The Crossland Family has Super-Down-Sized from our nice, big, 2-year old custom home in Oak Hill to a crappy old 1970s house in Westlake. Now Me, Sylvia and our two teenagers are “crammed in” to an 1859 sqft rancher compared to the former 3316 sqft home, and 3701 sqft in the home prior to that.
This new house has a bad sewer line (and slow flushing commodes), aluminum wiring, former slab repairs, cracked sidewalk leading to the front door, termites, small secondary bedrooms, a giant dead tree in back, leaking sprinkler system, old worn out carpet (layered on top, believe it or not, of an older worn out carpet underneath), and a punch list of needed repairs and fix-up things at least 20 items long and growing daily. I’ve had a parade of vendors in and out of the house since we moved in two weeks ago and more on the way. This place was a rental home for 20+ years. I couldn’t move a renter into a house like this without hearing an earful of complaints, but we did it ourselves. And we couldn’t be happier with our new home. We absolutely love it.
Why are we so elated about our move into this dump? Location, first and foremost. More on that in a minute. But, also, we’ve grown weary of maintaining nice big houses on acreage and the accompanying expenses of that lifestyle. I mowed my own lawn 2 days ago for the first time since 1999 after me and my new neighbor spent an hour working on the old mower, taking apart and cleaning the carburetor, and getting it running.
I don’t need lawn service once a week anymore. We don’t need maids to come keep everything clean and shiny every 2 weeks. We don’t need a professional window washer to clean gigantic picture windows twice a year. This new house has 1 A/C filter to keep changed, the old one had 5 filters and I needed a 10ft step ladder to get to them all because of the nice high ceilings we had. The old house had high-end fussy appliances that were expensive to repair. This house has Plain Jane appliances that work surprisingly well, especially the black dishwasher that doesn’t match our white gas range and stainless fridge, all tucked nicely underneath a fabulously 70s seven foot two inch kitchen ceiling with yellowing plastic covers over the fluorescent lights. The new house has 32 light bulbs, the old house had over 100 light bulbs. You get the point. To sum up the lifestyle change in one word, I’d have say I feel “unburdened“.
But our primary motivation in leaving our beloved Oak Hill was location, getting closer back in to the core of Austin and living in a home from which we can walk places and better enjoy the Austin lifestyle.
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