Observations on life

I’ve lived a lie for forty-four years

I bought my home in 1975 and moved in the day after our fourth child was born. My wife and I raised four children in the house, we had parties and holidays and family gatherings. Our oldest two boys turned the third floor bedroom into their domaine. My daughter and youngest son had their own rooms.

The old house, hand built by a plumber who ran his business from the garage, was built in 1929.

Now the old place is up for sale and I’m learning we should not have been happy in the house because of all its shortcomings. It was not adequate, we just didn’t know it.

As prospective buyers wander through we learn the kitchen is too small, there is no bathroom on the first floor, the basement is not finished, there is no master suite, the bathrooms are too small and there is no family room, and oh yes, the deprivation of no walk-in closets, which by the way, did not hamper our ability to accumulate lots of stuff these 44 years.

Wait until a new owner finds the original blueprints in the cabinet over the cellar stairs and learns the second bath was originally a sewing room (closet).

I feel like I’m being roasted on HGTV and have been living in a dirt floor hovel all these years.

In the 1920s the average house was 1500 sf, today in the US a new house averages 2500 sf with fewer people living in them; more room, more stuff to accumulate. We Americans always want more.

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6 replies »

  1. What is the asking price for your house ?

    I’d like to downsize. But I bought my 2200 sq ft house before Dallas real estate prices [and property taxes] skyrocketed, so it’s cheaper for me to stay here. Also I am close to everything I could possibly need,

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  2. Wait till you get an offer. Then the home inspection report. Cracks here. Paint there. Roof curling there. The mortgage company will then do an assessment of the value. On and on. There is no selling a home as is.

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    • By mail and by phone, for years I have been getting requests to buy my house “as is.” I sold my last house “as is” to a real estate agent who did flipping on the side. It worked out well for both of us. I had lots of “stuff”, including lots of stuff I inherited from my parents. I hired professionals to conduct an estate sale and I gained an additional thousand from the estate sale !

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  3. LOL, Dick. We’re having fewer kids but need twice the space. Similarly, when land was cheap we built schools 3-4 stories high. Now that land is at a premium we almost never see a new school over 2 storiesSent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

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  4. I laugh at the expectations that HGTV put on homeowners. People want wide open spaces, bonus rooms, guest bedroom that might be used a few times a year, entertainment spaces to host large parties, and a bathroom for every person living in the house plus one on every floor and for guests. Can somebody tell me why every bathroom needs two sinks? In the 2000’s we did the stainless steel appliance thing but we went back to white in our retirement house. For $1000 less, the food stays just as cold.

    I only need one bathroom in my house, that was how I was raised. My mother grew up without indoor plumbing so I am living a dream with two baths in my current house.

    When we moved to our retirement house, we didn’t downsize because we were already at about 1200 sqft. We did lose storage space because we no longer have an attic nor a basement but that just made us get rid of a lot of junk. The truth of the matter is that I am not house poor. I can carpet my whole house for what some of those people will have to pay to do their bonus rooms. I re-roofed my house this year for about 1/3 the cost of the McMansions two streets over. I’ll happily spend my money on something fun to do and I need less money to live in the house too.

    No, Mr. Quinn, HGTV sponsors just want you to believe that you must spend more and buy things for your house, like dozens of oversized clocks and signs.

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