Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This old house

I bitch about my house all the time, as you are probably aware. The truth is, it's a perfectly nice house. We live in a great neighborhood with tons of kids, the beach is less than two miles away, the house itself is not ugly, and is not ridiculously small. (Though I'm aware that "small" is relative--perhaps many of you would think it tiny.) We have two and a half bedrooms, the half being an office; we have one and half bathrooms; we have a workable kitchen; we have a living room that is never used and a playroom. Our backyard is small, but it is completely enclosed, which is nice for the kids. We have a decent front yard with a nice pepper tree. Two car garage. Nice, friendly neighbors. This house has served us well for the last almost 5 years.

What pisses me off about this house is its "value". Lance does really well in his job as a salesman, and he continues to do better every year. In any other market in the county, with the exception of New York City, San Francisco, and possibly Boston, we would be able to afford a much bigger, nicer home. Unfortunately, here in Los Angeles, a 1400 square foot house built in 1953, with no insulation, the original kitchen, and--oh, yeah!--a municipal airport runway about 2 football fields away, sells for about one million dollars. A bigger house, one with a bedroom for each kid, and two full baths, maybe a dining room or even a guest room, will cost us anywhere from 1.3 to 1.8 million. Which we absolutely cannot afford, even with large amount of money we'd make on this dump if we sold it.

It just chaps my ass that my husband works as hard as he does, and is as successful as he is, and yet we still live next to an airport. Our kids still share a room. We have absolutely no storage space, for things like hand-me downs that my sister sends, or all those kid paintings you guys guilted me into keeping. The walls shake when we run the washing machine. My sister and her family can't come to visit us, because we have nowhere for them to sleep, and hotels in this area are very expensive.

So. Lance hates this house more than I do, and has been complaining about it ever since Vivian was born. Truth is, it really did get too small for us, once we became a family of four. Before Christmas, we started talking about adding on. We figured out what we could afford, and found an architect to draw up plans.

Which he did. Which we love. Which will probably cost about TRIPLE our intended budget.

But. But, if we can figure out a way to do it, if we can survive the probably year long remodel, then it would be pretty awesome to live here.

Fortunately for both of us, we have generous parents who are willing and able to help us out with deferred payment loans, etc. And fortunately or not, banks are just lining up to loan us money. ( I don't really get this: is it better for them if we foreclose? Because, yeah, we have really good credit, and yeah, Lance makes a good salary, but surely they can do the math as well as we can, and they know that we are going to be stretched pretty fucking thin, right? So why do they all want to give us their money?)

That's what we're thinking about around here, in case you wondered.

But actually, this whole post was just an excuse to post another video--it's Isaac in the backyard, and you can hear the airplanes going by. Taken over the weekend, when the planes fly much more frequently than during the week, but still. It's pretty loud. We're probably crazy to do a remodel to a house this close to the airport, right? Even if about 4 houses on our street are already in the midst of something similar?


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isimsiz kahraman said...
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