Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wo Family Open House Project, Episode 1

So the bathroom sink is leaking. Actually the drain trap because our last contractors were IDIOTS. I believe this part of the job was handled somewhere in their last 10 days when yours truly, 9mos preggers, was officially the biggest b*tch renovating homeowner in the City of Vancouver. They hated me, poor fellas. I suspect they will have their revenge in these little ways for years to come.

We are really f*cked when it comes to our life as homeowners. This is home #2 for us -- if you skip the 4 places in 1 year thing we did during p-man's articles. We lived in my first apartment for 11 years and then this house. We bought it because we were pretty tired after looking for 18 months. After the 90 day buyers remorse we found we actually got a pretty good house. The neighbourhood is really the big dividend. I love it here. I don't really want to move ever. Insert reminder, we are spoiled and have nothing to complain about.

You will likely hear a lot of waffling from Chez Wo about our long range domicile plans in coming weeks. We are thinking about either renovating -- AGAIN -- or moving. Now, the sink is leaking we are practically back in the game. And, for us it is a game. Lots of tacky family baggage and irrational, immature resistance to decision-making takes these sort of issues to a level of, oh I don't know, maybe a bad episode of Big Brother around here (and, while I am on the subject, are they not all bad episodes?).

I grew up in a house built by my Dad, Mom and two grandpas. It was the sort of building plan which required approximately 21 years to complete. My DIY background is speckled (spackled?) with only the most hesitant inclusion of outsiders from planet trades. But let's face it p-man and I can't fix a leaky drain trap.

We can paint, tiling is not beyond us, and we have laid a few floors under the watchful eye of my Dad but overall... we need help..The baby, well meaning though she may be, has offered no real assistance.

Our last reno cost us -- I would estimate -- 15% more than it should have. And, we live in a pre-olympic city with a trades shortage. To try it again is madness. If we need another bedroom, and we do, we should simply move on while interest rates are still relatively good.

I have 18 weeks of gestation remaining... Don't you think I will just be a hilarious specimen trying to sort out these choices? Stay tuned. Lookie-loo-dom resumes this weekend!


Blogger Granny said...

My dad and my granddad built the first house I live in and my dad was still plugging away when we moved.

It was a work in progress. Slow, but progress.

Good luck with your moving decisions.

11:46 p.m.  
Blogger Andrea said...

You are sooo me!!! I would love to own a house but dont want to deal with theupkeep. I have a dad who can fix anything wether he actually could or not. lol! And I maried a man who has never held a hammer. We are so screwed!

12:58 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

We bought a house - our first together - just about two years ago. I've realized, with chilling clarity, that we a) know NOTHING about fixing/improving and b) can't afford to hire anyone to do it for us, which means either we c) learn fast, or d) we're screwed.

Keeps me up, some nights.

8:21 a.m.  
Blogger L. said...

We bought our first place -- an apartment -- in November 2004, and two months later we found out my husband was getting transferred to SF.

So we didn`t have time to fix anything.

I am now "playing house" in the beautiful place we`re renting -- pretending it`s mine and practicing fixing stuff, gardening, etc. This is ultimately unsatisfying.

There are no easy answers.

4:09 p.m.  
Blogger stefanierj said...

I feel your pain. We are househunting from 2000 miles away, and I shudder every time I see a house I love with the "Needs TLC" words in its description.

Naturally, these are the only houses we can afford. *sigh*

6:25 p.m.  
Anonymous CroutonBoy said...

Allow me to offer some zen advice: You will ruminate over whichever decision you make for the months anyway, so it's best to go with your gut and make the best of it. You'll know when you either see that perfect place or a new neighbor moves in who happens to be a skilled contractor.

Or you can be like me and buy a sturdy old house, learn on the fly that I'm handy but not skilled, get it to where I want it, accept a job offer in another city, and spend the next few years shopping in the most expensive real estate market in the known universe for a place bigger than a postage stamp that costs less than the GDP of Chile. So maybe I'm not the best at giving advice...

7:13 a.m.  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

Speaking as a person who can barely handle a screwdriver, I'm impressed with your baby's ability to handle power tools. As for the housing situation? I'm of no assistance there either. Who DOESN'T get ripped off by their contractor? It's like a rite of passage. Personally, I move practically every time a light bulb needs to be changed. But that's just me.

7:35 a.m.  

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