I’m a rather decisive person – but that doesn’t mean that I won’t re-visit decisions and re-evaluate their worth.
And as my husband and I discussed the future front fence, we ran into a bit of a difference in opinion, which led to me questioning whether I really wanted to turn the two properties closest to us into rentals.
The Cottage West is at the end of our property – a wide open green space on the east side of our home. We have the Airstream parked in the back, plans to finish a large pond in the middle, a shady wildflower garden where a woodpile used to be, and a mini-orchard of fruit trees that are rapidly maturing. And as we discussed the idea of turning the basement of Cottage West into one rental, and the main floor and attic into another – we realized that it would mean that there would, once again, be people moving through our yard.
As we discussed the placement of the front fence, we realized that, if we wanted the renters to stay out of our yard, we would have to run a fence down the side of Cottage West, effectively closing off access to our yard.
“I imagined it would be open and we would share the yard,” my husband said, staring at the schematics in my hands.
“Remember how antsy you got when we had our last party and the kids were all beating the crap out of our flowers?” I asked. “Imagine a renter’s child doing that EVERY DAY.”
My husband did not look happy.
And perhaps I’m off-base, but in my mind it makes a certain amount of sense. The kid gets familiar with the yard and thinks nothing of boundaries and futzing with the landlord’s part of things. Whereas with an Airbnb, parents tend to be more watchful, more respectful – they are visiting, not living there.
I could be wrong. Who knows?
But it did get me to thinking. What if we still did the four Airbnb’s in the two properties? I could craft my vision of the Cottage West as an art/writing retreat. I could install the fru-fru chandelier in the bathroom and lay the penny floor sealed with resin. I could furnish the rooms with comfortable, warm colors and create a house that I could comfortably live in myself when I grew old and didn’t want to traipse up and down stairs every day.
I could create that dream of an English countryside cottage with Cottage East. Install the lion’s head fountain, find enough bricks to create the backyard courtyard, and enchant guests with piles of flowers and overstuffed chairs.
And I still dream of that and smile at the thought of creating these beautiful oases here in the city.
So, we might be changing our minds. That’s the long and short of it.
I want to create beauty and be a good neighbor and property owner. One way or the other, rent or Airbnb, that’s the mission – create beauty, improve the neighborhood.