Column: My first home, be it ever so humbleI remember, years and years ago already, sitting through a Farmington City Council meeting (one of probably thousands) and watching the presentation for a new townhome development. I looked at the layout of the development. More importantly, I heard the price range and I thought, “Hey, that’s the one I’m going to buy.”
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
I remember, years and years ago already, sitting through a Farmington City Council meeting (one of probably thousands) and watching the presentation for a new townhome development. I looked at the layout of the development. More importantly, I heard the price range and I thought, “Hey, that’s the one I’m going to buy.”
I was 33 or 34 then, I think. I’d never owned a home, but I’d been renting an apartment over the by the Federal Aviation Administration for a couple of years. It was fine to rent, but I was an adult with a college degree and a steady job. I figured it was time to make the leap to home ownership.
This was a decade ago, during that time when new homes were popping up all over the community, almost overnight. Developers would come to council meetings and show plans for new neighborhoods of 100 to 200 new homes at a time.
The single-family market was on fire. I knew I had a screwy schedule — not to mention, I was single and didn’t have anyone to help me with yard work or dishes — so I decided I wanted a townhouse. At the time, there were three or four new townhouse developments coming on line. I waited until models were available, and then I decided to make my move.
I checked out the ones over on Tamarack Trail first. Those were the ones that had stuck out in my head from that council meeting months before. I liked what I saw, but figured I’d check out the others first.
But something about the room-sized walk-in closet and the spacious laundry room in the Tamarack units wooed me. I went back. I signed papers. I committed to buying my first home, and what’s more, I got to pick the cabinets, carpets, appliances, light fixtures and the linoleum. It was awesome.
I remember I drove by there on a weekly basis –- sometimes, twice a week. On our lunch breaks, a co-worker and I would go over and check out the progress. When my cousins from Oregon were in town, I dragged them up slotted wooden stairs to walk through it. Suffice it to say, I was excited for my new home.
The building industry being what it was at the time, I think contractors were under pressure to get done with units as quickly as. I was thrilled at the time, because my house was finished a full six weeks before it was scheduled to be. I closed the day before Thanksgiving, and moved in the Saturday afterward. My sister-in-law and I celebrated in our usual new-home fashion, which includes sipping boxed wine out of plastic cups while sitting on a bare living room floor.
That began a life of nine years in my own home. I worked two, sometimes three jobs so I could keep up with the bills. I had parties there, I had chick flick nights with the girls there. My oldest niece came to help me make Christmas cookies every year while I lived there. My cat of 14 years died there. I laughed, and I cried there. It was my home.
Last week marked one year since I moved out. I spent a month doing all of the fix-up I’d meant to do earlier just so I could rent it out to someone else, which, ultimately, I did. My first renters moved out this week.
Now, I’m faced with going back in there again. Seeing the red wall in my living room, feeling the new carpeting I had installed after I moved out. Going through my house with a fine-toothed comb, looking it over and making sure it’s ready for the next renters. It’s something I look at with kind of bittersweet emotions.
I have made my new home with The Beau, our puppy and, on occasion, The Beau’s 9-year-old daughter. That’s where I find happiness and that’s where I belong now.
But it’s hard to look at that unit as just a rental property. In my heart, it will always be my house. My first home, be it ever so humble.