Lessons from homeownership, Vol. 2

Heating an old house isn’t cheap. I mean, really. And my house only goes back to the ’50s, so it’s not that old, but it is kind of drafty. And I made the mistake of setting up auto-pay for my natural gas bills, so at some point each month, it hurts … until we get back to around May or so, when it gets to cheap again.

Don’t buy a house with a big tree in the backyard. Because this could happen:

We had had a couple of very windy days in the area. My tree had gotten through the worse first day without too much trouble, but the second day, I wasn’t so lucky. I got home from work and noticed a few branches sitting in my driveway. That’s not a big deal; it had been windy, after all. I got out of my car and picked up the branches, going to throw them into my yard over the fence. Then I actually looked over the fence and saw the downed branch. It was a pretty big sucker — 15 to 20 feet, off the main trunk, with a whole bunch of branches coming off it.

But I got very, very lucky. It missed the nearby wires. It didn’t damage the roof. And it could fairly easily be taken apart, which my dad and I did the day after:

The next step was to call the tree doctor, as there are many broken branches left on my tree. I also asked, since the tree is probably on its last legs, how much it would cost to get rid of the tree.

$3,800.

Eep. I, um, don’t really have that.

So. Much. Shoveling. We have had an insanely snowy winter. In fact, it’s snowing right now as I write this, and I don’t want to go out for at least the 20th time and shovel. The good news is that I’ve become very good at shoveling. The bad news is that I don’t. Want. To. Do. It. Anymore. Even if the driveway looks nice when I’m done:

But despite all the hassles and problems, I still like being a homeowner. I like having people over. I like having all this space to myself and no landlord to put up with. I like the freedom I have. I don’t mind the responsibility.

So if I had it to do all over again, you bet I would. It may be a lot of work, but c’est la vie. It’s something I take pride in every day.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s