The House Named Veronika

I know you shouldn’t name things because you’ll become attached to them.

Veronika, the mystique, the heart breaker.

Scrutinizing the neighborhood with her evil eye pediment.

The Mister and I have been house hunting for a year now. We’ve seen ranches, two-stories, bungalows, Victorians, various bi-levels, tri-levels, and quad-levels. We’ve ventured into dungeonous basements, crawled up to dusty, low-ceiling attics, wandered into houses built like churches, explored a bomb shelter, and climbed steep staircases in search of a balanced house with at least two full bathrooms, a two car garage, decent kitchen space, and a bit of sunny yard for a garden.

And one that feels like home.

Weeks ago, a house we’ve passed on walks from the library went on the market. A white and black two story we mistook for a duplex because of its two separate porches and front doors.

She is a single family home built in the 1870s. Last major remodel done in the 1960s.

I hold a grudge against anyone who has ever put carpet over wood floors. I curse them if they have also put down carpet on their bathroom floors.

Veronika sports cat puke green carpet with pink pinstripe wallpaper. There’s dark wood paneling down the hallway with violently floral wallpaper. It’s peeling because it was applied to preexisting wallpaper underneath. I should have known something was amiss when the MLS only showed pictures of the outside and one picture of the kitchen sporting red linoleum and cabinets painted robin egg blue.

Despite the hot mess, she seduces with a unique floor plan. Two staircases, one to two bedrooms and a full bath; the other to a study. Home library? Yes, please. Another set of questionably structured stairs and makeshift handrails lead to a surprisingly well lit basement with built-ins and a workshop.

She sings to my writer’s soul but, she also gives it a fright.

She is located in a stable historic neighborhood but there are so many to-dos and unknowns: electrical, plumbing, windows, the possibility of lead paint, the slanting front porches on top of the tearing up of carpet, the tearing down of wallpaper, the refinishing of 150 year old wood floors and repairing plaster walls. The known fact that her one-and- a-half garage will eventually have to come down, plus the shed and the tree behind it, to build a two car garage. Despite her below-market price, we can’t afford an unknown becoming a pricey emergency repair.

Veronika is too high maintenance. Veronika demands too much.

So our search continues.


If you have any house hunting/owning success or horror stories, please share them in the comments. I would love to read them.

Connect with me on Twitter: @sm_saves



2 thoughts on “The House Named Veronika

  1. Ah, house-hunting! In Toronto, the housing bubble is so massive we’ve resorted to the idea of maybe owning a condo one day. No way of owning a house around these parts. This was a great piece!

    • I live in an area where the standard of living is manageable and houses are decently priced, but you have to be careful where you live because the property taxes can get ridiculous.
      Thank you for reading!

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