Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's all about ME? NO...It's all about THEM!

I've got to say, "I really don't get it..."

Have you ever known anyone who buys new furniture then immediately covers it with stiff, see through plastic so it will be perfect for whom ever they sell it to 6 years from now?

How about the guy I knew that would order a new car for himself with really nice plush seats every couple of years. That's all well and good, but as soon as he got the car, he would put disposable blankets over the seats. He sat on those blankets the entire time he owned the car—so he could get more for it when he traded it in. Poor guy never got to enjoy the seats.

It's the same with houses these days.

A couple years ago, my wife and I set out to find a house to buy. We told every realtor we worked with that we were looking for a small "dump in the desert." They all looked at us rather peculiarly when we told them this but said they had just what we were looking for...then proceeded to take us, every time and without fail, to see a great big sterile box.

We would explain that what we really wanted was a great piece of property—with a shack on it. You see, we wanted to put our money toward the location instead of the house itself. We wanted something with a couple acres, privacy, natural vegetation, and hiking nearby—something "with bunnies and quail," as my wife put it.

In order to afford such a location, not too far from town, the house could not be much and would have to be small. We didn't much care what the house looked like. As far as we were concerned, the smaller the better. We would fix it up the way we wanted it anyway. Personally, I would rather start with an old barn than begin remodeling one of those sterile, anal boxes.

A house and property such as this one would have been ideal. Am I the only one out there that thinks fixing up a house such as this a bit and living on this gorgeous piece of property would be a thousand times better than what most of us are living in today?

We soon learned that finding our dream was next to impossible. It didn't exist. It just isn't done that way anymore. No one builds a small house on a great property. They lose money if they do that. People make the most money if they build the biggest house the area can absorb. That's just how it is these days.

I know there are people out there that don't necessarily want a "shack" in a million dollar neighborhood but they would like the option to pay less for a small house in a great place so they could afford to live there.

Now, when I said we were looking for something small, I meant 600 to 1000 sq. ft. We soon realized that the definition of small, in the areas we were looking, meant 2200 to 3000 sq. ft.

Yes, we did think about just buying vacant land and building something small ourselves but because we needed to be near the city, that would mean building under permit which would mean building and living in a little, square, sterile box—YUCK.

It is ALL about money these days. Sadly, when you live in a society such as ours, you do have to think about that. It's almost impossible not to.

People don't build for their own needs these days. They don't think that way anymore. What people DO think about is what the house will sell for down the road and they build their house for THOSE people.

So, when we need a one bedroom one bath house do we build it? No. We build a 3 bedroom 3 bath house—for the people who come after us.

Hows that for living in and for the NOW?


jes said...

how does one avoid building permits? build outside city limits? it is sad, living for what we can sell things for. or rather, not living, for the sake of selling something at a later date.

The Cheap-Ass Curmudgeon said...

that's a Good question that I have two answers for: You can read another of my blogposts entitled "a few words about permits" and there is a book called "The Hand Sculpted House" by Ianto Evans that has a section in the back on numerous ways to get around the permit process. It's the best I've seen that anyone had the courage to print. Good luck!

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