I’ve been very negligent lately. I don’t really have an excuse, but let’s get back to it.
Today is my third housiversary! I bought this wonderful piece of property three years ago today. That morning, I did my final walkthrough with my realtor to make sure all the issues arising from the inspection had been fixed. We ran through the checklist – toilet properly bolted down, ceiling fan balanced and, most importantly, asbestos wrapped – and headed off to the title company for the closing.
Less than two hours later, I returned, keys in hand, and let myself in. I slowly paced from room to room, marveling in the moment. It had rained earlier that morning, but the sun was breaking out through the clouds. For the first time in all my visits at the house – two looks, writing the offer, the inspection and walkthrough – I could see how sunshine flowed through the windows.
The sunlight illuminated the mess of cobwebs filling every corner and closet. Most of the light fixtures were just naked bulbs. A lightswitch had stopped working sometime between inspection and closing. I noticed that the tiny downstairs bathroom was horribly misaligned – the light fixture, mirror and sink were completely out of sync. And what about the piece of missing trim between the kitchen and bathroom?
All these little things hit me as I realized that I was stepping beyond the stressful-yet-exhilarating homebuying process, into the much more mundane and unknown world of home ownership. Suddenly, it was all my problem. And unlike leases measured in months, there was no time limit on the problems, nor anyone else holding my security deposit dollars to motivate me into action.
I immediately tackled the cobwebs and dust that had accumulated during the year the house sat vacant. The baseball wallpaper in the bedroom was next on the list. But three years later, some of these problems persist.The downstairs bathroom still bugs me every time I’m in there, but not enough to act when other projects are more pressing. The lightswitch was replaced right away, and I’ve only got one bare bulb left. But new projects always spring up with their own costs – in both time and money – and precedence. Obviously I’m going to take care of the geyser in the basement wall before I worry about a crooked mirror.
But in the past three years, I’ve realized that if I take them as them come, I can stay on top of everything, or at least ensure everything’s still functioning and the house stays warm and dry. Rather than trying to do everything at once, slow and steady is indeed winning the race.
I hope the same can be true with this blog. Rather than trying to write for a book or The Great American Novel, if I stick to steady, shorter posts, maybe I’ll make some progress.
It’s worth a try.