How It All Began

This whole thing started in February 2013, when my then-boyfriend and I bought the craziest looking house on the block.

Scratch that–let’s really take it from the top.

This whole thing started almost 7 years ago, in November 2007. Justin and I had just started dating, and one of the first things we did together was to paint the living room of his rental house a pretty bold apple green. Even though I kind of look back now and think, “That looks exactly like the color a 22 and 23-year old would paint the living room of a rental house,” I still find it to be pretty fabulous in that way.

From then on, we made small improvements to every place we lived, but we also had lots of ideas about big improvements we weren’t allowed to make–and really wouldn’t have made sense in a rental anyway. We dreamed about being homeowners and having the freedom to tear up anything we wanted!

Fast forward to the winter of 2012. I’ve been a real estate window shopper for several years, which means basically that I like to cruise Zillow and the local MLS just to see what’s out there. In late December, I happened to get an idea that one particular thing that was out there was in our budget (nope), might be a good place for us (completely wrong location), and that we should get someone to show it to us. Surprisingly, Justin agreed to see it, and though all of the wrong things about this house became pretty apparent in person, a chat with our real estate agent convinced us that NOW was the time to buy. Suddenly we were house shopping for real!

After about three weeks of relentlessly searching the MLS for a place in our new budget and preferred neighborhood, I had the inventory pretty well memorized when I figured I’d just go peek in the windows of a house I’d seen online several times and decided it is clearly not “the one.” When I got there, I realized I’d actually seen it in person, too, and thought it was a little freaky in a Tim Burton “weird-but-not-sinister” kind of way. It looked like this:

Freaky bungalow with a crazy yard before renovation

Believe it or not, this turned out to be our house after all. Great location, right price, perfect for two people who’d been waiting to sand, paint, tile (and who knows what else!) the hell out of their own home.

Now, not everyone was super on-board. The first time my mother was inside, the real estate agent asked her what she thought and she said, “As long as they like it!” I still enjoy bringing that up.

So we closed on the house in late February, spent a month sanding and painting almost literally every sand-able and paint-able surface in the place, and moved in around Easter.

In that time, we also got engaged! This is me on the Brooklyn Bridge a few minutes before the proposal. Clearly I have no idea that it’s coming or that I really need to practice my “showcase” hand:


We got married in October 2013 and had the reception at our house. Here we are on the big day:

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(Photo credit: Climer Photography)

And that’s pretty much the long and short of it. After being in our home for almost a year and a half, we still love it, and we are still working on it almost every day. BUT, we no longer live in the craziest looking house on the block.

Dark gray bungalow with a yellow door and white trim

Reno pics coming soon!


9 thoughts on “How It All Began

  1. Pingback: New Year, New House | white dog vintage

  2. Wow…you and justin look great together, so the current house your shifted is your 2nd home. Yes, we may think something and something else happens, finally that weird house was yours. Why did you leave it then, for a bigger home. So, you guys share the love of painting and tiling house floors…nice!!


    • Thank you so much, Maria! Yes, I was lucky to find someone who loves working on houses as much as I do–I really wouldn’t get much done without him! You’re right, the house we live in now is our second home, but we still own the first one and rent it to a lovely young couple. We always kind of new we would live in our first house short term, so when we had the opportunity to move to a larger house in a slightly more upscale neighborhood and to keep our other house as a rental, it just made too much sense to pass up. Interest rates were low, and houses in our neighborhood that are also in our price point are rare, so we took the leap and decided to move. I still love our first house lots, though. 🙂


      • In that case your home must be so special, because you started your marital life there!!…you certainly lucky because to find a partner you get along with at so many levels and be happy is indeed a blessing(:… have a lovely life…

        Liked by 1 person

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