Yeeeeaaahhhh. Ive got a confession… I’ve totally been holding out on you.
Ya see, there’s a reason why I’ve been focusing on all the organization in our house lately…. We’ve been house-hunting. And I’ve been trying to get our home show-ready in case we found something. Sorry I wasn’t more forthcoming. I’m a highly superstitious person who must knock-on-wood and cross my fingers at everything, and I had this idea in my head that if I spilled the beans, I’d jinx the deal. Some may be with me on this, and some may shake their heads at this notion, but it’s just me. It’s how I am.
Although we’ve loved our home, we’ve been wanting a more central location for some time now. And we’ve been on a casual lookout for The One. We currently live towards the northwestern edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, but have wanted to move somewhere between Dallas and Fort Worth for a while. This area is just so much more accessible. Not only to family and friends, but to both cities and the other areas in between (plus, it’ll cut our commutes to work in half). Obviously, the main reason for making a move was being closer to family, though. After we lost my brother, this became especially important to us.
Joey and I started searching for a house a while ago (VERY casually in December, and then more seriously towards the beginning of the summer), but just never found anything that suited our needs.
In searching for a new home, our must-have list looked a little something like this:
1. Character (from the 1950s to 70s preferably) – Fixer uppers welcome
2. 4 bedrooms
3. Around 2500 sq feet
4. A private backyard (at least a quarter acre lot)
5. With TREES (I may have lived another life in a forest)
6. In an established, well-kept neighborhood with minimal thru-traffic
We looked and looked… But nothing.
Then, out of nowhere, a few weeks ago our realtor contacted us about a new listing that had popped up in our all-time favorite neighborhood. It’s a sweet area of 1970’s homes with curvy streets, lots of trees, and where every home looks different (which is kind of a novelty in this area). We’d discovered the neighborhood months before and from the second we drove into it, we knew. It was perfect for us. And the location couldn’t have been better. It was ten minutes from both my parents’ house and my aunt and uncle’s house, a straight shot to Joey’s parents’, and an easy drive to work.
So, we let our realtor know our preference for the area and began stalking the neighborhood. Every time a listing popped up within our budget, we were on it. Over the course of several months, we looked at several homes in the neighborhood, all of which were TRUE fixer-uppers with original 70’s everything. Paneling, popcorn ceilings, original appliances, shag carpet in the bathrooms (WhyWHY???!), etc. This seemed par for the course as far as the homes within our budget in this particular neighborhood. Anything updated was way out of our price range. And that was fine. We were okay with that. It was all about the bones of the house and the neighborhood to us. So, imagine our surprise when we walked into this new listing and saw this…
(Please note: I hurriedly snapped a few pics during our final walk-through, so the sellers were in the midst of packing. I’ll take proper “before” pics once we gain possession and’ll give ya’ll a more thorough tour then.)
Beautiful slate floors, new baseboards, freshly painted walls in gorgeous colors, NO POPCORN CEILINGS. Score! But even with all of those updates, the home still possessed the character that we were looking for… Vaulted ceilings with center beam, built-ins in most of the rooms, the original 1970’s fireplace, etc. I was almost disappointed when we first walked in because it was so lovely… Where was my project?? As we walked though the house we checked off all of our must-haves (4 bedroom, 2500 sq feet, private yard with over a quarter acre, good layout) plus it had tons of natural light.
We weren’t even looking for that. Total bonus! My favorite, though, was the covered patio that felt like it was an extension of the living room. See how you can see it through the windows? I wish this was a better picture so you could really appreciate it, but at least you get the gist…
And here it is outside….
I instantly pictured Christmas parties with twinkle lights strung overhead beneath the covered patio. (Not to mention New Years parties, pool parties, and birthday parties. Oh my.). It felt like HOME.
And I found my projects. There are definitely some areas needing updating, most notably the kitchen…
And master bath….
It’s hard to tell from the picture, but that marble is actually a 1970’s purple tone in person… which apparently goes with the brown shower tiles? Oh well, at least the space is carpetless. Fortunately, both rooms are clean and usable, so we can live with them for a while as we decide what exactly we want to do reno-wise. Plus, there are other things that we’d like to tweak. We’d love to change out the beige carpet in the living and dining spaces for deeper-toned wood or wood tile. The built-ins in the living room will get a coat of paint, etc. Then, there are some energy-efficiency things we’d like to address like changing out the original single-paned bedroom windows for energy-efficient versions, adding an attic fan to help with the bills, adding insulation in the attic, etc.
We’d also like to make some changes to the exterior. Of course, you know my passion for character, so the goal is to basically update the home while maintaining the integrity of its 1970’s roots. Ill be outlining the details in another post, but I’ll just say that a paint job and new roof (maybe in a richer brown color?) are definitely in this guy’s future at some point…
And this courtyard leading to the front door is gonna be all kinds of fun to jazz up! I’m picturing a nice, streamlined mid-century style door and sidelights sometime down the road. And definitely lots of fun small tweaks in the meantime..
As far as sealing the deal went, we were the very first showing and had an offer in later that day. The way houses were selling, you really didn’t have time to sit on them. If you liked, you offered. A few hours later, we heard from our realtor and were totally bummed to discover that they’d received a second offer. And they wanted everybody to turn in their best offers by noon the following day. Joey and I just looked at each other and sighed. We figured it wasn’t meant to be since we’d pretty much given our best offer the first time around. In the end, we decided to tweak our offer ever so slightly (like small) and send that along with a sad plea that “We love your house and will treat it like a member of our family if you pick us!”. Then, we crossed our fingers and waited. So, imagine our surprise when they accepted. We were CRAZY excited.
The inspection on the home went pretty well. Mainly, a bunch of smaller issues that you’d expect from a 40 year old home, but nothing terrible. No structural issues, thankfully. We’ve definitely got a long to-do list in store, but it’s nothing that we aren’t willing to take on. It was funny, because being in the home for the inspection was such a confirmation to me that we were making the right choice. I seriously didn’t want to leave. If I’d been given the option, I would’ve curled up on the seller’s couch with a book and called it a day. That feeling that this was “home” was so ridiculously strong.
And, today… we closed. We signed the paperwork and got ‘er done. Woo-hoo!
Needless to say… We’re totally stoked!! This house is a completely new challenge for us because 1. We’ve never owned a stucco home (we’ve always had brick which is almost no maintenance). 2. We’ve never owned a pool. 3. We’ve never owned an older home. But, hey, that’s okay! We’re quick learners. And we’re motivated. I was cracking up because after we signed the contract, after nine years of knowing Joey, I’ve walked into the living room on several occasions only to discover HGTV on the tube… AND I WASNT THE ONE WHO TURNED IT ON!!! Heehee! He said he wanted to learn stuff. Gotta love it.
Gosh, I just can’t wait to get started! Decorating is going to be so FUN in this place! I feel like our current furnishings are going to go swimmingly in this 1970’s gem. (Excitement!). My little blog here is gonna have a BOATLOAD of new material in the months/years to come as we make this beaut our own.
So, if you’re wondering why I’ve been a less frequent blogger as of late, this is why. We’ve been buying and selling houses, which is so stinkin’ exhausting. I’m just glad that we’re in the home stretch (sortof). Ill have a separate post about the sale of our current house once everything (Fingerscrossed! Knockonwood!) is finalized. We’re currently under contract, so keep your fingers (and toes, and arms, and legs) crossed that everything goes well and the sale of our house goes through (pleasepleaseplease). We’re in the throes of packing currently and will be moving over the next few weeks, so things may be a little slow up in here for a bit longer. But, I’ll be back. And I’ll keep y’all updated as best as I can! Send speedy packing and happy closing thoughts our way!!
P.S. If you’re looking for a realtor in the DFW area, we highly recommend Rob Wright with the Amy Wright Group for Remax Heritage III. He’s been fantastic!