63 Comments

  1. judy
    March 17, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

    wow- I thought 8 houses in 54 years of marriage was shamefully indecisive but your posse is impressively mobile. We never bought a house that I couldn’t keep in a constant state of disruption and despair for our entire occupancy until of course it was time to sell and then I could wave my magic wand of 18 hour days….. for everyone who didn’t want to be on the street once said move was completed! and damn the Lowes credit card -buy the nailer-the new vanity- the glass shower door(that I had always wanted and couldn’t afford) etc.etc. etc.”We gotta get back some of the #%&*% money we put in this place or die trying. We are in our last house-a thing of pristine beauty with wall to wall new thick cream colored carpeting and new roof -owned by an older elegant couple who obviously hadn’t let anything go-right? Erma Gird ! how wrong we were. Have you heard of a thing called a mud sill? sill plate? It seems when this thing gets wet from the old beautiful metal sliding doors that run across the entire house that Termites! come and devour said sill plate and it has to be replaced along with the back of the house and all 4! sliding doors. I won’t go into the HVAC system- the carpet- the bathroom rotted floor and more. I’m feeling a little queasy so I’ll just say we love this house and we’re staying. Also we have no choice since I’m too tired to move. I love you- your blog and your tribe. I believe we are the descendants of an ancient nomadic tribe that once wandered the Earth making things beautiful…. planting Gardens and moving enormous rocks. How else explain the Grand Tetons? Can’t wait till you buy the Mansion- it is the only abode that would totally suit your Queenly-ness and do justice to the kingdom mirrors

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  2. Carollynn
    March 17, 2014 @ 3:42 pm

    I’m with you, 103 projects is not realistic. That was about right for the first week of home ownership. W’re coming up on 8 years in, and I still have 87,000 projects. Prioritizing them sucks, and it can change season by season, based on what sort of entertaining might be on huge horizon. This year, it’s put in the walkway from the new deck to the driveway, with the pavers that have been sitting in the backyard, creating such an eyesore for the last 2 years that I cannot stand it. Pray for me that this actually happens.

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  3. Marisa@All Our Way
    March 17, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

    I will never buy another house with wallpaper. I spent a month scrape, scrape, scraping and using my poor fingernails to scratch, scratch, scratch. The smell of that glue nauseates me. Buying an older home is not for the faint of heart. Oh to move into a turnkey!! I know. . . people will say where’s the challenge. . .you won’t have anything to write about in your blog? And I say a big fat HA!! I could talk about the challenge of decorating a NEW house. I love your blog and Paul is a real sweetie!! You two make a great team.

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  4. cathy
    March 17, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

    Victoria, I so enjoy your posts and I too am married to a infinitely patient, wonderfully accomodating Superman! How blessed are we! We moved into our late 1960’s style home, replete with shag rugs, wood paneling throughout and avocado colored appliances 19 years ago. We were blissfully ignorant of all the time and money it would demand. Ah, rose colored glasses! One thing I tell those buying older homes to remember is that the house decides what project is next. The first year, we wanted hard wood floors throughout. The house decided on a new furnace. We wanted to gut the master bath the following year. The house chose a new electrical system. Alas, all any of us can do is keep swimming and enjoy the journey. The destination is ever elusive! Love, love, love your blog!

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  5. Joyce
    March 17, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

    Hummm. If my story were limited to just 103 DIY projects. After three months of house hunting and relocation benefits fast coming to an end, I spotted THE house…well, not so much the house but the LAKE that came with the house. Owning my own lake was on my bucket list. Really. The house was 22 miles from a stop light, and smelled like someone had died in it, but it had its own LAKE. And my sweet husband still responded to my every whim, so it was mine! Along with the three inches of water in the basement on closing day. And the 100 pound beehive in the dining room ceiling, which, was also the source of the odor. And the dangling live electrical wires in the attic and the walls. We were new to the area and had no idea that the house didn’t draw a single bid at a foreclosure auction or that the previous owner had been rebuilding racing engines on the cream colored carpet in the living room or that same owner had a welder in the master bedroom closet. Or that the driveway was NOT on our property. Or that sane competent contractors would not take jobs in remote places, leaving us to hire locals. Larry. Curly. Moe. Darryl. Darryl. Living nine months without a kitchen because I gutted the house before realizing that there really are jobs that you can’t pay people enough to do. Oh wait. There was the woman that I hired who casually told me about trying to poison her first husband to teach him a lesson. And was arrested for shooting the second one, but that was all a big mistake. She just cut him with a beer bottle….I am sorry. I think my PTSD is recurring right now.

    After gutting three stories and pouring my sweat over every inch, that place became my personal oasis. I could look out sixteen foot high windows and see the universe. I watched deer wake up outside my door. I could identify the sounds of squirrels and birds and frogs and bobcats. Finally the naysayers understood what I saw in the beginning. Work took us to other places but I still dream about my inconvenient paradise.

    I love you and your blog. Keep up the good fight!!!

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  6. maggie b
    March 17, 2014 @ 5:10 pm

    At this moment in time I’m too exhausted to squeeze even one more bit of creativity from my brain box. We are half in our old house, half in our new (older ) house and I wonder if I will have enough strength and will power to drive us fully into the new (old) property completely. Or if I care. Of course I care. To be continued.

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  7. maggie b
    March 17, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

    P.S. Can you lend your Paul?

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  8. Tracey
    March 17, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

    #48 – looking for the good bones beneath the hideous decor – reminds me of the first time we bought a house that we were quite happy to not get! It was a charming clinker brick 1920’s house (no painted trim all original timber). Gorgeous lead-light windows and stunning interior double doors in original Art Nouveau style with frosted glass images of mermaids and sailing ships. The carpet however was a smelly shag-pile from the 70’s and the location was both good and bad. It was located in one of the best suburbs in Melbourne but it sat next to an eight lane high way with traffic noise and pollution a constant issue.
    We put in a low offer and when the real estate agent tried to get us to raise our off we were genuinely happy to walk away. However the vendor accepted the original offer and we had ourselves a project!
    Did I mention that when I inspected the house the first time I spotted a stethoscope in the on the bed in the master bedroom. It turned out that the previous owner (a very old lady) had died in that room and the stethoscope was from one of the paramedics who attended the emergency call. So I had quite a hard time seeing past that to find the good bones!

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  9. Bill R
    March 17, 2014 @ 11:17 pm

    Well, it has to be 596 for me. We fell hard for the house. She was a un-remuddled 1895 Queen Anne. She had everything, a turret, a standing seam roof, marble fireplaces, a privett hedge lined driveway with a circle in front of the front porch, most of the original hardware,…. We went yes! It HAD to be ours. The previous owner went Yes! at getting clear of it. Our soil pipe was a time bomb too; only ours had already gone off. Two days after we moved in, I was standing in the side yard and saw a gush of water come out under the clapboards. The soil pipe was broken. The water was exiting, the other stuff wasn’t. Good times with a garden trowel and rubber gloves. The flues for the marble fireplaces were unlined and unusable. One has been rebuilt; the other is still languishing. The standing seam roof wasn’t; it was more of a standing seam colander. The porch has rot issues; I’m going to tackle that this spring. That’s the way it’s gone for the last five years. Still, she’s a gorgeous old house and I’m not sorry we said “Yes!”

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  10. D'Arcy H
    March 18, 2014 @ 1:46 am

    I had a few realtors dump me on what I thought was a perfectly reasonable quest to see 84 houses. Then one kind lady sent me home to study the MLS book, and I saw a photo of a century-old unspoiled bungalow with French doors flanked with high windows. The distinctive T shape caught my eye. We went to see the house, and soon we were running from room to room hollering, “You have to see this!” I had only $3000 to put down on a house. Somehow, I got it, and it’s fit me like an old shoe ever since, 103 DIY projects and all. This month, 30 years later, I’ll make my last mortgage payment. This place is home.

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  11. Carol
    March 18, 2014 @ 9:22 am

    I have to go with #48! When we walked into the house and said, “This is it.” Our realtor responded, “Really?!?”
    The living/dining room: green carpet, salmon pink walls, heavy red drapes;
    The bathroom: lavender, even the ceiling;
    The kitchen: green tile, green paint, cream cabinets with green glaze (mmm…looks like algae), stained white laminate;
    The bedroom: purple carpet, yellow and orange SWIRLED walls
    The diy blogger who claims paint is cheap must have needed to repaint EVERY surface in their home. And yet, we did.

    p.s. New reader but I’ve read every post from the beginning because you are my favorite 🙂

    Reply

    • Tracey
      March 18, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

      Hi Carol,
      You’ve just described almost every house me and my husband have ever fallen in love with!
      I think we may need therapy – it seems the more decrepit the house the more we like it! Actually maybe the house is the therapy – turning something old and sad back into something warm and loved. My motto is I like to make beautiful things and to make things beautiful.
      Enjoy your ongoing real estate therapy!
      Cheers – Tracey

      Reply

  12. Jenn
    March 18, 2014 @ 10:01 am

    Oh, how I wish the seller saying ‘Yes’ was the big hurdle to jump! (#596) We’re almost 3 months out from that wonderful acceptance (4 inspections, 2 contractors, an application withdrawal, and a HUD Consultant) and looking at another closing extension before it’s all said and done. (Because, really, can we get everything finalized in 7 days when we’re still waiting on contractor validation before going to final credit underwriting?) But the house is a honey and a steal, even after the 25K of renovations we’re contracting for to make it insurable. And THEN the 103 (hah!) DIY project list can start 🙂

    But reading your adventures has given the husband and I some very important talking points already. For instance, we’ve already agreed on how many rooms can be in the midst of renovation at once (answer: 1) and our joint stance on glossy vs flat paint 😉

    Reply

  13. Laurie@ Vin'yet Etc.
    March 18, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

    Even though you didn’t shoot this video with an audience in mind I think it’s just perfect!!! Before I heard your wonderful laugh and Paul’s wonderful sense of humor I was a fan, now I completely connect… the energy he seems to give you with humor is a wonderful gift. I have an over 32 year old (very hot) army guy and he gives me energy too, makes me laugh like no one can! I’m not really a creepy fan, just speak from the heart… freaks some out! 😉 THAT TRIM, wowzers, so much of it, impressive job!

    Reply

  14. Stacey
    March 18, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

    For my husband and I, it was love at first sight. Not with each other, but with our first home… We shoud have been suspicious when we looked at a photo in a realtor’s window- we bubbled with excitement begging to see it immediately- and the agent said, “I’ll give you the address. It’s not locked.” Hmmm. We pulled up and hurried in to claim her as our own before anyone else did (there was no one else remotely interested.) The door was stuck (“But he said it was unlocked!!”) And then we realized the door wouldn’t open because of the snow. Yes, that’s right. Snow on the INSIDE of the house. Intelligent, savvy people would have RUN as fast as they could have. We put an offer in the next day and spend years fixing and decorating. Loved every second of it 🙂

    Reply

  15. megan
    March 18, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

    I don’t ever want to be a homeowner. Your blog (and another) give me the the homeownership/insane redecorating fix I need. Thanks to you and Paul for doin the dirty work!

    Reply

  16. Leah
    March 21, 2014 @ 2:23 pm

    Dear Victoria,
    Violets are Blue
    Roses are Red
    Where oh where
    Is the story about the bed???
    (part 3, I mean)
    Can’t wait to see it!
    Sincerely,
    Leah ; )

    Reply

  17. Maureen
    March 21, 2014 @ 5:04 pm

    I feel your pain. I moved into a very cute (and not well maintained) 1900’s little house. I’ve been there 7 months and have done a lot of work… and I’ve barely scratched the surface. You are convincing me that I need a Paul though, because it would be a lot easier to move my craigslist finds if I had someone like that 😉 Love your blog.

    Reply

  18. judy
    March 21, 2014 @ 11:21 pm

    Could you give me a short input re: the Benarys dahlias and the lisianthus from Johnny’s seeds. I ordered 200! huh? seeds and 1/2 ounce of giant dahlia flowered mix. Do I wait to put them straight into the ground or get the little seed thingys and when would I transplant them if I go that route. I have always had flowers but I usually go to a nursery and buy stuff that is fairly large and mostly I plant in extra large pots. Helps with critters but here in this heavily treed neighborhood the squirrels got all of my bulbs so I gave up on that route. thanks if you have the time and please post pictures of your garden. I am going to try to get that effect with the rock border.

    Reply

  19. Rebecca NorthernPayne
    March 28, 2014 @ 9:24 am

    Room of Angels and Christmas Crap. Priceless.

    Reply

  20. Darnbunnies
    April 7, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    Hey! Don’t you love us anymore? We need our VEB fixes every week. -D

    Reply

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