New House Outside Cover Image Front view Snazzy Little Things

We bought a new house!!!


Never, ever in a million years did I think I’d be writing this post. Not right now anyway. The original plan was to wait until all of our kids flew the nest before we’d contemplate another move. But here we go!

We bought our next house! And…we are moving in just a few short weeks.

Tour “The Picket Fence House”

listing photos

Front of house

In many ways our new “Picket Fence House” feels like vacation-style living. It’s not quite what we pictured for our next home, but it represents a simpler way of life. We loved the “vintage” vibe and the cute white picket fences in our neighborhood. By design, the garages are hidden behind the houses to maintain the aesthetic. It reminds us of Colonial Williamsburg (one of our favorite places to take vacation). The cute downtown is a bike ride away and is considered a tourism destination with lots of amazing restaurants, antique shops and boutique-style shopping.

With this move, we are increasing our home size by nearly 400 square feet (it looks small from the outside…which was really deceiving!) We have 9.5′ ceilings which makes me feel so short! We have a full basement with a comfortable live-in suite. We are downsizing the yard, while it was a bummer at first, the trade-off is that we now have easy-access to amenities that we didn’t have before. We are even just a few miles from an amusement park, a water park and a Great Wolf Lodge! There is a community pool within walking distance, and we can ride our bikes out of our driveway and immediately access a 78-mile scenic bike trail. A community recreation center and exercise facility are also within walking distance. My youngest is a social butterfly and so thrilled for these changes, and all the kids weighed in and can’t wait!

How we found the Picket Fence house:

After looking at hundreds of houses online – we started to get discouraged. At this phase of our life, we hoped to find a 100+ year old fixer upper with some trees and land in a good school system. These are hard to find, especially in a sellers’ market where only non-contingent offers were being accepted. You have to act fast – and we were disadvantaged being 200 miles away. School enrollment deadlines and sport tryouts are right around the corner for Avery, so we were working against the clock. We edited our criteria quite a bit as we searched for a house. Finally, during one of Mark’s business trips he found the picket fence house on – which didn’t align with most of our criteria. Coincidentally, I texted this same house the same moment he found it! He had already requested a showing. Later that evening, I joined Mark on a Facetime video session for a viewing. Grainy video and all, I went with my gut and we abandoned our original plan. We both felt like this would be a great move for us – but the kids especially. “Vacation style living” doesn’t sound too shabby! Our family could use some fun and easy living for awhile. We made an offer – and within a day our offer was accepted! We get the keys August 9th!

The status of our current house, “The Esquire”:

Our asking price on the Esquire was a bit higher than the rest of the neighborhood because of our upgrades. About 10 days after we were in contract on the new house, we listed The Esquire (the home we’ve blogged about for years – named after the builder’s floor plan). Twelve showings, and two open houses later (about 25 total viewings), we received 2 offers on the same day – and we are finally in contract! (Final offer was $6 above asking price!) So if you’ve been wondering where we’ve been…we’ve been driving poor Buddy the dog around in an air conditioned car or going for reallllly long walks in this intense heat wave. :) I will share one final tour of our home, fully staged. Stay tuned on this…it’s been a whirlwind, but we survived.

Our reasons for moving:

Life is measured not by the success and happiness of one of us – but all of us. Even though I love the home we created, our life needed some tweaking. Mark has been making a long drive to visit his side of the family for nearly 10 years, with me unable to join him. I continually asked myself these questions over the years as I considered selling our current home: are we all living a life that we all want to live? Is everyone happy? Could we be happier? Are we living in a community where we are all thriving? What could a new house offer my family in terms of a better life that our current home doesn’t already offer? But then, out of fear, we’d recommit to our old routines and put off a move. Old habits can be hard to break.

But then, this spring it became clear. It was time to move on. Our family down south is calling us home.


I’m so excited for this new chapter, there will be an *overwhelming* amount of DIY and home improvement projects in our future! Thanks for following us for the last 6 years as we learned so much about house flipping (and ourselves) as we chronicled all of our experiences here at The Esquire house. It’s been quite an adventure and we’re so grateful that you’ve been a part of it.

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  1. Marty Oravetz says:

    How fun, love your new home and area. Can’t wait to see how the house comes along with your special touches.

    1. Jan Jonrd says:

      Can’t wait to see your renovations and upgrades to this beautiful new home. Looks like such a cute neighborhood. Good luck and happy moving.

    2. Thank you Marty! I see a lot of paint projects in our future :) We are excited for a fresh start!

  2. Congratulations on your new home, that’s so exciting! I can’t wait to see how you transform the builder Grade into something special! Are you still planning to open a store in Medina?!

  3. Christine Booth says:

    Hi , it’s beautiful and I am looking forward to see what you do with the new house !!

    1. Thank you Christine! I missed having a pool so that is priority #1 until the show flies :)

  4. How exciting for you and your family. Looking forward to more posts – God bless you.

  5. How exciting! Your new home & neighborhood are lovely! Wish you much joy and lots of new memories in the making (along with those DIY projects)!!

    1. Thank you Shelia – we have no clear ideas yet on the new house…it will all unfold organically I’m sure. Thanks for the well wishes! :)

  6. How cute the new house is as is. But I cannot wait to see what you and Mark do with it! I’ll miss you and I’m happy for all of you!!

    1. Tess, I’ll miss all of you too! you’ll have to come visit and stay when you pass through the area.

  7. Jane Charpie says:

    Exciting time! Congratulations! Ohio will miss you

  8. Congratulations! I look forward to following along as you make this home your own!

  9. Congratulations! Can’t wait to see what you do with the new house!

  10. Beautiful and very livable looking home. Are you perhaps moving to Medina, Tennessee?

    1. These communities are called “neo-traditional” communities built by Ryan Homes. I just found out who the builder was this week! They are around the East Coast / Midwest areas. But no, we aren’t as far south as Tennessee yet. Maybe they have a community that’s similar there?

  11. Congratulations!!! Oh how much FUN!!! Can’t wait to see where you will take us on this new adventure.

  12. Susan Toto says:

    This house is beautiful & looks in such good condition! I would love to be in a community with things to do. If you don’t mind me asking, where is this located? When you mentioned Wolf Lodge I assumed it is in PA. We live in PA about an hour outside of Philadelphia.

    1. Hi Susan, sorry for the delay we just moved these last 3 days so I’m a bit behind w/ my replies. Since we were in Cleveland / Akron area, virtually anywhere is considered “south” to us. But we are only about 200 miles south. Our first step before going costal once my daughter graduates. The community is built by Ryan Homes, called their “neo-traditional” communities. We just found out the history of our house this week from a neighbor.

  13. I suggest leaving the round column rather than making it square. There are enough right angles throughout the house. Round is more soothing for me.
    Congratulations on trusting your intuition and Marks’ opinion.

    1. Thanks Nelva! I learned that the round columns are mixed with the Green / Roman trim on purpose as part of the “neo-classical” style of these homes. I learned a lot this week as I researched the builder. Still pondering those columns…will keep you posted.

  14. You mentioned that your family would be finally moving South. I was wondering where in the South? We have been contemplating such a move for the last 2 years, but, have not yet found out ‘landing spot’. Your new community looks wonderful and we could be very happy in such a place. Could you at least mention what state this will be. By the way, Ohio? My son & family just moved from Hudson to Wake Forest, NC and they love it there.
    Enjoy your new life!! Sounds wonderful.

    1. Sure feel free to email, too. I can give you more details. Since we were in Cleveland…the only direction we could really go was south. I love where we landed. The builder is Ryan Homes, the community is called a “neo-traditional” community intentionally built to look historic. It was the result of a little bit of research but honestly a whole lot of luck. We’ve talked about making these type of changes for a long time. We just moved in 3 days ago and just started to really learn the area and are amazed at the amenities. A move to the coast (like your son’s) is probably in our future after my daughter graduates high school.

  15. Teresa Clanton says:

    Congratulations to your family! I love it and can’t wait to see what you do with it. It’s going to be a gorgeous place when you two dive in. I like your attitude and it sounds like a fun, loving time ahead. That bike trail is amazing and right there!

    1. I’m SO excited about the bike trail. The pool. The antiquing!!!!! People are so nice here. After 3 days in the area we’ve already made so many connections. It was a much needed change for all of us.

  16. Congrats! We live in a 90+ year old house. Can’t wait to see how you transform it to be your own. We’re looking for ideas and love to see what you have done.

    1. Deb, we originally wanted an older house but we just couldn’t move fast enough. For now, we will accept our faux-historic neighborhood and have fun with paint and decorating it for awhile. I will be adding lots of trim and new colors soon….thanks for sticking with us!

  17. LOve the house will be great when you put your touches on it and make it your own. Is this in a gated community. as it has a pool. what state is this. I am from Canada.

    1. Thanks Wendy, these communities are in Ohio and throughout the East Coast / Midwest. If you have Ryan Homes as a builder, the communities are called “neo-traditional” communities. They look like a movie set when you drive up to them. It’s fun living this way for now…easier living and getting in shape is definitely on the agenda.

  18. Congratulations! I can’t wait to see all the magic you work on your new home!

  19. Can wait to see you transform this house into your family home.

  20. I’m excited for you! So glad that you followed your heart and are expanding your lives this way. I can see you in this house. I really like the way the kitchen is open, but not in your sight lines from the couch. That way if you want to leave a message you don’t have to be reminded of it by staring at it!


    What an exciting adventure!

  22. Charlene Heard says:

    Hi! I’ve watched all the wonderful, exciting things you’ve done with your beautiful home and have honestly turned green….. I married my high school sweet heart 4 years ago (I’m 69) and he bout me a house way beyond anything I’ve ever dreamed of. I do not know what to do with it :(. I have not one spot of paint on the walls or 1 curtain hanging.

    Ovviously this is an extremely busy time for you. Are you still willing to advise via internet? My husband is continually asking when I’m getting started and I’m scared to death. I’m use to a 1200 square foot home. This is more like 3500 sq feet, the fireplace in the livingroom is 2 stories, etc.

    Please let me know if you will be having time to do internet jobs.
    Thank you, Charlene Heard Erie PA

    1. Charlene, you can do it! One wall at a time is my motto. Don’t overwhelm yourself. I do consultations remotely if you’d ever like help. “Hire Me on Houzz” is the button to press if you’d ever like a consultation. I will follow up with you via email. Congratulations on your new home…

  23. What a wonderful house! I cannot wait to see you make it yours with your creativity. . Congratulations!

    1. Thank you Cheryl! We are finally settling in. One more big trip from the moving truck and we’ll start to decorate. Painting away for the time being…

  24. Paula Pugh says:

    Wow! What a beautiful home. Can’t wait to see the remodeling which is ahead! Congratulations

    1. Jeanette, DIY & Decorating Blogger says:

      Thank you! The house looks so different inside now after 5+ years here! It’s been fun slowly updating it to suit our tastes. We’ve enjoyed having a smaller yard and so many neighborhood amenities.