The House Hunt is Over

Karl’s house hunt is over.  The fixing time will soon begin.

Karl has had his eye on this for a while but it was a rental house here in our town and he had to convince the owner to sell it.  There really have been no houses for sale in our town and he really wanted to live in our town so while his eye was on this, he looked at other houses.

Between his house and my house are three houses.  We can’t see each other’s houses though as his is just around the corner from mine.  He will be four blocks from Kalissa’s house.  We’re a small town of 250 people so everyone is only a few blocks away.  Technically I’m NE.  Karl will be SE.  Kalissa is SW.  That’s how small our town is.


The house was a foreclosure house that a guy bought and fixed up enough to rent it out.  It still needs more fixing but it’s fixing that we can handle or work into the loan.

There is no garage.


The owner started doing some of the fixing and window replacement.  Karl’s plan is to finish putting in new windows, insulate, and reside.

More things will need to happen down the road but the house has some potential.

Here’s Karl at the front door…

When we first looked at it back in October we didn’t know what to expect.  It had been a rental for years.  The outside doesn’t look the best.  There were many reasons to be skeptical.

I’m taking you into the side door of the house.

The kitchen is small and needs some work.

You are looking at the wall to the west in the photo above and looking to the wall to the north in the picture below.  YES, different cabinets are in the kitchen.

Karl of course doesn’t love it but is willing to live with it for a bit.

That’s the worst room in the house and we feel like being it’s small, it’s doable to fix in a year or two or five depending on how everything else goes.

This is the dining room.


This is the living room and beyond it, there is a cute attached room that is small.  He’ll likely keep his computer there…and he wants plants!


See the room isn’t really big…very cute though.

There are French doors between the rooms.  The doors have some damage and need some TLC.


The front door is in the living room as it a closet and stairs to go upstairs.


This is the closet.

I love the wood…but you all know, I’m a wood girl.

Now up the stairs, we go…


Upstairs are three bedrooms.  This is the first at the top the stairs.   It is smaller and needs paint.  This room doesn’t have a closet.


The next room is the purple room.  It’s bigger and does have a small closet area.


There is a big central spot at the top of the stairs.  You can see the two bedrooms I showed you.  On the right is the bathroom.  On the left is a large walk-in closet.  I am standing in the master bedroom when I took the picture.


This is the bathroom…

There is only one bathroom and it’s upstairs.

This is the master bedroom.  It’s narrow but really long.  I was teasing Karl that this end could be his sleeping quarters….

and this end could be his dressing quarters.  HA!

There is a walk-in closet.


Back in the central hallway at the top of the stairs, this is the closet…


It’s really big and nice.


Now, we’re headed back down the stairs.

This is at the bottom of the stairs looking through the living room into the dining room.


There is a basement and it’s an old basement…not terrible but he likely won’t fix up a room there.  Laundry is in the basement along with this AWESOME old cabinet.  We are thinking it must have been built down here as we can’t imagine getting it out of the house.

Karl has his earnest money on the house.  He has talked with the banker.  He has talked to the guy about siding, windows, and insulation.  Next up is the electrician.  The lawyer is doing the abstract so he’ll be closing on the house sometime in March…so for now, it’s a lot of twiddling our thumbs waiting for it all to finalized.

That and creating a plan of attack once we can start working on the house…Below you can see Karl formulating the plan.


What we know on the positive:
-structure is good
-location is good
-price isn’t bad
-workload is do-able
-layout is so cute
-perfect size for now and could grow with him

Negative:
-wiring needs an update
-needs, siding, windows, and insulation
-no garage, but does have a cute carport
-kitchen needs help

As far as the kitchen goes we are hoping we can buy a kitchen from someone.  We all know people who had perfectly good cabinets but want to remodel.  The golden oak so many are getting rid of would be perfect in this house.  So if we can buy them and install them, we’ll be doing great.  I think it’s doable as Karl would like some open shelving at the top and cabinets at the bottom.  The kitchen is small so if he can buy a big kitchen, then we can make them fit in this kitchen.  Stay tuned…that’s in the longer-term plans.

There are many things Karl would like to do.  It needs new light fixtures…there are nail holes that need patching…painting needs to happen but all of that is cosmetic.

Happily, Karl can live here for a bit so there is no hurry on any of it.

We are both so happy to be done hunting for a house.  Nothing we were finding was worth the money they were asking.

So if you want to know where I’ll be in April…I’ll be four houses down helping Karl turn this house into his home.  YAHOO!!

77 thoughts on “The House Hunt is Over

  1. Dorothy

    You said there are 3 bedrooms up stairs. but one of those rooms has no closet—I don’t think that can be “called a bedroom” Bedrooms must have a closet. I love the wood floors–a good sanding, a clear coat of sealer/finish and good to go. Love all of the wood framing/trim too. Looks original.

    Reply
    1. Darlynn Venne

      Long long time ago, home owners were taxed on the number of doors in a home. Hence, many old old homes do not have closets. That is where wardrobes came into play. While I doubt the case here, I know this floor plant was quite popular at one time. My niece lives in Minneapolis and owns a home with a very very similar floor plan. The first room at the top of the steps is very small with no closet. They still use it as a bedroom and call it a bedroom.

      Congratulations to Karl! A first time home owner. So so exciting. The wood trim and narrow wood floors are fantastic. Looking forward to seeing your changes over time.

      Reply
      1. sew happy

        In many states, a room without a closet can not be a bedroom. Of course, a family can use the room as a bedroom. The house that Karl is looking would be listed as a 2 bedroom with a den in many places. Enjoy

        Reply
      2. Lisa

        Here in Georgia, it wasn’t doors that were taxed. It was rooms. A closet was counted as a room back in the day and that was taxed. That is why there weren’t many closets back in the day. I live on Tara as in Gone With the Wind Tara. We have quite a few Antebellum homes still around here that Sherman chose not to burn because he used them for his purposes as in headquarters or hospitals. We are told all about the closet thing and the taxing when on tours in these homes.

        Reply
    2. Andrea Fleiner

      Only in the US. In Europe bedrooms don’ t have closets . We call rooms big enough to have a twin bed, a wardrobe and a small desk in it a bedroom. Bedrooms are called bedrooms because they house a bed, the closet it optional.

      Reply
  2. Edna Gerrans

    How wonderful! Especially that he can have his own home and still be close to you. I just love those wood floors and all the windows and closets.

    Reply
  3. Hedy

    I love the wood everywhere too. It makes a warm homey house. I don’t think the renovations are too serious. I’ve done many and right now I’m doing another. In my area, it’s the professional help that is so expensive. We can only do so much, just like you. But he picked a great house, Congratulations Karl.

    Reply
  4. Carol

    This house has great potential. I love it especially all the oak trim! Shall look forward to updates as the renovations begin. Good find, Karl!

    Reply
  5. Donna

    Congrats to you, Karl! I have a feeling you’ll get a lot of help getting your new home in order.
    Love and prayers

    Reply
  6. Kate

    Wonderful and exciting!! I like all the wood floors and that “sewing” room on the first floor – haha! Oh, that is his office! Such potential and it will be perfect when you all have a little time putting your personal touches on it.

    Reply
  7. Debbie B

    Congrats, Karl! It looks like you have quite a bit of work to do, but I know you will make it your own. You and your family have a lot of experience with makeovers. I’m looking forward to your progress. Enjoy the process.

    Reply
  8. RuthW in MD

    OH! The WINDOWS!! The rounded edges of the stairs in the front room! The entry way closet with a mirror on it! The color of the bathroom walls! The beadboard cabinet in the basement! Wow!! There is so much here that Karl will enjoy. Congratulations!

    Reply
  9. Jackie

    I love the house. The woodwork is great and I especially like the way the stairs start from the living room. The location of the windows is great. Congratulations Karl!

    Reply
  10. Roxie

    Check out ReStore in Rochester- I see many kitchen cupboards on their site frequently. Congratulations on the new project -it will be wonderful for you all to work on.

    Reply
    1. Sheila Hornyak

      Agree–our Restore always has tons of cabinets, both new and used. Congratulations to Karl and you both. Such a big step in life but so exciting. Good luck with it. If it finished anything like mom and dadj’s, it will be beautiful also.

      Reply
    2. Toni

      That’s what I was going to say. We gutted our kitchen a couple of years ago and donated all of our cabinets, counter top, sink, faucets, and appliances to ReStore. My husband thought we should just throw them out, but they were all in good condition, and I said somebody could use these.

      Reply
  11. Colleen Hicks

    Love the house! A new chapter in your Book of Life. I’m sure there will be lots of memories built there also. Remodeling can bring lots of surprises. Great he found a house in the hometown. Best of luck Karl!

    Reply
  12. Jill Klop

    What a cute house! Congratulations to Karl! It’s got great bones! I love all the oak trim! I really love the front door! The adventure begins! Can’t wait for more updates!

    Reply
  13. MaryLou

    Gosh I am so excited for Karl and for you to get to be in on the fixing up and
    helping him make a home he will love… Congrats to all – will be amazing when
    you all get all those things done and what fun you will have with the planning
    and doing…

    Reply
  14. Gayle in Tennessee

    Congratulations to Karl. Cute house, especially love the wood trim. He is lucky to have his Mom to help him remodel.

    Reply
  15. Kristi

    I chuckled when you mentioned people replacing their “golden oak” cabinets as I just did that in my kitchen! I think this is a lovely home with great bones. Can’t wait to see it when you’re done.

    Reply
  16. Teri

    That looks great. Love the wood floors. We are replacing our carpet with wood floors soon. But the old wood floors look so much better. Congrats Karl!

    Reply
  17. Deb E

    Congratulations, Karl! That is a little gem of a house – yes, there are things that need doing. But the bathroom looks pretty good, the wood trim throughout is wonderful, and its just full of charm! What a lovely home to buy, and you’ll enjoy every single step of bringing it ALL up to its full potential. So happy for you!

    Reply
  18. Carolyn

    That is a great house. The kitchen is a little rough but nothing that can’t be fixed. The woodwork in the rest of the house more than makes up for any shortcomings. Karl will be able to turn this house into a beautiful home.

    Reply
  19. Nancy Pudil

    I absolutely LOVE the potential this house has! Please keep us updated on the renovations. Congratulations, Karl!

    Reply
  20. Janine Baker

    I’m so impressed that the beautiful woodwork was never painted. It is beautiful and will be a lovely home when Karl gets done with it. It will be such a blessing to have him so close, but on his own, for both of you. Hugs to all,

    Reply
  21. Karla (threadbndr)

    Cute house! Lots of Arts and Crafts style details, especially the staircase. PLEASE keep the wood trim unpainted! It’s lovely.

    Congratulations, Karl. Have your mom share your house updates on her blog, please. We like house pictures!

    Reply
  22. Kim J LeMere

    Congratulations Karl, its a great looking home and being in the town you wanted is a huge plus. I notices lots of windows are low, letting in all that wonderful light. The woodwork is gorgeous as is the rounded step going upstairs (love the windows at the bottom and one at the top). Charm, this house is loaded with it. I look forward to watching you transform it into the home you envisioned. So exciting!

    Reply
  23. The Joyful Quilter

    Congratulations to Karl on working that house deal (and to you for losing a housemate, but gaining an excellent neighbor, Jo!!!) Best of luck with the closing and renovations. The house is darling! I’ll be looking forward to seeing the improvements, as they occur.

    Reply
  24. Margaret in North Texas

    I would say you found a “nice one” ! The floors and woodwork are fabulous. Yes, the electrician may seem expensive but so necessary as we know the alternative that can happen no one wants. With all the technology we have in our homes today, up to date wiring is essential. Can’t wait to see the “after” and all the “in between” too. Keep that video rolling Jo!!

    Reply
  25. Cindy F

    Congratulations Karl! Love all the wood in the house! How great that he will live so close to you! Can’t wait to see the progress as he does the renovations.

    Reply
  26. Margaret

    Hi love all the wood work especially the wardwood floors needs lot if cleaning but one thing
    at the time all the rooms need touch up ect a paint job does a lot of good. & you have lots of time.
    buy the way what was the cost of you’re house if I may ask? ( I live in Canada) good for you now that you have you’re own home lots of time to do all the stuff that needs to be done. close to Mom who can help you when needed, take care stay safe.

    Reply
  27. Robin Boggan

    Congratulations Karl!! So much fun to be a first time home owner! You have a clean pallet to work from. Enjoy and have fun on your new journey!

    Reply
  28. Priscilla C

    Congrats on a first home!! Looks like it’ll be so sweet once most of the rough work is cleaned up. You’re so lucky to have some of your kids living so close by!!

    Reply
  29. Judy

    Congratulations Karl! It will be nice that he can live with you and take his time doing some of the work without having a deadline to get out of his current residence. It’s so much easier to do some types of messy work without having to move furniture out of the way. I know you will help him make nice curtains and make it homey for him.

    Reply
  30. Colleen

    Congratulations Karl! What a charming home! Would those kitchen cabinets match if the paint was stripped off? Love all the woodwork, especially the floors. Enjoy!

    Reply
  31. beth

    In response to Dorothy – As a real estate appraiser for 30+ years, I can tell you, you do NOT need a closet to be called a bedroom. The room needs a door and window for ingress and egress in case of a fire or other disaster.

    I love the front door and the French doors on the interior. and the woodwork WOW! And none of it appears to be damaged due to being a rental. Fantastic.

    Congrats to Karl and good luck with the renovations to come. It is great being a home owner.

    Beth

    Reply
  32. MoeWest

    How exciting! Karl is getting a good first house. One by one his projects will make it better. Jo, I think he may need a housewarming gift quilt! And maybe bunks in one bedroom for kiddo sleepovers. Congratulations Karl!

    Reply
  33. Helen A

    Congratulations! What a great location and a beautiful house. It has a ton of potential and is so cute. I also love all the wood in it and most of the house really doesn’t need much work, it’s already so nice. Can’t wait to see the updates Karl is planning.

    Reply
  34. Kathleen R Robin

    Wow love Karl’s new house. I am sure you will spend my happy hours helping him to get it as he wants it. Close to you so if there are lots of family visiting from out of town he has room for some of the to stay with him which would be handy also. I look forward to seeing the progress just like I enjoyed the progress on your home as you worked on it. Maybe the car port could be closed in to give his car some protection in the winter.

    Reply
  35. Jeri Niksich

    Karl I’m so happy for you! What a wonderful way to start the year! I can’t wait to see the progress. Jo it brings me full circle, I started following you when you and Kramer first bought your house and now I get to watch Karl make this house into his home. Please keep us updated with lots of pictures and perhaps some videos. Again Karl congratulations! It’s a nice house with beautiful wood work. The pictures brought back memories from growing up in Des Moines.
    Jeri

    Reply
  36. Roxann

    Congratulations Karl. That front door is gorgeous and the rest can be made gorgeous too. You’ll love that front room for plants and a work area!

    Reply
  37. Katherine Gourley

    Very cute house to update. I hope you are able to keep some of the windows — like the one at the top of the stairs. I don’t know if you are anywhere near a Habitat for Humanity resale store. They have everything you can imagine. Cabinets, appliances, furniture, etc at reasonable prices. Most used, but many new items too.

    Reply
  38. Mary

    Congrats. I think the kitchen cabinets are similar in style and a nice coat of paint for all of them would work until the kitchen remodel. Also look for websites for companies that do demolition work. They sell entire kitchens, baths, etc for people who are remodeling. You may only find these companies in larger cities but it would be worth the drive. Enjoy.

    Reply
  39. Laurie M.

    The woodwork and floors are absolutely lovely!! The kitchen is easy enough to replace, getting wood like that is impossible! Congrats on finishing the house hunting finally!

    Reply
  40. Susan the Farm Quilter

    WOOHOOOOOO!!!! Go Karl!!!! So close to mom, but not in her pocket or line of sight!! He will have fun fixing up his new home and I know the family will be involved as well!! So awesome!! I would be taking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to make a bigger kitchen, but that’s me! I can’t wait to see what Karl does! I have 2 wardrobes because the old farm house doesn’t have a closet in one of the “bedrooms”…one was made by my FIL and one was made by his dad!! Love them!

    Reply
  41. Judy

    Congratulations to Karl for buying a house. It is such a cute house and I love all the wood especially the stairs and it is so great that it is in the same town you are in. As far as that 3rd bedroom each state is different and if you look up Iowa each county decides for themselves. Anyway it is up to your son to use the room however he wants to.

    Reply
  42. Pamela

    Congratulations Karl! I am a kitchen designer and love helping friends with design layouts when hoping to repurpose used cabinets. If Karl wants to send dimensions I could draw up some ideas for him, complementary, of course.

    Reply
  43. Beverly

    Congratulations Karl – Score! Love the woodwork & floors in their natural state. It will make a lovely home. Thanks for the tour & happy that he got one in the town he wanted.

    Reply
  44. Barbara Noel

    Carl can get an energy efficient mortgage which he would need to get estimates for doors, windows and maybe the siding not sure if siding would be included and if he needs to update heating and air conditioning. I am not sure how much they would add to his mortgage but when I bought my house I was able to add the 13 windows in my house to the mortgage amount.

    Reply
  45. mpv61

    Congrats to Karl. I love all that woodwork and the fact that he can live there and improve it over time. I’m very impressed that he found the house first and then convinced the owner to sell it.

    Reply
  46. Pamela

    Congratulations Karl! How exciting to find such a nice house close to Mom. The house looks very sound and you couldn’t build a house with those floors and woodwork. Enjoy the process of making it yours!

    Reply
  47. ColleenM

    This house looks like a keeper. All the gorgeous woodwork and hardwood floors! NICE:) I can’t wait to watch the progress.

    Reply
  48. Linda in NE

    I can see the possibilities in that house. The wood is beautiful and I can see Karl making it into a very cute and comfortable home. Will be looking forward to seeing what he does with it. Congrats, Karl, on becoming a homeowner.

    Reply
  49. Lori L Douglas

    Yeah! I am so happy for Karl to have his own place and to be close to you! What fun you will have helping make it his own. Maybe blog
    Posts the Karl and Jo show?

    Reply
  50. Sam

    So many possibilities, wonderful. Some suggestions – put a toilet with wash basin on the ground floor. Raise your kitchen cupboards up to a comfortable working height for you, it will save you from so many sore backaches!
    Looking forward to seeing the eventual changes you make.
    Sam the Aussie

    Reply
  51. Carolyn Whaley

    I so enjoyed the house tour. We moved into a 1915 Miners house 4 years ago near Marquette Michigan. Think twice about replacing windows! We have “6 over 1″ original wood windows that had the inards (rope, pullies, etc) updated and put on storm windows with screens and they are so wonderfully warm. The house has original tall hot water registers that keep our house so cozy in our extreme cold winters! New isn’t better sometimes! When having to rearrange kitchen cabinets (refrigerator was 2” too wide an inch too tall) we found a covered up doorway!
    Left it cover up but was fun to find! Hopefully Karl enjoys his finds in his rehab! Carolyn

    Reply
  52. Brenda King

    So happy for you Karl! Excited about the house you found! Like everyone else, I love the wood work, and the 2-story style of the house. There is so much potential! How many sq. ft? And how much did you have to pay for it? HOME PRICES IN OUR AREA, (BEND, OREGON) have sky rocked. Median price $637,000 plus! We remodeled an old (1920’s or earlier farm house.) It was small, 1,050 sq. ft, with boxy rooms, all in need of complete remodeling. We worked on it for the 20 yrs. we lived there, and built a garage too. It was a sweet, warm, cute little house when we were done. We’d so enjoyed living, and raising our two children there. So many happy memories, and such joy as each task was completed! I wish you joy and every happiness as you make your new home what it deserves to be, Karl! Take your time, do each job with love, and enjoy every minute there! Brenda King

    Reply

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