The dumpster is always a first sign of a house getting an update. Then the real-estate sign, “Coming Soon,” and finally the For Sale sign. For years, I thought it sad that people would not update their house until it was time to sell it. In my head, I thought that the updates would be enjoyed only by the new buyers.
Now I’m selling my house and I understand. I didn’t update because the faucets, light fixtures, counter-tops, and sinks were just fine. Well cared for, the baths and kitchen were fine the way they were. I didn’t see a reason to rip out perfectly fine sinks and fixtures because they weren’t trendy anymore. I didn’t want to fill a landfill with items that were perfectly useful and in good condition.
My real estate agent is extremely tactful. Bottom line? I have to update the house to sell it. I’m busy updating the new place and now I have to update the old place. New gravel on the front xeriscaping, new guest bathroom, new towels to show it off. New counter-tops, new paint, and now, new tile flooring. Hammer up the old, put down the new. Nothing is wrong with the old except it’s . . . not trendy.
I both understand and don’t understand. The counter-tops are undamaged–no cuts, dings, or burns. But they are Formica, which somehow equates to the Ebola of counter-tops. No sensible couple would even consider it. I thought it was fine seven years ago when I moved in, but what did I know? Same thing about the faucets. They were oiled, antique bronze, which is so dreadful that no one could trust any water pouring from them. We replaced them all with sleek brushed chrome. Only to notice an article that said the browny-bronze was coming back.
Updating is going on in both places. Boxes are piling up in the house, getting ready for the move. We’ve shed some books, and now are shedding furniture. It doesn’t bother me, because some furniture is specific to the space we’re in now and doesn’t translate well to the new space.
What I will really miss is my fig trees. Both of them. I planted one just three years ago and it produced a lot of fat, juicy turkey figs this year. And I didn’t need to update them at all.
—-Quinn McDonald is in the throes of another move.