An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse…

Just like most long-term relationships, we had settled into a life that was warmly comfortable yet had it’s list of impasses. For us, many of those impasses were tied to living in a small 1939 house.

Ten years ago we did a major remodel project, gutting half of the 1,000 square feet to squeeze more livable space out of the current walls. Expanding would mean pulling permits and variances subject to neighbor input. But even before permits were possible, we would have to agree on a design.

We both wanted a porch — front porch or back porch? How big a porch? Would it mean changing the roof line? How much could we spend?

A garage, of course it’d be great to build a garage. The original had long ago collapsed and not been rebuilt. Again, how big would it be? Would we add an office? What about workshop space? What about a man cave?

We found it was just easier to put up with what we had until we could negotiate our way to a reasonable and affordable compromise design.

Then Joel put forward the idea of prepping our house as if we were selling it. Once that work was done, we could decide as they do on HGTV’s Love It or List It show – do we stay or do we go?

The best part was that he was willing to do a lot of the work! How could I refuse?

Long story short – with the advice of our friend (and contractor) Casey, we repainted in neutral colors, bought towels to match the dated bathroom tile, fixed any items that would fail inspection and Joel did a round of easy landscaping to bump up the curb appeal. The projects got us over the longstanding impasses that were demanding perfection.

Our waning enthusiasm for the projects made it clear that our “nesting days” were over. We’d rather have been off riding our bikes or just about anything else then shopping for dirt and planting bushes.

Most importantly, it got us mentally ready to actually sell the house in anticipation of a life on the road. It wasn’t long before our house went on the market.

A post script – the family that bought the house were not so intimidated by the permit process. They pretty much demolished all our precious, anxiety-inducing work to build a two-story home with more than double the square footage.

I’m really glad we left that teal bathroom tile alone…

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