Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Moving On

Three weeks ago, Dave and I decided to put our patio home on the market. I haven't mentioned it until now because -- quite frankly -- it's a bit scary to actually say (or type) out loud. After all, the housing market is depressed (even in Houston) and we're unsure of whether or not the house will sell...or if it does, for how much. The plan for now though is to just be patient and see what comes our way. We've already had a half dozen or so folks through to see the place and the feedback has been positive, but offers have (so far) not been forthcoming.

When the house does sell, we'll be moving out to the suburbs, where Dave already works. By moving out to Sugar Land [yes, that's a real place, and it's so named because it was the home to the Imperial Sugar Company, one of the oldest continuously run corporations in Texas], we'll be cutting his commute by 15 minutes and while mine will be longer than the 8 minutes it takes me to get to work now, it will still be less than Dave's current drive. The added benefits of our money going farther "outside the loop", safer "more-neighborly" neighborhoods and better schools (for whenever we decide to start a family) were also serious considerations.

While I'll miss my non-commute and proximity to the best shopping and restaurants that Houston has to offer, I won't miss my non-existent front yard, the one foot gap between my neighbor's home and mine (see above) or the fact that my neighbor's bedroom looks directly into my backyard. In short, I'm excited at the prospect of some privacy and more space. I'll also miss how eclectic our neighborhood is both in the style of homes [everything from million dollar new builds to tiny 1920s bungalows and 1960s student housing] and people [how often do you see guys walking down the street in an ass-less latex bodysuit? ...because I see that all the time...], but Sugar Land is at least a very diverse community culturally and ethnically (though perhaps not socio-economically or politically).

Once we move, they'll be plenty of new challenges -- like making our new home that is essentially identical to its neighbors unique and custom (on a budget!). It takes a fair bit of creativity to give some character to a stock home, but I'll do my best. At the very least, it should make for some interesting blog fodder. In the meantime though, I thought I'd share the photographs our realtor had taken of our house. It's amazing how some decluttering and wide angle lenses can make my rooms look so cavernous.

The first floor is primarily taken up by the garage and our master suite. If you missed it, you can catch the play-by-play on decorating our master bedroom and bath here.

The backyard is definitely the biggest "before and after" story of our house. When we moved in back in September 2006, the back half of the yard had been taken over by bamboo (which I have a serious aversion to) and the patio was all of 2 feet deep. At the beginning of 2008, we finally got our act together and had the flagstone patio extended considerably so it was actually useable. We also had the yard completely landscaped. The whole process took about a week and was far more expensive than I had anticipated (it's a tiny yard after all!). If I had to do it over again, I probably would've landscaped myself, but I'm more than happy with the end result.

On to the upstairs:

Again, if you missed my post about the great room, click here to read up on the decorating process and my source list.

The red study is my favorite room of the house. I was concerned that our realtor would lean on me to repaint this room because it's not neutral enough, but fortunately she loved it, too, and didn't think the color would turn off our target buyer. Again, feel free to read up on my study here.

The guest room is the room I've done the least with. The walls are the same color as when we bought the house (a rather dreary beige, if you ask me) and most of the furniture are hand-me-downs from a good family friend. I do, however, love the duvet (from Amenity) and the sheets (DwellStudio for Target). Note also the midcentury modern chair in the back corner that I had recovered earlier this year. Hopefully in the new house they'll be a better place for it. -- I hate the fact that one of my favorite pieces of furniture (and my biggest steal!) is relegated to corner of the least-used room in our house.

And finally, if you'd like to see pictures of the house as we purchased it, click below for some before shots:

At the end of the day, I'll really miss this house. It was an amazing first home and has been such a great experience -- both Dave and I definitely had to learn how to take care of a home and we were incredibly lucky to start with such an easy one. So while I'm excited to see what the next few months brings us, it's not without some hesitation and some heaviness of heart.

12 comments:

Liz said...

Wow!!! First of all, how exciting about the move-to-be!!! I wish you guys the best of luck - after seeing how gorgeous your house is, I'm sure it will FLY off the market!!! You've really done a beautiful job, and I know your next home will be even more fab! I'm definitely staying tuned to hear about your real estate and new home antics . . .

Kara said...

Your house is Gorgeous! It's totally my style btw. LOVE IT! I bet you will sell sooner than you think.

Jamie Sava said...

Congratulations on turning your (soon to be former) house into a home. Kris and I have been in our place for less than a year, and the amount of change I want far exceeds my budget, so it's been a waiting game. It makes me happy to see such a pulled together place. My house has about 3 pulled together rooms. The rest are in a state of 'metamorphosis'! Ps - a coworker of mine put her place on the market recently and it sold in the same week, so if you're priced right, you'll sell.

Christy said...

Ooh la la! I LOVE your decorating style. I love that red print/canvas in your dining room. I'm so happy to have found your site and look forward to reading more posts when I don't have a squirmy baby in my lap. :)

Averill said...

Christy: Thanks for stopping by! That painting in the dining room is actually something I got from Storehouse years ago before they went under. Recently, I saw it at an Aaron Brother's framining store for about 1/3 the price though! [Don't you hate when that happens?]

Christy said...

My whole living room is from Storehouse. I so miss that store. And yes, I hate it when that happens!!

pinkapron said...

Your home is awesome. Someone will be lucky to buy it. You have great decorating skills. I lived inside the loop for several years before we bought our house in Sugar Land 8 years ago. I went to the burbs kicking and screaming, but now I love SL so much I could be a marketer for the city. If I ever have to leave SL I will cry and cry. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Averill said...

PA - My family moved to SL when I was in 1st grade actually and it was a GREAT place to grow up. When I left to go to college though I NEVER thought I'd end up moving back there though; I thought I was way too cool, way too urban for "the bubble". 10 years later, I'm eating my words!

Daniela said...

Micah mentioned that you guys were toying with this idea.....After the hours we spent on looking at houses online for me I expect an e-mail of the house you guys are planning on building/purchasing! This is very exciting and it will be great fun to follow along on the blog!

Kallie said...

If we lived in Houston, I would so buy your house. And leave everything exactly the way it is! You did such an amazing job decorating. You should have your own show on HGTV :)

Averill said...

You guys have no idea how good all your sweet comments make me feel. Selling (especially right now) is so unnerving...it reminds me of dating. Constantly wondering "is this house good enough?" and feeling rejected. And, just like supportive girlfriends, your comments definitely help take the edge off. :)

Journey said...

Oh my goodness! Your master bedroom is a deadringer for mine - Potter Barn Valencia furniture (with a tv on the chest, too!), and a similar paint color (Ben Moore Santorini). You have great taste. :)

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