From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Homeowner Regrets We Don't Have

Houses we didn't buy


When Dennis was transferred to Fort Campbell, we became first-time home-buyers.  We were living out of suitcases in a hotel room with two little children, and Dennis was working midnights.  And we had a limited number of days that we could stay in the hotel with our expenses paid.  Naturally enough, we were desperate to find a place quickly.

Could have moved to Dover...
 
After our first session with a realtor, we thought about buying a little house near Dover, TN. It was an older home, but the owner had remodeled it nicely. It sat on five acres, and it had a small horse barn. A little creek ran through the back yard, barely fifty feet behind the house. We liked the house, but it just didn't have enough bedrooms for us.

Now that I'm enlightened about how streams can rise in this country, I am thankful that we didn't buy that house. I'll bet that little stream gets out of its banks frequently. Every time it rained heavily, I would have worried about the kids falling into that flooded creek!

Could have moved to Lafayette...

We looked at another group of houses with another realtor, and we liked a little house in southwest Christian County, near Lafayette, KY. In some ways, it was the house I'd always wanted. It was white with a big front porch. The rooms were fairly large, and there was an old-fashioned feel to the place. However, there was hardly a tree on the five acres, and the neighbor just over the fence had the most junk piled in his yard that I've ever seen around a dwelling.

Despite its shortcomings, we tried to bid on that little white house, but someone else got a bid in first and bought it. It's just as well. The junky neighbor next door would have been a perpetual irritation, and without trees, that little house must have been like an oven in the summer sun.

But here we are, instead

Instead, we bought the house where we live -- a brick ranch house built in the 1960s. We've had various homeowner problems, but one thing we've never worried about is flooding. Our little property is located on the edge of a broad ridge. A steep quarter-mile downhill slope starts at the edge of our front lawn. Excess surface water can't help draining away. It gets soggy up here sometimes, but we'll never be flooded. 

Another thing we've never worried about is junky neighbors. Our two nearest neighbors are Mennonites. Their farmyards are quite tidy. We try to keep our grass mowed so they won't be embarassed when their Mennonite friends visit. Thank goodness we only mow about an acre. I wonder why we ever thought we wanted five acres?

When our children think back about their childhoods, I think they'll remember the trees here. Their playhouses were under the big old trees where the log house once stood. Their swing, hung from a high branch, carried them over the bank and high into the open air. They lay on the trampoline on summer evenings and watched the hummingbirds in the mimosa blossoms. They raked huge leaf piles in the fall and played in them.  And how could they forget all the acorns and tree seedlings their dad has planted and how the new trees have grown over the years?

This is the story of how God led us to a house that was right for us. It's not a palace, but it was a good place for our kids to grow up.  We hope to continue living here for quite a while.  Now that we own the place free and clear,  Dennis says the only way they're moving him out of here is in a pine box.

4 comments:

mona said...

Does anyone live in a subdivision where there are several people who ignore the subdivision rules?
I do. No one is supposed to have those ugly fences on the top of their pools, and it seems that everyone in the sub with a pool has one of those. My neighbor has one, and I have to look at that hideous thing every time I look out my window. Then there is my other neighbor who has three dogs.
The maximum number of dogs is supposed to be two. I wouldn't mind the three, but two of them are pit bulls who viciously snarl and growl and act like they are going
to eat my dog when they are outside. Even the owners scream at them to stop. It is very unnerving. Then one of the board members is delinquent by 3 years on the dues because she has decided she doesn't need to pay since she is on the board. I can't take the neighbors around here. I was looking for a forum to vent about the jerks around here and I came across this site called http://urajerk.com and I sent all of those idiots on the board and all my lovely neighbors with the ugly pools an anonymous card. LOL I loved it. I know it sounds stupid but I feel better. He he he

Genevieve said...

Mona, I don't think we looked at a single house in a subdivision, and only a few that were on a street instead of a road. We both wanted to live in the country. Christian County doesn't have county-wide zoning, so anyone out here can do anything they want with their property. We're glad that our Mennonite neighbors have dairy cows instead of a pig barn or a chicken barn or a feedlot -- all of which have pungent odors. Other than begging them to reconsider, we couldn't do a thing if they decided to change to one of those operations. (And there are dozens of Mennonite-operated chicken barns in the area.)

heelers said...

Evocative writing. Would have loved a pic of the spread though.
J

Genevieve said...

James, you'll just have to use your more-than-ample imagination, I guess.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.