We’re Making Progress

Since today was a day when Speck doesn’t get his treatment, I had planned to meet a friend out of town today, get away from the house hunting roller coaster, eat out and totally enjoy myself.  Last night we found out about a house that Vince really wanted to see.  My plans were cancelled and that’s fine . . I can meet my friend any day.  I met Vince for lunch and we looked at the house.

When we drove up and saw it, and the layout on the land, we were both saying “Oh, we LOVE it!”  Before we ever went in, I asked Vince if he brought a check.  The house is way small. Otherwise, I think we would have made an offer right there on the spot.  We still may.  The house wouldn’t be hard to add onto but it also has a 40′ x 60′ metal building right behind the house.  My entire sewing room would have to be out there.  We would kinda build a building inside the building and it would be plenty big and nice and I’m fine with that idea.

We think it really makes more sense to have it out there instead of adding onto the house.  I would still have a sewing machine set up in the house but the majority of the stash and supplies, and the longarm would be out in the building.  We also talked about adding an outdoor kitchen (air conditioned so not really “outdoor”) with an indoor eating area and an outdoor patio with a space for grilling and serving drinks, etc. outside.

This was a favorable point for me!

We’re going back out to the house with the tiny bedrooms this afternoon, to look at how we might extend the master bedroom.  We think we’ve come up with a feasible plan and if so, that one gets put back in the running.

The acreage we looked at Saturday, the listing agent called to say that the owner would finance part of the deal if we wanted to go ahead and buy the tracts he wanted to sell.  The financing wasn’t the issue — we just didn’t want one of the tracts he was willing to sell and he wanted us to buy them both together.  We wanted one of the tracts, along with three other tracts that he didn’t want to sell.

So, what will we do? There are positives and negatives about all three locations.

House #1 (shown above) – Positives are:  It’s 7 miles from Vince’s work.  That means a lot.  If I have issues at home and need him, he can come home.  When I’m out of town, he’s able to come home and let Speck out at lunch.  It has 20 acres and they’re working on the plan right now to see if we can get up to 40 acres.  Even though it’s real small, there’s not a wasted square inch in this house.  The shop is already there for Vince.  It has a good well.

Negatives are:  It’s small!  It’s not even as big as our upstairs in the rental or our house in MO.  When we were in MO, we often looked around at the large rooms and big hallways and commented on how much space was wasted, but at some point, a house can be too small.  Or, maybe some folks (us) just have too much junk!  Also, the sewing room would be outside but that may not be a negative — just something I’d have to learn to get used to.  Everyone I know who has their sewing room in a separate building loves it so I’m not going to be concerned about that.

House #2 (with the tiny bedrooms) – Positives are:  I loved the kitchen.  LOVE the kitchen!  The sewing room would be right next to the kitchen.  Everything in the house is brand new – never lived in.  It has 6 acres and we think we could buy more from a neighbor and even though it’s in a subdivision (of sorts), we can have chickens.   It also has a shop (same size as the above house) already in place for Vince.

Negatives are:  The bedrooms are tiny and the closets are small.  It’s about 24 miles from Vince’s work.  There’s a big stone wall along one big end of the family room and it’s ugly.  We would take it down and do something else and that would be a bit expensive, depending on how much damage was done to the ceiling, and whatever the cost, it doesn’t add any square feet!  Honestly . . it’s an ugly house.  The outside is not attractive at all.  And, this one needs a new well “punched”.  We’re pretty sure hitting water isn’t a problem but that’s another expense.

House #3 (which is actually land):  Positives are:  We can build anything we want.  It’s about 15 miles from Vince’s work . . not as good as 7 miles, not as bad as 24 miles.

Negatives are:  70+ acres is about double what we had wanted, which isn’t a problem except we have to pay for it.  It needs everything — well, septic, road, fences, shop, house.  We would pay for  having it all done so that would be pretty expensive.

It’s all so much to think about but I figure we have 2-1/2 choices (since the land owner hasn’t and may not agree to sell the tracts we want) and at this point, I almost feel like putting them all in a bucket and picking one and being done with it!


  1. 2

    pdudgeon says

    Judy, i don’t know what you consider too small, but if you add in the square footage of the outside building to the sq ft for the house you’ll get a more accurate picture of the space available.
    (and two adults don’t need nearly as much space as a teenager does)

    having a large “Summer” kitchen with a fireplace and a patio attached to the house is a great idea. That will give you lots of extra “public” space for canning, food prep, and a nice big gathering/ entertainment area for friends and family when they come, while still preserving the ‘retreat feeling’ of the house just for the two of you.

    • 2.1


      I’ll tell you how small — the kitchen doesn’t have a dishwasher and there’s no place to put one! With just the two of us, I hardly use it anyway and if we build the outdoor kitchen, I’ll have one out there and since that’s where I’d be canning, I can live without one in the house.

  2. 3

    Nancy says

    Hey. Things are looking up. Seems like you have some choices now. Number 1 looks to be the most positive option. I think you could almost sew on that front porch (except in the heat of summer). Good luck. I’m sure you will weigh all the pros and cons and make a wise decision. Whatever you do decide, just go for it and don’t look back. Things will work out.

  3. 4



    I love house #1. No steps which if you have them now you don’t realize how nice not to go up and down. The house is cute and I think you could add on. If you have a shop and quilting haven, an extra kitchen,what more would you need in the actual house. The older I get the less I want to clean.

    Good luck with all the choices.

  4. 5


    I love the house in the picture–it is a Texas house and I think I see a tin roof, maybe not. Seven miles to work sounds awfully nice for all concerned–I know you will want another dog over time not to mention other critters. We all wait with anticipation of your final choice.

  5. 6

    Liz says

    I agree that House #1 looks good. I agree that as we get older, a smaller house has it’s advantages. And, you would be looking into having the outdoor living area as well as the quilting studio in the back. It’s seems to be a lot easier to add on that house than all the renovations you owuld do for the ugly house.

    Heck with that house – you could even build your “Dream” house and make this little one your cottage for quilt retreats.

  6. 7

    Sharon Spingler says

    I vote for #1. Seems to have everything you need. And it’s easier to knock down walls than to start from scratch.

  7. 8

    Linda in NE says

    Isn’t that a gas stove I see in the kitchen of house #1? I would think that right there would settle it….along with the huge shop building and only 7 mi. from Vince’s work, plus acreage, and you could have chickens again. I really like that big front porch. It just looks like a Texas house to me, as someone else said also. A smaller house will be easier to keep up too as you age. No matter what any of us think, the choice is up to you and Vince since you have to pay for it and live in it. But still, a gas stove…..

  8. 9

    katie says

    This might be a long shot but what about buying the land. 2X what you need and then selling the 1/2 you don’t want to fund what you want to do with the 1/2 you do want? Or is that too complicated?

    • 9.1


      I’m not sure it’s complicated but it doesn’t sound financially feasible. Land is pretty expensive here and isn’t moving very quickly. Whatever we buy, if it doesn’t have a house, we need to get one built quickly and not sit for years waiting for the other half of the land to sell.

  9. 10


    This new one sounds promising. Close to work, land (can you have chickens?), studio and shop space already in place, gas stove, this could be great. And that homey looking porch would make a great place to display/photograph quilts!

    Could enlarging the house include building a passageway or a covered patio to connect to the studio building? Keeping my fingers crossed that this might be the one!

    • 10.1


      We can have anything we want! The house is too far from the shop to connect it, plus the “connection” would cross over the driveway.

  10. 11


    I love it, Judy! How many square feet in the house itself? I love the gas stove but wonder about the overhead microwave. Is there room between the stove/mw for your large pots/pressure cookers/steamers, etc? If you get the outside kitchen done, that won’t matter. Any other inside pictures you want to show us?