Buyer’s Remorse

I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.
— from The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard

I wasn’t really into today’s Writing Group prompt (which is too bad, because I had the perfect opening quote).  I’m kind of having a hard time at the moment and wasn’t going to write at all, but since I committed to a post a day, I’m just going to write anything.

I feel anxious about a lot of things and it’s making me very uncomfortable.  It’s not fair to talk about it all here, but I will talk about one thing.  I’m afraid we made a mistake buying our house.  I think we rushed into it, largely at my insistence, and I think it is not really working out the way I hoped.  There are so many things that I loved when we looked at it, but now that we’ve lived in it for 7 months, it’s clear that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  The people who lived here before made huge changes to the floor plan, and since we never saw the house fully furnished, I can’t visualize how they used the space, which makes it harder for me to see how to best use the space.  There’s SO MUCH SPACE (which is not a humblebrag complaint about how my house is too big; they created a great room/dining room/entry way/built-ins/etc. space that just makes NO sense and seems to leave a ton of wasted space).

The house doesn’t get a ton of natural light, which I didn’t realize – and I’m not sure how I could have known that before we bought it – and it makes me really sad.  In fact, it makes me wonder if the lack of natural light is contributing to how down I feel.  We have lots of windows, but our lot is wooded and we have long eaves, and so we just get indirect light, except in the great room, but you can’t grow plants in there because the direct sunlight falls in the middle of the room.  This really bothers me.

There are, technically, four bedrooms, two upstairs and two downstairs.  The more I think about it, the more I think we should have looked for something with at least three bedrooms on the same floor.  I worry about once we have kids.  You can’t move a little guy downstairs while the baby stays in the room we’ve dubbed the nursery, next to the master.  It’s not safe.  And the plan to move both kids downstairs in the future seems like it’s not really a good idea; the office, which would be the second bedroom downstairs, isn’t really set up to be a bedroom, what with the French doors that lead out under the deck and a fireplace.  And of course, this all so very cart-before-the-horse (which is another post altogether), but that doesn’t seem to matter when my mind starts racing.

I hate the paint color that we paid to have put up in the family room; we made a mistake when we picked the swatch.  We thought it would be super, super pale purple, but it’s actually lavender.  With the ugly sage/teal green carpet that’s down there – and which we’re not in a position to replace for the time being – it looks ridiculous.  I also sometimes think we picked the wrong gray for our bedroom.  David’s against repainting.

We still don’t have furniture or rugs for the great room, so we haven’t been able to have the open house I’ve dreamed about having ever since I imagined having a house.  We had a giant sofa all picked out – we used to go visit it at Z Gallerie – but then David decided he was having second thoughts and wanted to try it out again, but the last time we went, they’d taken it out of the showroom and it won’t ever be back, so now we can’t buy it because it’s too much money to spend on something we’re (he’s) not sure about.  Nothing else we’ve looked at has come close to being as perfect as that couch.

Our commute is at least an hour each way, sometimes longer.  That means I haven’t been able to find time to work out during the week in basically six months, and we rarely eat dinner before eight, which I really, really hate.  I often think we should have found something closer in, even if it meant settling for something smaller.  I worry, especially, about what will happen when we have kids.  When will we have time to see them if we’re spending all our time commuting and it’s basically bedtime by the time we get home?

Everything feels completely unfinished.  I mean, even after seven months, we still don’t have a workable (in my opinion) solution to where the mail goes when we bring it in.  The guest room still has shit everywhere, you can’t turn the stove down low enough, the bushes in front were planted too close together, it’s fucking impossible to keep the hardwood floors clean, and I’m an asshole who can’t do anything except keep a running tally of all the shit that sucks about her house.

I can’t talk to David about this.  He doesn’t worry the way I do, and he doesn’t see any of these things as problems (and I recognize that some of the things I listed are not actual problems, yes).  I also can’t bring myself to tell him outright that I think I regret buying this house.  And there’s nothing I can do except try to accept that it’s basically always going to be a work in progress (and therefore never perfect, which is problematic for me) and try to make the best of it.

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7 thoughts on “Buyer’s Remorse

  1. I totally get this. I too have many regrets about our house and when I have complained to my husband he has said things to the effect of, “I’m sorry you’re always unhappy”.

  2. I’m in contract on a house and I worry this will happen to me. I mean, it kind of did happen to me in that the apartment I currently live in gets no natural light and back then it didn’t matter to me and now it does and it sucks.

    I wonder if you can look at it as your starter house, though? That is, Kids #1 and 2 can share the upstairs room and by the time they outgrow that situation it will be, what, five years from now? Which is often when people trade in their homes. It does seem daunting, I know, to think about a new place when you’ve just settled into this one, but maybe the idea that this is a temporary place will make you feel better about living in it.

    But either way, I feel you.

    • Becca, it would help, if that were the case, but we bought this house intending to stay for 20 or 25 years. Obviously, you never know, but it’s definitely not in our plan to buy again in 5 years.

      A lot of the things I pointed out are small potatoes, really. I think I was just having a pity party for myself last night. I’m feeling anxious about a lot of things right now and I think that anxiety is manifesting itself in petty complaints about the house. Some of the things *are* a big deal, like the commute, but most of them are just the kinds of things you pile on when you’re unhappy about other things, if that makes sense. I just get frustrated with the slow progress of bringing the house up to date and making it the home I always imagined.

      I didn’t realize you were buying a house – that is really exciting. I wish you the best.

  3. I”m late…but can I chime in ? You’re going through a really stressful time, and there were problems with the house and the roof and leaks when you moved in right? So you’re a bit behind in fixing everything up and it wasn’t exactly the magical time you thought first time homebuying would be. That’s hard…but not insurmountable. Don’t let the house get between you and David. Some things can be fixed….shrubs pulled out…trees cut down for light, paint redone. Rugs bought, furniture rearranged. The house is not a big deal…the HOME is…and you can make a home no matter where you are. The commute? Well that can become a problem. Weren’t you thinking about finding a different job anyway?

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