Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Owning up to our dirty little secret


Hold tight, kids…. this is a big one!

Since roughly August, my posts have been sporadic and the house work non-existant. I’m sure you’ve noticed a change in our pace. It was partly DIY burnout, partly the result of finishing nearly everything we wanted to change. But there is another reason we’ve been hands-off at the Fixer-Upper lately and it’s a bombshell. In early fall, we put our house on the market.

I know, I know, we should have told you! Should have shared the ups and downs (and why’s and how’s) of selling the house you’ve watched us pour our hearts into for the past three years. But the idea gave me the heebie-jeebies because you could easily find our house address online when it was for sale. The paranoid nutjob inside of me felt like we would be inviting trouble. And also, we didn’t want our agent having to sort out house voyeurs from prospective buyers. Because cleaning up a house to get it ready for showing? Soooo not fun, and not something you want to do over and over again for lookie loos.

We accepted an offer in January and closed on the house yesterday. Who knew you could sell a house in NY in the middle of winter? We’re still surprised. I waited until after the closing to share our news because, again, I’m paranoid. I did not want to jinx the sale. But everything went as planned and a nice young family now holds the key to Dirty Gert. We wish them well and hope the house brings them as much happiness as it did us – minus the crying over Home Depot bills and remodeling stress.

Most of our friends and family think we’re crazy, and that’s ok. They thought we were crazy for buying it, and look how well that turned out! I know it’s hard to understand why we would sell a house we worked so hard to make perfect, especially since it was never our intention to “flip” the house. When we bought it, we called it our “forever house” and planned on raising a family there.  If you peek through the archives, you’ll see that we rarely made quick fixes or settled for sub-par materials because we planned to live with our choices for a long time. Yet as time wore on, we realized that although we love the house it wasn’t really the best fit for us. Our lives and goals have changed pretty significantly in the past three years, as they’re bound to when you’re young and unsure where life will take you. My job responsibilities have increased with each passing year, and inevitably so have the hours spent at the office – an office I was commuting about an hour to. Teague’s construction business took off, so the lack of a garage or usable basement was a problem. With fuel prices constantly rising, all the extra square footage seemed expensive and wasteful. And our little village was a long way from any good shopping, restaurants, or entertainment which made us lazy hermits who never left the house together to do anything fun.

Those are a few of the many reasons we decided to sell. Getting our money back out (plus a little sweat equity) before the market tanked even further was another consideration. The decision wasn’t easy, but it feels right. We weren’t as attached to the house as one might imagine given the blood, sweat and tears that went into it. I eventually came to see it as a giant to-do list rather than a comforting place to rest my head. Had we slowed down and allowed ourselves to enjoy it more, we might have felt differently… it’s hard to say.

In any case, as of yesterday we’ve passed the torch on to someone else and will be (gasp!) apartment dwellers for the next year or so. We moved into our new place two weeks ago and honestly couldn’t be happier. It’s a large apartment in a historic home in Manlius, NY… a cute little suburb of Syracuse. The new place has big windows, some original hardware, and a whole lot of old house charm. We’re fighting back our fix-it urges and learning to live with white walls. I’m sure there will be a string of fixer-uppers in our future, but right now we’re taking a well earned time-out so we can live a normal life. At least for a year or so!

I’m not sure what will happen to the site now that there is no house to fix, but I will definitely check in now and then to say hi and share anything cool I find. Thanks to the houseblog community for all the support and motivation you guys have given us over the years. You guys totally kick ass. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Yours truly,

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Greg had this to say on 02.12.08:

Wow! That is a bombshell. Actually, I can understand it. It is a lot of stress and so all consuming to own and work on a fixer-upper. The burn-out is inevitable. I knew I had a good 5 or 6 years where I could go all-out, and that is pretty much what I did. There is still so much left to do now though, and it is not as enjoyable as it once was.

I’ve been so busy myself since August with my new job, that I didn’t notice you were blogging as much. I don’t read nearly as much as I did. I’m glad I caught this post, though. Your’s was always one of my favorites. You will be missed, but I totally understand.

Good luck to the both of you.

Patricia in Jackson had this to say on 02.12.08:


Believe it or not, I was *so* expecting this. I realized some time ago that when you two had gotten things done the way you wished you would be out of there, don’t ask me why. As young as you two are, and with so much energy and interest in this type if thing it only makes sense. I wish you two the best and hope you get another fixer-upper (nothing you can’t handle of course) to blog about and share in your expertise. It has been so enjoyable to read along.

mrslimestone had this to say on 02.12.08:

While Im sorry I won’t be seeing any more of your fabulous home improvements, Im glad you’ve found another kind of happiness.

I can’t imagine ever selling another house after my last. Its highly stressful and personal despite even the best outcome so I think you made the right decision by staying quiet.

Good luck in whatever the future holds for you both!

Aaron had this to say on 02.12.08:

Wow. Your right, I’m surprised….but also not. Live has lots of twists and turns and it’s unlikely that any of us will end up having a ‘forever house’ I imagine.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s happy you decided to write and share about this part of your life–it’s always been a fun read! Thanks.

Please do keep in touch, however that ends up making sense. I hope you keep the site up, too–it’s got some helpful information that I’m sure lots of folks would be happy to come across while Googling.

Take care and best wishes with your new adventures…

PS–I think your approach to blogging during the home sale was a smart one…I’ve often wondered what we’d do with our blog if/when we ever sell and I think you’ve provided a good example of how to handle it.

Andrew had this to say on 02.12.08:

I found this site within the last year and have found it enjoyable. I’m glad to hear you guys are happy with this decision and I wish you luck in the future!

Gary had this to say on 02.13.08:

Oh no! You traded in the “fixer upper” for a settle downer!

Trissa had this to say on 02.13.08:

Wow! The transition to an apartment must be very strange, but it sounds like it was the right decision. Best of luck!

Nick had this to say on 02.13.08:

Wow. Best of luck to you two. I hope to see a Fixer Upper II, someday. Take care!

Katherine had this to say on 02.13.08:

Life is a journey- it’s our job to have fun and make the most of every step along the way. You and Teague are doing just that, congrats on the sale and the next step!

Sandy had this to say on 02.13.08:

I am sad that you won’t be “posting” often, but glad that you made the right decision and are much happier. Hopefully there will be a lot more “me” or “family” time and that you will now have the funds for some “fun” time too now that you don’t have the huge expense of heating a large home. Good luck, Mindy. I’m looking forward to you turning your blog into a “what’s happening that’s fun” blog!

Kristy had this to say on 02.13.08:

I’m so happy that you are happy and congrats on selling your house in this market. That alone is a challenge and obviously with all of the time and sweat-equity you put into the house, it paid off. Keep in Touch!!!

Becky had this to say on 02.13.08:

Wow–congrats, guys! I thought it was back off the market, so this is a pleasant surprise! Good luck with the new home hunt. :)

jm had this to say on 02.13.08:

I am so happy for you! Honestly. It must have been a very tough decision but, from the lack of a workshop for Teague and the commute for you, I completely understand where you are coming from! Life is a process, not a project, and when it isn’t fun (and doesn’t have the promise of being fun in the near future) it is ALWAYS worth it to make these types of changes.

I have a feeling that we’ll be hearing more from Mindy and Teague though :) Apartments are a part of too. Living in smaller, rental spaces have their own challenges that are no less important to people who are creating a home.

Karen in Wichita had this to say on 02.13.08:

Hey, it happens… after all our deciding to stay in the Delano Bungalow, we may yet need to pull up stakes and do the same ourselves. We have no plans to, but with the health of my in-laws, we may have to combine households at some point. And that’s not doable here! (So the blogspot name might end up appropriate again…)

Blogging a house sale’s gotta be… interesting. I’ve seen it done, a little, but I’m not sure I’d want to go there. Certainly not in a house I was currently occupying.

And, you know? I bet you’re neither the first nor the last houseblogger to pack up and move to an apartment (or a shiny new McMansion… or *two* apartments). Is stressful stuff. And you can’t let the hypothetical opinions of nearly-total strangers affect your decisions.

dang had this to say on 02.14.08:

I found this site last summer on a search for how to repair old hardwood floors, and I’ve enjoyed reading of your labors since then. It’s sad that it’s coming to an end, but perhaps you are now the vanguard of an awakening from our collective house-focused insanity. Maybe there is more to life than obsessively repairing our homes (this coming from one who is still in the trenches). Good luck!

Larry had this to say on 02.14.08:


It’s been one wild and crazy ride hasn’t it?

You two have helped in so many ways that I’m sure you will never know – especially when it comes to our own house.

I, as I’m sure everyone else, will miss you.

I do hope your site remains up. I continually scope it out for ideas and help as well as pointing others to it.

I’m sure you two will do well no mater what you do. You could look at it this way. Your ‘Fixer-Upper’ may have just been a primer for a much bigger job down the road.

I do feel for both of you. My wife also has a commute but only about 45 – 50 minutes. Like your husband, I am starting to go into the ‘business’ but more in the architectural trim arena. Hopefully I will have as much luck as he has.

Again – Thank you so much for all you’ve shared with us. If you could see me now you would know that I am giving you two a standing ovation.

Cheers & Good Luck!

Larry in Kansas

Cathy had this to say on 04.04.08:

Congrats, Good Luck and Enjoy the next big Adventure.

Jocelyn had this to say on 04.11.08:

I am just now reading this!! I remember the last time I interacted with you Mindy- you were pretty burned out and needing a break. I felt for you.

You guys really took on ALOT with that house. I remember when I first came across your blog and saw what you were doing with your kitchen and how young you guys were (and still are!) and I was actually worried about you. Isn’t that funny? But as time went on, I saw you knew what you were doing, but I still thought you were taking on alot of house.

I can really understand your decision. I have really enjoyed your blog over the years. Now you can use all your energy for other things. There are so many great things to do in this world. :o)

You will be missed and not forgotten. If you ever get to Chicago and want to meet some old friends, drop us a line.

Timothy had this to say on 05.28.08:

Hey Mindy and Teague. Congratulations on your close and move. It’s definitely a tough time to make a change like that and you all did it and it sounds like a move for the better. Thanks for sharing all of your home improvement experiences and the houseblogging community is better for it.
Best of luck!

Raleighwindows had this to say on 06.27.09:

The good news is another home to DIY on!

We love to hear from you, dear readers.

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