Hello New Home

Just about 2 months after selling our last house, we purchased a new home.

Houston Home (1)Well, it’s not exactly new.  It’s a new OLD home.  We bought a home, built in 1940, in a historic district.

When we first got married, we moved to a subdivision in the suburbs.  Which was fine with me because I grew up in a subdivision in the suburbs.  DSH, on the other hand, grew up in a rural area off a gravel road.  My mother-in-law still lives in the home on 4o acres that she and her husband built in 1963 which is next to the little house that they lived in before that.  Like many communities that used to be on the fringes of the metropolitan area, it is now built up with many subdivisions along the formerly country road.

Raising our five girls in a subdivision was good because they had many friends in the neighborhood with whom they played and went to school.  DSH remembers having to drive to get anywhere or do anything, even play with friends, when he was a kid so making the decision to live where we did was made.

But, it turns out, subdivisions are self-contained little units.  While you can walk around a subdivision, you can’t really walk anywhere.  You have to get into a car and drive.  There are often no sidewalks or the ability to walk anywhere safely even if you want to do so.

I longed to get out of the big home with the big yard and reduce our expenses.  I longed to live in a real neighborhood where you can walk to shops and restaurants.  So, after about a year of discussing it and downsizing through purging, we sold our old house.

Hennsley House

And moved in with my sister and her three little dogs in her small condo while looking for a new home.  A lesson in downsizing.

We had certain criteria.  We had a specific area in mind.  We looked at a lot of houses.  Some were too big.  Some were too small.  Some were too much work.

And, during this time, the market started to turn.  There were now more buyers than sellers in our area.  Houses were being listed and Sold Fast.

Through a lot of hard work and good networking, our real estate agent, who is worth her weight in gold, managed to get us into a home that was Coming Soon through another agent who knew we had been looking for a long time.

As it turns out, the home we ended up buying was owned by a woman (and her husband) with whom I had worked with previously.

So, in the last two months, we sold one house and bought two new ones (our little cottage on the lake and our new old home) from people that we knew!

Our new home is much smaller, by about 1,000 square feet, than our old home.  DSH says it’s like putting a 20 pound sack in a 5 pound bag.  In spite of my purging, I am purging some more.  There are a lot fewer closets and storage areas in an older home so it is forcing us (and I use that term lightly since DSH is not quite there yet) to simplify our lives by reducing the amount of stuff that we own.

There are fewer bathrooms.  There is a much smaller yard.  And, in spite of now owning two properties, we have reduced our overall expenses.

We met our criteria of purchasing a home with a main floor master bedroom where we can age in place.

Houston Home (2)

Like many older homes in older neighborhoods, we have a detached garage off an alley.  I remember the first home that I lived in growing up had a detached garage and an alley.  And a sidewalk out front.

Our Moline House 2007

In some ways, this new home of ours reminds me of the first home I remember living in.

We have a lot of work ahead of us.  Unpacking and sorting and putting away is stressful.  We have furniture we no longer need and furniture that didn’t fit that we need to unload.

The house has been nicely renovated, but there are quirks in the electric and plumbing and other physical features that need to be fixed to meet our needs and lifestyle.  The honey-do list is a mile long.

And I have been scrubbing and cleaning and sorting and organizing and updating our mailing address with it seems like hundreds of places.

Sugar Creek WineryBut we managed to take an afternoon off and visit some local wineries with some old friends and new neighbors.

We are ready to make new memories here!

Hello new home!

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14 Responses to Hello New Home

  1. Kim says:

    How sweet it is!!!

  2. Bradford Stevens says:

    Send me your new address and contact info. Congrats on being so proactive. Best regards,

    • Mama says:

      I love the power of social media. When your lawyer follows your blog and then reminds you that he needs your new address, too!

      Thanks Brad!


  3. Liz says:

    I really admire your vision for this, Theresa, and your wisdom and determination in making it a reality. Enjoy!

    • Mama says:

      Wisdom and determination are kind words for this process! I have had a meltdown or two. Moving, packing, and unpacking are so stressful. You know how you love your kids or your spouse, but sometimes you don’t like them very much. I was feelin’ that way about the house last week about this time . . .


  4. Jane Lohman says:

    Wonderful!! Keep reminding DSH that you can turn that garage into a junk (excuse me, valuable cargo) man cave. Love those DIY shows!!!

    • Mama says:

      There is actually a large room attached to the garage that the former owner used for an office. We intend to make it our game room with the pool table, dart board and other fun stuff. It will be our first big project because we are going to move the wall a few feet to make it work. It’s really a cool space and was one of the selling features for us!


  5. kierstin says:

    would this happen to be in old town st charles? my parents live off of madison ave there! love those houses. just too small for us still!!

    • Mama says:

      Yes, we’re just off the MidTown historic area. Love the area, the diversity of people, and the overall urban feel with a small town twist.


  6. Martha says:

    So happy for you and Jack, Theresa! Just what you were looking for. can’t wait to see some pictures of the inside or maybe even get an invite to visit. ENJOY!!

    • Mama says:

      Thanks Martha! We have some work to do to get it cleaned and organized according to our standards, but we look forward to many visitors in the near future!


  7. Mary O'Brien says:

    Congratulations! We bought an historic 1894 farmhouse 6 months ago which had just undergone a remodel, thankfully. Enjoy the journey.

    • Mama says:

      It is a journey with these old homes. Getting used to the new sounds in the neighborhood which is decidedly more urban than living in a subdivision. At times we get more airplane and ambulance noise. We are also dealing with quirky old home issues. Like why did they put the electric panel in the main bathroom over the bathtub? Where does that orange extension cord go that is plugged into the wall outlet and snaked into the wall? How did they ever get furniture up the narrow staircase? Where do you put linens and coats when there are no closets in the house? And on and on. I see plenty of blog posts on these and other issues related to owning an older home in an established community.

      Thanks for reading and posting!


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