New Home Plans

A House Update

Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer

It looks like our house buying venture will soon be coming to a close. Finally!

It’s been over a year since we started talking about buying this house, and I’m sure you’re wondering why the heck it’s taking so long, right?

Well, here’s the scoop.

The house that we decided we wanted to buy over a year ago wasn’t actually for sale at the time. 🙂

How it all came about…

I used to be an interior decorator. I had lots of clients, focused my time and energy on client work, and my blog was kind of a side hobby. Then I decided I was tired of client work (really, really tired of it to the point that I dreaded it), and wanted to focus on my blog as my main job.

Then came Vicki. She wanted to hire me to help her with her kitchen remodel and redecorating her new family room and breakfast area. I told her I wasn’t interested, and that I wasn’t taking on clients anymore. Then she said the magic words.

She wanted a turquoise island in her kitchen. Turquoise!

You’d have to understand my experience as a decorator in Waco, Texas, to understand how shocking that is. People here (or at least the people I worked with) didn’t take risks like that. At all!! I got so bored with decorating for others, and felt like I’d scream if I had one more request for “Tuscan” or…wait for it…”Texas Tuscan.” Blech!! I wish I could find the person who coined that ridiculous term and give them a piece of my mind. It’s all anybody wanted!!

So, yeah. When Vicki started talking about decorating with turquoise, she had me hook, line, and sinker. Another Wacoan after my own heart.

What does this have to do with the house?

Okay, I’m getting there!

One day, and I’m not even sure how the conversation came up, but I was talking to Vicki and her husband about our house dreams. I said that I wasn’t really a fan of new construction, and that my dream was to find an old house built in the early 1900s, one that’s a real fixer upper and needs lots of TLC, and one that’s inexpensive (as in, around $80,000), and then slowly turn that home into my own dream home.

Vicki and her husband looked at each other, then looked back and me and said, “We have a house you might be interested in!”

As it turns out, Vicki had been holding on to the house that her parents lived in for over forty years. The house had been empty for about four years, and it was still filled with her parents’ belongings. Filledcompletely.

I went and looked at the house, and I won’t say that it was exactly what I had in mind. It’s actually a bit newer than what I had hoped for (it was built in the 1950s, and I was kind of hoping for something around the 1920s that had the character of that time with stuff like arched doorways, etc.), but it was cute, I could definitely see the potential, and (as you’ve heard me say a thousand times), it sat on a one acre lot.


(The picture makes it look deceptively small. The house is actually 2,317 square feet. Not huge, but definitely more than the 834 square feet we’ve been living in for the last seven years!! 😀 )

The lot was kind of the clincher for me. Everything that the house didn’t have that I had hoped for was made up for with the fact that it sat on one acre of land. In the city. That’s incredibly unusual.

And the fact is that most of the houses that fit the description of exactly what I want as far as time period and character generally have some major deficiencies, like no garage, or a tiny lot, or something like that. Here’s an example. This house, currently for sale in Waco, is more like what I had always envisioned buying…

1920s house

It was built in 1920, look like an adorable cottage, and has original hardwood floors throughout. The problem? It only has one bathroom, a one-car detached garage, and sits on a small lot.

That’s pretty standard for all of the old houses with the built-in character that I’ve dreamed of for so long.

So this 1950s house, while not exactly what I had envisioned, seemed just right with its two car garage, two bathrooms, 2300+ square feet, and large lot, and it was definitely something I could work with.

We expressed interest in buying the house, and they began the very long and tedious process of going through every single thing in the house and deciding what to do with all of it. That finally culminated in an estate auction that took place this last weekend, so the house is finally cleared out completely for the first time is decades.

With the house cleared out, we could finally have it inspected. That happened two days ago (on Monday). And yesterday we had a couple of people come out to give us estimates on having the house leveled and having a new roof put on.

So things are moving forward for us. We’re actually starting to feel like this year-long process might finally be coming to a close. If we can just hammer out a few final details, we can bring this to a close and start the exciting journey of turning this house into our home.

And I can’t wait to share more pictures with you!! The house needs sooooo much work, and so much love, and I’m excited to share the process with you!

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 9:52 am

    The key word in this post…Turquoise! I just finished our guest bathroom and am working on the kitchen….both in Turquoise! Congrats on the house!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Oh my gosh I’m so excited for you!! I cannot wait to see what you do with it, your condo is so cute and I love your style! Congrats and glad you’re feeling better 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Congratulations Kristi! I thoroughly enjoy your blog and will keep checking back in to see what greatness you have in store for this home.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I am right on board with Cari’s comment…turquoise is the beginning of my dream color scheme. We are starting our own transition – from a 1400 sq ft raised ranch on 1.5 acres (which we are giving to our daughter and her family of 5) to a 29 ft travel trailer. I am fascinated with ‘tiny’ houses and I think I can live in the travel trailer for a year or so without going crazy, especially as we will be wintering near the ocean.

    I have a computer portfolio of what I want to ultimately build, including bookmarks to this blog (!) We have 1 acre of land available on my mother-in-law’s 3 acres. But…next year at some point our other daughter and her husband hope to be moving out of a house we bought in 1986 and buy one of their own. Hubster’s idea is to move into that one and fully renovate it to sell and finance our building plans. Of course the question is: how much turquoise can I add to that and still get optimal $$ when we sell it? It will be a chore – the 1948 Cape Cod-style house (and it’s 1.2 acres) is in need of major repairs. I may turn one whole wall of the kitchen into an inspiration board to keep us going when the job gets overwhelming. Kristi, your designs will be right in the middle of that!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I started panicking when you said you had someone come out to give you estimate to level house!!! LOL THEN I realized what you meant. I am excited to see what you do with it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I can’t wait to see the house and your vision for it. I look forward to your post daily.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I’m glad you clarified how the house came to be, as a new reader to your blog, it was a tad confusing. From what I’ve seen you do to your condo, I know you’ll be able to turn your new place into your dream home. Congratulations on getting closer to that move in date.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I am excited to be privy to your design journey of your new home. Thank you for having courage to write about your process. =D Progress is so exciting; seeing a positive change a little every day excites me thoroughly! Congratulations to you and your husband and your new home!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    You know, when I scrolled down, I saw both photos at once, and initially, I thought the second photo was a mock up of the first with an exterior face lift, since the gable, door and windows have very similar placement. Soooo….I know it won’t change the interior period features, but you could possibly have the exterior updated to be more like what you want. Needless to say you’ll do grand things with the interior! Then you’d have the best of both worlds!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    This is so great Kristi! I am fixing up a house built in 1957 and you have much better DIY skills than I do! And I’m doing just fine with it. Of course, it is more than I expected, costs more and takes longer. Seems to be the way of those fixer-uppers but you will be having a ball and you will have a lot more time to work on it. I work a full-time job and am trying to do this in my spare time. Go for it Kristi. You’ve waited long enough.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Kristi, Congratulations on one more step in your journey!! I can’t wait to follow all the progress and changes you make to your new home.
    As a side, I love turquoise, too. I bought a gallon and didn’t know where to use it so I started with painting my boring oak dining chairs. They looked so good, I decided to try a small accent wall above the fireplace. I loved that so much that I now have an accent wall in the kitchen, too. Trying not to go crazy with it, but looking for other ways to use this gorgeous color in my house.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tina @ Living Life Wright
    July 31, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I was thinking the same thing as Julie, the exterior front is so similar that it would be easy (not necessary inexpensive) to raise the roof line and add the 2nd gable over the front door in front of the existing one. Then, you would definitely have your dream home. I am looking forward to watching the progress step-by-step on your blog! Congratulations!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Being from Texas myself and having a terrible time finding furniture and décor that doesn’t offend my sensibilities, I had to literally laugh out loud when I read “Texas Tuscan”! Now I finally know what to call it, at least. Up until now, I just described it as “cowboy bordello” because that’s what it makes me think they must be going for. Really really wish it would go away!
    Can’t wait to see pictures of the new house!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    So happy for you! You are going to make it aMAzing!!! (and you will be able to drill, saw and sand to your little heart’s content — with NO complaints!)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    The timing sounds good to me, the year has given you time to get the condo ready for the market and to plan ahead for what you may need to have done to the house. Hopefully, it will continue to go forward for you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Isn’t it crazy how things just work out sometimes? =]

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Fancy Nancy
    July 31, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I recently finished Mary Kay Andrews’ newest book, Ladies’ Night. The main character is a rising media star and famous lifestyle blogger who untook a project to renew a rundown house with lots of potential. I savored every moment of reading the details of this renovation and the passion she had for her craft. Similarly, I’m really looking forward to reading your real life adventures as you make this place your own!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim @ Curtain Queen Creates
    July 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Congratulations! I am so looking forward to following your progress and seeing it transform into the home of your dreams. Who could pass up a one-acre lot? 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Becky W.
    July 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Wow, Christy…..this is sooo exciting!! Maybe you should check into writing off the house on your taxes as a business expense since you’re going to be blogging so much about all of your projects!!! Ha, ha! Better check with that CPA first…lol

    I am so happy that things are finally coming around for you. Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I’m so happy this dream of your own house is finally coming true–the place is adorable!! I can hardly wait til you move in, begin working on it and sharing your adventures with us all!!! It looks like a wonderful home for the two of you…So pleased for you!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    A fellow Texan, no wonder I love your blog so much…lol!!!! Seriously though, I have enjoyed this blog of yours for sometime, and can’t wait to see the new house rejuvinated into your new home! You do such beautiful work, and you have such smart color schemes! I was waiting to see what you did with the black walls…so instead, I look forward to seeing this home, and all the wondermus things you’ll do for it! Best wishes….hurry up and get busy, we can’t hardly wait for the next adventure!!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      August 1, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Lisa, she painted the black walls white! And it looks terrific! Check the previous posts for pics.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    A new house full of projects! I am clapping my hands with glee as I will get to go on this journey with you! yahoo :-)) glad you are feeling better but make sure you take care of yourself and find some time to enjoy it.

    by the way, you are my kind of sister friend in the colour department! I am redoing my living dining kitchen area using a peacock feather as my colour inspiration. Lots of blues greens and oranges….yummy
    As always, love reading your blog, it is my guilty pleasure……

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I am very excited for you, but i am even more excited to see the first photos of the inside. Hurry up, i can,t wait.
    Cheers from a cool but sunny Brisbane.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I had to Google “Texas tuscan” and see images. I agree with you on that, it wasn’t to my taste either. I like your style so much better. All your rooms are so lovely and the lines of everything just go together so well, I can’t wait to see the magic you do in your new home. Congratulations!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathy in Mukilteo, WA
    July 31, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I think I’m as eager as you for the new house. I can hardly wait to see the before and watch your afters. One slight correction: You say you used to be an interior decorator–My dear, you still are! And one of the best I’ve seen. If you were slightly closer to Washington state, I’d be ringing your phone and knocking on your door.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Leena Lanteigne
    July 31, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I’m so excited! It’s finally almost here! I was just thinking that it was almost August and that another month had gone by, wondering if things would really work out! Sounds as if they will and I couldn’t be happier for the two of you! Looking forward to watching you transform this diamond in the rough into a true gem with your creative magic! This is going to be such a fun adventure and such a labor of love! Hugs, Leena

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sette Design
    July 31, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Kristi Yah I’m so happy you are getting the house. I know you will make it just gorgeous. I am a California girl over here in Umbria, Italy and I am wondering what Texas Tuscan looks like. You are so funny! Umbria by the way is way cooler then Tuscany.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Kristi, I’m so excited for you. You must have the patience of Job waiting this long for your house. I too caught my breath when you said…”leveled.” Then I realized what you meant.
    I can’t wait to see what cute things you’ll do with this house. I look forward to your pictures and your posts as you make this house your home. BTW…love turquoise and red.


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 31, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Can’t wait to see what you do with your new house!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen Jorgenson
    July 31, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    I just helped a friend through the same exact process. She has to go through the second garage still, but she just closed escrow yesterday. It’s definitely a diamond in the rough, but I can see the potential she believes it has. I’m sure you’ll make it fabulously unique.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    SheilaG @ Plum Doodles
    July 31, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Oh, how fun, Kristi! Sounds like it was meant to be your home. I’m looking forward to seeing the many befores and afters to come. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angela @
    July 31, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    How exciting! Congrats! Moving is a challenge but then you have so many opportunities for new projects & blogs. Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Maryann @ Domestically Speaking
    July 31, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    How exciting! Can’t wait to see all the great projects along the way!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon B.
    July 31, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Congratulations! I’m so excited for you and your new adventures. 2300 sq ft will seem huge to you, it is for me too. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this house and what you have in store for it. Sharon

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lori jones
    July 31, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I have been following you for a short time and am sure you will do an awesome job on the new house!!! We are looking to buy also and like you I wanted an older home. But I think we( I ) am going to have to settle for a much newer house. I am pretty sure that, like you the 2 acres of land and it is out in the country will make up for the newes of the house. Plus it has a huge!! Bouns room, translates to quilting room!!, which is upstairs but I think I can deal with that.
    Thanks for all of the information that you blog about! I hope to have the courage to do some of the things that you have done. The one thing that I know I’ll do , is to paint my laundry room Turquois!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 1, 2013 at 6:54 am

    It all sounds SO exciting! Hope it all works out for you. You deserve it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Good luck to you and Matt, looking forward for new spirits and projects of you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 2, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    I’m happy for you and hope that all of this goes through so you can get started on your ‘dream home’ and we can follow along with your improvements, changes and additions. Praying that everything will go smoothly for you and that you sell your condo quickly.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    The Day Is Finally Here! (We’re Closing On The House!!)
    August 16, 2013 at 9:14 am

    […] the day has finally come!  We’ve been working towards this day for over a year now, and finally today at 4:00, everything will be […]

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Our New-To-Us Old House! (Complete House Tour)
    August 19, 2013 at 9:02 am

    […] almost certain we’re the third owners (the original owners, Vicki’s family who owned the house for over 40 years, and now […]

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debra B Chavous
    August 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    I know this house will be extra wonderful when you work your magic in each and every corner. My questions are…. How do you decide where you will start? Is the house “liveable” now? Will you live in the house during the redo? Also, why did the former owners divide the back yard (row of trees and bushes)? I can’t wait to see the progress. Good luck and keep showing the pictures. I’m so excited for you.