That 70s Ranch

Here’s the story of a dated ranch, that was in need of a little TLC.  All the rooms were small, like many dated ranches.  The largest room with beams. 

Here’s the story of a dated ranch, that was only 1900 square feet.  The four bedrooms, all with low ceilings, yet they all had potential.

Till the one day this family bought this ranch, and they knew it was much more than just a house.  That this family must somehow make this ranch a home and that’s the way this family came to love their 70s ranch. That 70s Ranch, that 70s Ranch.  That’s they way this family came to love their 70s ranch!

Cheesy, I know, and not quite to the right tune of the famous ‘other’ song, but it was fun (Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!).

The day we bought her

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes Version of how we came to love this 70s Ranch.  My previous post was all about our newest new house (you can find it here) and then our {gasp} decision to sell!!

I recall at one point in my life saying that I would never live in a ranch style house, I found it boring and ugly.  Well, I also said I would never live in Atlanta….and here we are.  I’ve lived (and loved living) in Atlanta, and now we are a proud owner of a 1974 ranch style house.

We had 3 main objectives with moving – 
1. To be north of the city (JD’s daughter lives north so it made the most sense)
2. Be in a walkable area to shops & restaurants
3. Easy access to interstates for a not too terrible commute to work in downtown ATL

The minute the ranch house was listed, I knew it was going to go fast.  It was listed for the low $300s and we ended up beating a full cash offer that went $50k(60K over YIKES!) over asking (thanks to our amazing realtor!!)

So back to the actual ranch.   It is less than .5 miles to a very walkable square And LOTS of bars, and a brewery!) with tons of stuff to do.  It is closer to our cabin in the mountains and the lot is .5 acres!  I know not a ton, but for us previous city dwellers, we loved it.  The house itself has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and an attached 2 car garage, and get this, it also has a massive 2 car detached garage with a separate garage door for a golf cart (I definitely see one of those in our future!).  JD is in garage heaven (Can you hear the angels singing!)! Tons of space for his Jeep projects and workout gear, plus it had a small office in the back perfect for his junk…stuff, I mean stuff…

Before we crammed all our stuff in

all of our worldly the detached garage

The house had a tiny, closed off kitchen, dark rooms, even smaller bathrooms and low ceilings…but it also had a massive laundry room, a flat lot (I didn’t realize how important this was to me until the last house…) and tons of potential.

Let’s talk plans.  Our plans (and if you follow me on IG, I’m sure you’ve seen the amazing progress):

Living room/Kitchen/Dining Room
Take down all the interior walls separating the spaces
Vault the ceilings in the dining (now) nook and kitchen to match the living room
New kitchen (everything went out to the dumpster)
Relocate door from garage to the kitchen to the mudroom to the kitchen
New/refinished wood floors
New, larger windows
Change front door to French doors
And all the other boring stuff…lights…electrical…etc

original appliances!

Living room with amazing fireplace

the dining room

Relocate door mentioned above
New brick (heart eyes) flooring
Add cabinets, sink, broom closet
New tankless hot water heater
Figure out a mudroom type situation with hooks & shoe storage

The laundry room

Replace all the siding
New exterior lights
New metal roof
Paint the exterior white
And eventually enlarge the front porch

Remove the textured ceiling that was EVERYWHERE
New lights/ceiling fans
Refinish the floors
Not really much to do in the rooms, eventually we want to figure out how to raise the ceilings a bit…

Jack & Jill Bathroom
Clean up the tile & grout
Replace the vanity
Replace mirror
Replace toilet

looks like a simple refresh on the surface.....

Hall/Master Bathroom
Refinish shower tile
paint floor tile
replace single vanity with double vanity
new vanity mirrors
new toilet

our spacious master/hall bath...

That is the short version of everything we want to do...of course there are bigger projects for the not so near future.  We have plans to add on a proper master bath and closet.  We also have plans for another pool...I mean, we have .5 acres...

A lot has happened since we bought the ranch, some great things and some things we didn't exactly plan for.  More on that in a later post.

Until then check out #that70sranch (El Casa Blanca!) on IG!

**As always, JD's comments are in red...

Before The Ranch

Typing the last blog post (found here), I realized that I have been such a it it motherhood....just call it life.  Life happens every single second of the day.  And you make time for what is important.  So, in all honesty, I guess that means this hasn't been important enough for me to work on.  

Ok, enough deep thoughts for one day.  Who's ready for all things new house??  And by new, I mean the newest house we've even owned, but isn't the most recent house we've owned? Clear as mud, right??  I'll just call it the new house for this post.

The new house was built in 2018 and we were the first people to have ever lived in it!  I guess in construction terms that's called a new build.  Of course, with a family of two dogs, 2 kids and one husband, new doesn't stay looking new for too long.

Before the new house, we lived in a 1908 Folk Victorian Farmhouse (I may have made that up).  Read more about that house here.  Here's (click here) all the info on why we moved and how the new house was when we bought it.

The style of the new house, would be modern farmhouse.  We loved the brand new everything.  But brand new, doesn't always mean perfect.  We still had a few things that had to get fixed during the first year...doors not latching....wrinkled carpet...water not getting hot...minor issues, but still not perfect (is anything every perfect???).

Here are a few photos of after we moved in...a few before and afters (I always love a good before and after).

Dining Room Before
Dining Room After

Living room before
Living Room Before

Living Room After
Living Room After

Kitchen Before
Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Hobby Room Before
Hobby Room Before

Hobby Room After
Hobby Room (cloffice) After

Master Bedroom Before
Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom After

Master Closet Before

Master Closet After
Master Closet After

CJ's Room Before

CJ's Room After
CJ's Room After

CJ's Closet Before

CJ's Closet After
CJ's Closet After

Sof's Room Before

Sof's Room After

Back Porch Before

Back Porch After

Carriage (gym) House Before
Carriage (gym) house Before

Carriage (Gym) House After

Backyard Before

And then this!

One of the reasons we moved (not just to downsize and minimize our to do list) was because the new house had a deeper lot and the deeper lot meant that we could have a pool!! (More on that process in another post).  So, we put in a pool and and then decided to sell....WHAT??!!! SELL????!!!! 

ARE WE CRAZY??!! Probably, but I think the real problem is that I love change and may be what I call house commitment issues.  Although, my other half, most likely just says crazy.

So what now? Well, at this exact moment, I am sitting in my in-laws dining room (so thankful for the place to stay!) typing this post, because we own 3 houses and don't live in any of them!  Our new house is supposed to sell on Tuesday and the house we just bought is getting renovated and our 3rd house (the cabin - another post) has been rented solid since May (a good problem to have)! 

Cheers to new adventures!  Be sure to follow along on Instagram (@brooklynbdavis) for all the current shenanigans and more. 

ps...sorry for the wonky photos...they look great on my draft and then bam! I hit publish and they went all crazy...

Recap in less than 5 minutes!

the pool!

 Well, let's see if I can do a recap of what has happened since I last wrote a post (9 months ago!).

We moved to a brand new build house!  I wrote about that on my last post.  It was perfect and gorgeous and everything we could have wanted! Until we didn't want it anymore....more on that later....

January - started working hard on our other house we had just bought - a cabin in the mountains! I'll dedicate an entire post to that another time.  But in a nutshell, we closed on it right before Christmas and got to spend the holidays there with my family.  It is in the North Georgia Mountains, something JD and I have always dreamed about having.  We bought it as an investment property for short term rentals. 

February - I got to travel to Frankfurt, Germany for a few days and had an amazing (but rainy) time, came back at the end of the month right when 2020 really startedto get interesting.

March  - I started allergy injections to try and curb my allergies.  Still getting those shots every now and then and maybe it's working??  Started pool construction!

April - I became a teacher.  Not really.  Teachers are amazing and I take back anything and every complaint I've ever had about a teacher.  Truly, they are angels!

May - Our cabin officially hit the rental market and has been booked solid ever since!

June - it was a blur...our pool was still under construction, like so many things delayed by COVID, this was one of them.  But it was done enough for us to swim in.

July - S turned 11, we were so grateful that we got to have our annual beach trip, and JD and I celebrated our 9 year of marriage!

August - was hoping that school would did not...and we decided to sell our most amazingly new house that we loved so much!

September - POOL FINISHED! Just in time for our move!!  We were even on a YouTube show for our pool! I'll link it in a future post. 

Ok, so that pretty much sums up the last 9 months.  So much has happened, the time has been a blur, and I really think 2020 is a time warp that wasn't supposed to have been found.  But here we are. In all honesty, I can't complain.  We have been very blessed. We haven't been sick or even had any family get sick.  We haven't lost our jobs.  We haven't lost our homes.  If you fall into one of those categories, I pray for you and the ability to keep going. 

Keep an eye out for future posts - I owe you one on the pool...the new house...and the even newer (but actually older) house!

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}.

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