Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mi Casa

I was kind of depressed about money this week. We talked to someone about refinancing and decided not to do it, mostly because not much, if any, equity has built into our house. We're not totally sure about that because of all the updates we've done, but we'd have to spend some money to save the money and it probably just isn't worth the risk (or do I mean heartbreak?) of having it appraised. So anyways.....

I walked out the door to get my paper this morning and realized that I had been taking it for granted lately that it would still be there. Over the last four years living in our house my paper has always been on the front stoop on Sunday mornings. A little thing, but it wasn't always this way.

Chris and I lived in apartments for a little over four years before moving into our house. We started getting the Sunday paper not long after we moved out of our parent's houses but getting the paper (or anything, really) delivered to an apartment was kind of like an easter egg hunt. Deliveries, and the papers, were always left in the communal area that was also unlocked to the public so whoever got there first got the best stuff. I'm not saying this happened constantly, normally our paper would be there. I'm an early riser, so that definitely helped. But there were many mornings when the paper just wouldn't be there. So we'd have to call the Star Tribune and they would come out and bring us one personally before noon. They never complained, even though I'm sure they delivered that first paper. I think one of my favorite mornings was when someone had taken my paper but left the bill for it on the top of my mailbox (our paper bill comes with our paper). Thoughtful! Oh, and the time Chris went down and found a drunk using our paper as his pillow....we decided to pass on the paper that day.

I think I wanted to write this because of all the press about declining home values and maybe it's not the investment it used to be. Truthfully, I don't believe that home values will decline forever. Everything will reach balance again, it has to (nature abhors a vacuum, right?). I really do hate doomsayers. But what I'm really trying to say is that owning a home is, well, priceless. To us anyways. It's about the afternoons in our backyard on OUR deck grilling out, or being able to paint (and paint and paint again) our walls any color we damn well want. It's about having a garage and not worrying about our cars being towed for the apartments own snow emergency in the morning. It's about not hearing the people in the apartment above you express their love....or their hate. It's also about personal responsibility. The shoveling, the mowing, the upkeep of EVERYTHING, the remodeling, the bills, and of course the savings account that is there just in case something goes wrong with the house. But it's on our terms, and it's our space. It means something to us and we've made it ours.

I love our house and I love our neighbors. It may not be a perfect house, it's small, it needs another main floor bedroom, we'd love a two car garage, and of course it has it's cracks and quirks, but with anything one loves, those things don't become it's defining qualities, they become part of it's character, or at worse, part of the background noise. But I'm happy here and I have no regrets.

Our backyard in the early spring

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