Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Moving Up

While cooking supper the other night, I watched a TLC program called MOVING UP. A person/couple buys a house... the old owners buy a different house.. and that owner buys a third. They have 2 months to make their purchased property their own.

Then the old owners come back to view the changes.

I'm assuming that they get some discounts/gift card to do this. Whenever we moved, we didn't have a lot of cash to spend those first 2 months on remodeling.

Anyway, these people don't just paint/paper and change the window dressings. Often they tear out a wall, sometimes they completely gut a place. The old owners always have things that they think 'MADE' the house... and it's normally the first thing that the new owners remove. The changes are often dramatic, and sometime watching the old owners revisit their past places is a little sad. The best times they can say: this isn't my house anymore. I can live with my memories and know that this place is busy creating new ones.

Now we moved here 7 years ago. The house we moved from we lived in for 7 years. We custom built it from plans I drew up. When we built it, it was a dream house; by the time we left, it was a good house.

I have only been back to Cleveland in the past few years for funerals. No extra time to drive 50 miles across town to see the old house. But if I ever had the time and was in town with a car, I'd like to see what they've done with place. The only think I'd be upset to see gone would be the cherry cabinets in the kitchen. I'd be shocked is some of the carpet is still there.

So, if given the chance, would you like to go back and see one of your old houses? What would hate to see changed?? What would you be surprised to see unchanged?


Carol Logan Newbill said...

I've gone back and looked at an old house, at least from the outside.

We've lived in this house for 10 years and in the previous one for 14. Both are in the same city and the old house is not far from my dentist's office, so it's not a big stretch for me to drive by there and take a peek.

The old house has gone through five or six new owners in the 10 years we've been gone. It's been repainted at least three times, but it's still the same color we put on it when it was on the market (dark gray siding with deep red shutters and trim).

I had painted all the rooms in bold colors -- deep rose in the great room, for instance. Every real estate agent who came through had a hissy fit over that and demanded it be repainted beige before the house went on the market. It did sell with the intense colors, but I expect they are long gone now.

There was a chestnut oak in the front yard that is gone now, and the roses that we planted along the fence in the front yard are gone as well. They were old-fashioned climbing roses and did require some gentle coaxing to stay put and not overrun the yard. I expect someone found them too much trouble.

Otherwise it looks much the same, which is really strange.

As for us in this house -- we've repainted most of the rooms (in bold colors!) and replaced the kitchen floor, but otherwise the previous owners could move back in and be quite familiar with the place.

PaMdora said...

Did you hear the news story last year about a woman who was arrested because she moved into another woman's house who was away on vacation? The lady had gone out of the country for a few weeks, and when she came home, she found this stranger living in her house. The weird part was, the stranger had already re-carpeted and was in the process of changing all the wall paper. It made national news. Isn't it true, life is stranger than fiction!

Deb R said...

Johnny and I got the chance to look around inside the last house we lived in! It was a house we had completely remodeled while we lived there---gutted the inside, did all the work ourselves, plus we built an addition on one end.

The people who bought it from us weren't happy there and didn't keep it long. We saw it again when the NEXT people moved in and a friend of a friend arranged for us to meet them, and they graciously offered to give us a little tour of the house.

It was funny because a few things had changed, but not all that many. But when they started talking about what they'd done to the place, it turned out they were UNdoing many changes made by the people who lived there immediately after us! If they'd found and bought the house directly from us, it would've looked much like they wanted it to.

I'd love to see it again, because they've since built another addition right where we would've eventually added on if we'd kept it.

The one thing I would've HATED to see changed in that house (and it wasn't...whew!) was the kitchen cabinets. They were custom-built by my husband out of wood from a recycled redwood privacy fence and they were GORGEOUS. I still miss that kitchen.