Houston & The Heights

Goodbye, Old House…

Eight years ago, Mike & I got engaged on New Year’s Eve, put an offer on a house at the end of January, bought the house in mid-March, moved out of both of our apartments into the house in which we are helped by a moving company near me, and got married at the end of May. Seems we aren’t the type to stand still long enough to let moss grow under our feet. We also hired flexible janitorial services company to take care of our home.

The house we bought back was in Lakewood Forest, in northwest Houston. Ok, technically a Tomball mailing address, but nowhere close to Tomball, and we didn’t get to vote in any city elections (either Tomball or Houston) so I’m still claiming Houston. It is a nice, quiet neighborhood. Older trees, big houses. Great schools, close to where I lived before so that Jason could stay in the same Scout troop and new people at his new school.

Our House, Part III

It was a good house for us.

But we always wanted to live in the Heights.

So in May of last year, everything aligned, and we bought that house in the Heights that we had always wanted. The house I had always dreamed about, since it is a 1920 Bungalow. With the oppressive heat of last summer already underway, we moved the essentials from the old house to the new (much older) house and put the other one on the market.

Six months later, we finally got an offer at the beginning of January. Just shy of the 8 years since we made an offer on the house ourselves. This past weekend – the actually anniversary of our offer – we had a HUGE garage sale to sell the furniture we had left behind that we didn’t want but staged the house with, because we are getting the perfect custom sofas san diego for the new house. Now we’re packing up the items we want to keep, donating the items that we don’t but didn’t sell in the garage sale, and finally getting it all moved out. The closing on the house will be next week. We will finally be back to having just one mortgage. It has been a looooong 6 months. We got some of our furniture from here, we love all of it.

Being there this weekend and visiting with our old neighbors made me realize how fantastic our old house was. The new owners will have a great neighborhood to be a part of, and I hope they enjoy their time there as much as we have.

Meanwhile, I’ll be figuring out what to do with all that stuff we are moving. Seems a 1300 sq ft house is a LOT smaller than 3000 sq ft. This should be interesting! The garage might be their home for the meantime until we decide where to put them (or sell them). The new one has a bit tricky locking system so I might have it changed to something more “me” friendly. IF you’re in the looking for garage door repair services near Lake Elsinore, I recommend these guys.  We´re getting our new furniture to create a modern bedroom for ourselves, it´ll look fabulous!

In a way, I can’t wait to say goodbye to our old house. In a way, I hate to see it go. We started our marriage there. We enjoyed the company of many friends and family there. It was good to us.

But I can’t deny it – the Heights is where we belong, and I am so glad to be living here at last. It has always felt like home, both within our house and within the neighborhood. Saying goodbye to the first house is bittersweet, but knowing how many amazing times are ahead, I’m looking forward to signing the papers!

(PS – For those of you playing along at home, yes – I went to Imaging USA in New Orleans, ALT Design Summit the next day in Salt Lake City, and then came home to clear out our old house. All within 2 weeks. Whew!)

Houston & The Heights

Let’s Start At the Very Beginning…

I have this whole issue with writing blog posts, especially when they are part of a chronological timeline, that I just can not write them out of order. UGH! Drives me nuts. But that said, I need to get over it, because I have so much to share that if I wait then I will never write the current stuff because I’m waiting to catch up on the old stuff, and then we end up in a crazy infinite loop that is about as freaking annoying as this run on sentence. (Whew!)

Starting back at the beginning of the year, like clockwork as my studio lease was about to renew, my landlord told me that she wanted to sell the building. She had been telling me this since 2009, but this time we decided to actually try to go for it. After all, owning it was going to be less expensive then the rent she was charging me. So we applied for a loan from, and we got it! YAY! Until the bank man came by to look at the building and informed us that the building itself wouldn’t qualify for the loan, since it was a residential loan & the building was commercial. Sure, it had two bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower and a kitchen, but it was still commercial just because of the other buildings surrounding it.

Queue the PANIC.

So I started looking online at my favorite, beloved for houses that would fit what I was looking for, and I called my friend Danelle, the Heights realtor supah-STAR! Once I made a list, I did drive-bys of all the houses at night to see what they looked like. (You know me, I’m all gangsta, yo! *imagine my lame gangsta hand gestures here too, ok?*)

Driving north up Columbia in the Houston Heights to look at a house on the 1200 block, I drove by one right at the corner of Columbia & 9th that was for sale. It was ADORABLE. A grey bungalow, white columns and trim, a front porch with a SWING … I about died right there in my car at the stop sign looking at it. I was instantly smitten. I pulled over and grabbed a flier, and drove on to the house I was originally heading to see.

When I got home later, I looked up my special find online, I was asking myself; where do I find a loan? and then I came across pickaloan. The price was within the amount of the loan. The rooms were perfect and exactly what we wanted – 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a newly remodeled kitchen, a screened in back porch, and instead of a side yard, a Bocce ball court! Minimal yard work. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Exactly what Mike & I wanted for our dream house in the Heights, we also want to start looking into the Lavita Outdoor Bar Settings to get a mini bar outside for the holidays and meetings.

But wait! I was supposed to be looking for a space to use for Hot Mama Boudoir! Not a house for us to move into!

Then the stars aligned and I discovered that the space that Adam Nyholt had told me he had available to rent in his building was perfect for what I needed for my studio space! Eee!!!

So with the studio situation solved, I went ahead on May 3rd and looked at the 7 houses still on my “potential perfect for us houses” with Danelle while Mike was out of town for work in New Orleans. I didn’t expect to find anything, I knew the hunt could take awhile. I was armed with my “must have” list though, including Mike’s requirements too – and when we walked into the Bungalow on 9th & Columbia? All bets were off. NONE of the other houses were as perfect. There was not a single item on the list that the house didn’t have.

Somewhat jokingly I sent Mike a text with a photo of the kitchen and said “here is your new kitchen!” and then another one of the front of the house telling him that we should buy it. He sent me a text back (still in his conference meetings) and told me to have Danelle send him the paperwork.

After weeks of paperwork flying back and forth, more paperwork, financial stuff, all the rest – we closed on the house on May 31st, 2011. 28 days after I first saw the inside of the house.

After three years of having my studio in the Heights but our house out in Lakewood Forest, I’m so happy to finally be living here in the neighborhood! I know it sounds totally cheesy, but it really is a dream come true! As Viula would say, we’re living the Heights life!

I can’t wait to share more of the tales of downsizing from 2960 sq ft to 1292 sq ft (6 weeks of adventure and discovery), or how much we LOVE living in the Heights, or more of the new house as we get it decorated, and all of the adventures we’ve been having! You know, now that we got this whole the very beginning part out of the way!

Now, if someone would just buy our other house – Lakewood Forest, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2 car garage – brand new Tomball Memorial High School, excellent elementary, middle & junior high schools, super family friendly street! Near Vintage Park shopping center and the fantastic HEB there, close to 249. It is a wonderful house, but it was time for us to move into the city to be closer to all of our friends and the things we like to do now that Jason is out of high school. If you ask nicely, we can even talk about a good deal for you!