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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Homes vs. Old

I'm reading a great book called 'House Lust' by Daniel McGinn, which discusses why people have become so obsessed with real estate in the last decade and some of the repercussions. I had read some great reviews of it - one of them stating that if you're planning on fixing up your home that you must read this book first. I was sold. It's no longer being printed so I ordered a used copy on Amazon. I'm only about 100 pages in - I'd be further if Josh didn't keep stealing it for himself. Now he's surpassed me and has been filling me in on what the chapters ahead entail.


I've never been someone who needed to buy a brand new house. I feel the same way with cars - I'd buy used if I had to buy one at all but maybe that's the banker in me thinking what a bad investment a car is. However, there are some aspects of the shiny and new that I would enjoy. McGinn searches for answers as to why people crave new homes and comes up with the following,

"As I toured model homes and watched families choose options for their new residences, I struggled to understand what's fueling this desire. Finally one afternoon, standing in a basement, a salesperson lowered her voice and explained it to me in simple terms. Many Americans, she told me, are absolutely horrified at the idea of bathing in a bathtub a stranger has used. And the metaphor extends beyond the bathroom. No matter how well we scrub a preowned house, we know somebody else's grime still surrounds us."

That hit the nail on the head for me. Now that the ensuite bathroom reno is finished, I feel like I can actually relax knowing that someone else's grime is now gone. I can't say the same for the main bath. I'm going to refrain from taking a bath and stick to showers until that reno is complete. Maybe it's the fact that when we moved in, the previous owners left an apple core and some dental floss on the sink for us to clean up. It definitely made me question their standards of cleanliness. As the walls literally come down around us, the ensuite bathroom is my little untouched sanctuary.

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