Sunday, July 17, 2016

Home Making

I purchased my house on June 10, and a month and some change later, I am still sleeping on the floor, and my basement looks like a war zone. I didn't really think it would take this long to get settled in, but I guess I've really only been actually living here for a total of 15 days. 

Instead of actually getting down to business and tackling one of the 22 items on my ever-growing House To-Do list, I thought I'd take this time to share some insights and stories!

Let's begin with the biggest irony of my whole house-buying saga. One of my dreams has always been to eventually live on my own (or with my significant other) without the need for roommates or renters. In all my 10 years of being an adult, this has never happened (except for very brief periods during which I was searching for roommates or renters), but I always imagined that buying a house would enable me to achieve that dream. Originally I picked this house (and overpaid on it) because it had a finished basement with a separate kitchen. I planned to rent out the basement until I had saved enough money to live completely alone. But with everything being broken and way more expensive than I ever imagined, now I'm forced to live in it alone until I have spent enough money to fix all the things that are preventing me from renting it out.

People ask me when I'm going to have a housewarming party, and my answer is: Haha, good one! Maybe when I stop feeling this crushing sense of futility whenever I walk through the door! That should be sometime within the next 10 years!

There is a lot to be done. A lot. It's overwhelming. It's disheartening. It provokes me to wonder if buying a house was the worst decision I ever made. But there are a few things about it that feel good—like unsubscribing from all my housing searches. I had housing searches saved just about everywhere you can imagine: 21 altogether, on 6 different websites. I have been getting a big kick out of deleting all of them, one by one. Take that, Zillow! I don't need you any more!

I also really enjoyed placing my first online order to be shipped to my new address! Haha! Using only one address line and no apartment number!? My life hasn't been this easy since September of 2015! 

Speaking of easy, let's talk about the things that make even the worst tasks a piece of cake!

Remember when I proclaimed my love for degreaser a few years ago? Well, when I moved into my new house, I found most of the kitchen surfaces absolutely caked with grease from what was apparently decades of constant frying (my theory is supported by the two – two! – discarded woks I found while cleaning various areas of the property). My beloved citrus degreaser didn't do anything to lift the mess. But then a coworker tipped me in to using ammonia. I already have ammonia (I use it for laundry odors when the fabric can't be bleached), so I gave it a shot. Wow, the grease just vanished without a trace! With ammonia by my side, I nearly suffocated learned that my bronze cabinet handles were actually pewter. Amazing! I don't think I'll ever need to purchase degreaser again!

While the best degreasing product was the least of many things I was wrong about regarding homes and homebuying (and I'm sure I'll be happy to tell you all about them in agonizing detail in future posts), one thing that I was right about, I predicted around this time last year: that I would either live on a street that I used to live on, or live in a house that looked just like a house I used to live in. As a matter of fact, I accomplished both. The house that I bought has the same floorplan as the house that I lived in on 53rd Ave (more or less—that was only for 6 months in 2007, so the details are a little hazy), and it's also on 53rd Ave! It's good to know that I can be right about the things that really matter.