Thursday, 04 August 2011
When we moved into the Elkanah House we had six people in 1100 square feet. After we converted our garage into additional living space we increased our square footage to 1800 square feet. Which is still just a modest size house, especially when you consider our family size (soon to be seven).
When choosing which house to buy in our area, we wanted a bargain. That meant we had to forgo some wants and settle on what we absolutely needed. We absolutely needed a house with the potential for extra bedrooms (a bonus room, multiple living rooms, or a garage). We settled on the Elkanah House with a huge garage. We were fortunate to buy it at half the median house price in our area.
This one decision has turbo charged our ability to pay off debt. ($77,000 in less than four years!) It has allowed us to manage on my husband's pastoral salary, keeping me at home.
The amazing part? The Elkanah House has quickly become our favorite house of all the houses we have lived in! We have an awesome backyard that the previous owner completely fenced in. It has beautiful architectural shingles. It is very well insulated. Our electric bills are much more manageable than any of our previous homes. Our water comes from a well, also saving on our monthly utilities. There are so many little details like sliding shelves in the cabinets, a dishwasher, ceiling fans in every room (remember I'm in the deep South), and an unfinished 2nd bathroom that we hope to finish as soon as our savings allow.
Not everyone who saw our little house in the beginning shared our feelings. It was dirty and stinky. Signs of mice everywhere. The kitchen floor was in terrible condition. No appliances. The carpet appeared stained. The light fixtures were dated. Holes in the wall, lots of holes. The yard was wild and overgrown. There was a huge pile of dirt in the backyard just perfect for filling all the huge holes that were also in the backyard. Enclosing the garage looked like a lot of hard work.
We rolled up our sleeves, started cleaning, and fixing. The huge pile of dirt turned out to be lots of entertainment for our children. They rode their bikes over it. They enjoyed shoveling it into buckets and filling holes. I'm serious. It was great fun for them. The carpet came clean with a good shampooing. We replaced the kitchen floor, replaced the dated light fixtures with ceiling fans, and installed our new appliances. The yard - oy. We mowed and mowed and mowed. This summer we have enjoyed our tame yard and discovered underneath all that wild and overgrown was some pretty landscaping. The garage was a lot of work but with the most expensive elements already in place (foundation and roof), we were surprised how little we were able to complete an addition of 600 square feet of living space.
Everything in life is a choice. Realize that as you live your life, each moment you are either adding to or taking away from the quality of your life. You are either creating and enjoying, or dying and destroying. There is no "standing still", for that is time wasted and therefore takes away from your life. The choice for your life is up to you! - Mrs. Dunwoody
Focus on life's blessings, as this is continuously uplifting, and affects who you are as a person. - Unknown
That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. - Henry David Thoreau
Coming next Thursday - "Making the Most of Our Little House by Doubling Our Closet Space in a Day"