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This old tract house: Remodeling was chaotic, but was it worth it?

By in Press Enterprise on October 28, 2017

By Carl Love

Drop cloths run everywhere. People going in and out so much that you think an open house is going on. Then there’s the drilling, always the drilling.

It is our summer and fall of destruction as we reached the critical point every longtime homeowner in Southwest Riverside County faces (There are plenty of us, given that our boom commenced some 30 years ago.), to remodel or not to remodel. And while it may not be as vexing as Hamlet’s original dilemma, it is more expensive.

Remodel and you can stay put where your children grew up and keep all the memories, or at least the ones that don’t need to be upgraded.

Don’t remodel and move to something newer and presumably cheaper and smaller because the kids are grown and gone and aren’t coming back.

Our home in Murrieta was built in 1988, the summer of model home frenzy when tens of thousands like us descended upon every community in Southwest Riverside County, most willing to make long commutes in exchange for a tract home you could call your own.

Our home was long neglected as we raised two kids and three dogs, and then put the humans through college. Last winter in the rains we had a leak over the patio door. A gigantic cactus that desperately needed to be trimmed toppled instead, wiping out our beloved basketball hoop. The patio cover was rotting like an ancient colonial ship.

It wasn’t a matter of love it or list it. It was blow it up or dump it.

And speaking of those remodeling TV shows my wife Joanne has been obsessed with, the “Property Brothers” felt more like the brothers I never had and not sure I want either, given that I’m about as handy as a preschooler. And when she wasn’t watching TV, she was dragging […]    

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