If you have been following our journey you already know that we sold our Dallas suburb home 18 months ago in hopes to pay off debt (which I’m excited to say we did!) and downsize to a smaller home in hopes of finding a little land in the crazy busy life of Dallas.
Well our house sold quickly but the process of buying a new home was not as easy. We found homes, put in offers and still got way out bid. When I say way, I mean way. We would go in over asking price and still get out bid. The market was hot. So, we decided to borrow an RV my parents had and move into it for what we figured would be a month or two. Ha! Ha! Ha! Nothing ever is that easy.
We ended up in that RV for almost a year! Oh, the amount of lessons we learned. We found who we were deep down. Sometimes we liked who we were when space was limited and sometimes we needed to change who we were. It was a year of adjustment, stretching and changing. I’m pleased to say my kids handled it all better then I did. Sometimes, I really didn’t like the person I was when space was tight. That gave me time to adjust and make myself better.
To catch up on the journey go read these blog entries.
Releasing our Roots
RV Life…isn’t that bad!
Reality Setting In
Adding on….RV Style
Somehow, in a crazy turn of events, we ended up over the summer moving back to the big but small feel Texas town that I grew up in, and where my husband and I met, married and had our babies. We had taken on the BIG metroplex 6 years previously and it was time to head home. When we moved 6 years previously we were ready for great adventure. We didn’t truly realize the blessing of having most of our family in the same town or within 3 hours. I guess this statement held true in our life:
While we made amazing friends and had great neighbors in the Dallas area, after a few years we missed our family and dear friends. We missed holidays, births, birthday parties, and we missed caring for our family when there were hospital stays and sickness. All in all we felt God was calling us back to our original nitty-gritty roots. So we followed.
We originally enlisted a realtor to help us start looking for a house. When we lived here before we had built our house on a half acer in a great neighborhood. For some reason we just didn’t feel lead to that area this time around. We wanted something older, more of a fixer upper and central where we could get everywhere fast. I bet we looked at around 20 houses in two days. There were several houses we liked but none that we really loved. That’s when the idea came to us about maybe purchasing my grandparents house. The house where they raised their 5 kids and which happened to be next door to my parents. Nobody had lived in it for several years.
Yes, you read that correct! Growing up I lived next door to my grandmother and aunt. My granddad had passed away before my parents ever bought the house next door to them. So my grandmother and my aunt lived next door. As a kid I will say it was wonderful having them next door. I spent many hours at their house hanging out. So many fond memories of childhood were created in the house and around the pool in the back yard. My grandmother passed away when I was a teen and my aunt continued to live there. However, my aunt had passed away 2 years previously and the house had not been lived in for several years before that. It sat, still full of so much original stuff. My aunt was a collector of great things and found things hard to part with. I get it, because in the process of cleaning out the house there were some really great things that I didn’t want to part with either. My dads room had pretty much been untouched. Sure things had been added but his closet was still full of his clothing from high school and college along with school work that was kept from all 5 kids.
After several walks through the house and lots and lots of debate (prayer) we decided to purchase the house. We loved the layout, the size, location and the amount of land it sat on. However, before we purchased it all the stuff in the house had to be sold off. Cleaning out that house was the understatement of 2016! We looked into Estate Sale people but we honestly didn’t have the time to wait around and they kept a huge percent so we decided to tackle it on our own. You can probably already guess, we think we can do anything some days. Lol!
I’ll share several photos but know that most were taken after we started moving stuff around and boxing stuff up getting ready for an estate sale.
Here is the kitchen. Now, did my grandmother not have some serious style! Those cabinets are metal (very shallow would not hold large modern day plates) and check out the pink walls. That stove!! I mean how cool? However, I wasn’t about to cook on it.
Again, my grandparents knew how to add on an addition. This addition was done I think in the 70’s along with a pool. We have dubbed this room our playroom. That fireplace! What a great room!
One of the bathrooms. We laugh because this bathroom is the same size of our whole RV. I guess when you have 5 kids using this bathroom it has to be BIG!. Check out those original marble counter tops. This bathroom we thought would be gutted but a friend in the construction business told us to hire someone to glaze the wall tile and tub, add new tile on the floor and then paint the cabinets and upper walls. It would save some major cash at the beginning of the remodel. Best advice we have received!
Here is one of the bedrooms. What I love about old homes is their bedrooms are almost always oversized. 3 girls grew up in this room. It had to be big! As you can see in the picture, those photos are hanging from what appears to be crown molding. It’s not, it’s actually called picture railing. Our house is all plaster. Honestly, it’s a little bit of a nightmare but I decided to embrace it and have figured out how to hang photos from the railing instead of putting holes in the wall because with plaster the holes get messy. We did have to hire a plaster guy to come do some repairs. He was a 3rd generation plaster guy. It’s fascinating the history of plaster to sheetrock.
Look at the overgrown yard! Really all of the back yard looked like this. When my grandparents moved into the neighborhood they were one of the only houses around. It was still being developed. So my granddad decided to purchase the lot next door to them. So the whole lot area is actually a really great size. My granddad built several little houses on the property. My understanding is one was a library (not pictured) and one was an art studio (pictured to the right). Not sure what the one to the left was.
Do all those photos make you want to run for the hills? They do me!! It didn’t bother me at all and now after posting I kind of think…”What were we thinking?” Ha!
The whole house and yard was (and is) a complete redo. Some of the stuff we can and do ourselves. However the kitchen, living room and dining room we hired out. It was something we wanted to get complete quickly while we continued to work on the rest of the house.
Someone asked me the other day what our timeline was for our house completion and I laughed and said “5 years”. While I really wasn’t kidding I really hope it’s not 5 years. However, my husband and I are admit that we don’t over spend on this house. We want it to be complete soon but we also want to pay cash for most of our remodels. So, it will be a slow process but fun! Right?
Join us as we navigate fixing up this 1940’s home. It will be a journey. While we love the farmhouse look and want that look we also are cautious of our money and will be finding ways to use what we have and paint or change to be farmhouse. It’s a wild journey! Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we do it right the first time and other times there are tears. We are just an everyday family putting lots of time, energy and love into a house we hope will be our forever home.