Houses with Character

I love my house. Don’t get me wrong. It has tons of character.

Original wooden spiral staircase? Fantastic.
Kitchen with exposed beams from the 1830s? Superb.
Bay windows in three of the rooms? Gorgeous.
Giant storage room over the barn? Great.
An original gun closet complete with ammo chest? Neato.
Only one bathroom? Fine.
Pipes that want to freeze in the winter? It happens.
Garage roof that needed to be reroofed? It was old.
No insulation in the attic? We can fix that.
Old clapboard on the garage that’s going to have to be replaced? Well, that happens, too.
Leak in the roof by one of the chimneys? Okay.
Hole where a raccoon burrowed through the garage to get at my trash? Wait a minute.
Sagging floor that needs to be jacked up? I don’t think I–
Crumbling part of the foundation that’s going to cost $1000 to fix? Now stop right–
Rotting sills around the base of the garage? I’m not sure I–
Two front doors that won’t open? They won’t open?
Front porch that’s about as level as a crooked politician? A crooked politician? Really?

I’ve discovered that having a house with character comes with a price tag. Sometimes there are surprises you haven’t budgeted for, and that can be kind of disturbing now and then, but I’d have to say I’m still a firm believer in character over utility. Sure, they cost a lot to heat, they can be drafty now and then, and they have a tendency to ask for more money than you’d like to give them . . . I’m going to stop now. Because I really do love my house. It’s just that sometimes, you have to be willing to overlook the flaws and focus on the strengths–just like in any relationship. We’ve got plans for this house. Finished attics, skylights, 3/4 bathrooms and renovated kitchens. It’s just that we have to fix some of it up first before we can move on to the big plans stage.

Step one? Fix that foundation. Wish us luck.

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