Return to the Organizing the Home Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
An extra house = the ultimate in clutter?

Posted by trilobite (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 10, 10 at 20:36

I can't get this out of my head. A woman I know has an extra house. No really, an entire extra house.

Relatively early in their marriage, her husband poured his heart and soul (and not a small amount of labor) building a home on some property they owned. Eventually, they moved up (and on), but never sold the first house.

I gather their grown kids have no interest in this house. They can't bring themselves to sell it (husband built it! their first home together!) and they're having a really difficult time even renting it because of all these reasons of sentiment/attachment/nostalgia.

I think it's great for them that they're so fortunate as to have an extra house. But I think it's kind of sad that they can't just let this house be someone else's home.

Thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: An extra house = the ultimate in clutter?

I guess I can understand it. My family is the same way. There is the sentimental attachment, but also the monetary one. In my family's case, the house usually comes with acreage and is on a river some place. There is some natural resource to sell such as renewable timber to pay the taxes. The land can be a good investment. The house can also be used as a gathering place or a lake home. I know my grandfather felt like he was taking care of us by leaving us something when he died. It's easier to leave something to someone you love rather than to sell it to someone who won't take care of it or appreciate in the way you would.


 o
RE: An extra house = the ultimate in clutter?

What a coincidence I was just discussing such a case with someone regarding mutual friends. Their first home has been sitting empty for at least 14 years (since I've known them). They have talked about renting it but don't want the hassle of dealing with tenants. Their kids are grown and moved out of the area probably never to return.

They pay about $5,000/yr in just property taxes not including the heat needed to keep the pipes from bursting in sub-zero winter temps, and then there is the home owners insurance to pay in case it burns down or floods. This house is in a small suburb, not a vacation home, and they live right next to it. They still have to mow the lawn, trim the shrubs, and shovel the snow, and paint it so they don't get fined by the building inspector. WHY?

I never thought of a house itself as being "clutter" until I read this thread. I have read about people getting a second house just to store junk but these people are neat as a pin with sparse furnishings in the home they live in so the second home is not a place for clutter overflow. No one understands it. Why?


 o
RE: An extra house = the ultimate in clutter?

This house is in a small suburb, not a vacation home, and they live right next to it.

This sounds VERY similar to the situation I was told about. The only real difference being that they do currently have renters, but it's driving them crazy because even the best and most careful renter is going to treat the house like a home, like not like a museum piece.

I think there's an added complication in the worth of the property. Like many people who purchased and built at a certain time, they've watched their property values skyrocket.

In the absence of having any pressing need for money, I think it's more emotionally satisfying to watch the property continue to accumulate value than it is to sell it. (Which certainly I can understand.)


 o
RE: An extra house = the ultimate in clutter?

I read that Marie Osmond and her husband own two homes. Marie and hubby and all those kids live in one house, the other she uses to store her doll collection. Boy, would I love a spare house to hold all my collectibles and habbies!


 o
RE: An extra house = the ultimate in clutter?

The sad thing is that so much of the time, the things we value so highly have absolutely no appeal to our kids. They get rid of it as soon as we die.


 o
RE: An extra house = the ultimate in clutter?

I know. A neighbor down the street died and her family cleaned out her house, and threw absolutely everything into a dumpster. I peeked in the dumpster after they left and found many cards she had saved, written by her late husband, as well as sheets of useable postage stamps. I took a lamp and some tables out of the trash.


 o
RE: An extra house = the ultimate in clutter?

"I peeked in the dumpster after they left and found many cards she had saved, written by her late husband,"

When an in-law died, I was told that the relative in charge of cleaning out the house had decided to throw out all the letters the deceased and her husband had written to each other during WWII because they were 'private.'

"it's driving them crazy because even the best and most careful renter is going to treat the house like a home, like not like a museum piece."

The seller on our first house moved into a mobile home on a plot of land next door. Bless her heart, she never said anything to us, but everything we moved or changed outside bugged her.


 o
RE: An extra house = the ultimate in clutter?

Yeah, I know what ya mean, evaf. I think that's why I've heard the advice that after you sell a house, you should never go back and look at it. You might be shocked and disappointed.

We had painted the walls of our last house in pastel colors. (White is boring to me.) Then we sold the house. The same weekend that the new people moved in, they whitewashed everything. To me, that is the "apartment look." But to someone else, it is clean and sparse. Different strokes for different folks.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Organizing the Home Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here