Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sharing Time

You know, sharing a house is the way to live. It really is. I mean, in a perfect world I would be in the upper half of the house, but for now I am quite content here in my basement. Except for the little mouse infestation "situation". Really if it weren't for the mice and the beastly commute I would say our living situation couldn't get much better. House sharing, of the non rodentia variety, is the wave of the future.

First off, the house we live in in general is just a sweet house. The very first basement we ever lived in was about 300 sq ft big. You could sit on the pot while cooking your dinner and making the bed. Seriously. Now this, this is a nice basement. Square footage-wise, it is bigger than our Texas house. The kitchen is one of the biggest, nicest ones I've ever had the priviledge to cook in. Cupboard space galore. Nice carpet, and so on. And because technically we are living in a mansion (they had it listed for sale when we moved in and were asking over $450,000 - pretty sure), we live in a nice, established neighborhood. And all of these, including all of the utilities (internet and cable!) for a hundred dollars less than our mortgage alone was in Texas.

Now aside from the actual house we are living in, the actual sharing of the house is a huge perk of living here and one that I didn't even think that much about when we signed on.

First, a little disclaimer, I am not entirely sure our upstairs neighbors are as delighted with the situation as we are. I mean, we have to tromp through their house every time we park in the garage, we are definitely on the receiving end of this little relationship.

For ease in communication I will call our upstairs neighbor "Kristi". It's convenient because that is my name, but as luck would have it, it's hers too. (now that has never caused any embarrassing situations, like for example if Kristi's husband, Matt, came home from the store and said, "Hey Kristi, I got you some Dr. Pepper!" it's not like I would leap to my feet and thank him profusely for it before realizing that I was not the Kristi for whom he had purchased Dr. Pepper or anything, because that would be embarrassing.). But, personally, I think it's a pretty sweet situation for all involved.

For starters Gwen and the little girl upstairs, Maleah (I've only called her Meleah about ten billion times), are best buds forever. They would play from dawn to dusk if given the chance, and many times they are given that chance. It's insanely convenient to have a best friend upstairs to play with. They run up and downstairs all day long. Kristi and I co-watch them. It's freaking awesome. It's sad times at our house when Maleah is gone for the day.

And sometimes if I need to run to the store Gwen stays here and plays, and that makes my life about a thousand times easier.

Secondly....hello, best friends for us right upstairs too. Last night I was upstairs playing Mario Wii until unearthly hours with good friends without either of us ever having to leave the comfort of our own home. It solves the age old problem of adults wanting to stay up late hanging out but having kids that need to get to bed. Every Thursday night we eat dinner with our friends upstairs and watch The Office and 30 Rock, all the while with our babies snoozing and our big girls playing princess. Sometimes we play Settlers of Catan till unearthly hours too. Did I mention they have like a 500 inch tv? Seriously.

Thirdly, between Kristi's house and mine we have three ovens. Three. This has cut my bread making time down by a third. Likewise, two fridges....sometimes she's out of eggs, sometimes I am, but there's never been a time that we both are.

Third and a halfly- when Blaine was gone for the night there was no need to fear, plenty of people upstairs to hear me scream if bad guys came. Not to mention the two man-eating dogs they keep upstairs (I used to say that jokingly about our dogs, these dogs are seriously gigantorian)

Fourthly, they go to Costco at least once a day, sometimes like four times (; ) ). How nice is that that if I need milk or something there is a guaranteed Costco run?

Fifthly they have extra room in their deep freeze, and they let us use it.

Sixthly, their vacuum works and ours doesn't, so they let us use it.

Accidentally go somewhere and leave a candle burning? One phone call and the flame is extinguished. Forget to Tivo your favorite show? Never fear! Need to run up the street real fast and don't want to pack up your gaggle of children to go with you? No problem! Run out of diapers? Presto!

Not to mention the regular benefits of renting in general: dishwasher break? Who cares! Lawn need to be mowed? Not my problem! Sudden move across the country? See you later!

And so on and so forth. Communal living is very, very awesome.

So I think when Blaine and I buy a house again (which I don't think we will ever, buying a house was probably the worst financial decision we ever made!), we will buy an extra huge nice house with a very large basement apartment, because having lived this lifestyle, I can't see myself going back.

I don't think it would work with any two random people. If it were family it might feel too intrusive, if it was a friend you already were tight with it might be weird. We came in to this not knowing our upstairs neighbors at all. They have their lives, we have ours, but we share a house, and it rocks.

Now...what to do about these pesky rodents....and that pesky commute!


Tom and Tami said...

Ya, I'm jealous. Now if only Blaine could work from home.

Janssen said...

Well, that does sound delightful. And seriously, using the term "basement apartment" so does not do your place justice.

marisa said...

I've recently thought that polygamy might not be so terrible after all, for many of the same reasons you listed.

Anonymous said...

Cool! I would like to see pictures of this "basement apartment" of yours. We have a basement rental too, which has been awesome for us but only because it cuts our mortgage payment in HALF. Yeah. But it's not really a family-sized rental, in fact right now we have two young gentlemen from Colorado City living there, which has been.... interesting.

James sometimes jokingly points out all the benefits of polygamy (especially since having our current renters), saying that wouldn't it be nice if.... (all those things you listed: the instant babysitter, the sharing of stuff, etc.)? But my comeback is always.... but wouldn't it be nice to also have more than one MAN around the house? Two incomes? Two fix-it guys? Why not just move in together with a couple of families? So, see? you are livin' the dream, baby!

Kristi said...

Yes, I am all about sharing everything I have, except for my husband thank you very much! : ) Nice idea though Ang!

kateworthi said...

Really? You think it would be weird if a friend you were tight with moved in, (I hope I'm not overestimating our friendship)? I'm am so down with renting the rest of my life after having this house. I'm with ya on the bad financial move thing. I want to move into your basement!!! i've had my eye on executing the idea of "the Compound" (as I've affectionately nicknamed it,) for years... SO. MUCH. AWESOMENESS.
You do the cooking, I'll do the cleaning. It could work. THink about it....

Kristi Cartwright said...

Yes it is a very fun and fabulous situation!!! So glad u guys are here!!!! (now I just need to work on getting you on a later nightly schedule cuz that's when the party begins!!!!) ha ha just kidding ;)

Brooke said...

I am totally all about communal living too- and agree though that you have to have somewhat similar situations. Our downstairs neighbors are all single career women- not really the ones you hang out with at all hours of the night and that play with your son all day- but I'm so glad your situation is working out so well. And by the way since we're here in utah we need to come stop by and see your mansion. Eric's phone is in the mail right now though, so if you could call him and work that out that would be great. thanks!