Friday, August 24, 2012

The Practice House

I am trying to find more things to be grateful for, and today I am grateful that I don't own this house.

There isn't anything wrong with it, but I've decided renting is really good practice. How do you know what you want unless you've already had it, seen it, lived with it? Once you buy and it's there and you're living with it, most likely it isn't going away anytime soon.

In our last home, we had linoleum flooring in the kitchen and baths. I thought I hated linoleum and wished that I had tile. Now we have tile and I can see how amazing linoleum is! It doesn't chip. It is easier to keep clean. Dishes don't shatter when dropped on them (usually). We have three cracked tiles in one bathroom, and two chipped tiles in the kitchen. I promise we didn't cause them.

In our last home, we had wall to wall carpet except for the places that were covered in linoleum. I thought I wanted wood floors, or even fake wood floors. We now have fake wood floors and I hate them. I am sure real wood floors are different, but really bad laminate flooring that was poorly installed isn't the same.

I used to complain about our garage. The height of the door was a little lower than standard, and had our van been a little taller, or had we purchased an SUV it would have had to sit outside. The plus was that it was a large garage. Wide and long. Now we have a standard height garage door, but we can barely pull the van in and close the door. It is short. We also can't park both of our cars in the garage at the same time, so hubby is parking outside. We managed to get them both in the garage for a few days, but getting out the door and around to the car on the far side was nearly impossible.

In our last home, we lived in a ranch house with split bedrooms. I thought I liked that floor plan, until our rental home had a master down and the kids bedrooms upstairs. I love having my spaces as far away from my children's spaces as possible. That is why they invented baby monitors.  I always would have thought I liked it the other way, until I tried it this way.

In our last home, the master bath (I feel pretty lucky to have had a master bath) had a combined shower/bath. I thought I hated it, but it was easy to get in and out and easy to clean. We now have a separate walk in shower, and garden tub. The tub gets used to bathe the kids because it's easier for me. The shower is nice, but it is small. Shower for two? Not very comfortable. And the placement in the room isn't ideal. You have to open the door and get out before you can reach the towel bar. It's odd.

I guess the point I am making, for my own benefit, is that it is easy to be blinded by things that are supposedly better than what you just had. I think I have just about convinced my husband that renting as a practicing surgeon may be a good idea - long enough to figure out what it is we like and want before we buy it.

How are two "young" kids supposed to know what things they want in a home. Yes, there is Pinterest. Yes, there are people willing to tell you what you want and need. People willing to help you spend your money.

I am looking forward to practicing in another house, for a year or two or three. However long it takes to figure out what it is exactly that I (we) want for our home. And then I will be ecstatic about buying, or building - whatever it is that we decide to do.

Practice makes perfect.



  1. We're renting currently too while hubby works through his peds residency (we're in year 2). Sometimes I hate renting & hate this house, but I think it's good to rent sometimes, like when you move to a new town, when you are gonna have to move again in a couple of years, or to learn what you want. I'm now 30 & have rented 8 different places in my adult life. I feel like I know pretty well what I like in a home at this point. I would love to get into a rental with a contracted option to buy next so that if we stay here for fellowship we can buy the place if we want.

  2. Reading your post, I just realized I've never rented outside of my early college years. How crazy is that? I think you're totally right about rentals helping you gain better understanding of your likes and dislikes. ;)

    1. Me neither until this year! I missed out on all those years of practicing, and need to make up for it pronto:-)

  3. We moved at the beginning of Aug. for my husband to start his job & are renting & we're loving our house. Is it the house I want to live in forever no, but it is nice and roomy & its the location we wanted. Even though we're living back in our hometown after being gone for 10 years things have changed so it's nice to have plenty of time to get a feel for the area to truly know where we want to live. For me after moving 2 years in a row I'm perfectly content to stay here 2 years before moving again & it allows my husband to focus on his career without the extra pressure of affording a certain kind of house right out of the gate & us to pay off debt & get ourselves in a good position to buy/build.

    1. I have a feeling our plan will be fairly close to that. We are hoping to start that real job next year in our hometown too. In the meantime I am going to thoroughly enjoy the practicing and discovery part of finding out exactly what is it that I want, so when I see it - I know it. If I didn't already say so at some point: Congratulations on finishing training and starting practice!


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