I Keep Finding Issues with the House I Just Bought — But One Thing Makes It Worth It
How have we been frustrated by our old new house? Let me count the ways.
My best friend in California reminds me that our new house isn’t old, hers is. After all, hers was built over a hundred years ago and ours is a young 34. But we were moving from a house that we built a mere ten years ago and we’d been considering new construction in our new city. So a house built in 1984 doesn’t feel like a spring chicken.
And it’s not. We might not have knob-and-tube wiring, but we have our fair share of issues that are costing us a good deal of time, energy, and money to deal with.
Before we moved in, we knew that many of the window seals in the house were broken and that the windows don’t provide good insulation. New windows are pricey. They are near the top of the list of necessary but not urgent repairs the house needs.
More immediate needs included the two air conditioning units, which our home inspector advised us would need to be replaced soon. After living here for less than one Tennessee summer month, our units were running nearly constantly and barely cooling down the house. “Soon” turned out to be a few weeks. We had to bite the bullet and repair them (and watched our power bill get cut in half, hooray!).
Our roof is also in bad shape, which was a shock because our inspection report checked out. (That’s a longer story for another day.) That was another repair we couldn’t put off, just like the plumbing that needed to be updated.
These large repairs — plus a kitchen remodel and new flooring on the first floor — have eaten into nearly all the leftover proceeds from the sale of our old house. Things like replacing the back deck, which is composed of rotting wood overlaid with Trex, and our comically outdated and strange primary bathroom (with two bathtubs! And spotlights!) will have to wait.
Do we regret foregoing a straightforward, up-to-date, issue-less new construction and buying this older home full of headaches?
Not for a second. Our house sits on three-quarters of an acre. It has a spacious front yard full of luscious grass that our landscaper mows in eminently pleasing diagonal rows. The backyard is big enough for a full-family soccer game, our two giant dogs to chase each other around, and a firepit — all at once with plenty of room to spare. Did I mention that it twinkled with fireflies in early summer? It was absolute magic.
Buying an older home was the only way for us to get a house that met our needs that was also on this amount of land. Our home feels like our own private oasis. Yes, it may be a little worse for the wear. Yes, I may be pulling my hair out about how our renovation is dragging on into its seventh month. And, yes, I may be laughing at our giant jacuzzi tub that’s mere feet from another bathtub for several years.
But we are so thankful that we have what time and money could never fix: an expansive backyard full of respite and possibility.