Friday, March 26, 2010

I was hoping to finally share my exciting news that I mentioned last week, but so much has changed. Some of you may already know this, but my husband and I are currently looking for our first home. The whole process of buying a house has become a bit overwhelming, mostly because I have gotten so emotionally involved. While some girls dream about their weddings, I have always dreamed about my first house. How I would decorate it, the dinner parties I would throw, the garden I would plant in the backyard, and finally having my own studio space...
Last week we finally found one we loved or I should say, one that we could love after a whole lot of fixing up. We worked through some intense negotiations and finally got an accepted offer. I thought it was going to be just that easy until we went back for the inspection. It seems our cute little house has lots of hidden problems. Now we are thinking about backing out and it pains me to have to start all over again, minus the $375 we had to drop on the inspection (ouch!).

It has also made me question what I really want in a home. While part of me wants to stay in the city, the other part of me can't help but dream about fixing up an old farm house like this. The last two summers I have worked on a CSA farm and have loved every minute of digging in the dirt, running around with the chickens, and feeling the peace that comes from being out of the city.

I used to take such pride in being a city dweller, but that seems to have changed the older I have gotten. Don't get me wrong, I think it would be hard to give up all the culture, cuisine and night life of the city. But these days I care more about having space to grow lots of fresh vegetables than being able to walk to my favorite restaurant or coffee shop. For now we will keep doing what we can as urban homesteaders, but I know someday we will live like this, surrounded by trees with children and lots of animals running around.
Photos from Design Sponge


  1. wow, i totally agreed with everything you said. i would love to settle down in a quaint, little cottage with a the perfect garden and a nice, front porch one day.. :)

  2. I just blogged about this farm house too! SO AMAZING. I hear ya- Ben and I love our house, but would someday like to buy land and build or do the whole nice yurt thing.

  3. I could have been the one who wrote this. I totally feel you. Good luck in finding the perfect home!

  4. these are gorgeous photos. i hate to say this, but be very weary buying a house that needs fixing up. my dad bought a house in august and there were so many hidden problems that he hasn't even been able to afford any cosmetic work :( however, it depends a lot on who is inspecting the house, too. so make sure you have an independent inspector who will serve your interests best!

    good luck! i can't wait to see how you decorate the house!

  5. yes, exactly.
    i was never one of those girls who dreamed about her wedding growing up (and i still don't) - but i spend hours, days, months, dreaming of apartments and homes. they represent you so much more.

  6. oh shoot, i'm sorry about that unforeseen turn of events.

    i know just what you mean - i'm a city girl, but i feel the incomparable pull of the countryside all the time these days. i'm afraid i tend to idealise the country and make it a whole lot more romantic and easy to live in than it really is, but i'd love to fix up an old cottage sometime.

    good luck with everything!

  7. I am sorry about the troubles with house hunting. I have been through it myself and totally understand that rollercoaster of emotions that you feel when you find a place that you love and it isn't quite right.

    I too have the same mixed feelings about city / country living. I think that maybe you change your feelings about it over time. You might move to the country and then later on, move back to the city. And that's ok!

  8. hi there,

    i recently stumbled onto your blog and this post really spoke volumes to me. my husband and i were/are in a very similar situation. we were looking for a condo in chicago, found what we thought was a great one (gut rehab, so you'd think there would be very few problems), had an inspection and found out that there were a TON of problems. they just made it look pretty. we ended up walking away. and even though it sucks to have to pay the inspection money and you don't have anything to show for it in the end. think of it this way, you don't have to pay EVEN MORE for all those hidden problems and headaches it would cause.

    we also thought about leaving chicago after my husband was laid off. we came up with the concept of an art farm. we'd try to live a very self-sustaining life, use the out buildings for our studios, and figure out how to make a living some way. in the end we decided we weren't ready to leave our friends and the city just yet. but i'm sure you'll be able to figure it out. take a look at what's out there. it can't hurt!! good luck!

  9. oh stephanie i loved this post. as a nyc dweller, i totally feel torn between wanting to stay in the city and having a real home. while that day is very (and i mean very far away) i know someday i too will want to find my dream home outside of the city and have a yard and (gasp!) SPACE!

    i know you'll find your perfect home so if this one doesn't work out i know you'll find it! :)

  10. I would love to find a house in the country somewhere!

    I know the whole house huting process is frustrating, but it will be worth it once you buy your dream home. Good luck :)

  11. this rings home so so well. I too am a city girl dreaming about the country. but until I'm able to have my full time job be out of my home, I don't think I could handle the commute. best luck on future house hunting and keep your chin up. I hate to be cliche, but everything happens for a reason my friend! :)

  12. I'm sorry to hear about the turn of events, but I'm glad you discovered the hidden problems before the sale was executed. I still grapple with my love for both the country and the city, the wide open space and the convenience of proximity to everything. I grew up on a small farm in the sticks before moving to the U.S., and then lived in more cramped spaces since then. Someday, I know I'll live a similar dream to yours, in the country. But for now, the city still beckons. A time and a place, and cycles in life. That's what I've learned. Good luck on house hunting!

  13. We've kind of found middle ground in the suburbs for now. A big enough yard for gardening (even plans to get some chickens this year!) but we can still walk down to our favorite restaurants and coffee shops downtown which is nice too :)

    We do have hopes of one day owning some land out in the country though.

    I know it's tough, but I'm sure the perfect place will find you and when it does you'll be so glad you didn't settle for a place with lots of problems... hang in there, and good luck!

    These photos are gorgeous, btw.

  14. I'm so sorry that things are going according to plan! I'm like you and have imagine my dream house for years! I really hope everything works out and you find a house you love.

    I too could easily live in a country house.

    Lulu Letty

  15. i adore what you said about being torn between the excitement of the city and the serenity of a quiet life. i also feel like the older i get, the more i become a homebody and enjoy the everyday. i need less explosions, i guess you could say, to make me happy and excited.
    the photos are beautiful, what are the jars full of?
    xoxo, rose


  16. i'm right there with you. i dream of a living in an old farm house. it's a romantic ideal, that doesn't account for the difficulty of caring for a little farm and old house. the convenience and resources of the city keep me wrapped up here tightly.

  17. I know how you feel. I used to think that to be happy I'd need (magically, given my finances) two houses--one in the city for the culture and restaurants, and one in the country for the space and the land. As I get older, it is the country option that seems more and more appealing--there is something beautiful in having the room to expand and grow and build.

    I hope your house hunting works out--I know it's next to impossible, but try not to get to attached to each one you see and think is "the one"! :)