I want to live the rest of my life in this house. It is absolutely perfect for my needs. It has a little over 1,000 square feet upstairs, and it has a full basement with a "finished" room downstairs that is 400 sq. feet and has its own door to the outside. Then there is a laundry room with a door to the outside, and next to it is a room that I think was a home office at one point. It isn't really "finished", but it is a room. That is where my HVAC unit is and there is a recessed area under my porch (which isn't really a "porch" but is really an uncovered "stoop" but I think porch sounds better.) I have dreams of making a compact root cellar in that space somehow. I guess it can wait till I have more of a NEED for a root cellar. And my front porch steps need some reworking. I would like a front stoop makeover.
I had plans to have made my 15 year old daughter her own space downstairs. It would be cool to make her a "cupboard under the stairs" bed. She would in no way be claustrophobic since she likes feeling "cozy" as long as there are no spiders or spider webs. Maybe we can swing it by next summer. There is already a shelved storage area, but it is at the end of the stairs and has an accordion style folding door. A "Harry Potter Movie Style" cupboard under the bed sleeping space would have a door on the side of the space under the stairs, not on the end opposite them.
I also had plans for my son to live with me for a long time after he graduates. I told him I could make him an apartment downstairs and he'd have privacy since there is a separate enterance. He seemed a lot more willing to "live with Mom forever" when he was 9 or 10 than he does at 14. As a matter of fact, he has expressed an interest in moving out of state to go to college and work. GOD FORBID! I have a bit of a neurotic fear of being alone and unloved and having my children and grandchildren scattered around the world. I don't know if that means it is more or less likely to happen. I never dreamed I would be divorced and (at the age of 46) looking for a "significant other" who will stick around to be my companion for life when my children have "flown the coop" and I thought the possibility of me having a child out-of-wedlock was so remote, I don't think it ever crossed my mind after I had gotten married. So I guess sometimes our greatest fears are not realized, but we get blindsided by things we never dreamed of happening to us.
I started this post because I was thinking about a conversation I had with a house-hunting friend the other day. I live in a kind of "ranch" style house with a full walk-out basement with one-car garage. My house was built in 1967. The house he was looking at was built in the 90's. It is very lovely. Something to really be proud of, I think. If not their "dream home", it is close enough. He feels that ranch style homes feel like trailers. I can see how he might make that comparison, with one long hall with bedrooms and baths to the sides. But I see that as convenient and efficient. I worked as a nanny for a family with a 10,000 square foot house and I can tell you that it makes for a lot of walking. One thing I insisted upon when I chose a house was a kitchen that was "open" to a living area. My kitchen opens to what was designed to be a dining area, but it is so wide, I made it into a den that we eat in. My table and chairs is in there, but so is a love seat and a rocking chair and the TV, VCR and toys. It has 3 big windows and I like the light. This is where I spend most of my time and it is "open" enough for me.
Another thing I was thinking of was how I required a large fenced yard. My chain link fence is only on 3 sides, but it is enough for now, although I would like it finished off, with the side yard fenced off for the dogs. Dogs and gardens don't mix. I have had enough of dogs digging, chewing, and peeing on my hard work. So, they are tied for now.
I have a 1/4 acre yard with a lovely mix of sun and shade. I would have preferred to have had a pecan tree in my front yard instead of a Silver Maple (or Water Maple, I don't know which it is.....), but I just planted a 3 in 1 Pear Cocktail tree to the side. I have a very nice garden area, which I think has pretty much reached it's maximum size as far as edibles go. I still have lots of places to work some ornamental or edible landscaping into the yard.
My thought was that houses have gotten big and yards have gotten small. I prefer brick or stone (my house is brick), lots of windows, and a big yard. If I want "open", all I have to do is go outside. I bought my house for $90,000. I have lots of maintenance and repair work that needs to be done, but I am very content. I thank God every day for my house and yard. I would not trade it for my ex-husband's big, new house with a tiny yard, no shade (other than the covered porch), vinyl siding on 2 sides, and too much "wasted" space. Big houses are more to clean, more to heat and cool. Replacement value for my house is $146,000. I don't know if or when I will ever be able to be gainfully employed and get of SSDI. I would never be able to qualify for a house/yard this nice again. I prayed for this house to be mine if it was going to be a good thing for me. It has been. My house is an answer to prayer. I sometimes wish to live in the country, but I think with all the stuff in Nashville and places to go and people to see and transportation back and forth for the kids to spend time with their fathers, this is the best place to be. I might even get some chickens someday!
I think it is good for children to have to share their rooms with siblings. I think it is good to only have one or two TV's or computers rather than everyone having their own. I think it is good to have chores for the children to help with. I think it is good to have a yard and garden and pets.
I think there are many people who are working hard for big houses when some of them might be happier with smaller houses and less work. I think individuals should do what they want, but in general, I think wives and mothers should take care of their home and family and men and fathers should "bring home the bacon." I think it is nice for SAHM's to have some hired help with cleaning, laundry, or childcare if they want. But I don't think it is a good thing to have too much house to clean. I wish more people would be satisfied with less property and less income, but I wish everyone who wanted to work had a relatively safe job that paid well enough to provide all the necessities and a few extras. I think every mother who wants to stay home should be able to do so and to be the primary influence on her children and to be in close supervision of them.
If I had the money, I would like to make a few improvements to my house. I have several urgent repairs needed, I need both of my outside faucets replaced. I need my kitchen sink replaced. My toilet needs work...I am having to flush it by pouring buckets of water into the bowl. I have water leaking from my bathtub faucet, my kitchen sink (both from the faucet and under the sink)
I would have preferred to have bought a house with an extra bath..or at least a half-bath. I would like to have an electric garage opener. I would like to have a built-in dishwasher, but I am actually pretty happy with my portable dishwasher, if only my kitchen faucet didn't have a hole in it that sprays water when my dishwasher is hooked up and putting water pressure on the faucet. I have to stay near the dishwasher and pour a couple gallons of water into the dishwasher at the beginning and every time it drains, other than the last cycle, which I sometimes forget about. I actually like my dishwasher sitting in the middle of my kitchen like an "island".
I have a good house. It's old, but as I said, I wouldn't trade it for a new one. And if sitting by a window isn't "open" enough for me (I have window shade or blinds to raise--I don't keep my windows covered with curtains), I can just go outside and look up at the sky. I admire other people's big houses, but I don't envy them.