Sunday, February 17, 2008

Buyer's Remorse

So far we've been absolutely thrilled with our little house. We've painted a little bit and talked a lot about some of the fun changes we'd like to make in the future. Nothing has been immediate though, because our house was in great shape when we bought it. It was only built in 1999. However, today we made a huge mistake. We've been seeing some signs in the neighborhood advertising a new subdivision of brand new townhouses right down the street from us. On a whim while we were out we decided to drive down and have a look at the models. Ouch.

For starters, they were huge. They all have 2-car garages...on a townhouse! Then we went inside. They were gorgeous with 9-10 foot ceilings, top-of-the line spacious kitchens that had sitting rooms with couches and coffee tables. One kitchen sitting room even had a fire place. One model had 4 bedrooms, the other had 3, all were larger than our bedrooms. The bathrooms were also huge. Did I mention the closets? We're talking 2,000 square-foot townhouses here. And of course, everything about them was brand-spanking new which made us feel like our house was barely beyond frumpy.

It was a sad experience in that we wished these puppies had been built a few months ago before we bought. Also, we wished our house had the space and feeling that these did (you would have never known you were in a townhouse). At the same time, we figured if these places are selling down the street for a baseline $400,000 then that only increases the value of our place. Plus, we had the opportunity to walk through a brand new model to see exactly what kinds of things are sellling houses these days and get ideas for how to update and upgrade our own humble abode.

We started a list as soon as we got home of some of the big improvements we want to make. Top of the list is fresh paint. That's the cheapest update we could think of. Right below it, and what we felt was most important, is new flooring throughout. We have a nice laminate wood floor on the main level but hate the linoleum in our kitchen and let's not start on the three different varieties of carpet (two different kinds in the basement alone -- it changes right in the middle of the room). We want a darker wood on the main level to add some sophistication and a nice ceramic tile for the entry and kitchen. We just plain need new carpet for the basement and upstairs. We actually took a little time to stop in Lowes and price some flooring that we liked. Right now they're running a tempting offer of 20% off special-order flooring but it's not something we're ready for just this minute unfortunately. We figure we'll save up for a bit and when we're ready we'll wait for a similar deal and go for it.

Sometimes the home-improvement list feels like it will never get done. You imagine all the things that could make your house perfect and then realize that by the time you can afford to do all those things it'll be time to move. That brought us to a whole new discussion in which I expressed my desire to stay put as long as we can. We have three bedrooms so I figure that gets us at least through two children and possibly a third if we have them share rooms. Josh and I both shared a bedroom with our siblings for a huge part of our lives, so our children can suffer through the same. If anything, it will strengthen their bond.... hopefully.

In the mean time, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm going to be doing some serious painting in the near future. Hooray for freshening up the little space we call home :o)

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