Having a house is one of those markers of “grown-up”ness that I only was dimly aware of when the Hubby and I bought our house a nearly a year ago (we closed on the house on the first week of July). It’s a huge investment — of time, of money, certainly. But it’s also an investment of yourself, one of those huge things that will determine the type of choices you’ll make from now on, as a homeowner: the types of jobs you choose, whether to have a family and how many, the various things that you buy, for examples, now all become determined by this thing called having a house.
Having a house is a lot like running a business. There’s the starting of the business, and that takes a big load of time and money. But the running of a business is the continuous routine of time and money as well, scheduled in, periodic, that is ongoing like a fiscal or a production cycle. Getting and running a house is a lot like that. I didn’t understand how my parents could spend so much of their non-paying time just working on the house and the land (not much land — they live in the suburbs) that their house sits on… until I became a homeowner myself. Granted, the Hubby and I were lucky — we knew the previous homeowners, and they were good in maintaining and even improving the house. But the mark of a home is what we put in it, and it’ll be some time before this house truly feels like a home to me.
Part of that, of course, is that 85% of this house really belongs to Wells Fargo (my mortgage lender). The great maintenance record of the previous homeowners eased the choice between remodeling the house and paying off the mortgage as quickly as we can; we’ve chosen to do the latter. But I can’t *help* but try to make this house feel more like a home — hence my adventures with paint, exterior rugs, and some weight equipment as I transformed my one-car garage into a passable home gym this past Memorial Day. And what with sand fleas, I’m itching (literally) to rip out the carpet in this place and put down either tile or laminate or inexpensive wood floors. But I’d like to do that anyway — Texas summer heat (which run from May to October) and wall-to-wall carpet don’t mix well. And, God willing, if the kid or kids ever arrive in our little two-member family, then there’s the guest room to transform into the kid’s room.
An old friend of mine once told me, “With marriage comes house, with house comes kids, with kids comes working to make a future for them and yourselves.” Future, of course, is keeping a roof over our heads, food at the table, clothes for our bodies, and the various avenues pursuing happiness to remind ourselves that life isn’t just merely survival. That last one — “life isn’t just merely survival” — I must remind myself, as I look around me and see the investment that is my house.