An Essay On Buying A Very Old House

My friend recently compared owning a 100-year old house to caring for an elderly person.

She’s right.

“Can you remind me, again, why we bought a 100-year old house?” I asked Jake as the downstairs banister fell off into my hands.

This is the first time we’ve moved without taking more than just “moving day” off from work. It’s not something I’d necessarily recommend, but sometimes a working move is unavoidable. You will feel really, really tired, and you will survive!

Each move has brought  major life lessons in something. Many have been unpleasant, but, we’ve emerged with more wisdom and perspective. This move, we learned that just because one realtor acts with your best interest in mind, doesn’t mean the next one will. You probably can’t pay for too many home inspections pre-purchase, and, you should really test for asbestos in the basement even if no one ever says a word.

Challenges aside, we love living in St. Paul. We love the gigantic, fat tree trunks that rise from the yards along our street and the roar of people cheering at the nearby college campus. We love how Davanni’s perfumes the air with garlic, onions, and oregano, even when it’s very early the morning. We love that our next-door neighbors are kind, considerate people and appreciate the support of our friends and family. At least we can actually settle from this move and hopefully we will grow old in this very old house.

I’m guessing everyone who has moved learns to co-exist with the reality that one’s long list of home improvement projects unpacked boxes must be addressed gradually, as time and budget allows. The boxes might drive you nuts, but most of the boxes can wait.

Most importantly, this move reminded me that when I’m pushed to absolute brink of [whatever], I learn I’m more hearty, capable, and determined than I assumed.

We all are.

If I am not blogging, I am trying to compose really gripping cover letters, and if I am not trying to compose really gripping cover letters, I am probably watching Girls. Find me post day-to-day updates on Instagram and Twitter


  1. Beth Ann Chiles

    You are getting wiser with every move! ?

    • Jeni

      Some of which is thanks to your wisdom!

  2. Katie

    Is the final season of Girls over? Once it is I plan on getting HBOGO again so I can watch it all. Top rank marketing is hiring, they mentioned it on Saturday 🙂 I’ll keep my ears open for other things too!

    • Jeni

      I just learned that it’s the final season (maybe from you?). Can’t believe I haven’t watched it before. I’m in the middle of season two. Would definitely watch it again, too.

  3. Warren Coe

    Thanks for a great article. Our first home was very old and worn out. Lots of work but it brought Marlys and I closer together except when we hung wall paper.

    • Jeni

      lol. dang wall paper. definitely takes team work!

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