The Fixer-Upper

Let’s say you’ve been out house-hunting.  For a long time.  Like for a year and a half.  You’ve toured many, many, MANY homes.  At first, you stepped inside any place that was available, even if it had the wrong number of bedrooms, was in a sketchy part of town or had just one bathroom and no laundry room.  After some time, and with the help of a great agent, you started to weed out the ones you knew were wrong for you and concentrated on visiting  just the ones that had a shot at being what you were looking for.  Maybe you adjusted your expectations, knowing that the mansion on the hill with the circular driveway, tennis court and olypmic-sized swimming pool was a wee bit out of your price range.  You started considering the cute little rancher that was built a good decade before you were born instead of being dead-set on getting yourself into the brand spanking-new condo in the high-rise in the heart of town.  Let’s say you managed to find several great houses and even made offers on them, only to have the deal fall through at the last minute.

And then you find it – the perfect house.  Only it looks like this:

3 inches of caked-on cat piss included at no charge!

The location is amazing.  It’s got exactly the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ve been looking for.  The architectural details (once you scrape away the layers of dust and filth) are gorgeous.  This one has great bones and oh so much potential.  You picture your furniture arranged in the sunny front room with the amazing view.  Think about what color you want to re-paint the bedroom.  Picture your kids running around the place, enjoying breakfast in the sunny little nook in the kitchen, frolicking in the backyard.  Yeah – the one that’s overrun with with poison ivy.

Sure – it needs a little work.  Ok, a LOT of work.  See, the old owners didn’t take very good care of the house.  They let it fall into a state of disrepair.  Didn’t fix the small crack in the wall that is now a large hole that lets the rain in, which rotted the once-beautiful hardwood floors. That smell? Why it’s sewage leaking from that pipe that never got fixed. And wait – is that deadly black mold? Why yes it is! No big deal you think to yourself. You think you can get your Bob the Builder on and fix all of this shit.

But the more you look around the more problems you find. It slowly dawns on you that even with the investment of all the time and money in the world this place isn’t worth it. Because the foundation is just fucked. You will have to tear that shit down and start all over. In the meantime you will be homeless, or perhaps in a van down by the river while you sink all you have into helping it reach its potential and provide you with the safety and shelter you crave.

Now imagine doing all this while working full-time and taking care of your children. Where will the time you need for all this renovation come from? And the whole time you are so lovingly and painstakingly returning your “perfect” house to its former glory it won’t stop bitching to you about how shitty the previous owner treated it or once stopping to thank you for all your hard work and attention. Or when you google your house you find all kinds of pictures of it in happier times with the previous owner. And the moping. Dear god the moping and woe-is-me attitude. Get the fuck over it you want to shout. Can’t you see that I’m here fixing you up? And I am also way cooler and sexier than your previous owner, or any other transient tenants you’ve had staying there?

Fuck this. I’m not putting another dime into this place. Calling up my realtor today and asking her to find me something in move-in-condition! Besides – Bob the Builder was an idealistic asshole. Not everything is fixable.

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7 responses to “The Fixer-Upper

  • A-Dog

    All I have to say is, I concur.

  • Cadence Harper

    I spent 10 yrs workin on a place that wasn’t in terrible shape to begin with… And it still bankrupted me! So, I saw fuck the fixer uppers. I am looking for my dream house that doesn’t require an insane amount of upkeep!

  • pointsofviewers

    this could soooo be ablt finding someone special and thinking you can fix them up LOL but finding out their foundations in life are fucked LOL So after investing in a relationship you find it has been a waste. The only difference here is I dont think there is such a thing as “move in conditions” with a person in a relationship LOL we are all fixer uppers to some point. Thanks cadence I may use your home story as an analogy for another post on my site LOL I will give you credit for it though because I have a good foundation and thats how my grama raised me LOL

  • Nikki B

    Ha! Great analogy!

    I have to add: Why do we also so often *want* the fixer-upper? We’re *attracted* to the idea of fixing?

    And, for the love, why are there SO MANY MOVIES about how well fixer-uppers turned out??

    • The Reluctant Monogamist

      I loved fixer-upper dudes so much that I was practically a contractor! I think, at least for me, putting the time and energy into “fixing” a guy is just shorthand for proving how good of a person you are. Who doesn’t love being a martyr, amiright? It’s also a very convenient way to not have to look at yourself and the shit you need to fix.

      And yeah – not everything turns out like Under the Tuscan Sun for god’s sakes!

  • rosetintedspecs

    Can’t help but strike an analogy to some men being “fixer-upers”, including the moping and googled pics with previous “owners”. God knows, when they require too much work and time, they also need to be unceremoniously ditched.

    You’re right, not everything can be “fixed”.

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