Over the last two weeks we’ve had some walls plastered and painted, and a heating engineer has been in to scratch his chin and tell us how much it will cost to sort out the central heating (to fix a small mechanical fault). We asked him if it was worth us replacing the system with a combi boiler, and his response was to ask if this was our forever home (and if not, then no).
We moved in here 8 years ago, with a newborn baby and very little furniture. Pete and my stepdad took the van that we hired for the removal to Ikea to buy everything. The designer garden was not yet overgrown with weeds and de-gravelled. This house was both better than we expected, and not as good as we wanted. The plan was to stay for ten years.
Since then we have had the walls and loft insulated, ripped out a hideous stone fireplace, replaced some carpets with laminate, built in a bedroom wardrobe, block paved the drive, and completely neglected the garden. Piece by piece we have been replacing and fixing and fiddling with bits of the house until it… still looks much the same as it did. And the really unsatisfactory bits (tiny kitchen, only one bathroom, too many plants in the garden most of them weeds) remain the same because they’re too big to do anything about. If we decided this was our forever home, perhaps we would stop fiddling and build an extension, instead of trying to improve the place piecemeal.
But I don’t think our forever home is semi-detatched on a suburban cul de sac; I’m holding out for something better. Not necessarily bigger, though my wishlist includes two bathrooms, large kitchen, and one extra room to be the study. Fields or woods or something nearby other than the main road to Reading. But then on the other hand we don’t want a whole load more mortgage when we’re managing perfectly well with the one we’ve got. How am I going to know when we find our forever home?