Emotionally Attached to my house


Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jan 26, 2006
OK, the other thread about "chucking it all" got me to thinking...
I could sell my house, make a nice profit, and build a house on my wife's land resulting in a minimal mortgage.

But, I'm emotionally attached to my house! My grandfather built it in 1976 or so, and I remember "helping" as a 10 year old kid. They paid me to stay out of the way mostly!

Being built in '76, it looked like a brady bunch house: shag (baby blue, bright yellow, gold, all sculpted!), bright orange/red countertops, gold curtains, etc. So when I bought it in 1993 after my grandparents passed away I began fixing it up myself.

Now it has new roof, new driveway, new pergo and wood floors (oh my back and knees!), new siding and windows (thanks to my uncle) and is fully updated with appliances. It is not a bad house. Oversized ranch (1400 sq ft or so) on 3.55 acres (3 acre minimum in my town).

Well, I could sell it and pocket 80-100K. And roll that into a new house to be built on land we own with a septic already installed. End up with a sub 50K mortgage. Live cheap...

But I am kind of attached to it. My little brother (well he is almost 38) lives right next to me in a nice little cape so I have no problems with my neighors. I have a ton of sweat equity into it.

Anyone else emotionally attached to a piece of property?
Bill my husband and I were just talking about that very subject tonight. Bought grandparents house after they passed, it's right next door to my dad. I don't think we'll be going anywhere for a while, I have too much history wrapped up in this place.
My very first home/rental is under contract and it is a little emotional. THe numbers say sell but I see it as where I got started in real estate. We're using the money to buy a lot near the beach so I am sure I won't feel too bad when it's finally sold.
DW and I have been in our house for 31 years and raised both our kids here. We just went into contract the other day on it and both of us are nervous wrecks.

Sort of like the TV commercial where the realtor is getting ready to show the house to some new folks at an open house. The people who have lived there are sitting in a car looking at the house. The agent then tells them they get to take the memories with them.
We bought my grandparents house in '75 when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother moved to an apartment where she didn't have so much to take care of. My grandparents had the house built in 1930 when my dad was just 17 years old. I have all the old records from when the house was built, just imagine all the light fixtures were only $88, the coal furnace was $250 (installed). What's really interesting is the loan, 7.5% during the depression.

The total cost of the house was ~$6200 plus another 2 year $200 loan my granddad had with the builder. We bought the house for $30k in '75 and put about $100k into it in improvments. About 90% of that was sweat equity. I could probably sell it for 10-12 times what we paid, but I don't think I will.

Just too many memories to let it go.

73ss454 said:

Sort of looks like a post card.

Thanks, that picture was taken a few years ago while I was out cleaning a little precip off the driveway. The old place was drafty and leaked cold air like a sive when we moved in. Lots of insulation and new windows later it's nice and cozy in the winter.

Bimmerbill said:
Anyone else emotionally attached to a piece of property?
I'm emotionally attached to a great piece of property, a great location, great neighbors, a great school district, and the thought of never having to move again.

But if I could duplicate that somewhere closer to surf or some other important amenity, I wouldn't let sentiment stand in the way of a better quality of life.

The best deal would be selling to a family member (or deeding it to our kid) so that they could enjoy the same sentimental feeling that we have.
Bimmerbill said:
Anyone else emotionally attached to a piece of property?

I'm definitely attached to my current place, but even more, I'm attached to the idea of owning a house. It really makes more sense financially to own rather than rent where I live (equivalent place >20% more monthly, plus tying up a huge hunk of cash in a down payment), but for some reason owning a place gives me a sense of putting down roots, which I seem to need.

Those who have chosen to rent - any regrets?
I’ve been in my place over 20 years. Midwest, 2 acres in the country 10 minutes from the city. I’ve planted over 150 trees and bushes, 200 hosta plants, raspberries, blueberries, horse radish, herb garden. Put in a swimming pool a few years back. DW and I raised to boys here, youngest one off to college yesterday. I’m looking forward to the time when I RE and get to enjoy some of these things a lot more then I do now. I would sure hate to let it go, lots of hard work and memories so I guess I’m emotionally attached.
My grandfather built his farm in about 1910. My father spent most of his life there and I spent my early years there. My grandmother was a very short woman so grandpa built the kitchen to her scale. I am short too so the kitchen fits me perfect. Greg feels like a giant in the house.

I am attached to the house. It hasn't operated as a farm for years. Fortunately, my cousin bought it from our family in the 70s. I get to go there all I want but don't have to take care of it. :)
My brother lives in the family home (since 1945) and so I get to visit there when I go east (next week again). I also inherited the family cottage. After consulting with my brother, we decided to sell it as he was not likely to spend the money needed to keep it up. As luck would have it, the next door neighbour bought it and has kept it as is so far, so we can still visit and enjoy the old homestead.

We have owned four homes and still enjoy driving by them (in four different towns) to see how they are progressing. The last one has had the most work done, changing the exterior appearance. But it was a big expensive acreage and 5000 sq.ft. home with pool, spa and 3-car garage.
From a NYTimes article found online today:
“Your home should be like a good dose of Zoloft,” Jonathan Adler, the ceramist and decorator, and one of the most prominent members of this group, wrote in his 2005 book, “My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living.”

So I read these anti-depressives are addicting. No wonder you are emotionally attached.
Travelingval said:
Those who have chosen to rent - any regrets?

I rent with no regrets. We've moved around quite a bit and I love the freedom of knowing that we can go anywhere at anytime. I did own a house a few years back, it was a new house that we had to decide everything for - the fixtures, the colors, wallpaper, the whole yard, etc. When we moved I said that I was not putting all that effort into another house until I knew we had settled down . We'll own again one day, but I'm not anxious to do so.
I travel a lot (on business) and I am perfectly comfortable living out of a hotel room or a corporate apartment for months at a time. Once I retire, I will have no emotional problem with selling the house and moving to a less expensive area, either renting or buying as circumstances require.

However, I am still somewhat reluctant to sell the house because it has proved to be solidly built and pretty darn reliable: a 100% dry basement, no leaks, no major problems with insects, etc. It is getting older, thus requiring more maintenance that I'd like, but sometimes I think that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't...
I'm living in the same house that I lived in with my Mom & stepdad back in the 80's. It's been in the family like forever...my Grandma's Uncle Luther built it back in 1916. I know when the time comes it's going to be hard to part with it. Too many memories, and it's just been a part of the family for so long.

Here's an old pic of it, taken back around 1965...

UncleHoney - I think I'M emotionally attached to your house! It's so beautiful!
During my life I've lived in 7 different houses, 3 apartments, and 4 dorms. I've lived out of hotel rooms for months at a time. I even lived in a tent in the woods for two months. When I've had to move, I've been emotionally attached to friends and neighbors -- but never to the walls and ceiling around my bed. . . or sleeping bag. :D :D :D
Even though I don't own it any more, I'm still emotionally attached to the tent in which I spent 4 months sleeping when traveling cross country in 1972. It was bright orange and shaped like a teepee--I could just stand up in the middle. The feeling of freedom for those months, first time out west, lack of responsibility (made too little money to pay taxes that year, had no health insurance), made using campground bathrooms, many cold showers, and laundromats worth it. (And we had $50 left from the $400 we started with after 4 months!) I have never been as emotionally attached to a house as I was to that tent, although we're extremely comfortable in our current place.
I'm emotionally attached to our house. We built it recently, after years of apartment or nomadic living, so it is our first stake on the earth. The decision to buy was definitely a lifestyle choice, not an investment. The house was designed to meet our needs, not what someone else might want. Watching the kid play in the yard makes it all worth it.
REWahoo! said:
I've gotta ask...what the heck did your DW catch you doing?  Snorkeling with the neighbor lady?
Actually, we lived together in that tent for two months. I don't miss it at all, but DW feels more emotional about that tent than about any of our other residences. When she talks about living in the tent she sounds a lot like astromeria describing her experience living in a tent.

In 1978, DW and I quit our jobs in Mountain View, CA. I was working as an engineer in Silicon Valley and she was a hospital dietician on the heart transport floor at Stanford Medical Center. We took the money we had saved and moved to Raleigh, NC where I started grad school and she started work on a degree in electrical engineering. But when we got to Raleigh, finding housing we could afford turned out to be more difficult than we had anticipated. So we spent two months in a tent. Homework by campfire was an interesting experience. Like I said, I don't miss it. :) :D :)
My maternal grandparents bought their house from relatives ~1900 in St. Thomas.

They had 2 sets of twins (boys) in 1904 and 1906. My dear uncles now deceased.

My aunt, 1915, lives around the corner.

Aunt #2, 1917 lives in Cambridge but drives an hour to the homestead about once a month.

Mom was born in 1919 in the same house as the rest.

The Zipper and his brother (1943) (1946) moved in with grandpa along with mom and dad when grandma died in 1948.

Mom is still there. I'm over a couple of times a week and make sure things are OK.

Yes, I would say the Zippers are emotionally attached.

I know every square inch of the gardens and house. :D
Wow, lots more are attached to their houses too! 

I think buying my grandparents house from my family (at a good discount from market value) really has contributed to how well I am doing in life financially. 

Cheap housing goes a long way toward being able to save for retirement and invest. 

Ok, so now how do I break my emotional ties, sell the place, and build another house with the profits?  On a pure financial viewpoint, this makes a HUGE amount of sense. 
I have lived in I don't know how many houses in my lifetime, air force brat and now serving myself. It seems like every time I have moved on the next place is always better but I still am attached to the two that we had built. But happy where we are now and will be happy at the next place.
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