We should have made the improvements years ago, so we could enjoy them.

We are in the process of getting our home ready for: No. 1, our son's graduation party, and No. 2, selling it.

By the fall, my wife, Kelly, and I will have moved 20 minutes down the road to our new home in Humphrey, Neb., where we will run the local newspaper there.

The home we are looking at in Humphrey is ready to move into, all we need to do is fill the hot tub.

Our home in Columbus, Neb., needs a little work.

And by little, I mean two upgraded bathrooms, new flooring in the kitchen and dining area, new kitchen counter top and some electrical work.

It sounds like a lot, and it is more than we had originally planned, but after a walk-through from our real estate agent, we decided to take the plunge and give our home a long overdue makeover.

We need someone from HGTV to stop by and offer to do the work for free.

We'll get to enjoy it a few months before we sell, but we'll enjoy it a lot more if we get a good price on our home.

That is the give-and-take of home ownership. You make repairs to your home, but other improvements slip through the cracks as other expenses take precedence, and before you know it, you learn to live with things the way they are.

When it comes time to sell your home, you suddenly realize that too much time has gone by, and you have to play catch-up.

When you start to prepare your home for the market, you almost have to forget it is your home and ready it for the public.

You have to think less about what you like and what others may like.

This is the third home we have owned and put up for sale. Our next home will be our last.

When it comes time to put our home up for sale it has always struck me as a little surreal.

I envision these people walking through our home and passing judgement on it, how we decorated it, the possessions we have, basically the way we live our lives.

You invite people into your home to take a look at your life.

We have done it a lot over the years as we bought our homes. We walked through other peoples' homes, looked inside their closets, walked into their bedrooms. It is a little odd to me, but how else do you pick a home unless you are going to build one?

Part of me would like to hear some constructive criticism, but given a choice, I would not want to hear what other people think, nor would I want anyone to hear what I thought of a home I was touring.

When we moved to Columbus, we looked at a lot of homes before we found the one we liked.

In Humphrey, we looked at one and loved it. It's the one we plan on buying if everything falls into place.

We are hoping for the same when our home goes on the market.

Maybe the improvements we make will draw the right family to our home, and it will sell quickly. Then, a new family will have years to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.