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Home show

Oh no ... have we sunk this far? We spent half of the day attending one of the local home shows, talking to vendors of replacement windows and spas and other such home improvements. I came out of there with a dizzy sensation in my head and a sinking feeling.

This is scary. We have been so free without a house all this time. We saved money and never paid real estate taxes. Now people are talking to us about spending thousands on improvements to a house we don't even own yet, and we find ourself nodding sincerely as if this was a very logical and necessary thing to do. Sure, we need a custom closet, an outdoor kitchen, solar film on the windows, and a lifetime set of cookware. Meanwhile a voice in my head is screaming, "RUN!"

Well, we gave the home show a chance. But after four hours the only conclusion we could come to was that we didn't need any of this stuff last week and just because we have a house coming we don't suddenly need it now. We've got to keep the proper perspective -- the house is a base of operations but shouldn't become an obsession that sucks up every penny we have, and thus prevent us from being able to afford the life we really enjoy.

So I'm going to browse through all the brochures and then move on. Yes, that's an impressive $1,100 water treatment system. Those are very lovely $2,500 rain barrels. What a pretty $3,000 murphy bed. Nice $3,879 outdoor kitchen. Wish I could have the $20,000 solar power system. Hmmm, what about a $25,000 pool?

In the end, we'll fix up a few necessary things in the house and resist the urge to spend more improving the house than we spent on the Airstream and a year of travel. The house will get its due, but no more than that. In the big picture, it's just another place to live that doesn't have the advantage of wheels. This full-timing experience has really had a more significant effect on us than I had envisioned. We may never see houses the same way again.


Rich, If your not careful houses will take every spare dollar you have and then some. Pretty soon you find that you need things you never knew you needed. All the stuff you sold when going on the road you'll be buying again. Stuff that hangs on the garage wall and fills up all the cabinets and closets and spills over into that new storage shed. Things that you only use once a year but you knew you needed the day you were in the hardware store. It's a scary world your about to enter. The good thing is, you've done this before.The bad thing is, that won't help you. Houses take on a life of their own. The minute you step through that door as the new owner, they start toying with you.;-)I'd say run while you can but I fear I'm to late.
Just kidding. Actually I may be out in your area this summer looking to doing the same.

Weren't you just saying that people often make up scary stories about good "places" to try to get other people to stay away? Previous blog sounds like such a story, generalized to any fixed (um, make that "stationary", houses usually have something needing to be fixed) house. But between the two of you, you can help keep Tucson real estate prices low until after he/she has bought a place! ;-)

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