Dave and I are looking for a house. We’ve been “kinda” looking for some time, but have finally gotten a little more serious, as the closets become more and more packed with fabric and art supplies, and the, um, activity in the parking lot across the street gears up for summer. Also, my desire for a yard, a cat and a couple of chickens has become nearly uncontainable. Not too surprisingly, I’m attracted to the houses with more project potential (read: fixers), and my sane and gainfully employed husband just wants a nice, finished house.
A couple of days ago we walked into a house that basically needed to be re-built. From the outside, it was a lovely, two-story craftsman house, but the inside had been monkeyed with almost beyond recognition. It needed: garish plastic tiling removed from the living room floor and fireplace (!!!), cheap, stained carpet removed from the rest of the house and all floors redone, window woodwork replaced, bathroom redone, kitchen redone, walls removed, and a hideous addition on the back re-built. The two-car garage had been converted to a 5-room (again, !!!) mother-in-law, which we could also re-do to make a studio for me. Dave (the sane one) immediately blanched and headed for the door. I started dreaming of what it could look like with a couple hundred thousand dollars of work and two years of labor. If I could go back and choose a different career, I think I’d like to be a contractor.
We stumbled on one recently that’s a nice middle ground. Cute, sunny, livable, but with lots of smallish projects that could be taken on over time. It needs painting, and lots of landscaping (my favorite type of project), but that doesn’t require living with plaster dust or drop-cloths. It’s not huge, but the space is used well, and it’s in a pretty nice neighborhood. Unfortunately, every other house hunter in the bay area has also discovered it, so we have a slim chance, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!