After pre-empting our previous plan to sell our house and start building in the Spring of 2015, we now had to rapidly prepare to change our life.
It made a lot of sense to sell our house early: free ourselves of the stress of two places and two mortgages, have money in the bank account to finance our build, be able to focus on the house design, avoid the stress of moving and building simultaneously, be able to save some money over the winter, and experience the country life.
When I told our friends that we had decided to sell our house and move to a “cottage” they thought we were a bit crazy (almost as crazy as when we told them we were going to live in a yurt for the summer). That is until I should them a picture of “The Cottage.”
I think most people pictured a little shack with weathered cedar boards, creaky old doors, a broken window or two, a moss covered roof, and an old coonhound sitting on the deck next to a rocking chair. But this wasn’t your average cottage.
This was an architecturally built guest house with two curtain window walls, one facing east to the sunrise and the river, the other overlooking an immaculate 40 acre property.
Still this cottage comes in at just under 750 sq.ft. with two bedrooms and one bathroom. For some people the thought of downsizing from a 1900 sq.ft. three storey house plus basement, with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms is a bit intimidating – but we were so excited about it. That big old house, although beautiful, had been wearing on us the past year or so. We’d spent a lot of time and money renovating it and making it our own, but it never quite felt right to us. There was always so much to do and maintain and it seemed that something was always in need of repair. We’d always dreamed of building our own house in the country, so once we entered down that path, the old house became less and less appealing to us. It seemed like a burden and we were looking forward to moving onto the next chapter.
But there was a lot of work to get there – like a ridiculous amount of work.
I think I had blocked the memory of our last move from my memory completely – like disaster survivors do – a coping mechanism to allow you to move on with your life.
We first had to go through the house and make a list of all of those things that I’d either put off doing because it was going to be such a nightmare and/or I had neglected to do because I hated the thought of it. These are all of those annoying little things that don’t necessarily take a lot of time, but they really suck doing. Or, alternatively, they take a LONG time to do and they really super suck doing.
So for the next month, every single night we were fixing, patching, replacing, painting, scrubbing, filling, caulking and all sorts of other ungodly tasks. This was also the same point at which we moved our chicken coop. Once we moved the coop out of the backyard, didn’t have out chickens anymore, and instead had a boring white fence and parking spot again, the house really didn’t feel like it was ours anymore. We didn’t belong here anymore.
We finally were ready to sell the house.