Do you remember your first house?

@anawar (2406)
United States
June 9, 2008 12:19pm CST
Newly married, my husband and I bought a house built in 1910. The entire house had to be restored from the outside all the way down to the plumbing and wiring. I loved that house the moment I walked in the door. The house had quite a history. When we removed the wallpaper in the kitchen, we found thick black horizontal lines on all the walls. Some of the original owners still lived on that street. They told us the house was a store, and the 2nd story was the house. When we removed 7 layers of wallpaper in the living room, one wall was covered in what looked like a black, waxy board. Puzzled once again, we asked the neighbours, and they told us the house served as a temporary school when the school they used burned to the ground. There was an old-fashioned tub in the bathroom, beyond restoration. The stairs were so narrow, the tub wouldn't fit. We were closing off a window because our shower was to be on that wall. The workers threw that tub out the 2nd story window onto the lawn! I wish I could go on and on, these are only a few details of the restoration. If it were possible, I would return to that house and live there the rest of my life. Your turn. What were your first house experiences? Would you move back? If you don't own a home, what kind of home would you like to live in?
14 responses
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Your first house sounds so much like my first house! Except that I bought it before I was married. Mine was built in 1904. I had a blast fixing that place up! It didn't have the history yours did, but it was fascinating seeing the layers come off and wonder whatever possessed the previous owner to use whatever was the next layer to see. (This house was bought new from the woman I bought it from. She was OLD!) I found a piece of a mahogany table top on one wall (yeah, really!), layers of old linoleum held down with nails, very strange stuff! I find myself missing that house from time to time, but I wouldn't move back. My second house was ALMOST one like you described, only it was 200 years old. It had 2 staircases to the 2nd floor, one being a spiral staircase, a huge fireplace (an entire wall) with a mantle that had hundreds of small holes in the front of it, from all the Christmas stockings hung there. I was in love with that house. I almost had it, too. I had the contract, financing was approved and a settlement date was being set when lightning hit the house and a huge oak tree right next to it. It put a really large hole in the roof over one bedroom and, with the rain that came with that storm, water had ruined that room, the room below it and a powder room. It had the sand/horse hair and lath walls and they disintegrated. A huge branch from the oak tree (at least 18" in diameter) broke off the tree, came down and brought the power line to the well pump with it, which in turn burned out the pump. The owner asked me if I wanted to back out because of all the damage and I said yes, because by that time I knew my marriage was falling apart and I couldn't handle that house by myself. It also had 3 acres of land and an inground pool. Just too much for me alone. Yeah, I cried. Life, huh?
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Okay, blonde day for me as well. I just realized I said "My second house...". It was the second house that I wanted to buy. I never actually owned it.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I got 'ya covered mentalward. It's almost midnight and I will concede these past few hours to a blonde day as well. The story of the destruction of that house is out of this world! Really, it's like a nightmare story book. If things weren't supposed to work out, (if you believe in those things), wasn't the destruction Mother Nature rendered, a bit dramatic, when she sent her message of warning out? Cosmic or coincidence mental. Which do you choose?
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Hard to tell, but I tend to go more with the cosmic influence. We were all set to move into that house early because of the school year starting before settlement. We had arranged to "rent" the house for a month until settlement so that my kids could start the school year in the new school with the other kids. I'm talking about a week away from actually moving in! At the time, I definitely took it as a sign that I was not supposed to have the house, even though everything else had fallen into place so easily. The house was under contract with another couple when I put in my contract. The very next day, the other couple's contract fell through and I got the contract. It seemed meant to be but, as time progressed, I realized more and more that I would end up doing most of the repairs on the house myself because my husband showed his true colors more and more frequently as the time of settlement approached. It took the lightning episode to make me really see just how bad my marriage was. You know what really hurt? Besides the history of the place (slate roof and all!!!) and the barn (big enough to drive a car around in) and the garage (2-car) this was in a rural area and had 3 acres of land. I bid $90,000.00 and got the contract for that price. Houses were being developed all around the area with 1/4 acre lots and selling for $150,000.00 and up. The house that was built right next door to this one was selling for $175,000.00. Buying that house and fixing it up would have given me instant equity, even though I doubt I would have ever left it. Oh, I loved that house! My current husband isn't fond of older homes. He bought his first house before it was even built! I'm a definite lover of historic homes. I could actually see all the Christmas stockings that were hung over the fireplace throughout the years. I could picture so many people sitting in front of that huge fireplace, darning socks, reading, knitting, whatever, by candlelight or lamplight. Maybe someday I'll be able to talk my husband into something like that, but we'll probably be too old to do the renovations! I'll be content with what I have now. (Sniff, sniff) It's nice, only 8 years old, but nice. Sounds like you and I have a lot in common!
@lexus54 (3577)
• Singapore
10 Jun 08
When I first got married, I moved in to my wife's home, which was a house with a garden, a porth and driveway for a car. My wife was the youngest child and we had to live with her mother, so for the first year of our marriage we stayed in this house and we didn't have to do any renovations because the house was in a lived-in state already. Fourteen months later, we moved into our new home, which was an apartment in a beautiful new condominium. We spent several months doing some fittings like furniture and lighting, and decorating the place. It was a very satisfying experience setting up our own home. Then we shifted over from the house to this new apartment, and eventually sold off the house. We moved to this apartment 22 years ago, and to this day, we are still staying at this same apartment unit. It is such a beautiful place, we will desire to stay here forever if we can.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
lexus54_ I like your expression. "The house was in a lived-in state already." Very expressive. I think 22 years is the longest I've ever heard for renting an apartment. The people who rent it must love having you as tenents.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
11 Jun 08
lexus54_ Now I get it. Sorry I mixed that all around on you. I still like your sentence lived-in-state, even if I didn't quite catch the exact meaning. Was yesterday another blonde day for me? I thought that was the day before?
@lexus54 (3577)
• Singapore
12 Jun 08
LOL..I think I wasn't that clear in my initial post. I'm not sure what "lived-in state" means in yr country, but here, when people say that, they mean the place is already fitted and that means renovated also if renovations were involved. Our bridal room had power, lighting, aircon, carpets and a bedroom set.
@ladym33 (11009)
• United States
10 Jun 08
The first house we bought was actually a townhouse. We had been married for about 6 months, and hated apartment living, so we wanted something of our own, but all the houses in our price range were worn out. We decided to go for a townhouse because we could get a nice one in nice condition, in a nicer neighborhood. It was a two bedroom upper 1 level townhouse. It had a kitchen, dining room, large living room, 1 bathroom, laundry room and the 2 bedrooms. Our unit was over the garages. This I think made our heating and air conditioning bills larger, also our unit was the closest to the outside water hose, and I think we ended up footing the bill for everyone, our water bills were rediculas. It was OK for my husband and I at the time, until we got a dog. The association was rediculas about the dog, and she got blamed for several things she never did. For that reason I would not go back there. I don't think I ever want to live in a place with an association again. They were just really in everyone's business all the time.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Homeowners associations can work for you or against you. I never had a problem, but I know several stories like yours. I think bad experiences are more common with townhouses and condos. I don't know if it comes from people living too close together or whatever. I agree with you. I would never live there again!
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Mental_ How many years did you live there? I didn't know it was that expensive just to buy some aggravation.
@suzhouzb (17)
• China
9 Jun 08
You are very happy. I want to buy a own house.but the house is very expensive.I must work hard to earn money.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
9 Jun 08
You're right. It takes some saving up to afford a house! Dear Everyone, today I am dumb and I posted the same discusson twice. I'm hoping one will get deleted, because I'm upset.
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I hope it's the other one! LOL
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
mental_ so far we're safe. I'll cry if we lose your house story!
@celticeagle (115494)
• Boise, Idaho
12 Jun 08
Our first house was in need of repair also. Not much. It was fun helping my husband. We redid the outside and even moved some of the trees and bushes. It was enjoyable.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
13 Jun 08
celticeagle_ You moved the trees and it was fun? How big were the trees? Or maybe the better question is, how big and strong is your husband?
• United States
10 Jun 08
From birth until age 10, my parents, maternal grandmother and I lived in North Phila., in a row house. We had an enclosed porch which was converted from my maternal grandfather's barber shop. The street was on the main thoroughfare, where the trolleys clanged all day. It was near stores, pharmacies, bakeries, etc. The neighbors looked out for each other, and I had plenty of friends (school & neighborhood) my own age. I remember the house was a duplex; we rented out the first floor and lived upstairs. The tenants messed up the downstairs stove and toilet so bad and were so noisy, that my Dad told them to move. I would not want to move back!
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
JanetBRudman_ I thought this was a happy story all the way until I get to the last two sentences. I think it all sounds very romantic, but I never had to live there! I understand why you don't want to go back. I gues the trolley cars were too noisy!
@jashley1 (746)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Hello, We just purchased our first home last March. The house was built - I believe in 1994. It is in pretty good condition - when we moved in we had to get all new appliances and replaced lynoleum with tile in the bathrooms and kitchen and front walkway. Otherwise it was very nice - neutral paint throughout. We still have tons of improvements we would like to do, but we're waiting for a minute. Just thankful to have been able to purchase our home!
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
New appliances make a used home feel new! I like having new flooring under my feet. Enjoy your home and the adventure of improving it!
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Yes, we rented one this year. And was this trouble! A very, very bad experience, I must say..
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I never had a problem, other than the neighbors! Thankfully, you only had to rent for one year!
@wabuser (114)
• China
10 Jun 08
Well my family and I move around a lot we currently live in Beijing and have been for around 5 years, I live in a amazing house that I have had a lot of experience and memories in good and bad. I cannot imagine leaving this house, I remember the day I threw tennis balls against the wall and my ma came in and yelled at me, and also the day that me and my friends stayed in a room the whole nite just playing blackjack. Im very happy for you, hope you end up with a great house
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
wabuser_ I always appreciate people from other countries commenting in discussions. I wonder what your house looks like? I wonder what Beijing looks like? Your home and your memories take good care of you. You sound so happy to be living there.
@aseretdd (13712)
• Philippines
10 Jun 08
The house that my parents live in right now... is the first and only house that they own... we only rented during the first few years of my life... and we are quite lucky that my mother was able to buy a house at a very affordable price... it was a classic bungalow that was owned by Americans who opted to live outside the US base in our province... i was quite small and dilapidated... but when my parents had enough money... they had it renovated... and now it is bigger and more comforatable to live in... I don't live there anymore... i rent an apartment with my baby... but i dream of having my own house... any kind as long as i can call it my own...
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I'm sure the house your parents bought will be forever grateful, because your parents loved the house enough to make it beautiful. Owning a home is sometimes more trouble than renting. If you're renting, you don't have to worry if you need a new hot water heater. You just pick up the phone and call the owner. I know apartment living isn't the best housing, but sometimes its the best we can afford. Not that apartments are cheap, by any means.
@getnbuy (1315)
• United States
9 Jun 08
That sounds so neat! I have always wanted to restore a house, but my husband and I are not handy at all. My favorite house is the one we are in now. We had it built and have lived here 20 years. It was fun to have a custom home built. We agreed on almost everything, thankgoodness! Making decisions about a new house can be very hard if the partners don't agree.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
10 Jun 08
getnbuy_ I never owned a home custom built from the ground. Every house I've lived in has been used. I can feel other people's energy lingering. Any new venture is stressful, good or bad. Your relationship is strong and sound if you built a house from the ground, without tearing your marriage down.
@sblossom (2170)
20 Aug 09
My first house was bought 8 years ago. At the time i just began my new life in Beijing so i did not have a lot of money. My flat was very small that just has two bed rooms and one small living room. However i was very excited whe i really owned it. from now i thought i can say i settled down in Beijing. The flat located in a business area that developed very fast. the Beijing Olympic provided many chances for the area. So my flat value was up a lot. Many friends told me i did good investment. I thought i was lucky. when i bought it i did not realise it will have so huge potential of value increase. now i'm struggling in the uk to make money for my first house here. if i can afford i want to buy a house that has a big garden. then i can grow vegetables i like. i also want a big kitchen where i can cook any meals i want and invite many friends.
@setroc (853)
• Philippines
10 Jun 08
i still remember our first house, was born there and moved out when i was 9
@subha12 (18462)
• India
10 Jun 08
yes i remember taht very well. w ewere there till i was 3 year old. we used to stay in first floor whereas the uncle and his family in ground floor. i was very little and used to pl;ay with my cousin.