I just got back from a visit to France where I got to visit the new home of one of my best friends. Well, it has the appearance of a home and it's been under construction for well long enough to be a home, but it's so far away from that status of a cosy retreat that I, frankly, wanted to grab my friend Stacey, pack her in a small bag (she only weighs about 100 lbs so I could do it) and hijack her back to civilization.....a place with a shower and real hot water.
Now, I have renovated many homes in my part-time career as a stay-at-home-Mom-real-estate-empire-creator and I could always see the light at the end of the tunnel....sure, sometimes that light cost more than I had budgeted for the tunnel....but it shone nonetheless. Somehow, here in the U.S, we have an unspoken rule in life honed by years of capitalism...you work, you get paid. You work harder, you get paid more. Yes, a contractor may take longer, but you still feel he may finish...in your lifetime.
All of these beach bag books about the lure of living in the Mediterraean countries, finding a broken down villa and restoring it to a romantic retreat where you meet the love of your life, become the darling of the villagers and spend your days lazily creating gourmet masterpieces with what you found in the farmer's market that morning....that then become chick flick movies....have done us a grave injustice. Just ask Stacey. Now, I am looking for a place in France.
I have decided that I will not have the romantic romp through the joys of renovation as a second language. I will look for that magic word "renovee" in the real estate listing, meaning "been there, done that."