Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Little Things You Didn't Notice.

We are signing our closing documents today at noon. Despite my sometimes negative view on this house I really truly am excited to have it. There are so many good things about buying this house and then some bad things too. Obviously the good outweigh the bad because here we are about to close within a few hours.
This week I have been thinking alot about some very shallow and silly things on the bad list.
The house I live in now is cute. It is a 50s rambler with original hardwood floors, a cute semi-open floor plan and very nice 2 panel doors. The backyard has an adorable little tree under which we built a little patio out of random pavers the owner had lying around for years. The back yard is big enough to have big parties and the windows are big enough to see the back yard. I love to entertain, and the dining room is spacious and cute and well laid out. Even though it is a rental I truly made this house feel like our home.

I know it is so silly to care about little visual things but I am going to miss them. The new house was built in 1987 buy a developer and is "builder grade" personafied. It is all carpet and linoleum over plywood and concrete. The windows are few and small, but then who wants to look in their next door neighbors bedroom. The doors are flimsy hollow core doors with no trim or character. The backyard is small and covered in trees [which are not to be removed as to preserve the soil retention] and there is no door directly out back. We are planning to just build a deck off the kitchen because the yard seems somewhat unusable. Our bedroom has ONE window; one standard size, single width, tree facing and off center window.

I will miss having a pretty backdrop for photos. I will miss all the lovely light and privacy of my backyard. And yet, this is not MY backyard. It is some other persons, a person that barely cares for the lovely home he has, who is content to let the gardens go to weeds and the bathrooms sink into the basement.

I suppose this brings me to the good list.
This house, the house we are signing closing on today, the house in the suburb with the carpets and crappy doors, is mine.
So the doors are horrid, perhaps I will slowly replace them until they are lovely. The carpet is icky and unsanitary. Well I will just have to save up to put in hard woods. The yard is little and unusable; that is ok, I will build a deck! No matter the issue, it is my house, and I can change anything I like.

Another very good thing is the separation we will have from Alice. I might love to entertain, and have a lovely living space here to do it, but I still don't. Alice is rude to my guests, she complains about anything I feed her, she has terribly unsavory personal hygiene habits and she makes the main bathroom in the house unusable by my guests.
In the new house she will reside in a sectioned off half of the lover level [my studio and the utility/wash room take up the other half] She will use a bathroom that is wholly and totally hers. She will have her own dining/living space and no one will have to endure her company unless the specifically want to.

This is such a HUGE positive it nearly outweighs all other negatives together.

The final GIANT good list item is the cost. Whats so ironic about the housing market today is that it is cheaper to buy a home than it is to rent one. Our rental house is 1400 square feet and costs $1400 a month plus renters insurance and utilities. [have I mentioned how terrible the gas bill is because of older sub par insulation and windows? or how high our water bill is due to leaking plumbing?] The new house is 1900 square feet and less than $1000 a month INCLUDING home owners insurance. The utilities should not go up much because this home has much better windows and insulation and the heat wont run away like it tends to here.
We are also paying off our car at closing today and that is another $250 a month we were paying. This means come this summer when our lease here runs up, we will be saving $650 a month. That is huge. That is buy a second car huge, finally go on a honeymoon huge, renovate all the icky things out of our house huge!

So while I may miss my hardwoods and vintage charm, I can't ignore how much this move will be improving our quality of life, and that's really worth some temporary ugliness.

Plus we are most likely just going to sell this place in five years to buy our dream home. ;)

Monday, March 29, 2010

This is an Afterthought

I have a different blog that I have been writing in for about 2 years off and on. Its mostly about clothes and crafting and I decided to separate my writing and ranting to this more personal venue.
However IF you are interested in cute crafty things hop on over to CurioCloset.

"Hey I Think Thats Mine!"

I am two weeks from turning 25 and two days from closing on a sad little split level house in a sad little suburb with an HOA that I am sure will day by day chip off little pieces of my soul. My husband is a hobbyist musician, but by day he builds electronics for government contract and by night he has epic battles in some very popular virtual kingdoms. I want to say this, before anyone gets the wrong I idea, I adore my husband. James is big and soft and warm and safe. He is endearingly nerdy and clueless and makes me smile every morning. This man, unlike most people I know, is growing and changing and becoming a better person a little more each day. We are married but, going along with the rest of our unglamorous life, haven't had a wedding. We jumped the gun because I had spent the last ten years barely insured and I really needed to visit a doctor. I never second guess marrying my husband, he is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life.

That being said lets get to the other less wonderful things. I spend every day taking abuse from a 93 year old woman. She isn't even my blood relative and some days I really don't know what stops me from forgetting to lock the basement door and letting her know that her beloved sweaters are down there. My days with Alice [James paternal grandmother] consist of feeding, medicating, and mopping. I apologize in advance for the visual but you have to understand, when you are 93 you leak. I am in a constant state of worry that no matter how much bleach I use my home will always have the slight aroma of urine floating about. This would be less aggravating to me if the poor leaky old woman I cared for was sweet and kind and called people honey child and pinched their cheeks.

That is not Alice. In the last year of our cohabitation she has been something resembling kind perhaps a half a dozen times. Every one of these has been paired with a day long request for something she is forbidden to have.
"Give me some scissors"
"No Alice, you cut yourself, tell me what you need snipped and I will do it"
"You look pretty today Salami.... somebody took my scissors, give me some"
"....."
This also illustrates another wonderful facet of Alice's personality. I like to call it "Hey, I think that's mine!" There has yet to be a full day that I or my husband, or my friends and family are not accused of stealing something from my dear Grandmother in law. Usually it is one of her 30+ sweaters, or perhaps the couch she gave her granddaughter. She is sure we have stolen her cookies, her pants, her dishes. She once sold a lawn mower and then reported it stolen and collected the insurance money. We like to say that because she grew up during the depression she just knows the value of what she has, but deep down I know that her greedy accusing manners aren't so admirably explained.
This past January it was my husbands birthday and I made the mistake of reminding Alice. She decided that she was going to give him a card and so I purchased one for her and she signed her name. Then she proceeded to argue with me because I was cooking dinner and couldn't leave again to break one of her $20s and she refused to give him any more than $10. She finally relented when I told her he was coming up the drive and she could give him $20 or nothing but she had better do it fast.

Alice is not all paranoia and incontinence though. She can be amusing, unfortunately it is generally at her expense and not her wit. Believe me when I say I could go on for pages on the many gnarled and spiteful faces of Alice, and know I most likely will in time. For now the beast rumbles and her breakfast and pills must be prepared lest I suffer her wrath.

I'm Supposed to be Famous

I really feel I have to explain something before I can tell you any more of my story. In the real world I am famous. Despite the fact that this alternate universe I am living in now has held me from my real destiny, there is a me out there who is exactly who she is supposed to be. In that world I was born into a well to do family that understood and encouraged the importance of an education. Because of this I went to a frightfully elite design school in New York City where I excelled, wining nearly every competition I entered, securing fabulous summer internships and finally graduating and immediately being hired on with a tippity top design firm.

Unlike this life, my real self lives in a remarkable renovated factory loft that, having so perfectly designed every inch of, has been featured in more publications than I care to mention, for the sake of decency. Don't think my real life is all work, you must know I share my home with my musician boyfriend who doesn't need to be successful because he is gorgeous and talented and we spend our free time traveling to places you have never heard of. Our idea of a quiet weekend is spending a few days at our favorite model celebrity filled Hampton beach house where I fit in like on of the family.

Of course I lost all that baby fat in my teens just like my mother always said and my small frame looks longer than its 5 feet and 4 inches due to the leanness of it. When I visit my family it is by plane and only for special occasion because my time is too valuable, what with the position as design consultant to the rich and famous. My name has even become common in the average home thanks to my new best selling book, “Form Married Function and Their Child is Beauty” because changing the color of your room really can change your life.

So now that you know all of that I can tell you how things are going in bizarro world.