Thursday, May 1, 2014

Day 269 of 365: Then and Now

My house has been water-free for the last 8 or so hours. Something has been causing the pump that brings water from our well into the house to short-circuit. We tried playing around with the circuit breaker, but with no luck. We knew that the original owners had difficulty with the well before, so we dove into our filing cabinet to pull out the original paperwork our realtor gave us on the very first tour of this house.

Homeownership is a complicated business. We learned just how expensive it is to heat a house and just what can go wrong with a house. Combine this with a mortgage payment that is higher than your rent ever was (even while in the Boston area) suddenly you realize that there's a lot more to owning a home than essentially acting all the Re/Max commercial.

This is something we've learned pretty quickly in the 9 or so months we've owned a house. We learned within the first month just how frustrating it is to try to work alongside "professionals" when it comes to your house (hello, painting fiasco). We adore this house, we love the town and the neighborhood, but, getting a house is a lot like a puppy: way higher maintenance than you could possibly fathom.

Getting out those old papers, however, reminded me of how things felt "way back when". It was roughly this time last year that we started hitting the paving, looking for a house. And, much like homeownership, we started out the search not realizing just how tedious it can be -- and how, once you find the house of your dreams, just how frustrating the mortgage people can and will be.

And I remember our realtor sending us the link to this particular house. I remember adding it along with the five other houses that had just gone on the market to our Excel spreadsheet. And I remember how I kept coming back to it, even though we had house-tours scheduled for the next two weeks. I remember going to our first for the first time, walking around someone else's house with someone else's belongings and furniture, and knowing that I was home. Knowing that, despite the gaudy decorations and questionable wall colors, this was it. I remember looking at that packet a million times over, looking at the picture of the house in the far right corner, knowing that we were barely a few months away from calling it our own.

I stood outside our house this afternoon, chatting with the electricians who came over to fix the problem. I was in the corner of our lot that is opposite our driveway, which meant that I was looking at my house at an angle I don't usually see on my day-to-day. But it was roughly the same angle we saw our house when we pulled up that very first time -- far from the personal driveway of the people who owned it, and behind the SUV of our realtor's. It was a good reminder that, warts and all, we absolutely love this house and this was absolutely the right investment for us. It might not feel like it sometimes, when we're refilling our oil for the 3rd time that winter or we're shoveling out the driveway yet again, but this is exactly where we need to be. There's a reason why we looked at 50+ homes, never satisfied, until we found this place.

If anything, this little fiasco could serve as a reminder that I need to step out of my daily routine, walk to the opposite side of our property, and really appreciate what we have. I know we lucked out -- faulty well pump and all -- and it's about time to spend more time recognizing that.

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