I bought a home in a Planned Unit Development in a small, cozy town. The complex consists of a mix of three and two bedroom single family patio-style homes, duplexes, and townhouses. The homes are surrounded by water features, gazebos, and a quiet ambiance that soothes the soul. It will be my retreat, a place for reflection, thought and, hopefully, much writing. It seems to be a neighborhood for adults, single and married. There are a lot of people like me, i.e., retired widows and widowers. I’ve only met a couple of neighbors, but they are active seniors who have a zest for life that I recognize.
My home is a 1600+ square foot two bedroom, two bath with a living room, kitchen and small dining area. It was built in 1996 and hasn’t been touched since which makes it a needy home right now. However, I instinctively know that it was a beloved home of the former owner. She had it set up to her specifications and enjoyed all the nuances she requested. It suited her and her needs. Stripped of the owner and her personality, everything looks old and/or dated, at the very least well used. It sobers me to see something so loved so sad now.
With the turnover in ownership, change will come. My team and I are deep into the planning and, I must say, I’ve been given the gift of good people to work with. I knew I would make major changes in the kitchen, the two bathrooms and all lighting fixtures. Add in paint and new flooring and it all seemed so simple and quick. In retrospect, allow me to say one thing. HA!HA!HA!HA!
For each change, it seems there are 10 or 20 other items necessary to accommodate that one change. I am fairly decisive and know well what I like or don’t like. That’s an advantage since it eliminates a lot of options that could muddle the whole process and seriously delay making final decisions. Initially, for me, it is important to get a feeling for the house and see the possibilities ignoring the reality. That works in this case since I’m not making any structural changes.
Right now, it’s a thinking game similar to using strategy in Monopoly. You’re hoping to hit a good chance card or pass Go and collect $200. Unfortunately, this isn’t a game with quick payback or unexpected funding. It’s all about spending while minding the budget. It’s similar to walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon with no net. Sane folk need not apply.