This week’s mini episode is a follow up to Episode 42 where I share the story of how we decided to move instead of build on. As expected, you all had a lot of questions, comments and feelings … so this episode is in response to that!
Ting is joining me again on this episode as Emma’s roof is being redone. I think he makes a really good co-host. So thank you Ting for filling in—especially since he did this with like 12 hours notice. 😀
-So, definitely the MOST asked question was that you all want to see the new house. I promise we will get to that in the next month or two … but right now we are still under contract and I am superstitious about that stuff. I will say we are planning to do a video tour and a photo tour (plus years of blog posts to come!) so don’t worry … I can’t wait to share with you. It’s a part of my job, but I also genuinely love sharing home stuff with you!
-If you haven’t heard Episode #42 Oops I’m Moving Again, this episode is a follow up to that big announcement. So listen to that episode before this one!
-I answer all kinds of questions, including: Is the house haunted? How did you pay for this? What made you fall in love with the new home?
-If you have a ghost story, please send them to podcast AT abeautifulmess DOT com. We are planning to do two ghost story episodes this autumn. We LOVE ghost stories and I know you have amazing stories because we’ve occasionally received them in the past and it was a TREAT.
-I mentioned that we ordered a Joybird sectional that never even arrived, so we rerouted it to our new home. Here’s the sectional … can you guess what color we chose? (hint-hint … the name of the color is very personal to our family)
–Hard drying paint tutorial (use this if you want to paint kitchen or bathroom cabinets)
-Shout out to Davis Custom Finishes who painted our home within a week of me texting them (Wooo! If you live in Nashville, hit them up!) and also FGL flooring who did an incredible job on our wood floors.
If you have any other questions, just ask em here in the comments!!! xoxo- Elsie
Episode 44 Transcript
Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. Today, I’m doing a quickie flash Q&A as a follow up to last week’s episode number 42, “Oops, I’m moving again.” After last week’s episode, it was so cool to hear how many of you have made similar decisions due to COVID. Lots of you are moving some of your moving across the country. Also, it was fun to hear from everyone who built onto their house or did a major renovation with little kids, and kind of hated it. So it’s very reinforcing for me. So thank you. Also, it was just nice to hear so many people supporting us and thinking of our children’s perspective first, and most of you basically said do what’s best for your family, and I really appreciate that. So thank you. This was a crazy thing. Ting is here again, by the way.
Elsie: And he is my co-host because Emma’s having her roof redone this week. So she’ll be back next week. And Ting is my special fill in co-host for the week because we’re basically neighbors now.
Ting: We are. Yes. We’re still neighbors after you move.
Elsie: That’s true. I’m not moving very far. That’s one of the questions. I already answered it. I’m moving like a mile away. So staying in the same area. A lot of people thought maybe we were moving to another state or something and I was like no no no no no no no. And I wanted to read this comment from Sarah because I got a lot of comments that were kind of like this one. But like so many, probably like more than like 30 or 40, that it started to become like a thing. And I was like, I’m so shocked. OK. So this is what her comment said. This is gonna sound weird coming from a total stranger, but I had the instinct that maybe this wasn’t actually your forever home. I’m really not shocked. I think you’re very wise to make decisions reflecting the new normal in this COVID world. So a lot of people said that they couldn’t envision us here or that they somehow knew that we were not going to stay here, which I think is so funny. I actually didn’t feel that way at all. Obviously, we wouldn’t have bought the house if we felt that way. I do feel like in some ways we “settled”, like we didn’t have every single thing on our list. But I think that’s normal to settle when you’re buying a house. Like how many…how often in life do you get every single item on a list? That’s not always realistic.
Ting: I kind of knew it wasn’t gonna be your forever home. I don’t you that.
Elsie: AHHH! You picked this house for me!
Ting: I did. But I told you. I told you maybe three, four years. I didn’t expect three weeks, (laughs) but I thought I was gonna be three or four years. Once you get your addition done and basically, I think for you is you’re so creative. Once you get everything done and there’s nothing else for you to be creative with, then you have to move and find another.
Elsie: I’m not gonna let Jeremy hear that. He would be so sad.
Ting: I mean, isn’t it better for him to know now than five years from now when you say, oh, I’m ready to move again? Because I’ve done all the projects in this house.
Elsie: I hope that that’s not true. I don’t feel like I’m moving just because I’m a blogger who moves all the time. But I also think that it is true that bloggers move all the time. So I don’t know.
Ting: I don’t think they’re moving because they’re a blogger. I think they’re blogging because their personality wants them to have constant change and stimulation. That’s what makes them interesting as a blogger, right?
Elsie: It’s a lot of Enneagram Sevens. Do you know the Enneagram?
Elsie: OK, we’re gonna do that after this. OK, I’m so excited. Just actually I know which one he probably is, but you’re not supposed to diagnose other people’s enneagram, right?
Ting: So it’s like a Zodiac or something?
Elsie: Yeah. I think you’re just gonna be an eight for sure, but we’ll see. OK. So anyway, I just wanted to like, I guess say a little bit of like, defense about this house before I move on. This is a great house. It’s beautiful. It’s adorable. I love it. It’s really special for the area like the mid-century elevation, the front elevation.
Elsie: It’s unique for this area. So I think it’s a beautiful house and I’m so happy for the people who bought it. And I basically am not able to say like there’s something wrong with the house. I think just our situation changed, you know, planning to build on a ton of rooms and then deciding, oh, I can’t handle that because I’m having a mom breakdown in my brain, you know, like that…
Elsie: …that’s just a different. So, yeah.
Elsie: It’s not you. It’s me, house.
Ting: I don’t think it’s a house. I think it’s, you decided that you have other priorities than to spend all your time putting your kids through a remodel or an addition, that’s the other thing is that. Well, I’ll, I’ll get to that. OK. So the first question…this is so funny, because I got this question kind of a lot. And even the day our house went up for sale in the Nashville area, one of Jeremy’s friends texted this question right away. Is the house haunted? (laughs) Because it does make sense that if someone moves really quickly, you’re like why? What can possibly make you do that, is it haunted? So. Boring answer. I wish it was. But no. I didn’t have any kind of ghost experiences in this house and I kind of feel like it’s definitely not haunted.
Ting: It’s too new to be haunted, right. It’s only, what, 40 years old now?
Elsie: They can be any age.
Elsie: Yeah. Yeah. They can be any age and be haunted, I think. But I mean, you’re probably right that a historic home…
Ting: Like my old house.
Elsie: Yeah. But I didn’t feel like that house was haunted.
Ting: People tell me it is I don’t notice it.
Elsie: AirBnB guests?
Ting: No. Just my friends that stay there, say there is a presence, I’m like, “the presence of me?” (laughs) Oh, I don’t. I don’t. I’m not sensitive to that kind of thing, so I don’t pick it up.
Elsie: Okay. I will say this. I promise you all with all my heart that we are gonna do either one or a couple ghost story episodes this year. So if you have an incredible ghost story, just go ahead and send it to us at [email protected] because for real. It’s like…I’m living for the ghost story episodes we’ve been talking about it all year. OK, but no ghost here. The second question is, this is very practical. What do you think you could have looked at to prevent this mistake or help others prevent it for the future? I’m of two minds about it, I guess. On one hand, COVID happened and you never could have predicted that. And that’s the reason why we don’t want to build on anymore. So in that sense, it wasn’t predictable. But there is also this other part of me that the first time we came and looked at this house, I saw it but there was a couple things I didn’t like about it. And I was like, no pass. We’ll keep looking. And then I couldn’t stop thinking about it and like, months later I think they, like, reduced the price a little bit. And it was just, it was just the best house in our budget. And so we went back to it. And I think that I did in that sense ignore a couple things that had initially…you know what I’m saying?
Ting: Yeah. That’s an important thing because I think your first impression of something is usually the most accurate.
Elsie: I think you might be right.
Ting: You know because, this is one I found originally. Right? This house? And I sent it to you and you said you passed because of some random things that I don’t remember.
Elsie: My list of must-haves, like “must-haves” is very long because, you know, we were trying to shop in it for a “forever home”. I’m saying, quote unquote a lot. Okay, I’ll move on to the next question. Is your new house in Florida? No. Still staying in the same area. Not even switching….
Ting: It’s the same school system and everything?
Elsie: Yeah, it’s all, it’s all the same. So, yeah, just moving to a house that doesn’t need any big building projects.
Elsie: Is there anything that you will replicate from your current home to this new home or that you’re too sad to leave behind? OK. So from our current home, we did some wallpaper in Nova’s bedroom. And it is just…it’s the cutest bedroom I think I’ve ever designed. Definitely the cutest kids room. It’s magical. I hate to leave it behind. I might use the same wallpaper again in the future. It’s really, really great. And then the other thing, also wallpaper, (laughs) is the wallpaper that we put in our main bedroom, which is just Hygge and West, sort of like white and gray. Did you see it? The one with like, it has little bunnies and little funny illustrations like lots of flowers. I love both of those wallpapers. Definitely wallpaper’s one of the things that’s hard to leave behind cause we just didn’t live here very long. And the other thing is the wood floors. You know, because we put so much into them doing them twice. But I will say that we’re taking the awesome contractor who did the wood floors the second time, who fixed them. He is going to do them at our new house.
Elsie: His team. So we are taking that with us I guess, in a sense. And then from our last home, I’m really missing the open shelves in our old kitchen. So I want to incorporate those in some way into our new home.
Elsie: I was thinking maybe in my office, actually, I’m not sure. And the other thing I want to sort of redo a second time is building a playhouse because I miss, you know, those two adorable playhouses we’ll linked them in the show notes, we miss those.
Ting: The teepee looking one?
Elsie: Yes, there’s one that was an a-frame, and then there was one that was like a little mid century house with a swing set.
Ting: Oh, yeah.
Elsie: And they were magical. And just probably like one of the most proud DIYs that Collin and I ever did, so.
Elsie: Yeah. So this question is from Allison. I’m interested in what are the special parts of your new home? What made you know, it was the one. What made it perfect for your family? Okay, so I think that this house is one of those magical like…I when I first saw it online, it was when I was secret shopping, sort of like Jeremy couldn’t see what I was looking at hiding my computer from him. (laughs) I remember I just thought it was the most amazing house that I’ve ever seen in my life. And I was like, I want a house like that. And that is how I originally got in my head that maybe we should move. But at that time, I wasn’t thinking we would actually buy the house. I was thinking, “OK, well, we’ll live here for a couple years, we’ll slowly fix this up and then we’ll move and, you know…
Ting: Mm hmm.
Elsie: …skip the a…what’s what’s it called the taxes that you have to pay if you sell your house too quickly?
Ting: I don’t know. There’s a name for that?
Elsie: Capital gains taxes.
Ting: Oh! If you make money.
Elsie: If you stay for a couple years, then you don’t have to do it, right?
Ting: Well, only if you make money. Most people that sell their houses within the first year or two don’t make any money after commissions and everything. So there is no cap gains tax. But if on your primary residence, after you’ve lived there for two years, you can make up to $250,000 as a single person or $500,000 as a couple. And not have to pay any taxes on the gains.
Elsie: Damn! Ok. So sorry. What I love about the House is I get I love everything about it. I can’t wait to show you, but it’s a pretty rare combination of all the things that I always wanted, because one of the things that I hate about a house is when you go in and everything’s just been updated and it’s all like like…a lot of houses in this area are fancy and new or they’re like super…
Elsie: Yeah, super boring. This house, it’s like it’s kind of a coastal style. If I had to put one label on it. But it’s very stuck in the ’90s and the finishes are outdated. So it has room to improve. But also it’s already so perfect. It’s the best of both.
Elsie: So can you share your list of must-haves? Are you ready for this list?
Ting: Oh, my gosh. Yeah.
Elsie: Here’s the things that made this house so appealing to us. So first of all, pet friendly is such a big one. It is so hard for us to find a house that’s perfectly pet friendly for our dogs because we have an elderly pug who can’t walk up more…walk up or down more than three stairs. So if there’s like 10 stairs that go to the backyard, which there often is, then they can’t go to the backyard by themselves without help. So that was a big thing, even though it’s very specific to our little old lady dog. It’s just like a thing that could really be exceptionally convenient for our family. So we really, really wanted a special kitchen. My husband’s super into cooking. I’m pretty into, like, baking. You know, I love sugar cookies and all that. And we really wanted to do kind of an outdoor and indoor outdoor kitchen, just the kitchen where we felt like we both could have our own stuff, because the stuff that I collect from my cooking hobbies and the stuff that he collects are extremely different. So anyway, kitchen stuff, workspace, I won’t even bore you with that. But we’re both introverts who work from home. We need very separate spaces and we need, you know, certain things in them. There’s like a hundred kid friendly concerns that could be boring, so I’ll just skip over that. But that’s, you know, super, super important, that it’s kid friendly in basically every possible way. A flat driveway for their little scooters. Did you know, they both have a scooter now?
Ting: No. (laughs)
Elsie: It’s so cute. And this one is kind of random. But I learned after this home that I don’t think a totally open kitchen is for me. You know, a lot of beautiful homes have like a super open kitchen.
Elsie: Where it’s, right? A part of your living room.
Elsie: And that was not my favorite. I think I’d rather have a little bit more of a set apart private kitchen. I don’t know. I don’t I can’t even explain why…
Ting: I think the trend’s going back that way too.
Elsie: I think the trend is going down a little bit.
Ting: Yeah. People want more intimate rooms than just everything wide open.
Elsie: Yeah. It’s just a lot going on at once is probably how I would describe it. So I cared that…one of my favorite things about our current home was the trees. So I cared a lot about having mature trees. But I also didn’t want a huge yard, like I definitely didn’t want like several acres that needed to be mowed, you know, because I feel like we wouldn’t appreciate it for how much that the mowing bills would be. So it kind of was like a small yard with like a ton of big trees, which was special. And then some other weirdly specific concerns for us were having a really good workspace for Collin in the garage. Cause, you know, just practical, he’s always, always, always working in the garage almost every day. Some places for people to park so we could have a party.
Ting: Yeah. (laughs)
Elsie: My support for Jeremy’s piano, which is a big part of…it’s like sort of like the center of our living space, or it was in our old house, and I really loved that. A real powder room…special. And this one is so, so, so silly. But it’s real. A place to hide boxes. Because, you know, when you’re like redoing a bathroom or doing a big DIY project, you just get a lot of supplies and stuff in the mail. Just a place to put it all while you’re waiting. Was one of my hopes and dreams.
Ting: Like storage, basically.
Elsie: Yes, storage. Yeah. Kind of by the front door.
Ting: Ok. Yeah.
Ting: Well I knew, I knew you were going to buy that house the second you walked in.
Elsie: Ahhh, OK. Another question was in the previous episode I shared that Ting came with us when we looked at the house, which was so cool because he doesn’t always come like he hardly ever… I mean.
Ting: I went to the one to the one before that one that we were trying. You were trying to make it work. Jeremy loved the setting, like the neighborhood and everything. And you were trying to give me to help you convince him that it could be made into something.
Elsie: Yeah, he felt that the inside was kind of sad, was the only word, and it was kind of dark, but it had all the right…it checked all the boxes, but it made Jeremy feel sad in his heart. So we didn’t end up getting that one. Anyway. So we walked into the house. And what was it about it that made, you know, that it was…
Ting: Well first, when your hands clutch together in front of you? And you say “Oh my god!” Like that over and over. (laughs) It means you love it. So that’s one thing. Mainly is you like that Palm Springs look, and when you walk in, it has that feel like it has the tile floors and it’s got a lot of windows very open, but not super high open. It’s just kind of not low ceilings, but, you know, some open space that’s really high ceilings. I don’t think you like that. You like normal ceilings but really, really open and, you know, it just has that feel.
Elsie: It just was perfect.
Elsie: I can’t even describe it but yeah. We just kind of knew.
Ting: Yeah. I was talking to your realtor about how to get the price down before…two minutes in. Because I knew you were going to buy that house.
Elsie: Yes. It just it just was meant to be. So the next question is, do you know this is the saddest question I don’t want to answer. Does the new home already have a studio for Jeremy or do you have to build one again? Yeah, we have to build one again. But on a positive note, we’re getting really good at it. (laughs) We’ve had a lot of practice.
Ting: Yeah, yeah.
Elsie: It it’s kind of just like a big…it was like a bonus room, what we’re going to use. The previous owners had like workout equipment in there and stuff, and then it has kind of like a little attic attached to it. So it’s kind of two rooms. It’s gonna be converted into two rooms. It’s gonna be a good studio for him. Honestly, he’s being a selfless husband because the best number one best thing we’re leaving about this house, I think is definitely the studio because, it’s brand new and it’s totally custom for him.
Ting: Yeah. But, you know, the studio is why you’re able to sell the house so quickly.
Elsie: That’s true. That was another question that I don’t know if I wrote on here, but a lot of people wanted to know if, if a music studios are selling feature in Nashville and it actually kind of is. I didn’t know until we were selling our last home. And then it was almost all musicians who made offers and we were like, oh, this is a thing. And then this time it was lots of musicians, too. But I’m not sure if the people who bought it are in music or not. But I mean, to be fair, a music studio, it’s basically just three small rooms…
Ting: It’s a home office.
Elsie: Yeah. It could be an office. It could be a workout room. It could be kind of any kind of hobby room.
Ting: Yeah I think in Nashville, though, it is definitely a selling point in Nashville.
Elsie: I think so too. It’s a special part of the country.
Elsie: So the next question is about money. Oooh! As someone who’s moved a lot, all I can think about is the money. How can you afford to buy a new home and move within a few short months? So I’m totally fine sharing this. Basically, we had a pretty big savings account set aside to build an addition like that’s a big, expensive project and we were getting ready to do that. And we decided to instead use that money towards a down payment for a new home. And we did a contingency offer just to make sure that we didn’t end up having two big mortgages, because we also have two AirBnBs, as you all know, that aren’t really renting out right now. Hardly at all because of COVID. So we didn’t want to overcommit. And that’s how we made that work. Contingency offer and using our savings that we were planning to use to build on instead for a downpayment. The next question is, did you sell a lot of furniture this time? So, no. This time we’re taking almost every single thing with us. There’s like two things that aren’t going to fit in the new home. And yeah, I knew that we weren’t going to sell a lot of furniture this time, mainly because a lot of it we just bought. And that just, I don’t know, one of the things we were looking for when we looked at new homes was, you know, obviously. Does it have a place for that pink sofa? The special magical pink sofa.
Ting: Where is this pink sofa. Is it upstairs? I didn’t even see it.
Elsie: You didn’t see it when we walked in?
Elsie: OK. I’ll show you. So I have one funny story about furniture. OK, so this is so sad. The first month, first few weeks. I don’t know that we lived here. You know, I ordered a bunch of furniture because we sold most of our old furniture when at the, like it stayed at the old house with buyers. So I ordered the sectional from Joy Bird not sponsored, paid for it with my own money, with a sale code. And it didn’t even come yet. It didn’t even arrive in the mail yet. And we are rerouting it to our new house. That is how crazy and sudden this move has been that it didn’t even have time for my sofa to come in the mail before we moved.
Ting: So is it there now? When is it going to get there?
Elsie: Now? it’s still being made. Oh, so it’s like the type of furniture company where you pick out your stuff and then they build it for you.
Ting: I see.
Elsie: So it’s not…it’s a U-shaped sectional.
Elsie: Can’t wait for you all to see it. But anyway, it’s going to still be perfect for our new little TV room and. Yeah. So since we had just bought a lot of furniture, I didn’t want to waste anything and we almost didn’t waste anything. Almost everything’s going with us. Is the new home mid-century or from a newer era? So this might be surprising to people, but it’s from the 90s.
Elsie: But it doesn’t really have a strong 90s style at all.
Ting: Well it’s been added on to.
Ting: Yeah. The back half is added on. So I think the house originally is just the front ranch part with the posts? You know, like that front entry, and then the part that goes along the back was added on later. So I don’t think it was added on a lot later. I think it was probably added on late 90s if the houses built in the early 90s.
Elsie: It’s L shape. It’s kind of…it’s honestly kind of like our old house.
Elsie: Our old house is from the 70s, but it doesn’t have a strong era like feel to it. The thing that the thing that’s 90s about it that bothers me the most is there’s a lot of tech that we have to address.
Ting: Oh yeah.
Elsie: And there’s also a kind of a 90s thing is to have like a ton of can lights? And not very many chandeliers. So I want to switch that in the future. But yeah, really, for the most part, it feels a little bit ambiguous, like I think that especially once were done decorating it, people might think it’s from the 70s or at least might not be able to guess it was from the 90s.
Ting: It has that California 70s feel.
Elsie: Mm hmm.
Ting: But, you know, I just added 100 can lights in my house. Right? And it’s 2020.
Elsie: Yeah. I mean, we do like part ways a little bit on can lights.
Ting: I was insisting he put can lights in here.
Elsie: I have a big problem with them because it’s because of photography. Because when they’re turned on, it’s just like little lights, little alien lights everywhere. So I basically would never turn them on. So I basically just don’t need them.
Ting: Yeah. Makes sense.
Elsie: But I love chandeliers. Also, I love chandelier so much like picking out a chandelier…
Ting: Oh I know.
Elsie: …is a joy. A true joy. A true hobby. OK. So this is the last question. What did you have to do to finish your house to sell it so quickly? So this house that we are currently living in. We’ve lived here for five months.
Ting: Has it been that long?
Elsie: Yeah. So since March.
Elsie: And the whole time it’s been COVID. The first wave of the first quarantine started four days after we moved here. So it’s, I’ve just really honestly spent a lot of my time doing this stuff. Jeremy and I painted a ton of trim for almost a whole month, we painted trim. I painted the bathroom vanity down here all by myself using Asa’s tutorial…
Elsie: …he wrote for the blog. Yes. I’ll link his hard drawing paint tutorial. That was actually really fun and it was pretty easy. Obviously, Colin did an enormous amount of work very quickly. He was very in his podcast zone, working his ass off. And yeah, he did the paneled ceiling, which I think is the high point. And then we had Davis Custom Finishes come and paint the exterior and also the fireplace. So really…
Ting: But I don’t think you prepared this house for sale. You did everything in this house to stay. And you just happened to decide to sell it.
Elsie: Well, OK. So we were on our way to renovating it for ourselves, obviously, because there’s a music studio in it. And I wouldn’t have done that on a flip, and I wouldn’t do a flip anyway. Like, I’ve never even done that before. But when we realized that we needed to sell it, we realized that we had sort of found our dream house and we wanted to move. We were like, okay, well, we need to sell this. And Ting was like, you need to list it in three weeks. And I was like, oh, my gosh, because the wet bar area was completely ripped out. There was nothing there. Like, there is a lot of issues that we had to address really quickly. And we got Asa to come paint it. So it was a lot.
Ting: But those were all things you were gonna do anyway.
Elsie: Yeah, that’s true. It was just following through with the plan we had…
Ting: Speeding it up…
Elsie: Really quickly. Yeah, that’s true. And honestly it was fun. Like I don’t think I don’t understand how anyone makes money flipping houses or at least maybe it’s just not for me because I don’t, I just don’t see how it’s possible to do it that quickly. And…
Ting: Well, the reason you got out unscathed with this house selling it so quick is because of the studio.
Elsie: You think so?
Ting: I think it’s because before…
Elsie: I think it’s the exterior paint.
Ting: That brought people in, but this confirmed that it was done right. You know, but when you bought it, this room was kinda janky, right?
Elsie: That’s true. When we bought this house, it was just one big open basement. And now it has closed off rooms, soundproofed, wood floors.
Ting: Yeah. I mean, you’ve definitely made this house a lot better.
Elsie: Thank you.
Ting: This is a much better house. And I think the reason why you do so well when you get rid of your houses and your houses sell so quickly, you know, your houses sell within a few days, mine take weeks, really, and then they fall through. So anyway, that’s why I don’t like to sell houses. Right? Is because you’re not doing it to make money or to as a job or anything, you’re actually doing it for yourself. And you put your heart and soul into the design and the aesthetics of it. And that I don’t think that’s something I you know, because I’ve tried to copy it just doesn’t work.
Elsie: It’s the opposite of house flipping. Yes, that’s what it is. Yeah. That’s why I wouldn’t want to do a house flip, because then you’d have to stay on a super specific budget and not pick out anything that was like your own, special, you know.
Elsie: Like, I would never, ever put wallpaper in a house that I thought I was about to sell.
Ting: No, but I think it gives a feel. Yeah. I’ve copied your stuff and it doesn’t work when I copy it.
Elsie: Really? What did you copy?
Ting: On this house I painted the door pink and I put in some floating shelves and it’s not moving. Nobody wants it.
Elsie: He painted the door pink because of me! I’m so proud right now. All right. Thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate you all. I hope that I answered all your questions. And we will put links in the show notes to all the different things we mentioned. So see you next week!