The Little Gray House

Well hellooooooooo there!  It’s been awhile…too long.  I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed the “down time” that having a shop on vacation and a quiet blog provides.  Only kidding.  We moved.  There has been zero down time.  Who am I kidding?!  If you’re looking for a “How to Move with Toddlers” post, I don’t know if you’ll ever find it.  But, if you did, it would be one sentence long and that sentence would read – “Don’t move with toddlers ever, ever, ever, ever.”  If you really have to, well God bless ya heart.  You cray.

But let’s move on since the thoughts of moving still sting just a tad.  I’m sitting here in our unpacked rental (tour coming soon!), pretending like we’re settled in, and it’s all great, grand, and wonderful.  No really, it is.  It’s not so bad having half of your belongings boxed up in one mountainous pile in what could be your dining room.  I’ve really been wanting to live more simply and with less stuff and being forced to do it via a temporary rental is just what I needed, what we needed.  Maybe half of that stuff will just be donated when we realize we didn’t need it later down the road…and maybe not since most of it is home decor stuff and we all know how I feel about that kind of stuff.  ;)

Anyway, I popped in today to talk about *dun dun dun* the house that got away.  It’s not even worth tippity-typing out the novel that it would be to tell you all about the gray house and the saga that went along with it so I’ll try the nutshell route and we’ll see how it goes.


About two weeks after we had accepted an offer on our house, we were doing a desperate online search (one of many) for any new properties that might’ve been hiding from us since our last desperate online search yesterday.  It seemed that all of the houses we thought we’d love to buy and live in had been sold the week before ours and thereby escaped our grips.  But then the gray house peaked our interest.  It had been on the market for almost three months and I had skipped over the listing every time I scrolled because it looked weird on the outside and because it was smaller than we were looking for.  But the price, the price was so great…like under 100k so great.  Yeah.  SO.  GREAT.

Here it is in all its, uh, weirdness:thegrayhouseNotice that big concrete pad in the front of the house the lack of anything but an awning over the front door?  Well then, maybe you can see why it was repeatedly scrolled past?

Well, as desperation would have it, we decided to just go take a peek at it.  It couldn’t hurt, right?  Right.

What happened?  Well, we fell in love.  In all her weirdness, we really fell hard.  I really felt like this was the house God had set aside for us.  It was smaller than we had intended to buy, like I mentioned above, and there was VERY LITTLE storage…capitalized because really, storage was a huge issue.  There was literally like four square feet of attice space (our attic was HUGE in our then current/now old house and we had it packed), there was no garage or car port (a top want on our house-hunting list), a really small cinder block outdoor storage space attached to the house, a large laundry closet with shelving, and well, that’s it.  So, awful if you have four kids and a lot of stuff, perfect if you have four kids and are on a mission to live more simply!  This house was really going to force us to pare down and live with basically the essentials plus a fake Christmas tree.  The closets in what would be the kids rooms were about the same size as those in our previous house but the master closet was about a quarter of the size of our walk-in.  More forced paring down there too then.  So good for me, for us.  In a world that’s yelling “More, more, more!”, I’m finding myself slinking over to the “Less is more!” lane.  I feel like we have more and more than we need and it’s overwhelming over here.  Maybe you feel me.  Less really might just be more y’all.

BUT, anywho, back to that little gray house.  I don’t have a lot of pictures of the inside but I’ve got a few.  The bathrooms were pretty small and what would have been the kids’ bathroom was really, really narrow.  But the tile had me at hola.FullSizeRender (12)


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It definitely needed a good scrubbing but from what I could tell (or maybe not tell since the electricity in the house wasn’t on so very little light was shed), it was in good condition.  The master bathroom set-up was a little weird so we would probably have renovated it so I’m not sure if we could have found matching tile or not but it was just so pretty, no?

I loved this wall in what would have been the girls’ room!IMG_5410

Even though the window was slightly off-center (why, why, why??!!), I loved the symmetry of it and the potential for that little nook.  And ps, the closets had the most gorgeous glass door knobs…which totally took attention away from the damaged doors.

This room was my fave:IMG_5409It was the living room and it had MASSIVE windows…for a residential property anyway.  And then of course, that marble fireplace was beautiful.  There was some reconfiguring to do with walls because the kitchen, dining, and living room areas were pretty choppy laid out next to each other making it all seem pretty small but it was workable.

Not including the cosmetic stuff though, there was at least $40,000 worth of work that needed to be done to make the place liveable.  There were rotting soffits on the outside of the house, the screened in porch on the back of that house had torn screens and looked like it was literally falling off the house, the paint on the outside of the home was chipping in places, the carpet…well, the pictures don’t lie, the kitchen cabinets were dated, all of the electrical was old and needed work, the windows were all old and needed to be replaced, the roof was past due to be replaced, the a/c didn’t even work, etc…  So when I say at least $40,000, it would probably be closer to the 50k mark when all was said and done.  Eep.

But, it wasn’t the work or the money that scared us away though.  The seller couldn’t go low enough for us to buy, put the money in, and at least break even when we went to sell down the road.  I don’t know the seller’s story about the purchase but basically, he/she bought the house back in 2011 for pretty much top dollar and still owed a good amount on the house.  I don’t know what the state of the house was when they bought it but I’m going to assume it wasn’t this bad.  Things got bad fairly quickly though and house is now a little (or a lot) bit of a mess and the loan on her is a lot more than she’s worth.  So, as much as we loved the house, we weren’t willing to take the risk of losing money on her so we walked away. 

Sad story with a not-so-happy ending.

But I’ll lighten things up a little bit and give you an idea of thoughts we had for the little gray house…or should I say the little creamy-white house?  :)

The concrete pad up front was a bittersweet characteristic.  It made us question our sanity and made us want to buy the house just for the challenge of making it fit in.  In the end, we kind of settled on making it a little courtyard area, separating it from the sidewalk leading up to the house with a flowering pergola and fence.thegrayhouseupdate (4) We could’ve left the concrete as-is or we could’ve done something fun and stenciled a faux brick pattern over it.  You know how I feel about stenciled concrete, right?

We went back and forth between adding a portico over the front door but we weren’t sure it would be in the budget to have one built…and when I say we weren’t sure, I mean it probably was just a financially unattainable dream.  So, just replacing the weathered awning would’ve had to do.  I’m sure we could’ve come up with a fun awning, right?  Striped?  Greek key?  Who knows?

The most noticeable change we would’ve made would have been giving the brick a fresh coat of a creamy white paint and the shutters a medium gray or even greige (gray + beige in case that one is new to ya).  We would also have bricked up the second window in from the left because we wanted to build a big pantry on the other side of the wall and because there was really no abundance of windows on this house (my FAVE feature!!)  The front door was solid wood but painted black so we would either have repainted it to match the shutters or stripped it down to the wood.  I go back and forth on that.  The wood might be a little too country chic for me but then again the gray might be too plain and I do love the natural element that the wood adds.  Jury is out and forever will be I suppose.  ;)thegrayhouseupdate (5)

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We also really wanted to add a carport though we weren’t sure of the financial possibility of that either.  I quickly slapped one up on the left side of the house which I kind of think balances the house out a little.  (I just realized when posting this picture that I forgot to “shingle” the carport roof…picture matching shingles on that bad boy.)

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Then I added more of the fencing along the side of the carport to which Anthony proclaimed that “our house” was slowly evolving into a barn.  Hehe…I think he was right.  No fence there.  And maybe it’s the style of fence I chose to photoshop in.  Not sure…

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Landscaping would complete the curb appeal and our little house plus some outdoor furniture, potted plants, and decor in the courtyard. thegrayhouseupdate (3)
But all of that is now a dream and we’re optimistic about the next house which, by the way, we have not found yet. 

Stay tuned.  ;) 

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PS, this blog post is dedicated to my Aunt Angie.  I hope this helps with that blog withdrawl.  Now go finish up that craft room!  I wanna show it to the world!  <3

4 comments

  1. Love when people have vision. I am confused, however.... didn't you sell your house to go larger? If so, why would this one even be considered if it was still available?

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    1. Yes! That's probably part of the story I should've went into more. The house IS actually larger than our current one but not by much. It had the extra room we would really like...think spare bedroom/office. Every other room in the house was almost the exact same size as our previous house so it was like taking our house and adding a room. But still, we were still thinking we'd go even larger. The price tag had us though. With all of the renovations, it was still in our budget and we could've had a completely updated house for what we were thinking of spending on a fixer upper before it was fixed up. So in the end, we were willing to sacrifice a little more space for an awesome mortgage payment that could have had us almost financially free within five years. Make sense?

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  2. Good luck on finding your new home!!!!

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