The Fat Hydrangea

Sara Michelle - Columbus, Ohio

House Hunting

The House Hunt Continues - Great House, not so Great Timing!

House HuntingSara Michelle B.2 Comments

As I've mentioned many times before, Evan and I really love where we live, but we are always in the back of our minds on the lookout for our "forever" home, essentially something a little bigger with a bigger yard. A house where we can pour our time, energy, and money into to making it 100% "us" without worrying about resale value. 

A few weeks ago we found a house with HUGE potential! It was on one of the most beautiful streets in our target area, walking distance to the train, with beautiful curb appeal, tons of space, and an awesome yard for the kids. It was pretty much love at first sight for both of us! I honestly felt like "this WILL BE our next house!" We looked at it twice and have been really, really considering it! We even went so far as to get our financing lined up! 


But, as you also know, I'm 36- weeks pregnant and it has been a rougggggh pregnancy. I have not felt good at all! As I write this, I'm currently laying in bed with a heating pad on my aching back and a hot washcloth on my forehead trying to stave off a headache. That being said, this house, while beautiful, needs a lot of work right off the bat (central air, new roof, new windows, new appliances...) While doable, it was definitely a little daunting! Still, the even bigger issue in our minds is that our current house needs a lot of projects completed before we'd put it on the market, not to mention packing, staging, and keeping it clean while we would show it! Quite frankly, it is hard for me to get laundry and dishes done right now so I just can't imagine going through the process of buying and selling a house over the next few weeks/monthsy. We really, really considered it, but as much as I love it and see the potential, I physically and mentally am not up for the stress of the process at this point in life! There are just too many things we'd have to do and it is just too overwhelming to even think about! 

I'm not going to lie... a huge part of me hopes this house is still on the market in a few months when I'm feeling better and we're physically/mentally up for a move! While it's hard to let it go, I think at this point I'm just having faith that eventually we'll end up in the right house at the right time! (I think our awesome realtor will help with that too, lol!) Right now, I'm just relieved to only be focusing on family, resting, and cooking this baby the next few weeks. I think it has been a theme of mine in 2017 that great opportunities at the wrong time are not the right opportunities. 

Still, super beautiful home isn't it? 

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Another Close Call!

House HuntingSara Michelle B.Comment

If you've been following me on Instagram, you already know we had been looking at another house in our area. This house was on the absolute most beautiful street - right across from a huge green space, elementary school, and amazing playground.

The house was not updated (which we loved, because obviously I would want to gut it and put our own stamp on it!) and was a great price! It had the potential to blow out a couple of walls and have an open living space on the first floor. It had beautiful natural light in every room. It had great living space on the first floor. It had a master bath (our current house currently lacks this) and an incredible dressing room off the master, It had huge closets, a ton of character, and a great yard.  It checked so many things off of our list! I could see it working so well and being a beautiful home for our family for years to come.

The deal breaker? The basement is a cellar. The ceilings are probably 6 feet tall, and there is no possible way we could ever refinish it. (At least without making a ridiculous investment to dig out the basement floor which we are not willing to make!) Given the fact my music husband has a studio in our basement and we spend a lot of time down there, it was very clear right off the bat that this wasn't going to work for us. So close!

Still dreaming of this house and imagining what could have been, but also knowing that someday there will be one that is just right and its worth waiting for!

My Current Home Obsession

House Hunting, Dream HomeSara Michelle B.3 Comments

This beauty recently went up for sale in our area. I lovvvvvve it!It has 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, and is 3,400 square feet. It needs some updating and some layout changes, but it has a TON of potential!

The house is overflowing with character and charm. The curb appeal is 100% my style. I love the second floor balcony, the painted brick, and the unique driveway. The inside has so many great details as well. Imagine painting the wood paneling in the vaulted family room a crisp white and brightening up the space. It would be amazing. Imagine reconfiguring the kitchen and taking advantage of the beautiful windows in the back of the house.

I can't even look at the pictures without scheming and dreaming! This house is truly one of a kind.

Pretty great potential, huh?

Source: All pictures via Zillow

Sooooo close!

House HuntingSara Michelle B.Comment

So, a lot has been going on behind the scenes over here at The Fat Hydrangea household. We recently stumbled upon this beautiful fixer upper for sale on a beautiful street at a beautiful price!

We had been admiring it for awhile from drive-bys, walk-bys, and pictures, and just were able to actually tour it the other day. We were super excited about the potential this had to be our next project and our "forever" house. 

As I mentioned, it had a PERFECT location, an amazing yard, beautiful curb appeal (painted brick = so right up my alley!), 4 beds and 4 baths, an attached oversized two car garage, fireplace, jack-and-jill bath in the kids rooms, a huge linen closet, and a den.

The only ingredient this house needed was to have the ability to open up the floorplan on the first floor in a similar manner we did in our current home. 

Guess what one thing the house was missing?

The whole first floor was separated into very distinct rooms and actually felt significantly smaller than our current home, even though square footage wise it is technically bigger. Each room was bright and cheery and spacious on its own, but they weren't exactly adjacent to one another so you couldn't open up walls and make it an open floorplan (or even a semi-open floorplan!), which was an absolute must for us. The only wall you could easily open was between the kitchen and the dining room, but even then you were still pretty isolated from the rest of the living areas in the first floor.  Also, the kitchen was about half the size of our current kitchen and this is one area in which I really did not want to decrease in size. There were also lots of spaces with 1 or 2 steps up and down to different rooms, and it made the house feel choppy. Just not ideal. Not for a "forever" house!

Here is my super rough sketch of the current floorplan:

The only feasible option to transform the house as we saw it would be to do a full addition off the back. If you blew out the covered patio, blew out the dining room walls, kitchen walls, and hallway walls, and added loads of massive beams to hold up the house, THEN you could have the open space. If we had an extra $150k lying around, I'd totally do that too because it would be amazing!!! :) 

We even talked about moving in and saving to do the dream addition, but I also just don't want to spend my life waiting/saving for some big addition several years down the road. Call me impatient (I am!) but it would just drive me crazy until we reached that point! I'm cool with doing smaller projects over time but the layout I would want situated immediately. Since doing a massive addition is not feasible for us right now, we quickly and easily decided that our best bet is to keep an eye out for another great house that meets our needs/wants with less overhaul required.

I wouldn't even say we are actively looking (hello to being almost 6-months pregnant and we just refinanced our house!) but we are definitely in a position (mentally and financially) to make that move if the perfect opportunity arises. This was a good opportunity, but not THE ONE.  I'm both disappointed (this house had SO much potential!) and relieved (the closer we got to making the move, the more daunting moving felt!)


The other thing about touring a "blank slate" home is that it made me realize how cozy and warm we have made our current home. Our current house was in about the same state this one was in when we bought it. Good bones but completely dated. We have totally transformed the space into a cozy, welcoming, happy home! It made me excited to do it again someday, but it also made me really appreciate the home we already have.