Having lived in my house for a year now I've gone through a tremdous amount
of work and learning to bring it up to what I consider livable and
comfortable. A year must seem like a blip on the radar for most of you all,
but for me it has been a world changing experience. I've replaced my
plumbing, re-wired circuits, painted (something you don't do in an
apartment), replaced windows, cleaned gutters, done drywalling (fairly
well), installed lighting, installed insulation, etc etc etc etc... All of
which were things I'd never done before.
Given what I've learned and how I feel about the subject now, I think if I
had to do it all over again I'd still go for an existing house rather than
buying a McMansion or buying a house that sits on a 1/8 acre plot (standard
size lot in my area). I find that I derive a great deal of satisfaction
repairing and working on an older home, rather than buying a new house and
calling out a repairman when something goes wrong.
There are some things that I simply won't touch, the panel, the water
service, a patio door. But for most everything else I really enjoy fixing
them or replacing them with something more to my liking. I hated it while
doing the work FOR THE FIRST TIME, but subsequent jobs were a joy - mostly
because of the experience of doing it the first time and being able to apply
my knowledge learned.