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the house


the house

Scott Bahlmann

Dear M,

Well, I’ve been thinking about the sort of place I’d like to end up living in, and this week has certainly swayed me.

In the five years I’ve been in Salt Lake, I’ve had a room in shared house, I've house-sat, rented a house, rented an apartment, and owned a home (my current situation). I really like being able to make whatever changes I want to my space, painting rooms, planting things, etc, but there are downfalls to ownership as well.

Ever since March, it seems I’ve been replacing something significant every month. Part of it is me just not knowing what I’m supposed to do for maintenance (how is one supposed to know it all!), part of it is things getting old and not working anymore. I’ve gotten a new backflow converter, evaporative cooler, washer & dryer, outdoor spigot, and now a new water heater. It’s as though my house is throwing tantrums, and each one gets bigger and more expensive. I don’t really want to stick around to see what’s coming next.

The most recent issue, my leaking water heater, also ruined a fair amount of carpet downstairs, as the floor has just the right slope to miss the drain in the utilities room and instead spread out into the padding and carpet of my hallway and two downstairs rooms.

One of the big things about owning a place is the investment, you’re going to get a good portion back when you sell, if you keep it long enough. I guess it would still be an investment if I buy a condo or an apartment. I’m not too keen on the idea of sharing walls with strangers, and I’m sure there would be other issues I’d be responsible for there too.

I like having green space, but if I live near a park or something I wouldn't be responsible for maintaining it (I’m often quite lax about mowing, and terrible at keeping the beds weeded). I also like being able to harvest fruit, but my tree and bushes produce far too much for me to take care of and most of it goes to waste. It’d probably be nicer just to frequent a farmers market and get them that way.

So, I’m still not one-hundred percent decided on what I'd ultimately like to settle into, but home ownership is really low down on the list right now. When we first go to Seattle, I’m sure we’ll be renting either an apartment or small house, and I’ll have more time to figure out what is ultimately most appealing to me, and of course it would be nice of me to take into consideration the preferences of my fella'. -.o