Life in the Big House No More?

It may have taken me six months to write this post.  But, hey, no time like the present.

So what is the biggest news to hit the Life In the Big House Family this year? 

We’ve moved! 

That’s right, we left our 1908 Folk Victorian and moved….a whopping three miles away!

I know, I know.  You have so many questions!  I will try to cover them all in as brief post as possible.  After all, you have Christmas shopping, decorating…etc to do….

Why?  We loved our old house (original photos here!).  But that is exactly one of the reasons why we moved.  It was old.  I loved the charm, the character, the history (I’ll do a full post on that one of these days), the location was killer and our neighbors were amazing.   So back to why if all that was so good? Because it was old.  And big…not just big, but too big.  It was 3600 square feet of drafty, creaky, leaky, dusty, musty….you get the point.  We had multiple rooms that we never used (library, sunroom, mudroom…)  The layout was a bit odd (as it can be in most old homes).  The back yard was massive, and we want a pool…but our backyard included a driveway that would prohibit us from getting exactly what we wanted.   So with all these reasons, we decided to look for a house.  But, we told ourselves that we wouldn’t move unless we found the perfect house for us. 

How? We’ve been randomly looking at houses for a couple of years now.  But in March, we found an amazing property.  It had a nice large backyard, four bedrooms, a garage and a carriage house, it was about 1000 square feet smaller and it was brand new!  Sadly, it was already under contract….So the hunt continued.

Then one foggy Christmas day…oops, too much Christmas music!  All I remember is that our realtor was in Paris…not Texas….(France) and called us.  I looked at Josh and said “if she is calling us from France, this must be big news” and I was right!  The first offer fell through and thankfully we had submitted a back-up offer.  The seller had accepted our offer and we were under contract! 

So now what?? We hadn’t listed the big house yet.  We had met with listing agents and discussed when and how much we should list for.  We had begun to prep (again, lots to do with an old house…).  And so we were ready to list.  Amazingly, the first weekend it was on the market we got a couple of offers right away.  They didn’t pan out, but we did get a solid offer about a week after it was listed. 

When? We closed on the new house the beginning of May and we sold the big house about a month later.  The timing couldn’t not have been better.  We slowly moved throughout the month of May and officially moved Memorial Day Weekend.  New house photos below!  (spoiler - those are the listing photos...not our stuff...)

Dinning Room, we LOVE the massive door!! It is sooo tall!! And bonus! Our old dining room table we made fits!  See our old dining room here

Guest Room aka Hobby Room!  
Guest Bathroom

Living Room 


Butler's Pantry

Master Bedroom with windows we can see out of!

Master Bathroom

Not a laundry closet anymore!

Girls Bathroom

I see lot's of fall parties here!  Football games anyone??

We finally get to use our garage for cars!

Future Gym Space and JD's office 

Selling the big house was not easy.  Not easy mentally or physically.  The big house is where CJ and Soph grew up.  It is where we poured blood, sweat and tears (but mostly blood) into so many projects.  When the new owners had an inspection done, I was dreading the worst.  I mean, the house was over hundred years old.  But I thought she was solid.  The floors didn’t slope or sag.  The walls were lath and plaster.  So much more solid than houses built today….so what’s the worry? Well, according to the inspection, she was almost falling down….we had to have main beams under the house replaced, porch flooring replaced, siding and window seals, soffits too!  It was so much and very overwhelming and we spent over $20k on those issues!  We almost didn’t make it to the closing table.  But our amazing realtor kept it together for us (if you ever, EVER, need a recommendation for Atlanta, let me know!)

And the big question…costs…I know most everyone always wants to know the costs.

We bought the big house in October of 2012 as a short sale, or maybe foreclosure…I can’t remember.  I do remember we were under contract in May of 2012 and didn’t close until the end of October.  It took F-O-R-E-V-E-R…, while we were waiting, we lived in a basement and an apartment.  The basement was fun…I was fat prego and had to walk up a flight of stair every time I had to pee…and pregnant chicks pee a lot….Back to the real story, we purchased the big house for $250,000.  I know, a steal.  Even in 2012, that price was so good.  We sold it for $750,000…now, before you start saying ‘Holy moly”, you should know how much we put into that house to make it worth ¾ of a million dollars.  {don’t forget about that commission either…}.  Here is just the tip of the list:

New roof
New gutters
Refinish hardwood floors
Kitchen renovation (click here for that post)
New plumbing
Replace beams & supports
New fireplace (one of these years I'll do a post on those projects)

And those are just the items that we had professionals do (I did do some of the fireplace projects).  I don’t have a total number (sorry), but if I were to estimate, I’d say we spent close to $150k on all the repairs/changes.  We also spent countless hours ourselves on making the big house the amazing home and hopefully the new homeowners will enjoy it as much as we did.

So back to the why.  We wanted to enjoy our weekends with our kids.  In the big house, we were always working on something.  And family is more important than a house.  So onto new adventures in the new big {little} house.

To enjoy the big house one last time, click here for the last post I wrote {Christmas Tour}.

Christmas House Tour

This has been a very fast paced holiday season and it's not even Christmas yet! But I guess it's always like that and this year was no exception. If anything it was crazier than ever before.

Let's go back eight years.  Eight years ago we lived in a small two bedroom, one bath bungalow in a historic neighborhood.  We don't live in that house anymore, but ever since then, JD has been begging me to put our house on our neighborhood tour of homes.  And every year, I would come up with some reason as to why it wasn't a good time.

This year I caved.  This year, I handed JD a 'to do' list (Understatement of the year!  I've been trying to talk Brooke into putting our awesome house on the Tour of Homes for 6 years, and this year, she finally agreed.  I was very excited until, the next day she handed me what I thought was a kid's wish list that was meant for Santa.  Nope, that was my HoneyDo List.  Talk about the ultimate backfire!).  This year, well last year, in preparation for this year, I bought a ton of decorations after Christmas.  This year, I decorated (LIKE A BOSS!!!!).  I also had amazing help from my mother!

Don't get me wrong, we always do some decorating.  We put up a tree, we hang stockings and lights, and we even have a few small Christmasy decor items.

I still didn't go all out like some people(lies, yes she did), not every room is decorated, so don't get disappointed.  But here's a tour of our house, enjoy!

When you walk into our house, you are immediately greeted with our living room.  Eleven foot ceilings, heart pine floors, and an impressive fireplace that takes up one wall.

Caught a snoozing dobie

If you walk in and turn to the right, you will see double pocket doors that lead into our library. Floor to ceiling bookcases, built by us and a massive antique desk passed down from JD's papa and of course a few UGA mementos from JD's college years.

On that same side of the house is our dining room.  You can access it through another set of double pocket doors or a single door from the library.  We always talked about putting a bookcase that is a secret door to the dining room.  Maybe one day, along with all the other plans we have!  We built our dining room table, here is the DIY.

Just past the dining room is our kitchen.  We renovated it a few years back (click here for that post) and love the open concept we now have!

real life! all those dirty dishes!!

And just past the kitchen, through the barn door, is our butlers pantry.  This opening was once a wall and the pantry was once a tiny bathroom with a tiny tub.  It still has the tiny/short doorway that leads into our sunroom. 

The pantry leads directly into our sunroom where we now share the space with our dogs.  The sunroom was once a porch and still has the slanted ceiling and floors.  So I don't take crooked photos, it's the floors and ceilings.  I swear! 

The sunroom has our makeshift mudroom and a door that leads to our backyard.  Sorry, no photos of that, I'm pretty sure it was raining and a muddy mess.

From the living room there is also a long, wide hallway that leads to the sunroom and has two bedrooms and a half bath off of it. 

The three doors on the right - closet, and kitchen door, and the last one is the half bath

This half bath once had mold every where!
On the left side of the hall the first room is our guest room, or as CJ calls it, Maemae's room (that's my mom).  Wouldn't be another room in our house without another DIY project, here is how we made the headboard (click here).

This fireplace is still a work in progress..along with the chair...and the lamp I despise

This area of the room is still a work in progress is most of this space

The guest room is connected to another bedroom (the girls room) with a jack and jill bathroom. 

I'm searching for the perfect 3 part mirror for above this original sink

And now for the girls room! Now this used to be my very large hobby room...sad face....

Another item I'm looking for ~ two more teal Ikea curtain panels - SOLD OUT...

Just through an empty door from the girls room is a small room that we now use an extra bedroom and a toy space for the girls.  I stenciled the floor, that was definitely a time consuming project (click here for that DIY)!

We think this room was once an extra kitchen when the house was a duplex.

Back to the dining room, there is staircase that leads to our second floor where the laundry, master bedroom and bathroom and both mine and JD's offices are located.

Double doors on the left at the end keep the laundry just out of site

Just at the top is a small laundry closet, and then the first room is my hobby room.  I downsized when we moved the girls to my then hobby room. 

Another real life shot ~ My craft closet!
And at the end of our super short hallway, is our master bedroom.  I recently added the faux fireplace and love the little extra'ness (not a word, I know, but I like it(trust me, you using made up words surprises no one)) it adds.  

Off of our bedroom we have our master bath and JD's office.   The bathroom will probably be our next big renovation.  That tub just takes up sooo much space.

And finally JD's office.  He doesn't care for the fancy chandelier...after all, the room used to be a nursery for CJ.

Well that's it, hope you enjoyed the tour!  And if you would like to see a before of everything (when we first moved in) click here!

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 
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