Saturday, February 07, 2009

Yes, you can go home again...but it's different

As some of you know, my mom sold her house last year; my childhood home. I never met the new owners, but I was curious about them and what they would do to the house. Every so often, Josh and I would drive by just to see what they were doing...not in a creepy sense, but curiosity got the better of us. I guess curiosity got the better of my mom and her boyfriend too, because they drove past the house today and noticed that there was an open house.

My mom has no intention of seeing the house in its new incarnation - she wants to remember what it looked like when she lived there - which I can totally understand. Well, she called me to tell me about the open house, so Josh and I got in the car and drove over and walked through.

Yeah, we're sneaky like that.

It was SO bizarre walking through it. I thought a lot of the old memories would flood back, but more than anything, it just didn't feel like the house anymore. I can't quite explain it other than by saying that.

(Before you ask, the new owner is trying to flip the house. There wasn't a shred of furniture, nor any clothing.)

The thing that struck me immediately is that they kept my mom's doorbell, front doors and that's pretty much it. One of the locks looked the same, I don't think they changed it. I still have the keys on my keyring (I'm not sure why, I guess sentimentality), and I was tempted to try it in the lock, but the real estate agent was standing right there. It would look more than a little odd if I was doing that. ;)

Everything else was changed, and not necessarily for the better.

They completely overhauled the kitchen. All new cabinetry, new sinks, etc. The one thing that was missing was...APPLIANCES! There was a space for the fridge, stove and dishwasher, but they weren't in. I couldn't wrap my mind around that. Also, they made the kitchen counter longer and wider, so now there's no room for a table and six chairs. All they have in the kitchen are two bar stools at the kitchen counter. Ques'que fuck?! I don't quite understand why they would do that.

They ripped out all the carpeting throughout the house and it's all hardwood flooring (which was underneath the carpet), they just polished it. There's pot lights in the living room, dining room and kitchen. I think that was the only improvement that I actually liked. With all the dark hardwood floors, it made the rooms seem SO small. It was really odd.

The bedrooms all have hardwood flooring, except my brother's old room, which now has carpeting. Not sure why they did that. Oh well.

Now for the really bizarre thing. They redid the bathrooms, new toilets and new tubs, and tiling. The thing that was missing was...SINKS! There wasn't a sink in either of the upstairs bathroom or the downstairs bathroom. Again, I will say...Ques'que fuck?! Isn't that something you kind of...need? Something that would kind of be...missed? There's also no vanity. Nothing. Just a toilet and a shower/tub. There's not even a towel bar or a toilet paper roll.

They also made a mess of the den, family room and basement. It used to have wood panelling. I *loved* that, it made the house seem...homey. The wood panelling is still there, but now it's covered with (cheap) white paint. Who would paint wood panelling? It looked SO ugly the way they did it.

Another weird thing they did is in the laundry room. They took out all the cabinets and counter. So now it's just a large room with a washing machine, dryer and a sink. There's NOWHERE to put laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. I didn't understand the reasoning for that.

Anyways, we walked towards the door and I said "it's a lovely home" and I turned to the agent and asked how long it's been on the market, and she told me "33 days". I'm thinking it's going to be on the market for quite a while longer when it so obviously needs SO much more work.

So yes, you can go home again...but would you really want to?


Wendy said...

Wow!! Is all I can say about that! I do love the cat photo though! :o)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the either ran out of money or figured the market is about to tank and wanted to get it on the market asap.

One of our neighbours caught the old owners of our house cruising by. I wish they had stopped we are still getting their bank statements three years after we moved in.

Juliette said...

When I come back to the GTA and happen to drive by my previous street I always wonder how our house looks now and what people did with it.
I think it's normal when you have so many memories in a place and involved a lot financially and emotionally.
Same when we go back to Paris or when I go to my parent's city.
I think we hope it stayed the same, that the memories are intact too. So yes maybe it's better just not to go and be disappointed.
Hope you have a great Sunday!

Dolores and Shawn said...

I think it's good to go by and take a look, it gives you closure.

Sounds like the flippers don't really know what they're doing. No sinks in the bathrooms?? Very bizarre.

Michelle said...

My Dad still lives in the house I grew up in for 38 years and when he finally does sell it I will have no desire to ever go back there. I wouldn't want to mess with the good memories that I have of growing up in it.

Sadly, that house has not felt completely like a home to me since my Mom died 12 years ago and I kind of wish he would sell it and move into smaller place.

River Mama said...

You got me to thinking about a similar experience that I had this past year. I hope you don't mind I linked to this post in my blog- I only have 3 readers anyway, and you're one of them! It really must have been a very displacing feeling to be strolling the rooms and hallways of a place that you could've run through with your eyes closed you knew it so well. Time marches on, and not always in the right direction...

Cavatica said...

It is a weird experience - going back. And it is never right. I guess it can't be.