Our New Old Home: The Details

December 4, 2014

Now that I’ve given you the first look at our latest project and new home, I’m getting into the nitty gritty details.  First, how we found the house and let me tell you, I believe the house found us instead.

brockbank exterior front before 2

For several months we had our eyes on a home in a completely different part of town.  It had been abandoned by the owner after they couldn’t make the payment and after a whole lot of ground work, we discovered the house was about to go to auction.  Before it went to auction, it was technically in the hands of the home owner’s association.  We tried to buy it directly from the association, but it wasn’t truly theirs to sell.  It then went to auction.  We got financing in line and marched ourselves down to the auction where it went back to the bank for a completely unreasonable price (a common tactic used by banks, which in my opinion makes no sense because then the bank has to pay for a real estate agent and fees rather than just sell it to someone at auction, but I digress.).  From there we could only wait for it to go on the market and snatch it up as quickly as we could.  We talked to the bank, asked them to let us know as soon as it was listed.  Our agent set up an alert system to notify her the moment it was listed.  We checked the listings every day like hawks.  And you guys, the most unbelievable thing happened.  The bank never called us, the alert system failed, the house was listed and sold in 24 hours.  And man, were we bummed.

The day after we learned we had lost the house, we went for a drive through an area we had always loved, but had overlooked for several reasons.  First, we had heard there weren’t many young families in the area (completely not true, btw).  Second, we thought we couldn’t afford anything in the neighborhood, as it is highly desirable and the gems are usually snatched up by investors or someone with inside information about a listing (true, but that leads me to my next point).  But on that day as we were driving through random streets, we happened upon a for sale by owner sign pointing us down a street we weren’t familiar with.  It was a lovely street and the house looked like it was right up our ally.  It had a lot of potential but clearly needed a lot of work.  We called the number on the sign and left a message.  The next day we got a call back and looked through the house.  We tried not to get our hopes up, but really loved it.  That day the seller took the sign down (it had been up only two days) and it never went back up.  He said he really liked us and wanted to sell us the house, if our offer was competitive.  We made an offer, it was accepted, and here we are.  It was so serendipitous it leaves me only to believe things work out the way they are supposed to and not the way you plan or want them to.

We have had neighbor after neighbor in the area ask us in disbelief how we were able to buy the house.  Some of them had even tried for many years, but either the price was too high, or the owners weren’t ready to sell.  We just had really good timing and a lot of luck.

Now looking at the house, you may think we are a wee bit nuts given the amount of work it needs, but we know it’s going to be just beautiful when we’re finished with it.

On to some details about the house:

A couple built the home in 1971 and lived in it until they passed away eight years ago.  Since that time, their children have not been ready to sell the home, despite a lot of interest.

A son living nearby cared for the yard and made sure the home remained secure, but it’s been virtually untouched since his parents lived in it.

Untouched meant a lot of stuff, and I mean a lot, that their kids had to go through.  It took them months to get it ready for a massive estate sale.

The house has some really neat features, but it also has some weird ones.  The neighbors have told us the couple who lived there liked their privacy and the yard reflects that.  Soooooooo many massive, overgrown, or dead trees in front of every window and all over the yard, both front and back.  The front door is also an interesting situation– more on later.

Here are the specifics: currently the home has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a living room, a family room, formal dining, kitchen/casual dining, downstairs laundry, and a storage area, and has a 3 car garage.

And there you have it!  Because the home is mid-century, we are keeping the design in that era.  Here are some of the inspiration photos I’ve pinned as I plan each space.

Screenshot 2014-12-04 06.33.43

Home Adore

Screenshot 2014-12-04 06.36.21

Unknown, found on Pinterest

Screenshot 2014-12-04 06.38.20

Dering Hall

Another space before reveal coming soon!

In other news, my Home Depot Style Challenge room is up today on Home Depot’s blog, The Apron.  Some creative DIY table setting ideas for the holidays for you.  Here’s a sneak peek. Head over to The Apron to see the rest!


Happy rest of your week!


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  1. sarah dorsey says:

    Such a great story – it really does seem like it was meant to be! Can’t wait to see more!

  2. Jennifer says:

    The back story has me even more excited for this adventure! Congratulations. It was already a loved home, now you can make it yours. I know it will be beautiful.

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