This summer (2013) we sold our wonderful, big, floppy house so that we could move to Richmond and I could be close to work. Since Mr. Lucky works out of the house, cutting down on my commute became a priority. We worked with a wonderful realtor in Fredericksburg, Michelle Dietz from Keller Williams, and she helped us find a couple of buyers. I consider this pretty amazing considering this house is listed in a higher bracket than what most go for in the area, AND the market still has a few ups and downs. In fact, just as we put our house on the market, there was a big slump that lasted for about two months. I think one thing that really helped to sell our house was the listing photos. Michelle hired HouseLens to do the pictures and a walk-through video tour. I’ve included almost all of them into this page now, so you can really see the difference between my point and shoot and a professional photographer. First though, here is the video walk-through tour. I think they did an amazing job and it really gives you a sense of space to the house.
This house, like most people’s, was a work in progress was never truly “done.” I enjoyed many aspects of this home, even though there are many things I’d love to change too. My house was built in 2004 as a custom home for a builder and his wife. They lived in it while they built it (we were told by a neighbor) until they ran out of money, which meant that they used cheaper materials to finish the house. We were told that the wife really loved the house, but her husband needed the money so they sold it. It was bought by a company who tried to flip it (without updating anything), who eventually went into foreclosure a year and a half later. We toured the home, and we were frankly floored by the amount of space for the money. Our offer was approved (out of three they received), and we were ecstatic! Well, I was anyway. I think with compounding fears about the economy (the stock market hadn’t crashed yet) and being able to really live in the home and see its flaws tempered my husband’s feelings.
And our listing photo:
And a shot of the garage as you pull up:
We did know a lot about the home going into it. Not only did we hire a home inspector, but we brought in two engineers, a chimney sweep, an HVAC technician, and a septic specialist to check things out (our bank insisted on most of it). The reports came in that we had a great house- structurally. The bones are great, and everything was done well, except the finish work. There were some pretty big BUTs in there. The chimney was fine BUT there is a small dent near the top inside. The windows all work BUT every room has a different brand. The HVAC works BUT it looks like it was put in by monkeys. The list is too long and I’m sure you’re not that interested for me to go over it. But let’s just say that we knew there was room to upgrade. And quite a bit of that we did…
A progress of the front porch and flower bed taken in the spring of 2011:
And a view of the porch in the listing photo:
The before of the exterior of the rear of the house:
The progress on the back (you can read about our deck re-do here):
And the listing photos:
In these two shots you can see the new HVAC system we had installed the summer of 2012, and our red bee balm in bloom. I loved that plant, and being able to see it from where we ate. Throughout the summer months, hummingbirds would come up to feed on the bee balm at all times of the day. If you sat out on the back deck, sometimes they would whiz by your head.
To the far right in that last shot, you can also see the fire pit we made our first year in the house. We dug down deep, filled the hole with gravel, and lined it with landscaping stones. We made sure to leave small gaps in the first row so that air has a place to escape (and prevent the stones from cracking).
Here is a view of the backyard from the deck. I really loved, and miss, the privacy we had at this property.
Walking in through the front door, we have the foyer:
Walking straight through the foyer, you can see it’s open to the family room. Before:
And some progress:
And here are a few of the listing photos:
I worked hard for about a month, cleaning, sorting, organizing, packing, and staging the house. I pared down the amount of art we had on the walls considerably.
And these are the drapes in the family room (you can see how I made them here):
Continuing from the Family Room, you come to the eat-in kitchen:
And the listing photos:
You can see there is a completely different table in here. I needed to move the larger table into the dining room for staging, and I had this table in my craft room before. It was a little small for the space, but I made do with what I had on hand.
The Eat-In nook is open to the kitchen (click here for more pictures!):
And some nice listing photos:
After painting and making curtains:
With the stockpile:
And for the listing:
The way the office changed for staging was my favorite transformation. Seeing how it looked, I wish that I had made this change years ago.
Going back through the kitchen, you come to a little hallway with the laundry room and half bath. Here it is shortly after we moved in:
And with some progress:
I think you can see the color a little more true in this updated progress picture of the half bath (click here for more pictures!):
And the listing photo:
To the left of the half bath is the laundry room.
You can only see about half of the room in this shot, but you’re not missing much on the other side. There is another upper cabinet on the other wall, and a base cabinet (not attached to anything).
Now for the real reason we bought the house, the basement. The first shot is before we did anything to it. It’s still completely unfinished, but we did add electrical outlets and fluorescent lighting. My husband works out of the house and wanted a large basement. Well he got it:
This view is just looking in one direction, but it is about 1800 square feet total and it’s all open.
The listing photo:
The basement stairs come up between the kitchen and the dining room, which I used as an office. This is a clean shot from a few years ago.
And the listing photos where I actually converted it back to an actual dining room (that we only used once from the time we listed it):
And the last stop on the main floor is the master bedroom suite. I chose a very soft and muted purple for the walls which I loved:
The purple also seems to go perfectly with my paintings (those are my works on the wall).
The listing photos show it off much better:
The vaulted ceiling was pretty spectacular too.
This is a before shot of the master bathroom:
And here is the listing photo:
The color on the walls in here is actually a shade or two lighter than the bedroom. I don’t know why they didn’t get any other shots of the bathroom, but you can see the shower room renovation here.
I also did a brief tour of the closets in the house, including both master bedroom closets:
Now heading upstairs, there are two guest rooms, my craft room, and a full bath. We’ll start with the bath at the top of the stairs:
And here’s the progress:
And the listing photo:
My craft studio is open to the family room below, which is one reason why I chose to use it as a studio, rather than a guest room:
And significantly cleaned out for the listing:
I hope to have a very clean looking, organized craft room in my new house too…
The first guest room has a king-sized bed that I made an upholstered headboard for. Here is shortly after we moved in:
And some progress I’ve made to make it comfortable for my guests:
And the listing photos:
And lastly, the other guest room which I call the twin room because it has a twin bed:
Goodbye old house, and thanks for the memories!