Countdown to Moving Day

We have a new countdown in the sidebar: countdown to our (tentative) moving day from Conroe to Brenham. Let the panic begin! Every time I pack a box, I think I’m making progress… until I look around and see how much more we have to pack! Rest assured, mountains of stuff is getting sold and donated, but even still, there’s lots to pack with a house of five humans and a dog.

Our closing date is June 8th, so we’ll need to be out before that day so we can have our Conroe house cleaned up and ready to go when we hand over the keys to the new owners. I hope that gives us enough time. Now accepting offers of assistance for moving and cleaning!



I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m so excited: after receiving several offers on our house, yesterday we picked one! We are elated! If all goes well, we will close in early June, allowing our eldest to finish his school year at his current school.

We’ve also found a lovely townhouse to rent in Brenham while we do our renovations on the Zeiss Building. It just happens to be a short walk from the Zeiss Building, making it very easy for us to access it when we need to. Plus, it has space for us to house guests – those of our family and friends who said they wish to help with renovations will have a free place to stay! Yay!

And lastly, we submitted our project to a list of architects in the Brenham area, and have already received some responses. Once we settle on an architect, and have a price estimate on construction costs, we’ll be able to apply for our construction loan. First order of business will be to hire professionals to remove the lead paint and asbestos. Then, we (and hopefully friends and family) will do most, if not all, of the deconstruction.

So, between now and the middle of June, we’ll be busy packing, cleaning, and unpacking.

It’s Official!

The next step in our journey has begun. We now have a “For Sale” sign in front of our house in Conroe. We’re so excited about our future adventures in Brenham, but it will be hard to leave our house. With the exception of our year and a half spent living in Switzerland, we’ve lived here in this house for nearly 11 years. We’ve had two dogs, two cats, and three kids. We’ve made dear friends of most of our immediate neighbors, who coincidentally each have children close in ages to our own. We also have many friends in the area that we will dearly miss.

We’ve been spending the past few months de-cluttering, cleaning (those Magic Erasers are the bomb!), painting, sorting, and slowly filling up a storage unit in Brenham with our things. We’ve still got more to do, but after talking with our realtor, we reached a point where the house was acceptable to show, and the sign went up on Thursday. On Friday we had one showing. On Saturday we had another, and on Sunday, we had THREE showings! I took up an offer from a friend of crashing at her house for a few hours on Sunday, and her three children and mine had a blast playing on their huge property. They even have chickens!

Toddler vs Chicken

Anyway, back to the house. We’ve still got some de-cluttering to do, plus a lot of things hiding in closets and under beds. We’ve had the living room repainted a nice tame boring beige, and right at this moment, I’m taking a break from painting the connecting hallway the same color. The kitchen is a huge painting project that I’m dreading and hoping we can pay someone to do. I will need to borrow an extension ladder to do the dining room, and then we’ll move on to the floors. We’ll stretch and clean the carpets for now. If we have trouble selling it, we might replace some of the carpet with hardwood. And if all else fails, we’ll have to redo the kitchen countertops and cabinets. Big ugh!

So, my break is up – back to painting. If you have any good home-selling juju to spare, send it our way! The higher price we get for our home, the more money we’ll have to put towards construction!

Polite “No”

So, as you all know, we’ve been attempting to see if any DIY shows wish to document our unique renovation. Up until today, we felt like we were blindly throwing our project into the ether. Our most recent submission was to a favorite show of ours, Grand Designs, which shows on BBC. We got hooked on it when we lived overseas in Switzerland (admittedly, our choices of English-language television were slim, but we sought out the show when we could). We’d started watching it again recently using our Roku device. Basically, the host, a licensed architect, follows a project for years, and it is always something completely unusual, like ruins of a castle, or someone turning an old chapel into a home. And it always is a monumental renovation. Sounds a bit familiar, right? A few days ago I submitted an email with all of our project information, photos, etc. We really are a perfect fit for the format of the show. Except for one key thing – we’re not in the UK. But, it was worth a shot. This morning I received a very nice email from a representative for the show confirming that they have no plans to film in the US at this time. But it was a personal reply! From a real person! A first! None of the other shows we have submitted our project to have sent us anything more than an automatic reply thanking us for our submission. I’m not sure if I should just keep resubmitting our project until we get a personal response or what. If you have thoughts on that, please leave them in the comments. In other news, we’ve begun the final push to get things ready for putting our house here in Conroe on the market. We decided to spend our spring break at home, working on the interior and exterior. Other than our eldest’s birthday on Saint Paddy’s Day, we have no plans. With any luck in another week or two, we’ll have a sign out front. Our hope is to find a buyer that will allow us to remain in the house until the end of the school year. However, if the perfect buyer comes along (i.e. one that wants to pay full price), we’ll figure something out. The more money we make on the house sale, the better construction loan we’ll be able to get, which will of course, make it easier for our renovation plans. So, send us all of your good mojo for selling our house! Hopefully my next update will be titled “Sold!”

Update: Nothing to Report

A lot of you have asked us what is going on with the building now. We’re currently working on two projects related to the building: preparing our current house in Conroe to be put on the market, and submitting our project to home improvement shows.

Our plan is to move to Brenham sometime this summer, and live in a rental house or apartment. Once our house here in Conroe sells, we’ll be able to get our construction loan. The first order of business will be to have the professionals remove all lead paint and asbestos. The next task will be deconstruction – removal of practically everything on the upper level except the support wall and support beam. Many of you have said you want to help with our project, and we are happy to have friends and family to depend on. Our loose plan is to choose several weekends/weeks where we’ll ask for a bunch of folks to come to Brenham and do a bunch of projects.

Right now we’re working on decluttering, packing, painting, and generally cleaning up our current house. If anyone wants to get our kiddos out of our hair, let me know! You can imagine how “helpful” a toddler can be!

The other task I’ve been working on is trying to get one of the major home improvement shows or channels to pick up our project. For me, at least, it isn’t the fame, it isn’t all of the discounts on supplies, nor the high quality of work and skilled labor, but the fact that these shows generally have a short production time of 8 to 9 weeks. I would LOVE to see our project finished quickly and efficiently, rather than having to wait for nine months to a year for us to finish it on our own! That said, if anyone has advice about getting on This Old House, or HGTV, please let me know in the comments. I’ve already made a general submission to both, but not heard anything yet. I’d like to resubmit our project with more pictures, and maybe some video, but I’m not very experienced on the latter. We also have detailed plans for the layout, design, and decor.

That’s all the news from our world.