To move or not to move?
We looked for a couple of homes in our 'hood but nothing was exactly what we wanted. So - the question is...move into a home built in the 50s that needed tons of work (and was not cheap!) or buy a new-ish builder built home (definitely not cheap!) but was not really our style. Bethesda Maryland is a wonderful area to live in...close to DC that has lots of homes that are nice and BIG...but are on postage stamp sized lots.
I think the main reason we are not moving is...that we have a pretty sweet big yard. It's a fun quiet oasis with a pool, room to throw a baseball and space for my dog Thurgood to run like a maniac in circles and pee all over.
Architect and Engineer? Of course we can design it ourselves!
Nope and nope. I am an architect/designer and my husband is a mechanical engineer for a large engineering firm in Northern VA. So people always ask..."oh so you designed it yourselves?" haha. Well - we tried...but we couldn't agree on many things. And...I wanted to stay married to my husband so we had to involve a good friend and RESIDENTIAL architect to help us figure out what we needed, wanted and even a few things that we didnt know we needed or wanted. I am also not a residential architect...I work on large commercial or mixed use buildings. It's kind of like asking your OB/GYN to perform an appendectomy. They are both called "doctors" - but they specialize in different things.
Good architecture is like a good therapy session, a good marriage, a good poem - gently and almost invisibly allowing you to be you, as flawed and as beautiful as you are.
- Robert Sullivan
The big band aid?
The option to do a big renovation to our existing house - well...it wasn't really an option. The house was built in 1951 so they built the pipes under the concrete slab (no basement or crawl space). And it is leaking!
Sometimes we would come home and there would just be a small flood under our dining room floor. Please do not ask me what kind of liquid was coming out of the floor...I dont want to think about it. The pic below shows you what a pipe under a slab surrounded by concrete and dirt looks like...it is not a conventional method these days because as we found out - if something goes wrong under the slab you have to jack hammer and cut out the WHOLE area of the floor and then have to somehow match the flooring to repair so it doesn't look crazy.
some people may think that this 70s parquet floor is hideous. but I kinda enjoyed it. shhhhh.
The other reasons to build new?
Our house while it has some charm and cuteness...it also has REALLY ugly features such as cramped bathrooms that can never get clean no matter how hard I scrub, almost no room to entertain, a smell in the laundry room that smells at times like the subway in New York and my fave feature...in wall air conditioning units! These are A/C units that are not shoved in windows...but cut into the exterior walls (huh? who thought this was a good idea?).
Will I miss my old house? Yes. I LOVE being able to not care about beating up the walls or breaking something because it's old. If the kids put a dent in the walls bc they threw a baseball at it? No biggie! The cat threw up again? Oh well! It's a realy nice freeing feeling.
Will I enjoy a new house? Probably! It will be what we want, what we have dreamed of and more space...for the kids to grow up in, for us to have fun partays and for the pets to chase each other in...but hopefully not to pee all over.