Saturday, June 29, 2019

The One That Got Away and House Hunting

Happy Saturday.
I hope it's a great weekend so far.

Bill and I grew up in old houses. In 1911, his grandparent's moved to Arlington and built a Victorian home. I'm not sure of the exact story but they either tore it down or it burned down. In the 1930s, they built a Tudor style home but it could be Storybook Vernacular.
It still stands and houses the offices of Sandra Brown, the author.

My home at 48 Flandreau Avenue in New Rochelle, N.Y. still stands as well. It is a Dutch Colonial built around the turn of the last century. Y'all. It had a dumb waiter. 
My father enclosed it so my hooligan brothers wouldn't climb down into it. 
All that to say, Bill and I have both had a yearning to live in an older home. 
Our current house was built in the 1990s. We've owned 4 houses. One that was built in the late 1950s, a brand new house built in 1987, a house built in 1978 and this one. 
We rented an old cottage when we first got married. It had some adorable charming details. 
It was being remodeled recently and all of those details had been ripped out. 

If you have followed me for a while, you might recognize that I've been trying to add details that have an older feel. I have touched almost every inch of this house in the past 7 years. It has been a lot of work. We've felt very invested in our home. 
It has taken me a long time to begin to think about letting this house and I'm finally willing to.
I knew that it had to be for something older, hopefully with history.

We found The Sinking Bungalow.

A darling early farmhouse with some charming details on the outside. There were not any charming details on the inside, however. 

Two out of 3 people surveyed said that we would be crazy to buy that house because it had drainage issues and run off coming down the hill from the house behind it. 
It had potential.
Bad additions needed to be removed and replaced and it was priced way to high for what it needed. 
We finally found something to move for instead of stay for. Bill wanted to capitalize on the fact that I could even think about moving since for years I have said, "No way." He got in a zone of driving by houses and looking online. 
This past weekend we were supposed to be out of town.
Since we couldn't go, Bill decided to go to fishing down at our town lake. 
He saw a house on the way home and looked it up on Zillow.  In the process The Red Brick Ranch popped up on his phone and we scanned the pictures.  
We drove by and walked around the yard since it was empty.
We called our realtor and she met us at an open house. 
The fireplace had me at "hello." 

The walls look blue in the photos but they are Repose by Sherwin Williams. 

Built ins 

New Shutters

Original hardwood floors 
Refaced cabinets
Tons of dish storage

A generous, sunroom with fabulous views of a generous and beautiful yard. 

 If you have been around a while, you know that we currently have our garden room and would love to have one in our new house.

New windows
Saltillo tile

We immediately put in an offer. 
I wrote a convincing letter to go with our contract.  
They did not accept our offer.
We were disappointed but we learned a few things in the last few weeks. 
We can fall in love with something on sight. 
It happened with our Lubbock house.
It didn't happen with our current house but we came to love it. 

I didn't think I'd be able to decide on a house quickly but I knew instantly that the The Red Brick Ranch was perfect for us. 
While we waited to hear, we put Post It notes on every piece of furniture we cannot live without. What an excellent exercise. It was freeing to realize we can let some stuff go. 
It was freeing to confirm, again, that I can let this house go so our realtor set up some showings for me. 
I didn't get pictures of everything but I got a few. 

The first house was on a pretty shaded lot. 
It didn't have a garage but a garage conversion that would have to be unconverted. 
It came with a gigantic pool table/ ping pong table combo. Yeah. 

I'll call this The Modern Farmhouse In Waiting. 
(I've watched every episode of Fixer Upper so I have named all the houses just like Chip Gaines.)
I wanted to buy this house simply for the vintage toy pick up truck in the shed. 

This house could be on our list for the right price. 
We looked at three houses on Sunset something - court, drive, oaks. It was confusing. 
Appropriate, if we are trying to find our forever home. 
The next house was a small ranch. Tan brick with bay windows. You've seen a few of these, I'm sure. It wasn't in bad shape. It had some fixing up it needed. There were clearly three teenagers living there so I'm sure getting ready for showings is fun. 
It's redeeming quality was a big covered storage structure that could house the boat and the trailer which would save on storage fees. There was no formal dining which is a deal breaker to me.
They had two giant planters in the entry way which needed to be removed which would tear up the new wood floors.
Here's a tip - Before you replace the floor, remove the dated features.

The Hansel and Gretel House was next. It's been on the market for a year. 
I loved the exterior. It was so quirky and fun.

There was a balcony. 
"Rapunsel, let down your hair!" 

Ivy covered dormer. 

It has a filled in pool complete with diving board hardware and pool deck. 
I've always wanted a pool.
Was there a body under there? 

The back of the house was cute with original doors. 

Bill would never go for this. 
I wouldn't either. I'm calling this The Hansel and Gretel house because we kept walking into spider or cob webs. 
Can you even?  

On our way across town there was a little cape cod with dormers. It had been flipped so it was too move in ready. It had a terrible driveway for the boat. It was also a two story. 
No picture of that one, sorry. 

We stopped in at The Country Blue Ranch on Spring Drive. That would be a cute street name to live on, wouldn't it? This one was another ranch with potential. It hadn't been updated except with paint and carpet. It had original details from the 60s. It had a great laundry room. A good back yard with a she shed. 

I think I was more excited about the she shed than the house. 

On the way home, I was having trouble with the links that my realtor was sending me. She pulled the email from spam to my regular email and I saw a house that had just popped up. It was a coveted neighborhood. It was a fixer upper. 
We got an appointment. It looked very much like a house Bill's parents bought while he was in college. 
It was a dressy ranch. The price was right. 
There were two bay windows at the front. It needed new windows but I could claim a little more front porch space. I really want a front porch this time. 
The interior was formal
We walked in and looked to the left. The carpet was ripped up and there was a smell. 
It looked like it had never been repainted. The original gold wallpaper was still on the walls.  
Heres a tip - paint doesn't last forever. You do need to paint every now and again. 

The dining room had a built in and so did the breakfast nook. It also had a brick planter. 
I don't need to grow my herbs inside the house. 
That was a groovy upgrade, wasn't it? 

We walked down the hall to the bedrooms. Julie opened the door and screamed while I was looking at a very scary closet. 
I felt like I was in a horror movie. 
It was cats. 
That explains the smell and the lack of carpet. 
The listing agent said that there was a door which couldn't be opened but we had to see the guest rooms. 
We opened the other bedroom door which led to a Jack and Jill bath. 
There was no carpet. The cats had a complete wing all to themselves. 
It was an odd situation. 
This was an "as is" house. Nothing about this house had been updated. It was a time warp to 1969. 
It had very few pieces of furniture and Nosy Nellie over here wanted to know the story. 

This one is best left to the professionals. We don't need to come across any unpleasant surprises trying to eradicate the cat smell.
They have already had tons of offers and it will be going to the option period after they pick the best one.
It's hard to believe so it must have been a very good deal.
It gave me the creeps.
The Cats Have A Jack And Jill Bath is my name for this house.

It was a fun day. 
Finding our "dream" home is supposed to fun so I am determined to enjoy the process. 
I don't have to move. We feel like God is leading us to make a move but He could be testing my faith. 
I've decided that I want to update a clean house. I'm not a fan of a house that has been neglected. 
Out of all the showings, the Country Blue Ranch was the top contender. 
The Modern Farmhouse Wanna Be is second. We went by that one this evening and Bill doesn't think the driveway and carport will work for the boat.

I know that when some of you have stuff like this in the works, you wait until is a fait accompli but that just isn't how I roll. 
Life is a process and I like sharing with you. 
So which did you think I'd like the best?
We found out that we are the back up offer on The Red Brick Ranch. It isn't meant to be their first offer will fall through.
Fingers crossed and prayers for us, please.
I'll keep you posted.


  1. Oh Katie, I KNOW what you are going through! When God starts speaking to you and then nudges you, you feel compelled to stick with the process. We looked at tons of open houses for several weeks before we decided on our house. It was a lot faster process than I had expected, and I wasn't completely with the program, but I couldn't deny that God was dealing with us. I was dragging my feet because I knew it would be lots of work... and yes it was, but it's been worth all the hard work AND mental and emotional turmoil. It WILL be good, I know it will. Thanks for sharing with us as you keep searching. I love seeing all the options you are looking at. Hang in there, xoxo.

  2. It was fun to go along on your house hunting trip! Fingers crossed you finally get the one you truly love.

  3. Katie,
    Oh, I love the Red Brick Ranch!
    I'll be watching for an announcement!
    Best wishes in your journey of house hunting.
    Thank you for taking us along!

  4. nice article.
    thank you for sharing

  5. Hope you find the house of your dreams:) So glad you nixed the CAT house....just gives me the willies thinking about it!!!! We've lived in the house we built about 40 years ago. Sometimes I wish for a new one but I love so many things about our home I know it would be difficult for me to leave. One day we will probably have to as we are not getting younger and eventually the stairs will be a problem....our bedrooms are on the 2nd floor. Have fun house hunting...even if you don't get the red brick ranch, there will be something else that you will fall in love with:)

  6. I also loved house hunting with you. The Red Brick Ranch seems perfect to me also. On the Country Blue Ranch I did notice that there is a watermark about a foot up all around the she-shed. It appears it was either in a flood somewhere else or that yard floods where it is now. I would need an explanation for that and hope that it was somewhere else when it got watermarked.
    Good luck and keep up posted. You are our HouseHunters blogger.

  7. I wouldn't have have enjoyed walking into cobwebs for sure. Spiders freak me out.

    I hope you get what you really want. It is a process and not always easy. I have been there like most.

    Fingers crossed. Stay strong.


  8. It's funny how you can connect with a house immediately, and know it's the one. I've made decisions about homes faster than I've decided on a pair of shoes! I know you will get whatever house you are meant to have, and you will be thrilled!

  9. Katie, sorry that got away from you. It looked so cute. You will find the right one..Thanks for your visit and I'll see you tomorrow..Happy Monday..Judy

  10. Great recap of our day looking at these houses. Lots of firsts for me too! i have told the story of me carrying a broom and waving it from room to room to many of my realtor friends, crazy!

    1. May i use your blog in my facebook work page? I loved it!

    2. Yes, Julie. It was fun house hunting with you.

  11. I love this, Katie. Apart from the house I grew up in, I only lived in apartments till I bought my house 25 years ago. Hard to believe. Your house hunting trip is fun to follow. I do believe you will know when you see the right one-- it will tell you that this is where you belong. Meanwhile, keep posting and sharing. I know you'll find the right place sooner or later.

  12. Katie!!!
    OMG!!! I could not help but chuckle all the way through this post!! What an experience!!! I have to tell you a funny thing.....I have never lived in an old house or one that had a previous owner!! My Dad built the 2 houses that I lived in as a child and we bought our townhouse brand new!!
    Crazy, huh??? Our next move maybe in about 10 years will be to a nice 2 bedroom apartment in the Apartment complex next to our development and where both of my sons live...I want a maintenance free life style after owning a house for 41 years....Good Luck on your quest!!

  13. I’m hoping for the Red Brick Ranch for you and Bill. Our first house in Ohio was built in 1927. I loved that house! I hope the right house shows up for you.

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