Slow home updating and the dangers of Craigslist

Industry, thrift and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character.
~Calvin Coolidge

There are benefits to doing nearly all your home updates yourself. Aside from learning how to do minor updates and home repairs, it limits the amount of work I can do. Updates are spaced farther out, meaning I have time to think, consider, and find the light fixture I’m looking for used at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore instead of new at IKEA.

On the other hand, not having my emergency fund where I want it to be (it’ll get there eventually), means that I can’t snag the interior doors I saw for sale on Craigslist. They’re relatively new, matching, with hardware attached. They’re damn nice doors and the cost/benefit ratio on them is very high. New door hardware is an eventual part of the house update, and while I intend on having all the interior doors painted white (and some of them are right now), the paint does get nicked and scratched easily.

However, they’re two hours from my house, I don’t have a truck, and buying all I need would cost about $400. They’re a steal, yes, but I can’t afford to drop $400+ on doors and truck rental when my emergency fund is still dangerously low. It doesn’t matter how nice they are or how much value they would bring.

I live in a college town. There will be more doors on Craigslist. I’ve seen many already, although not in sufficient quantity and without hardware. Hell, I’m still hoping the one apartment complex will get back to me about that stove they’re selling. EXCUSE ME, SIR, YOU’RE SELLING MY STOVE. They may have a fridge, too, and maybe if I get both I can sweet talk them into dropping them off at my house so I don’t have to borrow a truck. Is it the stove I want? Fuck no. People have this crazy idea that they need a full size stove and fridge and I need one about three-quarter size. But the stove I want is $400 and the hole my existing stove sits in would be too big for a three-quarter stove, anyway. Same with the fridge. A 10 cubic foot fridge is $400 because it has to be new. A 14 cubic foot fridge is easily found used. I’ll just have to suck it up.

That’s not including the people who suddenly come out of the woodwork when you buy a house and give you things. A rug, a kitchen faucet (a bad color, but I’m considering just spray painting the bastard and installing it anyway), I refused the under cabinet lighting because it didn’t fit and I don’t have the wiring for it. I’ve been offered no fewer than three gas stoves. Too bad I need electric. I’ve been promised a fridge should I not find one myself. It’d be nice if someone could give me about 1200 sq. ft. of laminate flooring. I’d like that.

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