HOME TRUTHS

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - UPDATE - With ed­i­tor Robyn Wil­lis robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Liv­ing the dream, not the re­al­ity

There’s an old say­ing that goes “be care­ful what you wish for”.

I’m re­minded of this ex­pres­sion when­ever I hear some­one talk­ing about their dream home.

Whether we’re han­ker­ing for a fivebed­room palace with a home theatre and a pool, or a coun­try idyll with room for a large kitchen gar­den and a few an­i­mals, get­ting ex­actly what you think you want can be bit­ter­sweet.

Aside from the cost of build­ing one of those sprawl­ing, mag­nif­i­cent houses, most of them come with a hefty main­te­nance bill, some­times re­quir­ing staff that would give Down­ton Abbey a run for its money.

For those look­ing for the sim­ple life in the coun­try, the shine can wear off pretty quickly if you’re not pre­pared to put in the time to care for the an­i­mals or the gar­den you were so keen on.

I’m re­minded of this when­ever I pass by our for­mer home.

Like a lot of peo­ple, when we moved on we didn’t go far so it’s not un­usual for me to drive past the place we called home for more than a decade.

Af­ter mak­ing some mi­nor changes, we bit the bul­let and added an­other floor to the sin­gle-storey cot­tage to make room for our grow­ing fam­ily.

The first-floor ad­di­tion gave us an ex­tra bed­room, a new bath­room and views of the sur­round­ing sub­urb, along with an open-plan liv­ing, kitchen and din­ing area down­stairs.

It also gave me a ma­jor headache try­ing to keep on top of clean­ing both floors. At one point, I con­sid­ered buy­ing a sep­a­rate vac­uum just to keep up­stairs.

Putting things away be­came more of a lo­gis­ti­cal ex­er­cise too, to avoid go­ing up and down the stairs con­stantly.

So while I loved that house, I wasn’t so sad to leave in the end.

Our sin­gle-level home suits me just fine, im­per­fec­tions and all.

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