shitty is the new chic

5 Dec

Painting by Allen Farrell

I started looking at houses. This seems a little bit crazy, even to me. I have no money. At all. And considerable student loan debt. But I feel like I need to have my own place. I need something to show for my life so far. I need to make an adult investment.

The kind of houses I’m looking at aren’t the houses that most people look at. I take after my parents. I search for old run-down shacks and barely livable eyesores. Houses that make most other people cringe. My only real requirements are that it have decent piece of land, a low price, a sound backbone, and potential. I can take care of the rest.

Buying a dump has three advantages. First, plain and simple, I can’t afford anything else. As it is my parents will probably have to help me with the downpayment anyway. Second, I find the prospect of constructing my own castle exciting. I love old houses. It just so happens that a lot of the dumps around here have history. I like the idea of molding my space into whatever I want it to be. And, most importantly, there’s a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with working on your own home that can’t really be paralleled by anything else. Third, the really cheap houses are also usually really small. Small is good when renovations are going to be done by a single person, financially and logistically.

I’ve caught the bug. It may take me a year or two to actually make a commitment and buy something, but the process has begun. When I think about buying the crappiest house I can find it makes me positively giddy. I can see myself putting on shingles and tearing out paneling and laying tile. I can envisage the bucolic scene, sitting on the back porch of my cabin with my dog, watching the hens scratch around. I’ll be working in my own garden, growing my own food, raising my own animals. Sure, I can do these things where I live now, and I do. But this is my parents’ house. Those things aren’t really mine. I don’t make the decisions here. Self-determination is a precious thing. But I do have to give my parents credit. Without seeing all that they’ve accomplished I would be brave enough to try and fix a house or farm or do a lot of things. But now I know that it’s totally possible with a lot of commitment, hard work, and time.

So, if you see a shitty, falling-apart, hideous blemish of a domicile on a 5-acre chunk of overgrown land you know who to call.


One Response to “shitty is the new chic”

  1. Bev Leroux December 6, 2011 at 14:14 #

    You go, girl!

    PS: Going to the library, today, to pick up “Boutique Knits”. I just knew you were going to fall for these two particular hats and I didn’t have the patterns! Will end up buying the book if there are more goodies in it! So the yarn (from your palette) will soon be on the needles : )


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