly so you can focus on other things.

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