Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Long View

The last Bank of Canada announcement kept the interest rate the same. I've already put next year's announcement dates in my day timer. I know...nerd!

I am forever amazed at people/couples who are able to take the long view on things. For example, D just toured the kitchen of a couple who finally got it re-vamped after living there for 8 years.

They have lived through one reno after another. It's amazing to watch. Their personalities make it work. That's not to say they haven't had their moments where they wished they had bought a new house but they got their house at a good time, paid a reasonable amount for it and saw the potential.

They also have no intentions of moving which in my mind, automatically makes them good candidates for building wealth.

Projecting myself onto this scene and D and I would likely never have gotten married in the first place much less have an opportunity to get divorced. I have patience for a lot of things but I would not willingly tolerate living in a construction zone for years. Living somewhere else while the construction was going on, OK.

I suppose it would be a more balanced approach to build something together over time. It is easier on cash flow and the budget. A more honest way of living perhaps? Compared to those of us who would buy everything so it can be set from day one?

It's an interesting mental debate because I am one of those who likes to be able to have everything set right off the bat. Because of that I drove myself crazy when we moved into our current house, having landscapers, masons and hvac guys all running around at the same time.

From a budget point of view, because I tend to those tendencies, I make sure I have the money for all that beforehand. So in that sense, we are similar to the couple above. The only difference being our money beforehand has to be a bigger amount so that it can cover all the work at the same time.


  1. Each to their own I guess, thankfully we don't live in a one-size-fits-all world. When I bought my house in PEI this summer I found that I preferred the homes where the work was already done and that's what I bought. There are still things to do, improvements I will want to make that are peculiar to me and I am ok to take my time with that. Oh I get impatient sometimes but it passes:)

  2. Buying a "fixer-upper" vs a home that is done is an interesting debate. We went the fixer-upper route at because at our budget a new done house would have been a dollhouse.

    We have spent tons over the last 4.5 years fixing it up (think kitchen face-lift, new full bath, new half bath, finished the basement, new bedroom/closet, new roof, new furnace and air conditioner, new floors almost throughout, concrete driveway and front step, new I type I'm adding up numbers in my head...scary!) Luckily DH can do or at least help with, many of the renovations (and I can help paint, or be the gopher and figure out how to budget for it all!) He's also great at finding tradespeople who do a good job for not a lot of money, or work for bartered goods/services.

    I sometimes wonder if we could have just spent extra on our mortgage payments and had a more "done" house, but it has been fun to see it come together, and I'm fairly sure we've increased the value through good old sweat equity. Living in a construction zone is pretty do-able if you keep the main rooms work-able. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself ;)

    We have no plans or desires to move-we have lots of room, we like the layout, we like the neighbourhood, and at the rate we're going, we should have the relatively small mortgage paid off quite early. All good things in my book. Plus, I absolutely loathe moving with passion. All good reasons to stay put in my opinion.

  3. I'd rather be sailingDecember 11, 2010 at 8:05 AM

    Interesting debate indeed. We bought our home 30 years ago... a 1876 Stone school house (think 2 foot thick walls) out in the country and over the years have completely renovated into an open concept with 2 lofts, lots of skylights, a large addition, flower beds and gardens, outdoor pool and on and on. Money would flow would proceed; money stopped, work stopped.

    We laugh now when we reflect back on those early days. One could soak in the old claw foot tub while watching TV across the other side of the house and engage someone working in the kitchen. A sleeping bag would be hung around the 'facilities' when friends would come over.

    A lot of times life got in the way, kids, travel and the work was put on hold. Some years while working away on the house, we'd question whether it was a work of love or a love of work?

    Scrounging material definitely helped in the early years... Keeping an eye on demolitions also helped; laminated beams from an old church being torn down ended up being exposed support beams for the lofts, a tongue & groove maple showroom floor from a local furniture factory became the finish flooring on the upstairs lofts, douglas fir planking from a factory sub-roof once cleaned up became exposed ceiling. For a while (OK, years) our kids thought pink insulation viewed through the vapour barrier was actually a paint colour. What we saved in not buying new and using sweat equity has yielded a unique home for us.

    But as one gets older, ones' outlook changes. I'd like to get a motorcycle. My spouse says I can... once I complete the house. Don't expect to see me riding anytime soon!

  4. Hi Jane!

    I would also feel better owning an out of province home that has all the major stuff done.

    Personalization of it, is the fun part!

    Hi psychsarah!

    I admire yours and your husband's skills. It must be such a great feeling to see all the hard work transform into your creative vision.

    Freedom is just around the corner!

    Hi I'd rather be sailing!

    Wow, your home sounds just wonderful! Unique is an understatement. They just do not build structures like that anymore. You have a piece of history!

    I wish I had the level of patience to see a long term housing project through! The level of satisfaction cannot be beat.