Monday, November 27, 2006

Joys of a Modern Tract Home

Nearly all of my adult life, I have lived in quirky, individualistic homes with lots of character. You know the type: half a century or more old, wood framed windows (some painted shut for decades), old fashioned fuses, questionable foundations. These houses are, without a doubt, charming. The unexpected built-ins, one-of-a-kind floor plans and unique curb appeal are a true delight to behold.

However, once you have near half a dozen children, these things tend to lose their appeal. You start becoming focused on things like asbestos, lead paint, exposed wiring and earthquake safety standards. You long for modern laundry facilities, sound garages with lots of storage and toilets that, well, flush when they are supposed to.

For this reason, I convinced my reluctant husband to buy a brand new house last year. For him (and, honestly, for me too) this was a bit of a sell out. We left quirky Marin County, California, where virtually no tract homes exist and anything mass produced is shunned, and moved to the land of every-house-is-the-same. At one time this would have been our worst nightmare and, to many of our friends up North, it still is.

But I could not be happier with the day-to-day convenience of this new home. I have storage space. I have insulation. I have a square, level lot and a convenient place for my trash cans. Who needs cute at this stage in life? Give me functional!

Today, as Jay strung Christmas lights under the eaves of our cookie cutter new home, my happiness became complete. For, conveniently located under the eaves, he found all the outlets he needed and, even more conveniently located inside, I found the switch that turns all the lights on and off. No more extension cords. No more going outside at 11pm in the freezing cold to pull the plug (or worse, trying to figure out that whole timer thing). Thank you, Pulte (our builder), for thinking of this simple yet highly satisfying detail.

Sold out? Perhaps, but who cares?! This is working for me!


Anonymous said...

Well, color me jealous. That is a clever idea for a builder. I wish ours had thought of that. Embrace the tract home lifestyle and don't look back! :)

Annie Bizzi said...

Convenience has a price...I still can't figure out all the mysterious switches and what outdoor outlets they connect to in our new rental. Good for Jay for getting the lights out before the 1st of December. I don't think I'll be that lucky with Vito!

Anonymous said...

Where is the excitement when something breaks and you're left without water or heat?

Everyone says my house is charming. It is one hundred years old slowly sliding down a steep hill. But the view is great!

Suzanne Di Silvestri said...

I can do without that excitement at this phase in my life...but I do love those charming old houses. They are almost worth it!