There are two types of homeowners. First are the trifling ones. They’ll buy a house and do very little to take care of it. Year after year, you’ll watch as the life gets sucked out of the house. Then there are those who can bring a house to life. They are constantly working on the house because pride in homeownership is an endless project. They know they are never done.

Those that suck the life out of houses, tend to put very little money into them. Sure they’ll put up a security door, and possibly a wrought iron fence. Instead of purchasing very nice outdoor chairs for the front porch, they’ll throw any kind of garbage they have out there. And basically they live in the house until they have sucked every bit of life out of it, then not wanting to spend the money it takes to bring the house back to a decent standard, they will move to do the same thing to the next house.

I have first-hand knowledge of such a situation. The person got the house at a bargain rate of $1. Then used and sucked the life out of the house. Then when it was time to spend big money to truly maintain the house after having ignored maintenance for years, they gave it up. Someone who saw the potential and loved the house, got it and restored it to its glory. The house still stands today because that action saved this community from having another vacant lot because of a house being demolished by a wrecking ball.

I was driving northbound on Central the other night heading home.  It was late, and the glow of a house caught my eye. Black neighborhoods tend to be dark and foreboding. There are people inside, but they have blacked out the windows so that it appears that no one is home. So to see this house glowing put a smile on my face. It brought back memories of when Black people used to have magnificent lamps and giant picture windows. One could drive or walk down the street and see all the beautiful lamps and catch glimpses of the interior of the house.  The fear of crime has changed all that.

The house on Central was so pretty that I actually came back a couple of nights later and took a picture. Then my curiosity got the best of me. How could such a pretty house have existed and I never noticed it? Then I went back and found the original picture of the house before it had been remodeled. And one can see why. It was dark, decrepit and had had the life sucked out of it. But somebody bought the house and the exterior transformations have literally brought it back to life.

Now I understand how projects that can cost into the tens of hundreds are difficult to undertake all at once. But every homeowner should have a never ending schedule of what they need to do each year. Especially the things a homeowner can do themselves.

Spring is here, let’s go outside and work on these houses.