Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our New {old} Nest

Eight months ago, Husband and I purchased our first house (eek!). After three years in our newlywed condo, we were ready for a change. And by we, I mean me. I was ready for more storage. And a bigger kitchen. And a living room without golf clubs or a road bike in the corner.  And so began our search.

We started out focusing on Vestavia/Homewood for many reasons...our condo is in Vestavia, so we are comfortable with the area (and we love it). It's convenient to both of our workplaces. Most of our friends live close by (including my family). The school systems are fabulous (not that we have kids or plan to have them any time soon, I just like to needlessly fret plan ahead). Easy decision, right?

It was Husband’s idea to consider some of the historic neighborhoods downtown, where we could probably find something more affordable with lots of charm and character. Plus, he’s always wanted our first house to be a fixer-upper. I’d had enough of the fixing when we re-did our condo, and was not eager to embark on a larger-scale renovation. 

I lost. 

Ok, that's not entirely fair...I'll admit that I wasn't crazy about the idea at first. But the more I thought about it and the more time we started spending looking around, I began to see that the neighborhoods were, indeed, charming. Living downtown (or close to it, anyway) would be different. A new experience. We'd get to see a whole new side of Birmingham. So looooooooooooooong story short, after months of flyers, drive-bys and open-house stalking, we landed in this gem in Forest Park:

Exasperated Husband included!

The house was built in 1926, so it has fabulous high ceilings and hardwood floors. It also has some neat little features, like this:

Adorable built-in spice rack

And some not-so-neat features, like this:

Awful bathroom vanity

Now, Husband is amazingly talented at seeing the potential in things. Me? Not so much. Although I was excited about the possibility of living in Forest Park, I needed a little coaxing. I mean, the house wasn't a TOTAL disaster (we looked at one that was MUCH worse), but it needed work. A lot. Of work.

We started out planning to flip it. It was a foreclosure, so we figured we could get a good deal, do most of the work ourselves, make a decent profit (hopefully), and find another house to "settle" in. Preferably, back in Vestavia with the stellar school system. You know, so I can worry about my unborn child's education in peace.

Well, that didn't last long. Just like I'd fallen in love with the historic neighborhoods, I fell head-over-heels for this house. In the end, I think I was the one who convinced Husband that we should forego the flip and live in it long-term (a fact he likes to remind me of when things get particularly stressful).

So, here we are. After countless weekends at Home Depot and more paint samples than any one person should conceivably purchase, I'm FINALLY getting around to blogging about our little adventure. As we get ready for the big move (or as I will refer to it, Operation Breakdown, because let's face it - I'll probably have at least one), I'll fill you in about what's been done so far and what we are planning for the future.

I hope you'll join us on our renovation journey, and the craziness that is sure to follow. Enjoy! 


  1. Yay! Congratulations on your first house! We're excited to follow your blog - we LOVE a good DIY project and home renovation! And we love old homes, too. Can't wait to see the transformation!

    Nick and Robyn

  2. excited to watch the transformation!

  3. love it!! can't wait to read more!!

  4. Congrats! I am also closing on my first single family home soon. Also had a condo before so I'll be following your on the same journey. The first project I have is I want to repaint my bedroom grey so if you find the perfect shade, make sure to post pics and the name of the color. Good luck!

  5. Court, how I LOVE you...reading your new blog is going to be so much fun! When your mom told me yesterday, I couldn't wait to come home and read it! I am sitting here on pins and needles waiting for Kelley's post on Caroline, so coming here made me the Operation Breakdown part. Can't wait to come see what all y'all have done!!! And to find out what the perfect shade of grey is!!!