Whoever buys our home in Columbus, Neb., is going to get a better house than the one we bought 10 years ago.

I can't take much of the credit, if any.

My brother-in-law through marriage put down a new floor in our kitchen and dining area, and when I was at work, my wife cleaned the garage and put down an epoxy floor.

I did help paint the garage, but that's the limit of my home improvement chores.

When we moved into our home, it was painted a dark green. My brother asked why the house was so angry.

The house had been vacant for about a year to year and a half. The previous owner walked away from it and it sat empty for a spell.

That was one of the issues, some of which we are still discovering as we spruce it up before putting it on the market.

We have found that the previous two owners fancied themselves handymen. They weren't.

At least I know that I have no skills in that area, so I leave it to people who do.

The past owners thought they knew what they were doing. They didn't.

That did not keep them from trying, even if the effort was poor and lazy.

We have found broken pencils behind an electrical outlet because, well there's not a good reason for that.

The house was wired for cable and satellite TV, but many of the wires went nowhere.

There were shelves installed in the kitchen that weren't quite even.

More electrical shortcuts that will require fixing.

Of course there were some issues we knew we'd have to take care of, including replacing windows and removing rotten trees.

We figured those were trade-offs for the deal we got on the house.

Ten years later, the house is in much better shape.

Trees removed, new windows, new siding and countless improvement inside.

With my son's high school graduation here in a few days, many of the improvements will have to wait, but that's OK.

When you decide to sell your house, suddenly all the improvements you dreamed of doing some day have to go away, while others are done to make your home more appealing.

It's like doing the work to impress total strangers.

You hope you find a buyer who shares your taste in decor and appearance.

Then, once you sell your home, you always drive by to see what the new owners have done to "your" home.

Since we moved from David City, Neb., "our" home has had a couple owners. We liked what the first ones did, but not the second, and for some reason feel a little offended.

We have no claim to it. Haven't lived there for about 17 to 18 years, but still feel an attachment to it.

Then there was our home in Garden City. The last time we saw it about three to four years ago we really didn't like how the home seemed to fall into disrepair.

Not our business, not our home, but still we feel a little let down.

At some point, we will drive past our house in Columbus and decide whether the new owners get a thumbs up or thumbs down.

Just human nature, I guess, to feel an attachment where so many memories were made.

No matter what happens to "our" house after we sell it, we know we left it a lot better than when we moved in. You're welcome, whoever you are.

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