Archive for December 29th, 2012

House sweet house

One of the biggest adjustments we’ve made in this transition is moving from our own home to a rental. We owned a modest, cozy modern home outside of Boulder for over five years. It wasn’t big or fancy, but we tried to take care of it and make small improvements to it to make it a nice place to live.139_0939

When we were selling it, I didn’t necessarily feel super attached to the house. Yes, we’d spent a fair amount of time fixing it up and putting our own touches in it, but we always knew that we most likely wouldn’t be living there forever. Indeed, the time did come when I graduated and got a job elsewhere and we needed to sell it. The improvements we made to it added to the value when we sold it; we didn’t spent so much money on projects that we weren’t able to recoup the costs.

Of course it was sad to say goodbye to our first home, but we looked forward to purchasing another home in the future. However, jumping into a very diverse, complex, and expensive market such as the Washington, DC area without having any clue about the area would not have been wise. Therefore, for the time being it makes more sense for us to rent while we decide where exactly we want to live more long-term.

Our rental is an older home (built in 1970) in an established neighborhood about 13 miles from the Observatory. We are leasing from the owners, who moved to another town a few miles away and decided to rent out their old house instead of selling it. Like any home, it has its good and bad points, but it seems like every few days we’re discovering some new quirk about living here.


For one, it has its original 40-year-old solid hardwood flooring. I really like wood versus our old carpet; however, these floors do show there age and could use refinishing in most places. Plus, the planks in our bedroom are so loose and squeaky that I wake Bart up every morning when I get up for work. It doesn’t matter where I step; they are pretty much all loud enough to wake the dead. Also, the floor in the entryway area is so bowed and wavy that the door to the garage doesn’t even open all the way anymore. I can only assume that is due to some settling of the foundation over time; I have no idea if that could be fixed.

Also, we were surprised to see that most of the original light switches and outlets were painted over. I guess that every time a room was painted in the last 40 years, they just rolled right over everything. I’ve never seen such a thing before, and it’s not necessarily bad, but occasionally we’ll try to plug something in and will have to shove through about five layers of paint to push it it. It’s not like you can stick a sharp knife in it to clean it out….

A 40-year-old house just gets a little tired after a while if it doesn’t get a little TLC. Bart and I really like giving houses a little TLC, but there’s just one problem…it’s not our house! It’s been an interesting adjustment going from constant tinkerers of our own house to temporary residents of someone else’s. In a way, we itch to do this or that to it, but in another way, it’s quite freeing to just overlook those things. Eventually, we’ll probably buy again, and in this town it’s bound to be an older home in need of regular TLC, but for now we can spend our time enjoying living in a new area and not fretting over a honey-do list. New or old, fancy or plain, ultimately I’m just thankful that we have a safe, comfortable home for our family.

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