Do you love your house?
I have a love/hate relationship with my house.
I love it because at least we have it. And I hate it because, well, it’s not what I want, or where I want to be.
My husband and I bought this house a few months before we got married. It has three very small bedrooms and one bath. It’s a 1950’s “bungalow.” My husband was in love with the house before we even looked at it. The idea of a bungalow was irresistible to him. Great marketing, right? I was never really that convinced of my love for the house, but I did love the ceiling fan in what was staged as the living room, so I agreed.
It didn’t seem like a big deal to me to not love the house. This was not supposed to be our forever home. We had planned to sell this house before our first child went to kindergarten. But then the economy happened. And the housing crisis, and we have our own financial struggles, so we stay here, in this super cramped house, for fear that we might not qualify for another loan.
Every day our 1950’s bungalow looks more and more like it has been rode hard and put away wet. Sometimes I feel like the house is crumbling around us, and truth be told, I feel embarrassed by it.
There are cracks in a couple of the walls. There are doorknob-sized holes in the walls where doors have been slammed into them. The poor-quality door jams are loose from improper installation, 60 years of wear and tear, and the occasional slam. The paint is chipping. Our bathroom needs a complete overhaul. Our bedrooms are way too small, and we don’t even have a closet in our room. In fact, our entire house has three functional closets. THREE! Our finished basement is wet and moldy. My office is in our dining area. I don’t even want to talk about the appliances. The garage roof leaks and the whole thing just needs to be burned down. For real. I have a hard time keeping up with the gardens, so they like an overgrown wasteland.
I’m not much of a decorator. I have decorations, and pictures, but they are not displayed, because I keep thinking it’s pointless when we need to paint – again, and try to put the house on the market.
How do people make this shit happen, because I feel stuck. I know all of the problems with this house are fixable. But where do we find the time and the money? Do we really want to take care of them, or do we cut our losses and run?
In the meantime, how do I OWN this house, and not feel embarrassed by it? How do I make this house a home?
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