Thursday, September 25, 2008


We bought our house really quickly. We came here for one weekend two months before our move. We had 3 days to look and find something, and the next thing we knew we were signing a contract on a home. I was the one really pushing for buying immediately because I really didn't want to face the prospect of moving to an apt. and then moving again just a few months later.

Overall, I think we made a decent choice. There are things I really like about this house. It was a reasonable price. It has a gigantic yard. The previous owners took care of it fairly well (though they did have many indoor pets, which I'm not overly fond of...especially with carpet.) It's on a cul-de-sac (making it the best street in our neighborhood). I like that you can see the living room from the kitchen. It's only about a mile from Matt's work.

But there are a few things I have issues with.

Almost all of the homes we looked at here have a separate shower and tub in the master bathroom. There's a nice big tub and a glass enclosed shower on the end. At first that seemed handy. I think it could be for some people. You know, if one likes to take baths and the other likes to shower, you could both do so at the same time and not be in each other's way.

But I don't like taking baths. At all. Only on my most very sick and achy days does it even sound slightly appealing. Matt never takes baths either. Our bathtub has been used a grand total of two times in the last two and a half years. There are three unfortunate things about this. 1. The already limited space in our bathroom is not put to good use. 2. Though I shower daily, I hate our shower because it's a tiny cramped box squished on the side of the tub, and the water gets in my eyes because I can't back up in the shower. I HATE water in my eyes. 3. Our tub's heat regulator is busted because we haven't used it. Weird, I know. I didn't know that would happen either.

When I was at a friend's yesterday, she showed me what the previous owners of their house did with the bathtub/shower. They turned the shower into a linen closet (something we don't have in our house and another one of my issues) and added a shower to their nice big tub. That sounded fabulous to me! I don't know how much it would cost, but I totally want to look into it.

Another thing we've found difficult about this house is the lack of open wall space. There are a lot of windows, which is great. But between the windows and the fireplace, we really are very, very limited in furniture placement in our living room. Add to that mixture my piano and we're screwed. At the moment we're making it work. The one open wall in our living room has our piano and 20 in. TV squished together. It makes for a tight corner when rounding into the kitchen, but it works. We'd like to upgrade our TV at some point and actually have some sort of entertainment center with doors we can child proof. The only way I can see that working is if we somehow demo the fireplace. It's brick and juts out into the room. If we could take out the brick and replace it with flush tile, we could cover up the front of the fireplace with something temporary (I mean, we are in Texas. A fireplace isn't really necessary, but I wouldn't want to take it out completely or do anything too crazy for resale purposes.) and put a TV/entertainment center directly in front of the fireplace.

I told Matt last night that one way we could solve our space issues is to turn our garage into a second living area (it's actually done quite a bit here), and turn part of our side yard into a covered carport (never seen this, but most people here don't have yards big enough...).

He said we ought to be content with what we have.

Oh, if only it were that easy...


Juls said...

one of my friends turned her garage into a second living room and it was a life saver!

good luck!

Lesley said...

It could be worse. At least you have a roof over your head!

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

I know. I totally agree. I'm just sayin' it's so easy to get caught up in wanting more and not being content with what we have.

Kristeee said...

What if you mounted a flat screen on the wall above the fireplace, and then created some built-in shelves to surround the fireplace to use as an entertainment center?

And I totally understand. BlueEyes had already lived in our house 3 years when we got married and there are just so many things that I would change or improve. I'm extremely grateful to have a home - and a nice home, at that - but it doesn't keep me from wishing I could improve on our bit of earth. It's also frustrating to me to not be able to just get it all done, but to have to be patient and wait for the money and time to do stuff.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

We seriously considered that until we found out there aren't enough studs in that wall to mount the TV. We'd have to cut the sheet rock out, reinforce it, and fix them wall then mount it. I guess if we seriously consider demolition any of the fireplace we should still consider that instead. The other thing with that is I'm afraid it'll kinda feel like we're sitting in the front row of a movie theater with it being up so much higher than sitting eye level.

C & A said...

What! You hate baths?!? How can we possibly be related? I love to take baths with all kinds of luxury bath products whenever I am the least bit stressed, and during my pregnancy, the jetted tub was the only thing that got me through. And our kids refuse to bathe in a regular tub now that they have been spoiled by the big jetted tub. Kendall actually said to me, "Mom, I don't even FIT in a regular tub." HA! I don't know how he ever managed to survive before we moved here, since he's 8 years old and so huge and all.

One thing that I have done in two different houses is to move into the non-master bath and claim it as my own. I like to have a shower with a tub, because I have always let my babies sit in their bath seats in the back of the tub while I shower (it's the only way to make sure I get a shower every day, and I HAVE TO have a shower every day to survive). Even now, Boston sits in his little seat and totally relaxes when the warm water gets on his back. It is so cute. I guess I am training him up to be a bath/shower person like me.

C & A said...

ps I kind of agree with Matt. Since you most likely won't be living in that house forever, it probably won't be worth it to do big reconstruction projects that won't build your resale value. I would probably just keep my eyes open for houses right in your neighborhood in about 5 years or so, that you can upgrade to when you need more space, and then you can get a lot more of what you need. But I know where you're coming from. Our new house is so much bigger and nicer than anything we've ever had, but we still wish that we could change a few things and add a real office for Cannon. Someday, someday.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

Yeah, we're not really "doers" when it comes to construction or home renovation projects. I just like to be a dreamer and think of possible ways to fix our space problems.

Kristeee said...

My dad & his wife have their TV on top of their fireplace and, with the couches across the room, it's not a problem at all that you're looking up a bit.

JJaoee...just keeping you guessing said...

I'm for mounting your TV above the fireplace too. Patching drywall is EASY, especially if it's behind a TV and you don't care what it looks like.

I am with you on the bath/shower "upgrade" that a lot of houses have. Our is the same--a teeny, tiny telephone booth shower and a "luxury" tub. I LOVE BATHS, but the tub is so squished that I prefer bathing in the kid's bath over mine, so mine is just one HUGE waste of space. We'd love to remodel--even do it ourselves--but alas, the money-pit we call our house always has something else that comes first.

Good luck. I agree with others, don't spend a lot of money unless you plan to stay for a long time.