No. of Recommendations: 6
Different stories all around.

When DS was born, DW stayed home with him and I worked. Before DS was born, we had pushed on us an opportunity to expand our house. (No details, not necessary, but please believe me that it would have been excruciating to say "no" and we walked into it in good faith - who can you trust if not family?)

So we took the offer, which was, "you find the contractor and I'll pay for the whole thing." How could we say no? No reason to, no reason to think otherwise. So we did it. We found an architect, paid to have plans drawn up (our contribution to the process), found the contractor, were just about to tear the roof off and were told, "I can't afford the whole thing. I can only afford part of it." We'd gone too far and spent too much (thousands) to pull the plug, so we figured out that we could have the shell paid for, and I would do all the finishing work myself to save money.

The whole thing still pisses me off to this day. The contractors finished their work, and the drywall was up and sanded one week before DS was born. We were faced with a new person in the house, a construction zone, a DW who we agreed would stay home (one less salary), and my job. So we went from a cash-positive position to a steadily decreasing balance.

For two years I worked at my job, DW stayed home, and at nights and on weekends I would work on the house. The bathroom tiling took me 5 months. I tiled, installed fixtures, hundreds of feet of trim, handrails, a dozen doors, hardwood floors, closet systems, painting, everything on the inside. Everything. Didn't contract out for any of it, and around that time I changed my handle to "HomeMoaner". :)

I missed out on a lot of time with my boy because I was working on a house that was supposed to be a gift, and I miss that time, and I'm mad about it. It didn't need to be like that, if proper planning had been done or if we had been spoken to honestly from the start, but it's done.

I whipped up a spreadsheet, put in our money situation, drew a graph, and it pointed pretty definitively to a time when we wouldn't be able to afford to live in our house any more. So I worked like a banshee to finish the house before that point.

I finished the house, we called our realtor, and we sold it. It's impossible to know how much we "made" from the sale, and if the addition added an value considering what we'd put into it, and and or or. We sold it, we moved, and DW went to school (new career) and work and I became the SAHD for a year, and I'm grateful for that time with him.

But now I'm home and need to find work, or the same thing's going to happen again, we'll start bleeding money. But we're happy, we're healthy, and my son is now 4 and loves doing the wooden 50-state puzzle he got for Christmas. We did it 5 times today, and I loved every minute of it. But we will never have another kid, and I wouldn't have known that if I didn't have the one kid, and I worry a lot. Mostly about college costs and how our schedule will work when I'm working too. We can't afford for one of us to stay home with the boy until he's old enough to latchkey himself.

Wow, that was long. Needed to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading if you got this far. But now you know why I am the

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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