House For Sale

by gillis

The realtor is bringing someone over today to look at our house. She has another party lined up for tomorrow. We have been living like guests, off and on, in our house since October. Most of our “personal items” including photographs and children’s artifacts, have been stored away, creating a house that is lightly lived in, but certainly not loved. We’ve had many people come to look at the house, but they don’t return for a second look. 

The truth is, we don’t love this house. That’s why we want to move out of it. No one in their right mind would choose to put a house on the market in this economy, needing to keep it as close to spotless as possible when two adults work full time and two children live full time. While I think we are at least mentally stable enough to hold down demanding jobs and coax children into adulthood, we may not be completely rational about our home at this point.

There is nothing wrong with this house. In fact, people who come over for the first time tell us how much they like it, it’s spacious and laid out perfectly for “entertaining.” And if we were the type of people who had, say, six different types of wineglasses for all of the grape combination demands in our extensive wine cellar, it might make sense to stay here. On the contrary, we are the folks whose house would normally look like a crack den for Fisher Price. We’ve just become conditioned to stash all of the chubby, slightly disturbing Little People figurines and Legos at a moment’s notice so the house can play the part of a sophisticated home. This may be part of the problem.

Part of me likes seeing all of the clean and clear surfaces around the house, if only temporarily. Having so many of our things in storage has been a bit liberating. Until I need to find something. Like a book I want to reread or lend to someone. Or an item needed for dress up day at school. Then it becomes very frustrating. The holidays were particularly daunting and now that it’s nearly spring, we’ll have to shift things around again in order to find ridiculously specific, seasonal things. Today I plan on leaving one sweet or silly personal thing out. Nothing too glaring, but something small that will give the place a bit of warmth, a glimpse of “us”. We’ll see if it helps.

Our hope is that we sell this house so that we can move into something smaller, something simpler, something less expensive. We want a home that we can make our own – on a shoestring budget perhaps – and still be able to save money for college funds and retirement. We know we’ll never have a wine cellar, we don’t even want a wine cellar. In fact, we don’t mind buying our wines one bottle at a time and drinking them as they come, in mismatched, but sturdy wineglasses.

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