After I sent my lawyer another note slash heavily edited diatribe wherein I explained that what i really needed to hire was a bully to take my brother out behind the bleachers after school…. i sent a note to the broker in Greenfield reminding her that I am still alive and I am still planning on migrating there as soon as i finish burying the bodies here. I have a number of friends who ‘used’ to be brokers… a surprising number actually…. and to a woman they advise me to send her a WISH list, as desperate as I am to get the most bang for my buck I have some absolutes that if i don’t have them where I am going, then what is the point of the going?
i keep coming back to this image.. though there are a lot of images of post WWII housing on the internet. But this one seems to become my ideal..the play house in my head. In one picture it has everything i need, so I just sent the picture along with the email.
this is a more expanded contemplation of the things I feel I must have:
• 5-7 rooms, I have been living what is essentially three rooms for more than 15 years, i don’t count the bathroom or the kitchen..they are basically closets…and the ‘living room’ if you can call it that…is 30x15x9.5 and would make a very servicable living room for anyone else if it was attached to 4 more rooms. I have what is essentially a ballroom attached to a trailer. Over the years I have removed all the living room furniture and what is left there are bookcases, and some work tables that from time to time hold cages. Most recently I added some old style baby changing tables which are going over like gangbusters as cat beds. My work room is in the basement with the laundry and i’d like to bring both of those INTO the living space and get a bedroom which didn’t double as a dining room slash family room.
• Garage or outbuilding – Actively used or not I have some bikes and at least one rowboat, i may sell the other and get a kayak (need to lose some ass, because the fatter you are the longer your kayak and i want a short one.) but i still want to do vintage bike repair in summer and keep my tools and what not someplace that isn’t my porch or living room – and there have been times they have been stored in both. If there isn’t already one, i will have to buy a KIT shed – the bigger and nicer they are the more they cost. Without a traditional garage, I will have to factor in another 10K to buy a KIT shed and have it put up. To me this is non negotiable. I am losing carriage house, garage and basement storage. Even limiting the stored items to sports equipment and building materials, that’s not a small structure.
• Screenporch, I love my screenporch, i don’t love having to repair it all the time. the cats are a bitch on regular screening. And if it weren’t mostly made of brick I could have kept up with it. i use it for everything – cat patio, mud room, storage, outdoor office, eat in kitchen, even sleeping there when its hot. These days most houses don’t have them, but i need to at least be able to add one on or enclose a deck – why do people like decks when they can have a screen porch? I will be bringing 5-6 of the cats, but the 1st thing i will do is replace the screening with pet screening (it has a fiberglass lining) and add shelves for them to cat nap on. This should keep the destruction down tremendously.
• Dry climate controlled storage… that means a basement with access from INSIDE the structure. As is anything i have for sale, products and books are all stored in the finished room in the basement which is also the laundry room. it was the 1st thing My mother had built into the house when we moved here in 1975. Wise decision. For her it was a traipse..for me, it’s a slog, i have to go out of my house around to the other side of the building and down through three locked doors…and believe me its’s a bitch when you have to pee. And don’t think i haven’t looked at the slop sink as an option. If the basement of the new place isn’t ‘finished’ with a raised floor and drywall, i will need to add that – cement and stone foundations constantly produce dirt and dust from the vibrations of you stomping around upstairs. As an option if i have a big enough spare room in the house I can move all the industrial shelving into that and call it a day. I am not thinking of using attic space, i would have to add an air conditioner and perhaps a humidifier, as a lot of book repair products don’t respond well to weather changes. Besides if i have a basement I can install a chest freezer and more food shelving and go back to gardening and cooking, see? there’s a method to my madness.
• A kitchen that isn’t a CLOSET, the one i have was actually part of a hallway.no light no windows, it’s dire. I don’t think i have ever had a kitchen with decent lighting. The one I had as a kid only had a window over the sink. When i was married there was one of the sink, but i was too short to enjoy it. I want cabinets I can actually reach and room for a table I can use to cook, because i am three inches shorter than the norm processing food on a normal counter height gives me pain.
• A toilet on each floor. I hadn’t thought of that until the other day, but i need a half bath on whatever floor doesn’t have the full. This should be self explanatory to every woman over a certain age. I always wanted a bathroom large enough for a hamper, i thought that was luxurious. Now i think not bumping my head on things is luxury.
• A bit of a yard. Behind is better than in front, there are grass people and dandelion people, obviously i’m a dandelion person. But i’d like to put up a fence and have another real dog – i have too many friends rescuing too many pitbulls, I don’t have any business working out of the house and not giving a dog a decent home. I have the chihuahua but he just sleeps. I’d also like to have a garden again, the property maintenance men made it very difficult for me to have a garden here. So far they murdered my Sage bush, my rhubarb patch, half my dogwood tree, and Himself ripped out $150 worth of fern garden.
Off the top of my head those are the big ticket items. Aside from the yard and the cellar, most are things that can be built add on to a structure. But for everything I add on that money has to come out of the price for the house. I will pay more if i can tick off all of those things. It’s one of the reasons I am hoping I will get as large a percentage as possible for my house. Is so i can put more put more cha-ching into my HOUSE FUND, just moving in, paper, painting, shelving, pulling up carpets and putting down flooring, adding cabinets all of that cuts into my must-go-in-the-bank-non-house-fund money.
Carpets…i had to think about carpets the other day…i don’t have those anymore… i used to have six bokaras I bought when was married but i sent them to get cleaned and never picked them up. As long as i have 1 cat or dog, that i can’t trust – carpets like that aren’t an option and wall to wall is out of the question. I have had tenants for 40 years… wall to wall is a bad invention, i don’t know why people still install it – it retains allergens, dust, parasites, dirt, it’s impossible to keep clean, and you can’t clean UNDER it unless you pull it up. Take my word, if there is carpet installed it is because someone ruined the original floor, and when you pull it up all you will see is plywood. There are plenty of new flooring material that mimics hardwood. And I can’t be trusted with hardwoods, so new floors will be mandatory… sadly growing are the number of things i need to do to the house to arrange things so i don’t destroy it.
While looking for ideas for things i can DO with a POST WAR House besides turn it into an homage to 1940s not my favorite of decades...i found that some folks in CANADA at the NOW HOUSE PROJECT are using these as exemplars of what true energy efficient houses can be. Which i think is fucking brilliant. – Now my brain is going to go off and think about Solar Panels.
photos would be helpful..until i get a digital camera that works you are shit out of luck…there are only four of you reading this anyway.