Sunday, March 20, 2011

Your opinion?

If you were in my shoes, what would you do? 

My longtime obsession has been to live in a Victorian house near downtown.  Living there would enable me to live the way I lived before I moved to this city - without a car - walking or biking everywhere, including to work.  In the city I live in, cars rule, and there are precious few real pedestrian neighborhoods.  But Victorian Village near downtown is a rare exception.

What's stopping me?  The houses prices. 

Those of you who have read my blog over the years know that I have nearly succeeded on several occasions to sell my current house and buy one in Victorian Village.  Each attempt ended in extreme disappointment.  I even tried to buy a foreclosed house at the sheriff's auction.

I am unusual.  I don't like to shop, travel or spend money in general.  The only foolish financial choices I've made recently have been regarding purchases for The Child.  He likes electronics, and I've indulged his interest.  I've spent more money on The Child than the average family spends on one child, for sure.

The only thing I want to spend money on for myself is a house.

There is a house for sale in Victorian village right now which I am interested in, and I am considering putting my house on the market to try to make it happen.  I'd have to have a sales contract in place before I can make an offer on the Victorian.  But it won't be an even trade- the Victorian is considerably more expensive than my house.  The mortgage broker says he's very confident that I'd qualify for the mortgage I'd need, but that's because I have an outstanding credit score, NOT because the mortgage would be reasonable on my salary!

Yesterday my realtor took me to see the interior of the house.  Until then, my desire for the house was based purely upon its prime location rather than any actual knowledge of the house or its interior.  My impression of the first floor was positive.

It included original stained glass windows:

I also liked the backyard.  I could just imagine it with the trees I'd plant, and the pond I'd install.  It seems like such a luxury to have a house with a backyard so close to downtown.  Most urban housing is in the form of condos, often situated in high rise buildings.

I was less thrilled with the upstairs, and I was reminded of the fact that I actually don't like antiques!

It seems odd that I'd be drawn to antique houses....what I like about them is the high ceilings, the wood floors, the huge windows (often floor to ceiling) and the often ornate woodwork and features like stained glass windows.  The quality of materials and craftsmanship is so superior to that of newly-built houses.

I did like one of the upstairs bedrooms, the one which was currently set up as an office:

This house also has a finished attic, made into 2 bedrooms.  The Child has taken a strong interest in this attic, although he hasn't seen it yet.  Today there is an open house, and I'm taking The Child so he can see if he approves of this house before I go any further.  I already know that children generally don't like old things, including houses, so I am expecting The Child to reject my latest dream.  I will continue this post after the open house.


The open house did not go well.  The Child detested the house.  He claims to despise wood floors, and he seemed freaked out by the height of the house, especially when looking out of the 3rd story windows down onto the backyard below. It looked like an aerial view from an airplane flying overhead!  (I was scared by that also.  We currently live in a one-story ranch-style house.) 

I was somewhat surprised that the Child could find nothing positive about the house.  (I had hoped that he'd admit that the first floor, with its abundance of light and its stained glass, was somewhat appealing, and I was fairly sure he'd stake out the 3rd floor as his territory.)

I was beginning my dreaded descent into depression, knowing that I didn't want to try to push this house onto The Child, when he commented, "I'd be able to have a 'Slip 'n' Slide' in that backyard." 


Our current house lacks a backyard.  Since it's situated on a park, it was pretty much OK to not have our own yard, or so I had thought......

Afraid to press my luck, I gingerly asked if there was anything else, anything at all, which he found to be remotely acceptable about that house. 

It turns out that he had wisely assessed that its kitchen was better than ours.  And he mentioned the yard again.  Who knew that a yard meant that much to him?   Mind you, this is a yard which has been completely neglected by its previous owners, to the point where it's nothing but a barren plot of grass, and you can see above.

Still, The Child would undoubtedly prefer not to move there, and I'd prefer not to force the issue.


Later in the day a minor incident (which was really just a trigger) propelled me full steam ahead into that funk which I had narrowly escaped earlier.  I was driving at the time, and began sobbing uncontrollably.  This sorrow emerged from unknown depths.  It had to do with life, death, and the joys and sorrows in between.  It had to do with my mother who died so long ago, and whose death altered my life.  It had to do with the still unprocessed death of my sister.  It had to do with all of those long-lost boyfriends and the missing of them, and the lonely difficulties of being a single parent.  It had to do with the dreams of a lifetime, and the possibility of letting them go.



Lynilu said...

Transitions in life are usually difficult and emotion laden. Sit on this for a few days and talk with the child again, several times. I'm thinking it will fall into a place. It is a hard decision, I know. Take your time.

B.S. said...

Lynilu, I think you're right. I have asked The Child a few more times, and he keeps telling me that it doesn't matter to him, and I'm beginning to believe him.

Thank you for your comment!!


Anonymous said...

Betty, I could totally relate to your sudden blue funk - I might even welcome one like that - since I have far too many sorrows and hurts clogging me up within.