Debbie buys a house.

Today Mr. Q and I are in Edinburgh, Scotland and we’re planning to take a Book Lover’s Tour.  Our trip is winding down at this point with just one more port of call after today.

But meanwhile back home in Minnesota, today is a super big day for my sister.  While I’m away, she is closing on her new house!  I’m a little bummed to be missing this momentous occasion.  I would have liked to pop the champagne and toast her new status as a home owner, but we’ll just have to do that when I return.

In the current housing market in the Twin Cities, you have to move really fast and you have to outbid your competitors.  Debbie learned that the hard way after placing bids that were not accepted on two other houses that she really wanted.

The first house she bid on was really adorable.  It was built in the 1920’s and had some great original details like wood floors, cove ceilings and a fireplace in the living room.  It was in a really lovely neighborhood with giant trees where the houses were really far apart.  The seller had done a really spectacular job of preparing the house for sale by repainting all of the rooms and just really cleaning things up in general.  It had a charming farmhouse style kitchen with a little breakfast nook that jutted out into the back yard, and it also had a brand new furnace and hot water heater.  Unfortunately that house had somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 bids, most of them far over asking price, or so we assume since Debbie bid slightly over asking price and was still not in the running.

Perhaps it was just as well that she didn’t get that house since it was further away from her work, and a little bit closer to some less than ideal areas of the city.

The next house she bid on had tons of potential.  It was an 1884 farmhouse and much like my own house, suburbia had grown up around it.  It was a funky place.  For one thing, it faced away from the street it was on.  I’m sure at one point in time the house was accessed from another street that was actually in ‘front’ of the house, but over time the neighborhood was rearranged.  Here’s the front of the house that faced the back yard …

 It also sat way back off the street, so much so that you couldn’t really even see it from there.  It was on a huge lot, I believe an acre.  It would have been really fun for me to blog about that house because it needed a lot of work.  The kitchen was a really big room with nothing in it except a free standing fridge, a free standing oven and one small bank of cabinets with a sink.  In other words, a blank slate.  On the down side, a lot of the original details were long gone.  At some point in the 1950’s or so someone had gone through and ‘updated’ the doors and baseboards throughout with cheap replacements.  I’m sure there must have been wood floors on the main level originally, but they were all gone and currently there was just some awful carpeting over some sub-flooring.

This time there weren’t lots of competing bids, there was just one.  And it was higher than Debbie’s.

She was even more disappointed by the loss of this house.  But in the long run I think the house would have been a lot more work than she is ready for both inside and out.  She didn’t really want a ‘fixer upper’ and this house was definitely one of those.  So it really was not meant to be.

It seems that the third time was the charm!  After missing out on those two houses, Debbie knew to move fast on the next one she liked.  She looked at the house and put in a bid on the very first day it was listed and that strategy worked.  Today she is becoming the proud owner of house no. 3 (that’s just counting the houses she bid on, not all of the many houses we looked at and passed on).

When she first started looking I told her that she needed to stay within a one mile radius of my house.  That seems reasonable, right?

Well, she came close.  Her house is 4.2 miles away from mine in a charming little neighborhood in St. Paul.  She will be just half a block from Beaver Lake.

If you go upstairs and twist your head just so, she has a lake view!

Her house is a typical post WWII 1950’s ranch.  It’s the perfect cozy size for my niece and her to share.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that my sister moved to Minnesota two years ago after living in New Jersey for the previous 30 years or so.  She’d been in an apartment in New Jersey, and then rented an apartment here for the last two years.  In other words, it’s been a long, long time since she’s been a home owner.  She’s super excited about it, and really looking forward to having her own yard and a space to host BBQ’s (hopefully I’ll be invited to lots of those).

Since Debbie is in charge of monitoring blog comments until I return, I hope you’ll take a moment to wish her the best in her new home!

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55 thoughts on “Debbie buys a house.

  1. Oh! What fun! I am so tickled you have a new home to love and make your own. I am thrilled that you are moving so close to your sister and we are almost neighbors, too. We live in WI…one state over…lol

    Hope you have a wonderful, blessed Memorial Day weekend. xo Diana

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  2. Debbie, I love your little bungalow. Growing up in the burbs of St. Louis, my best friend had a house just like it so I can feel the warm vibes emanating from your new home. The size will be perfect for you and your daughter. Congratulations and I know Linda is excited to be able to help you decorate – more blog material!

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    1. Thanks Laura. It is a perfect size for me when I get much older and my daughter has moved on. We will make is nice and cozy for us. Will be nice to do whatever we would like to it since it will all ours in 2 hours. No more landlords to say no. Linda already has a few ideas for the place and will help us with our own too.

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  3. Congratulations. This will be an exciting day and a perfect holiday weekend. Hope you will share more of your space with us .
    Wishing you the best and your new home is everything you hoped. You and your family will make wonderful memories here.

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    1. Thanks Janice. I already have orders to take pictures before we do anything this weekend before Linda gets home. She wants before and after pictures for the blog.

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  4. Congratulations Debbie. It looks like a real charmer! We’ll be anxiously awaiting your reveal of the interior ~ the “before” and then the reveal “after you add your own touches”! That huge garage looks like it could evolve into an incredibly FUN workspace!

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    1. Thanks Jeanne! The big garage will be nice for my daughter and I next winter and we can both put our cars in it away from the snow. In the spring, summer and fall could be a good painting spot, maybe.

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  5. Can’t wait to see the inside Deb…I had a similar style home and loved fixing it up and making color choices, etc. It’s so nice to have a place of your own too. You and Kris will love it! Bring on the lawn mower and home improvement projects!

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    1. Thanks Terri! We’ll have you over soon. After the painting and stuff is done. Going to have to mow this week, I’m sure. Lucky for me Ken gave us a mower already. Practiced with it this week on Linda’s lawn.

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  6. So happy for you Debbie! It sounds like a great location! Linda was over the moon to just get you to Minnesota, but to have you just 4 miles away?! Heaven! Congratulations and happy housewarming!

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  7. Congratulations, Debbie! What a joy for you two to be so close to each other. And to be so close to one of MInnesota’s many lakes, too! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Gretchen! We can just barely see the lake now from Kris’s room because the trees are all filled out now but there is still a glimpse.

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  8. Congratulations Debbie on your new home. What a cute place. I couldn’t help but notice the great garage in the back too. Storage is as valuable as square footage in a home as far as I’m concerned. Have fun making your new house a home.

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  9. Major Congratulations Debbie! I have been following your journey thur your sister’s blog and am in love with your choice! So good to be so close to your Sissy and that Lake! Xoxo Sue

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  10. My heart is so happy for you Debbie!! Make lots of fun memories and they are sure to be happy ones since you have wonderful family 4.2 miles away! I know where you can get some beautiful furniture should you need it. 😉 I look forward to the pics as you make your house a home.

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    1. Thanks Sheri! Yeah I know a good place to get furniture also. We don’t need much. We have a bunch to move already.

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      1. Yes, true, but one of these days I’m going to talk you into replacing some of that IKEA stuff with some vintage pieces with a lot more character!

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  11. Hi Debbie! I am reading this blog late…was busy, busy working on a 4 day trip! Just trying to catch up, but wanted to congratulate you on your darling house! So happy for you…the best! I hope it is everything you wanted! Patty

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    1. Thanks Patty, we have been working very hard over the last week. Have totally repainted the kitchen, the cabinets and walls. Also repainted the bathroom. Put together patio furniture and a hammock in the backyard. We have moved over a lot of boxes and unloaded a few already. Still have tons of work to go though.

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