Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Our First House

The ‘70’s had just turned the corner and so had our lives.  We were engaged to be married and the world was engaging our generation.  Every weekend found us at the beach.  Sometimes we drove along Route 1A in Salisbury and followed the coast to Maine.  Other times we crossed the bridge and traveled Route 6A to P-town.  The best times were with friends.  A group of our friends had rented a cottage in East Falmouth.  They called it Sha-na-na, after a popular 50’s style musical group.

We thought the place was Shangri-La.  We would walk to the Association Beach, and swim across a narrow channel to Washburn Island.  Washburn Island is uninhabited and perfect for twenty-somethings to just enjoy being young.

Or, we would walk in the other direction to Eel River and get in a rubber raft, a sunfish, or a canoe and paddle around enjoying the sun-kissed gentle waves.  We could also walk to the end of Seacoast Boulevard and watch the sun set.

Wouldn’t it be heaven if we lived here forever?

That thought did enter our minds.  We were getting married and saving to buy a house.  The rental house our friends had for the summer had an interesting plan.  It was only four rooms, yet slept six.  The two bedrooms were narrow with built-in bunks.  The bunks were fun.  Even more fun, was the spiral staircase that led to the basement.  The basement was open space and a place where card games, parties, and loud music could be held without disturbing neighbors.

The house was new and the builder would often drop by to see if we needed anything.  One time my fiancé asked him how much a house like this would cost for him to build. (Keep in mind, the year is 1970).  I forget the exact amount but it was in the $ 20,000+ range, “or,” he said, “I’ll sell you this one for $18,000.”

To this day, hubby can’t resist a sale.

Why would we want to live here?
We’re trying to decide between king or queen size beds, not—built-in-the-walls-bunk-beds!
We’ll rent it out.
The roof is flat.  It looks like the Alamo.
It’s a good deal. 
But…but shouldn’t we be buying a real house BEFORE rental property.

Since I was new to the art of arguing persuasively, I was sweet talked into agreeing. Within months we were married, and a few months following, we signed papers to own the rental.  We 
didn’t even have the money for a down payment.  Since my charge cards were still in my maiden name, I borrowed the maximum I could, $ 1500 from Visa, $ 1500 from Mastercard.   Hubby did likewise.  Our $ 6000 down payment was totally borrowed.  You can’t do this nowadays.

Forty-five years have passed.  We still own this property.  At first, we rented to the same friends who introduced us to the place.  We rented the bunks, not the place itself. ( For $ 250 you room  with us for the summer.)  It worked well, until we had children.  Then the place itself was rented until the mortgage was paid for.  Now it’s all ours for all time.  Our children love it and our grandchildren love the built-in-bunks.

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