Thursday, April 2, 2009

Home is where the hutch is

House shopping is a special kind of excitement for Mr. Wumpus and me. We love real estate and not the big fancy stuff; we like little houses with character and promise (and annoying plaster walls). Really it comes down to seeing the potential in a place and scheming and dreaming on how we could improve upon it. We're not experts, so it's a very good thing we don't have the money to go around buying fixer uppers and flogging them. We'll leave that to the home reno show guys.

With our departure rapidly approaching, we've found a temporary place to lay our heads while we find our next home. This move is a big one - it's our first with Chou, it's a big step up for Mr. Wumpus's job and, here's the big one, it's the first time we can buy a family home. Until now, we've done the tough job of eeking our way up the property ladder. We started in a little 550 sq. ft house and moved up to a 650 sq ft condo. When we tell our friends that our house was actually SMALLER than this place they burst out laughing. So do we. Sometimes. It's odd, but we love little spaces. We don't need much room and don't want to be too far from each other. Well, that and we've never had any money to buy more. Either or.

And now, no, we don't have an endless supply of duckets either. But we've saved, built equity, lived simply and combined with our moving bonus have enough to buy a step up from this house. We want something reasonable, let's say 1000 sq ft with a basement (oh my god, I don't even know what I'll do with all that room), three bedrooms and most importantly counter space in the kitchen and a dining room.

Because here's what we've noticed the most out of all the tiny spaces we've lived (did I mention we lived in an even tinier apartment before our tiny house? We're basically hobbits): the thing we've missed most is not storage (we don't have much to store) nor extra bedrooms (the living room couch pulls out, you're welcome to it), it's the dining room. More than anything, we want to have a dedicated area with a dining room table ready to host our family, our guests. We want the three of us to share meals and make it a priority. We want everyone to gather round and fill their plates while we talk and laugh and make memories. Finally, I want a place to put my hutch. Well, both of them.

Grandma, whom Chou is named after, sent us her 1920s era table and hutch when she heard our first house had been built in the same decade. It's a lovely piece, with creaky doors and polished handles. It came with us here and will follow us back to the prairies, ready to display my teacups and crystal, but there's another hutch. One this one doesn't know about. It was mum's, left behind when the sisters moved on into their newlywed homes. It and all mum's china and crystal, lived for 10 years at a friend's. Then, when we were moving out of province, we needed to find a place for it, and my sister took it in (but the china stayed with me. In boxes). Until now, we've never had a place big enough for the hutch - and now, as I look through all the listings, the first thing I look for is a place for that big thing.

It'll finally be home.

P.S. To J-9, who left a fantastic comment on my last post. You're right, on all counts, except maybe the new baby part :). Time to take stock, be OK with where I'm at and keep going. Miss you!


coach jen said...

I still think you need to make babies.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to Coach jen! And I miss you too! I look forward to getting to your new house in Mugina. Did you find a place yet?