Wednesday, May 14, 2008

That Old House

The fact that I now live ten miles away from the United States' biggest and most profitable casino belies the fact that gambling makes me twitch. I hate the temporary uncertainty and the long-term losses. I hate seeing half of our state's elderly population hooked up to the slots via Wampum cards on lanyards. I hate the rank air. I do like the free drinks, but I have to imbibe vast amounts before I can convince myself that all those bourbon and cokes negate the overall soul-sucking nature of the business.

Unfortunately, there's more than one way to gamble, and we've been doing it for over a year and a half in the real estate market. We've been paying two mortgages since we relocated in July. As our new home thrives around our growing family, our original place sits forlorn on its little hill overlooking the Interstate, waiting for a buyer.

Today I got to thinking about the offers we didn't take. The price we didn't lower quickly enough. The renters that almost burned it down. Everything related to the sale of that house has been a roll of the dice. It could be sold by now if a different number had come up on just one of those tosses.

Or it could have disappeared. One of the offers early on came from a neighbor who made his intentions clear--he wanted the property for its commerically zoned land, not for the house. He would have demolished the 200 year old Cape in favor of the expansion of his business. We decided we couldn't be complicit in the destruction of an antique treasure and told him, in no uncertain terms, "no."

I'm still glad we rejected his offer (which seemed a tad low at the time, but looks higher and higher in hindsight), though there's a sting each time our bank account bleeds out the next mortgage payment. If we didn't care so much about history, we'd have a much easier time funding the present. But so it goes. Another one of life's little lessons.

One of the most expensive locations in real estate? The moral high ground.

Cross-posted at New England Mamas.


iheartchocolate said...

I can't imagine two, after struggling with one! I wish you lots of success selling your house. I LOVE older homes, my husband? notsomuch.

Very well written post!

toyfoto said...

My MIL is taking moral highground in her quest to save her property in Maine for the family and from being swallowed up by developers. It's a costly place, for sure, but worth every penny.

jen said...

god, i love gambling. the smoky rooms, the free crappy drinks, the ding ding ding and the cocktail waitresses that call you sugar.

once a year, i totally love gambling.