Summer with Talbots

Summer Styles from Tuckernuck

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

House Hunting Update

Hello, dear friends.  Did you have a good weekend?  Ours was quiet, and we managed to attend a few Open Houses.  Several readers have asked me to talk more about our house hunting, so here is the rundown.

York House

We visited one house for the second time.  The Mister is enamored with it, but I am just so-so on it.  It's in a small, charming gated community.  The neighborhood is the perfect backdrop for empty nester living. The reason the Mister likes it, even though he won't admit it, is because the study is gorgeous.  The above photo is not the house's actual one, but it is along the same lines.

There are two reasons that I am not as enthralled with the house.  It has a small 1980's style kitchen with a minuscule area for a kitchen table.  There is not enough room to enlarge it. Do you remember my butler's pantry?  I need a place to house all of my precious Marshall's treasures. You would think that the Mister would care more about the kitchen since he loves to cook, but he is so in love with that study, he can't see straight.  

A couple of other things about the house... The exterior offers loads of curb appeal.  There is a spacious master on the first floor, which I like.  The master bath needs new wallpaper and fixtures.  Itis a good size and includes a vanity.

The house has been on the market for quite a while.  Besides the small kitchen, another reason that I feel that the house has not been sold in this hot market is that it is over-priced.  The owner has reduced the price once, but not enough to be competitive.

Last but not least, there is no screened porch.  

The Mister said that we could add one. 

After he renovates the garage.

The second Open House that we attended was in another gated community.  It had a lovely study and a beautiful open kitchen with upgraded cabinetry and a generous area for a kitchen table.  

The backside of the home is practically all windows showcasing golf course views.  The first-floor master bedroom is large and also includes a sitting area.

Architectural Designs

There are a couple of things that I didn't like.  
The staircase needs updating, and it is also very steep. 

I asked the Mister to carry me down. 
Sadly, he declined.

The patio area is close to nonexistent and backs up to the neighbor's pool.

While the neighbor's are having a fun pool party, we would be hanging on our patch of grass having our own fun.

The last house that has caught our eye is in the burbs and also has great curb appeal.  We looked at it about six weeks ago, and then it went under contract.  It has since come back on the market.  So now we're wondering what happened.  Was it the house, or was it the buyers?

The house features a fabulous layout and is the perfect size for us.  The kitchen has painted cabinets, which may be a turn-off to some buyers but not to me. I really like them.  The above picture is not the kitchen. The master bedroom and bath are large and do not need any major renovation except some plantation shutters.

Now let me tell you what is holding us back from making an offer.  Almost every inch of the home, including most ceilings, features a textured skip trowel with glazed finishes. I don't care for the look.  So we need to have all the walls sanded for paint and wallpaper.  We haven't talked to a painter about how extensive this procedure will be.

Has anyone had any experience with this?
I would love to hear your thoughts.

I know that we will not get every feature that we want in a house.
The Mister will just have to learn to compromise.

Here's my question for you...
What feature did you have to overlook when you bought your house?
Did you get used to it, or did you renovate?
Until next time...

Allow me to introduce you to my sweet reader, Ginger, and her darling furbaby, McTavish.

McTavish is the newest member to our family!  Her mother is a Corgi, and her father is a small Bernedoodle. We decided that since we were both working at home during COVID that it would be a great time to have a new pup to keep our Bernese company.  He lost his buddy to cancer last summer and has been very lonely.  Well, now he's not!  This little gal has filled that emptiness in our hearts.  She's 90% sweetheart and 10% Tasmanian Devil.  This is her at 8 weeks.

McTavish is definitely the boss!  Our Bernese, Captain Jack, weighs 110 lbs, and we've now started calling him St. Jack because of all the abuse he puts up with.  She uses him as a vault and pulls him around by the collar, and of course, herds him since that's what Corgi's do.

We have a nickname for her, and it's Noodle.  
Mostly we call her Tavish, but she probably thinks her name is NO!  

If you have a cute dog, email me a picture with a short bio, and I would be honored to include your little furbaby on my blog.

Linking up with:

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. Good luck with house hunting - sounds very challenging! That lil pup is adorable!

  2. Oh, I'm with you on the small kitchen, that would be a deal breaker for sure. I know that you and the Mister will end up with the perfect abode. That little puppy, oh, my!

  3. Loved the update. When it is all said and done I would be interested in hearing about the specific subdivisions and burbs you checked out. Sounds like you are looking in Dallas proper and the burbs.
    I like the idea of living in Dallas but was disappointed when I went out with an agent last year.
    Keep the updates coming! Dallas housing market is so hot and the good ones get multiple offers immediately.

    P.S. Loved Tucker Hill from the online photos
    but from what I can tell they are going to expand 380 and most likely it will back up to it.

  4. So fun to read your house hunting update. I’m with ya... small kitchens are hard. I hope you guys find something you both love soon.

  5. Loved hearing about the house hunting! The two of you are such pro's at this, I am sure the right house will come along.

    I am happy to help you with finding the wallpaper! It took me months to discover the latest one for one of the guest rooms. The work starts next week on both bedrooms!

    I am happy to travel down to help with the hunting in exchange for a glass of wine and a nice cheese board from the Mister!

    It is cold here, but not much snow which is very good news. Mentally pushing my way to March.

    Xoxox Annie G.

  6. Oh house hunting. I would think the kitchen would be so important to the Mister. I am with you is important. I didn't think I liked the layout of my home and I have mostly gotten over it with time. My biggest complaint is my backyard. Yea, I know I live on the water:) Our upstairs deck is the main level and it is so high and doesn't leave much room for entertaining. It is fine for just the two of us but when friends come over and we want to eat outside going up and down stairs is a hassle. I think the backyard, the view and the porch would be a biggie for me now. Covid has taught us we need a nice backyard is important. In other words, get yourself that screened porch!

  7. Have you looked at new builds ? We always go that way, as you can add what you need. I know it takes longer but then you can get what you want.

  8. The trowel work will be the least expensive project compared to the other homes you mentioned that need work or have "negatives." Main floor masters are the thing! I would ask your agent to contact the listing agent on why house came back on market (is that the one you like)? Keep us posted!I love this stuff! laura

  9. Hopefully, you'll find something that's just perfect and you'll know it right away! Though, I wonder if the real estate agent could tell you why the one house came back on the market? It sounds like a great house. Anyway, good luck with all the house hunting! And that puppy is adorable!

  10. Hopefully you will find something soon that is perfect for the both of you without too many renovations. Our current house and the home we are building both have first floor master suites. That was a non negotiable. Somedays those stairs might as well be Mt. Everest when you have to climb them to go to bed! Something I have always wanted but never managed to get was a big enough laundry room for a table to fold towels and sheets on. My new house won't have one either. Good luck in your search!

  11. I hope the perfect house is just around the corner for you. Our current house was bought while I was still in the UK. I trusted the internet pictures, and it was the same floorplan as a previous house. We changed several things with our flood rebuilding, like adding a door to the patio from our bedroom. The one thing that I don't like is all the 2-story open spaces we have. Seems like lots of wasted space, and it is hard to keep cool/warm. I would like a one story for our next house. I agree about the small kitchen and steep stairs...that would be a no-go for me!

  12. My kitchen is a one bum kitchen! I totally compromised when we bought our house 20 years ago. I added a love seat instead of a table and two chairs. I give guests a cocktail and have them sit and visit while I'm cooking. They love it!
    Our house had one bathroom and a room that wasn't a master. We eventually added a master suite. No small feat as our house is stone.
    We raised three boys here and it's been wonderful. There are 3 bedrooms upstairs, which we still need for visits. It's half acre so our horse kid had a horse.
    I'm happy I compromised on the kitchen and bathrooms because it's a unique house in our area and the location is great. I'm literally
    You'll know when you find "home"!

  13. Oh my goodness, McTavish is adorable. Our house has heavily textured walls which I don't like but we weren't in a position to have the whole house redone before we moved in. We'll most likely attack it in sections when we do some updating.

  14. Ugh! I don't envy you having to make those decisions. Our bedroom is on the second floor, which was fine when we bought our house almost 20 years ago but now that we are empty nesters I would love to have it on the main floor. At least it provides some exercise. Can't wait to see what you guys end up with!

  15. Good morning, Katie! I have enjoyed reading your blog for quite awhile. I know you and the Mister have previously lived in McKinney, so I'm curious if you have considered Prosper. There is a very beautiful gated community here called Parkside. It has lots of open space, walking trails and ponds. There are lots of other beautiful neighborhoods to consider, as well. Enjoy your house hunt!

  16. The small kitchen would be a no for me, stand your ground on that one. Happy house hunting and I know you will find one that fits you both!

  17. Tavish is adorable! I have only been house hunting once but I think once you find the house you just kind of know... Best of luck finding your new home.

  18. McTavish is adorable! Oh, house hunting. When we sold our house and moved to this senior community, we just wanted a home that would be comfortable and feel roomy enough. We have a carport instead of a garage and I think we miss that most but next month it will be four years here so we don't really miss it anymore. Retirement and limited funds brought us here and we couldn't be happier. My kitchen is bigger than my other one (where we lived for 28 years!) and we have a den that Joe uses for his office so it works great. We both have our own walk-in closet and shared one at the other house, so even though we down-sized, we really didn't! LOL We are quite happy in central Florida and have great neighbors. I can't wait to see which house you decide on!! Thanks for sharing the search with us!

  19. Just make sure you get a home with a downstairs bedroom because much as I hate to admit it, we aren’t getting any younger. I would hold out for the right spot as it’s probably your last home purchase. I would hate to be in the house hunting m ode. It’s both loads of fun and stressful!

  20. I was once a "realtor"... and it was fun for awhile! I would say, (never worry about paint/floors/appliances) its the "BONES" that make the home. Each house holds something special/unique. Over the years, you make it yours.. with subtle changes and finishing touches it can transform it into YOURS... after 20 years of owning my sweet abode, I've done alot of renovation (It was built in 67) SO... work with the updates you love and change the ones you don't! NO house is going to be perfect... but, see the possibilities. I hope you make a good offer and get it! Love & Peace ~ leelee

    1. Wonderful advice, Leelee. Thank you.

    2. I totally agree with Unknown. We live in a house with trowled walls. I am VERY traditional! Huge Staffordshire figure collection. Eight or nine sets of china. Camelback sofas! The walls are not important. You can add wallpaper. It’s the floor plan. If it works on all your other criteria, go for it. Lowball with a letter why,

  21. Hey Katie,

    I know you will find something you can both agree on. With all of our moves I have learned one thing. No house is perfect. We looked for a year and finally built. Found a builder who we liked who said he could build within our price range. Sat down with their architect. We told him what we wanted....of course I got carried away with my must haves. He presented the plans and hubby almost fell out of the chair. The price was no where near what we were quoted. His reply was “these were your must haves”. Back to the drawing board.
    Darling puppy.

  22. Hi Katie, I am a realtor in Chicago who represents buyers and sellers. Most deals fall apart because the buyers' financing falls through or they overreach in asking for the moon after the inspection. I would get an estimate asap from a painter on the cost of the sanding, etc. Then, go in with an aggressive offer. Good luck--it sounds like the home for you two!

  23. The pups being featured are just adorable. Honestly, when we moved to downsize, the thing that mattered most to me were the comfort designs inside. Curb appeal no longer mattered to me because it translates as upkeep (even though I am a master gardener, I still don't miss it. I was finished). For my Mister, NO steps matters, as he has already given us enough previews of what steps can do in the aging process (hint: it involved numerous trips to the ER). So, even though our entire loft is on one level, it is all built on a two step platform as you first enter. Our entry/exit will likely have to be remodeled to further accommodate aging in place.

  24. Hi Katie, After 14 moves I found that you get over what you didn't get in a house. If you have the space you can fix any shortcoming. Golf balls hitting windows and people all over your backyard was something we didn't get over! When we lived in Dallas our "we need the comfort of the East" was Jimmy's Italian Food Store. Order a sandwich then shop while they make it. It will make Mister want a larger kitchen

  25. Love hearing about your house search in my neck of the woods. Can't wait to see where you settle. Love the fur baby as well...precious!

  26. I really enjoy your house hunting updates. Sounds like you may be getting close to finding something. Have you though about building your home? We've built six houses, I'd like to build one more but my mister is having none of that! Keep these posts coming, love them. Hope you are enjoying the week.........

  27. House hunting is frustrating at best. Fun to see different homes though.
    The house I wanted when we were looking had almost everything on my list, including a beautiful sunroom, wonderful entry with nice stair case, a room above the garage, and the best butler's pantry! My mister vetoed it because it had five baths!
    What we bought was a better fit for us. It's smaller, but the privacy with the greenbelt behind us is a real positive. What I miss is that butler's pantry!!!! Not much storage here in this casa!
    Tavish is adorable! Kudos to Ginger for getting a pup while they are working from home! Cute idea to feature doggies!
    Good luck with the search! I know you'll find a wonderful home!

  28. Hi Katie - well sounds like you may have found a few good potentials.

    My advice is don't compromise on the kitchen - it's the most important room in a home.

    And having a patch of grass butting up again a pool? I love the idea of downsizing to an easy-to-manage parcel of land, but non-existant? I think you'd eventually be very unhappy - so to me those are two deal breakers.

    Probably what happened to the other house is their financing fell through. Maybe your realtor could find out why for you? Are you thinking of seeing it again and making an offer?

    As for our home, it had everything I wanted except a screened porch. 18 years later and I still haven't built one on the house. Something always comes up instead. Ugh.

    And sweet wee cutie MacTavish is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo adorable. ♥♥♥

  29. What a cliffhanger, love hearing the details of someone else's search! Our number one was PRIVATE BACKYARD as we enjoy relaxing outdoors...of course roomy kitchen with island and open to the family room were preferences. The last home purchase had it all, including a swimming pool and screened in porch. After inspection the sellers (who were not happy with the low price they accepted after home on market for 4 months) refused to fix the most basic home inspection items, plus some that really mattered (nothing major.) We went back and forth and walked away from deal...probably less than $5K of repairs but it was principle. Fast forward two weeks of more searching, and dear friend that saw pictures of the home and said are you crazy, get back there and work it out! We did, thankfully, and were very happy there for 7 years. Downsized and built ranch home w bonus room recently, in a new development (buy a lot, then choose from 30 different models builder builds.) It was a much better process than anticipated, they pride themselves on never missing a close date. Signed contract in August moved 6 months later in January, and backyard pool and patio installation began the next day. I think repainting may be an expensive hassle but if the bones are there and location, location, location is could be the one. Best wishes, sorry for novel!!

  30. Hi Katie! McTavish is so excited to be featured on your blog. Hopefully it won't go to her head! She's been looking at a $2000 bed with a canopy and satin pillows.

    We've been in our house for 20 years and will both retire soon. We were so fortunate to find it at the time. An airline pilot had just built it and a month before they moved in was transferred out of state. It has almost everything we wanted but for us I think the most important things are the seclusion of living in the mountains and backing up to national forest with lots of room to roam. When we were looking the main turn off for me were little kitchens and no formal dining room. I know you'll find the prefect place and I do agree that if the bones are there a little paint and elbow grease is all it needs! Good luck, I can't wait to see what you end up with.

  31. Your house search has been an eye-opener for a number of reasons. We used to live in Dallas, and from what you have been saying, it seems to have changed a lot. We downsized thirteen and a half years ago, and most of the problems here we have fixed. Some we decided to live with. We did add that screen porch and plant a forest in the back yard because the lots are rather small, and having come from a place with a large heavily wooded lot, it seemed like living in a goldfish bowl which drove me insane. My biggest problem is one that there does not seem to be any acceptable solution for, which is the lack of adequate storage space and closet space. I have had to rely on furniture and every trick in the designer's handbook to cope with this problem since I am a "collector". That sounds better than packrat. The other issue is several small "transition" spaces, like pass through areas or little anterooms. If there were some way to open those up and just open the rooms one to another, I think that might help. The Mister does not seem to be as bothered by this so it will probably never happen. Good luck with your search!

    IT resides in my bathroom!!!
    Grey and pale blue fabric.

  33. McTavish's is the cutest pup! And skip the house with a small kitchen. Keep looking...

  34. I have heavy texture on my walls in my kitchen, and we are having my kitchen redone due to issues with mold as a result of my insurance co. denying coverage on a roof. Anyway, my contractor bid new sheetrock for the kitchen and eating area because he said it would be less expensive to hang new sheetrock and prepare for and paint than sanding down what it there. Does that make sense.

  35. Katie, it sounds like you have your work cut out for you. I know that eventually you will find the perfect place and even if it has a few issues you will make it fabulous!

    As for this little pup, adorable.

  36. You are lucky that you can take your time to find a house you both love, I'm sure the perfect one will pop up soon!

  37. The first estimate we received for painting our 1737 sq ft house was $13,000. That may give you an idea of the going rate and it only included painting a limited amount of space. We didn't take that bid, needless to say. You are looking for much more house than we were, and there will be that just-right one out there. It may just take time and a good realtor who knows the area and can know when one is coming on the market.

  38. Have you looked into the homes in the neighborhood called Villages of Stonebriar Park? It is a very wooded area so it feels secluded from the hustle & bustle of the tollway yet it is close to it. Just giving a shout out for a beautiful neighborhood I visited.

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