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Our first home was a lovely semi...

Posted Sep 13 2008 1:02am

Workman_images Our first home was a lovely semi, in a quiet street, on a newly built development and it was also the builders' showhouse. So when we purchased it we had absolutely no work whatsoever to carry out on it. It was a perfect first home for newly-weds! And when our first baby arrived we delighted in the fact that it had soft carpets throughout so that she wouldn't hurt herself when she took a tumble.

However, after almost three years in our first family home together, it was time to move on. We had found a bigger house which we were surprised to find was within our budget. We fell in love with it, put in an offer which was accepted and all that remained was to sell our first home.

But there was a problem.

Many of the houses in the street we had first moved into were now owned by landlords who were renting them out and we quickly realised that was putting off potential buyers. Even our estate agent was exasperated as he knew he could easily sell the house once he got people to view it. But that was the tricky part - no-one was interested in viewing it. We were desperate not to lose out on the new property and after some very late nights and deep thinking a little lightbulb glowed; if you can't beat them, join them. So we did. We managed to get a buy-to-let mortgage and we became landlords too!

At first we saw it as a temporary measure. We would sell when the market picked up a bit.

However, it was no problem getting tenants. And in fact our one year plan lasted much longer - the most recent tenant has been there for around 4 years and she just left last week.

So just this evening I returned, for memory's sake to the first home my husband and I shared with our firstborn, the home where I first breastfed a baby, the home that I cherished and kept so clean.

And oh how I wish I had kept away...

Although the tenant gave the place a bit of a tidy up, my eyes stung with tears as I surveyed the dirt left behind. The wall, ceilings and blinds were thickly stained with tobacco smoke, the back garden overgrown, the soft carpets matted and stale.

But here is where the real problem lies.

At the moment we are deciding whether or not to sell or to rent it out again. Either way we are going to have to restore it to its former glory. I want to pay professionals to come in, paint the inside and outside, lift the carpets and replace them with laminate flooring.

But my husband has other ideas... He has decided he will do it all himself. Now whilst I admit he is very handy around the house, I jokingly refer to him as "half a job" as he often starts a job and forgets, or doesn't get time, to finish it. He also works full-time in a very demanding job and often has to work late into the evening.

It is also almost Christmas!

He says he will work on the house every evening until the work is done. He says he is due two weeks holidays from work. He says he is not paying someone when he can do it himself. And apparently it's easy laying a floor (not that he has ever laid one in his life!) He says he can paint a whole house, inside and out on his own (I can't even get him to touch up blemishes on the walls of the house we now live in!)

So it's going to be an interesting few weeks, not least because I'd love to know how I am supposed to get any Christmas preparations done when I am going to be in sole charge of the children for the next month!!

So that's my rant of the day over. Let the ego prevail!

Please share your rants just so I know it's not only me who gets worked up by men and their I-can-do-it-all attitude - especially when you know that they can't...

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