Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Three Old Houses and a New

House #1: Beautifully decorated, this well-kept limestone house was built in 1865. It boasts a large back yard, spacious rooms with deep windowsills and a modern eat-in kitchen overlooking the patio and gardens. You'll be surprised by the amount of closet space! Just keep in mind that you can't actually afford a house like this, and don't breathe too deeply in the basement family room (they say that mould can be toxic).

House #2: This old house is for the home-owner who prefers charm to convenience. Simply touring the house is an adventure as you discover unexpected cupboards and nooks everywhere you go. Solid as a rock, this house has retained its Victorian identity to the full, located steps from downtown and schools. Make sure you tour in the winter so that you can enjoy the comfort of the hot-water radiators without noticing that most of the windows don't open (and those that do cannot be screened).

House #3: Located right next door to House #2, this house has everything House #2 does not: forced air heat (easy to add air conditioning!), a modern kitchen with dishwasher, motivated sellers who will be willing to accept any reasonable offer. It's also half the size. Walk through the tastefully decorated rooms and try to imagine how much of your stuff you might get rid of so that you can actually live here! Just don't bump your head on the ceiling in the attic master bedroom.

House-hunting has been fun, but I think the scales started to tip when I found a floor plan with the perfect layout and started mentally flipping through paint chips for each room. With the new house, we know exactly what we want: a reasonably priced pie-shaped lot overlooking farmland, not far from the heritage railway station; a builder who seems honest and trustworthy; a floor plan with all the features we want (a master bedroom facing the back yard, a desk in the kitchen, a dining room connected directly to the kitchen, a laundry/mudroom off the garage, not too big and not too small...). We called our real estate agent on Saturday and found out last night that the lot is ours.

I feel light and airy with the relief of having made a decision. The floor-plan we've chosen felt like home as soon as I saw it. But I do feel that buying the old house would have made for a better post: it would have dovetailed so nicely with my self-mythologization as an old-fashioned girl embracing small-town life. How bizarre that I've made a decision about home ownership without making my blog the first priority! Am I losing my touch?

60 comments:

the dragonfly said...

I hope that someday the Sergeant and I can buy a beautiful old house....but it sounds like you're getting exactly what you want, and that's the best. Hooray!!

Omaha Mama said...

Congrats on the peace of finding what you want. I look forward to the stories that come with builders and floor plans and paint chips, oh my.

Anonymous said...

You haven't lost your touch you regained your equilibrium! Congrats on the new lot. Not onto building and then the important stuff...living!

Anonymous said...

NOW on to living...

Bon said...

giggling. it is rather shocking to discover you've gone ahead and done something totally out of character for your blog, huh?

we'll have to consider you a dynamic narrator, is all.

you sound at peace with the decision, and happy. that's good. smiling at you.

suburbancorrespondent said...

I would have had to take House #2. The kids would have amused themselves for hours with hide-and-seek. And radiators! I love radiators.

Donna said...

I've only ever lived in old houses; not by choice, but because they're cheaper. I'd never advise anyone to buy one unless, like me, their finances force them to. I'm thankful I have a house. But I'd rather have a newer one.

cinnamon gurl said...

Congratulations on the decision! Your soon to be new house sounds wonderful. Indecisiveness can be so exhausting (even by proxy)... I live in a charming old house right now, and I gotta say, the charms of a newer house are getting more and more compelling.

bubandpie said...

Suburban Correspondent - I know! I will miss the radiators.

Donna - That's the kicker - the old houses we looked at were either very small or VERY expensive, and I was scared of not being able to afford the upkeep.

Susanne said...

Well, as someone who has an old house with a new annex, let me congratulate to your decision. At least when you're having a new house you know that you have a couple of years before you have to start fixing things.

This said I won't wish building a house on anyone. There will be a lot of blog posts coming out of this.

(Sorry, I seem to be in a pessimistic mood today. Possibly the toxic fumes from all the mold in my house...)

Janet said...

Old houses, for all their quirky charm, are a lot of work. You sound truly happy with your decision. Enjoy the journey!

Don Mills Diva said...

Very funny - you haven't lost touch at all - look how you made your decision into such an interesting twist in that post! (did you plan that?)

MAGIRK said...

Congratulations on your decision! Hope it will be a wonderful home for you. :)

Beck said...

it would have dovetailed so nicely with my self-mythologization as an old-fashioned girl embracing small-town life
But that's MY gig! It's a good thing that you bought the new house (and congratulations).

Mayberry said...

Nothing like the relief of a big decision made!

Amy said...

Oh yes, the blog fodder you've sent right down the tubes!!

It sounds like you will love the new place though! And I've heard there could be good fodder in house construction stories as well...

Kathryn said...

Congratulations!!!!!!
That is so exciting! I love old houses better than new ones too. But since living in an old house for the past 6 years, I really would LOVE to be able to design a brand new house with a nice big lot. It is so much for family friendly.
You can always decorate and make your house fit your personality, build your own charming touches, and make your own history in your new house.
You are definitely not loosing your touch.
Congrats, again!

b*babbler said...

Congratulations on the purchase! Since we've recently gone through a similar weighing of options I can say I relate. For the last 10 years Mr Babbler and I have loudly touted the benefits of an old house, but renovating and maintaining (not to mention living) in a nearly 100 year old home have led us to see the light when it comes to the benefits of a new home. There is a lot I'll miss, but I'm very much looking forward to our new floor plan (sounds like some definite similarities - master bedroom/backyard, laundry room/garage).

Good luck with packing!

erin k said...

Congratulations on your decision. Now you can rest easy for a while. (until building starts...)

Sue said...

We've lived in a succession of new homes, and I love it. Nothing is broken, and if it is, the builder has to fix it. No old dirty carpet and other people's germs. And I love the whole process of making it our own - putting in the yard and the garden, making the choices throughout the building process that turn it into exactly what we want. And there is definitely something to be said for having a great floor plan. Congratulations!!!

flutter said...

I mean, really, can you PLEASE get your priorities straight?!

kimberly-ann said...

This old house owner says YEAH!!! for the new house!
I would not trade my almost century old home for the world, but sometimes I feel like i am trapped in "the Money Pit" (with Tom Hanks).

Congrats on your new home..and I am sure that there will still be blog fodder...it will just be "new" fodder.

Pieces said...

Congratulations on your decision. Isn't it funny that what we want is the romantic house that makes an interesting story? Trust me, though, building a new house will offer PLENTY of blog fodder.

kittenpie said...

How odd - I had pegged you as the old house girl, too, as you say, because you are frequently portraying yourself as such.

Becky said...

Losing your touch? No... keeping a firm grip on reality? yes. :) congratulations on making the decision... I'm sure it will prove to be the best one for your family.

Lisa b said...

Congrats on the new house. I cannot wait to see which paint colours you finally choose.

Jenifer said...

Congratulations! I cannot wait for the fun of building to begin...trust me your adventure will just as entertaining for us.

Teah said...

You haven't lost your touch - I think this proves you've still got it! If it was a bad idea, you wouldn't be NEARLY so excited to share with us!

Congrats!

yertle said...

How exciting! Congratulations.

Magpie said...

The adventures of paint chips and kitchen counters will be great fodder.

Congratulations on your land ownership, and lots of luck building.

Gwen said...

LOL (okay, well, really just a chuckle escaped me, but let's not quibble).

Congrats! Have fun! Congrats!

And before you know it, the new house will be old, so in the end, you really will have it all.

Suz said...

I've always wanted to build a house, and there is something special in being the first people to live in a house that will be old, someday.

Kelly said...

Congrats on the lot and the peace of mind.

Lady M said...

Congratulations on your decision! The house-to-be sounds great.

I just wrote yesterday about getting used to *not* having creaky floors in our new house. I'm constantly surprised when SwingDaddy comes into a room, because I don't hear all the noise beforehand.

bren j. said...

Awesome! Your 'piece of paradise' as they say. I hope your new house will be everything you've been dreaming about...and that it'll be built with surprising speed.

painted maypole said...

congrats on having made a decision.

now all that's left to decide is the paint and the carpet and the door handles and the countertops and the faucets and the...

wheelsonthebus said...

The stress of the undecided is behind you!

kyra said...

such exciting news!

we are on the brink of deciding whether to buy or build. yikes!

the end of motherhood said...

You can absolutely continue your "self-mythologization as an old-fashioned girl embracing small-town life." Just go hug the heritage railroad station once in a while...

ewe are here said...

Congrats on the lot, and the plans you have for it. Sounds wonderful.

And your descriptions of the houses kind of sum up why we went with a brand new house, too.... :-)

Merle said...

Glad to hear the lot came through. You did an excellant job on this post as always. :)

Kerry said...

I'm all about the new house. It's a total dream of mine to have a new house some day. Yay, you!

letter9 said...

Sweet. I'm jealous.

Aimee said...

Congratulations on the lot and the house that will soon occupy it -- so glad to hear that you will be looking out over farmland. Our house is in a newer neighborhood, but it overlooks some very lovely, old woods. I underestimated the calming effect of looking out on the woods before we moved in. Now I couldn't have it any other way.

PS: Don't worry about the blog fodder. We will all be waiting with baited breath to hear about your decisions for paint, light fixtures, flooring . . .

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, that's great! I hope the housebuilding process is uncharacteristically smooth sailing for you. I look forward to updates!

Mimi said...

Well, you still managed to cram two old houses into the post, even though you bought neither ;-)

I'm so jealous that you got weeks and weeks and weeks of time to ponder your choice; over here, it's decide in the next ten minutes! Then engage in a bidding war!

Ack.

Congratulations!

bubandpie said...

Mimi - It's a mixed blessing, that waiting time. To get the lot we want, we had to act now (the alternative would be to wait for the lots to become available one street over, but that would delay the move into the next school year), but I'm uneasily convinced that the perfect house will come on the market in February or March.

Maddy said...

What a relief.
Best wishes

edj said...

May you have many happy years in it.

And actually, today's new houses become tomorrow's old houses. It will be hopelessly dated (yet contain fond memories) for Bub and Pie.

(phew, that was deep, wasn't it? oh my. I'm off to bed ;)

nomotherearth said...

Oooh, now you get to work on decorating. Congrats!!

kgirl said...

congratulations! i'm generally an old house kind of person, but as i sit in my drafty, dark, small, albeit lovely old house, your new one sounds amazing!
and don't worry, the homebuilding process should afford tons of great blog fodder. i'm already interested in what colour paint chips you were looking at :)

chickadee said...

wonderful! i'm exciting for you. the building new project can often offer just as much blog material as remodeling an old. you hope it won't, but it usually does.

congratulations.

kelly bee said...

is it weird that i'm really excited about your new house?

Angela said...

Making a decision is so hard sometimes
Glad you found something you love

Angela said...

Congrats on the decision to go with a new house. I am a newcomer to your blog and enjoy your posts. I look forward to reading about your adventures with the new home and how you incorporate your personal style into the project.

Stimey said...

You mean you don't live entirely for your blog?!

Congrats on your house/lot! I have a friend who has claimed forever that she could not live in a new house because new houses don't have a soul. While recently house hunting, she made the discovery about herself that she didn't much care for old houses. We all find what we need. (She did say that the crow she had to eat was not too delicious, though.)

KAL said...

Ha! I'm sure there are many entertaining blog posts to come about the new new house. So glad you're at peace and have made a decision.

Mac and Cheese said...

Congrats on making your choice. It sounds like the right one for you.

Alpha DogMa said...

The fun (but draining) part of moving and house buying is thinking of your 'ideal life.' If only I could do away with the regrest of my current life.

Good luck with the move!

Amanda said...

I have no doubt you'll find magic a'plenty in the new house and from it will spring characteristically tantalizing and fulfilling posts.