Cute Little House

By Melissa Face

My husband, Craig, and I were ecstatic when we closed on our new Cape Cod home. It wasn’t exactly new, just new to us. It was built in 1985, and we fell in love with its dark wood trim, screened-in porch and overall cozy appeal. Finally, after living in numerous houses and apartments, we were home.

Not too long after moving in, we had some friends over for drinks. “This is just adorable, Melissa,” my friend said. “What a great starter home!”

I smiled and thanked her for the compliment. We continued our evening of chatting and laughing until it was time for them to leave.

“Was that really a compliment?” my husband asked me later that evening.

I knew exactly what he meant. My friend had referred to our house as a “starter” home. We had never thought of it as such. After all, it was not our first house.

Over the next several months, other people visited us and while most had very nice things to say, others commented on our “cute little house” in a manner that I felt was a bit condescending. At the time, it bothered me a bit.

Eventually, I came to the conclusion that most people’s comments were well intended, and they really did think our house was cute. And it is. It has two upstairs bedrooms with cute little alcoves, a cute little half-bath, and a cute rear deck.

Craig and I have recently started to make the house a little more “ours.” We have done some painting, replaced our entry doors, and updated the exterior with new vinyl siding. It keeps looking better and better and with each renovation, I am becoming more attached to it.

We have been living in our Cape Cod for almost four years. Since we moved in, we have watched some of our friends upgrade to bigger spaces. Every now and then, my materialistic self is a bit jealous of other people’s large floor plans, walk-in closets and double vanity master bathrooms. But that is a fleeting feeling of envy.

On a daily basis, I am quite happy with my small space. I love that I can clean my entire house in just a couple of hours. Our yard upkeep is also quite manageable which means my husband and I have more time for fun on the weekends. And the biggest advantage to our cute little house is that it comes with a modest mortgage payment. We love that our home is very affordable and allows us room in our budget for vacationing and going out to eat.

This year, Craig and I had our first child. We are already noticing the decrease in space around our house. We hope to one day have a second child. So, needless to say, it will probably get pretty cramped around here.

When Craig and I discuss our future plans, we consider moving to a larger house out in the country, buying a place at the beach or simply staying right here in our Cape Cod – forever. It may be crowded while we have children, but at least we would never have to worry about downsizing when we are older.

We’re still not sure if this “starter” house is our forever home or something in between. But we are sure that we love it and for now, we are very happy here. As it turns out, the old cliché is true. Good things really do come in small packages. We are having a good time in our cute little house.

About this writer

  • Melissa FaceMelissa Face lives in southern Virginia with her husband, son and daughter. Her stories and essays have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort. Email Melissa at

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2 Responses to “Cute Little House”

  1. Kim says:

    Well told, Melissa, and it is a cute house! And not that little!

  2. Melissa, Stay in that sweet house and build those memories.. keep your footprint small! Wish we could have stayed in our “first” house in Richmond. Still drive by it when we go back up!

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