we found a house!

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Well peeps, we have finally found a house!

Ok, so technically it’s not yet a house, but it will be!  We decided to go with a new build.

Am I excited?  Yes.
Am I scared about making all the wrong decisions?  You bet’cha.

Here’s the entry from a house with the same floor plan.

The reason we decided to build is simple.  We felt burnt after going through the sale of our house in KS.  I was going to go into a long explanation of why we felt burnt, but decided against it.  Everything I typed out sounded bitter.

So we’re going the safe route.  Building in a rapidly growing area where the school district is suppose to be top notch.  Hopefully when the time comes to move again (fingers crossed it’s not too soon) we’ll be in an area where people are wanting to buy.  To some it might sound boring, but for us it’s going to be bliss.  No old windows that have to be replaced (I literally had nightmare about those old windows.  Nightmares, people!), and no rotten fence that blows down when a bird flies by and farts.  Bliss.

Izzy and Sam will have a pretty sweet playground too.

I’m a little worried about the building process.  You know those people who stress over things that in the end, really don’t matter?  You’re looking at her!  I’m going to have to remind myself that this is suppose to be a fun experience and not a nerve wracking one.

Tomorrow I have to make some major decisions (kitchen and bath cabinets, counters, back splash, plumbing fixtures, appliances) alone.  That’s not entirely true.  I’ll have Sam in tow.  I’m sure he’ll be on his best behavior and won’t have a meltdown or poop all over himself or me while we’re there….  Pray for me.

Do you guys have any tips for going through a build?  Is it not as bad as everyone says, or should we fake our deaths and move to Mexico in order to get out of it?


If you haven’t already, be sure to enter yourself in my Firmoo giveaway!  Right now, chances are pretty good you’ll win ;D



  1. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper Avatar

    so exciting! you and willscasa are building in texas around the same time- this will be fun to watch from here!

  2. Lisa @ Shine Your Light Avatar

    How fun and exciting Shelley! You have great style…..I'm sure you'll do a fabulous job with all your decision making tomorrow.

  3. Andrea Avatar

    Congrats, Shelley! I have never gone through the building process, but have renovated two homes. Stressful, but well worth it. You have such amazing style, you're going to knock this out of the park! Good luck today. I'll say a prayer that you don't get pooped on!

  4. Julia | Pawleys Island Posh Avatar

    So exciting! There are so many awesome reasons to go with a new build. The amount of money we've already spend on our new-to-us house is insane given we have nothing fun to show for it. Can't wait to hear all about it!

  5. Calypso In The Country Avatar

    Congratulations! When we built our house, we were nervous about adding on too many extras during the building process because it would make the mortgage go up. We figured we could always change things later. Well…looking back now, I would have definitely upgraded more because over the years it has taken a long time to get things to where I want them. Plus, in the scheme of things, the amount it wouldn't have added onto the mortgage would have been so small – but worth it! It's been a pain the change flooring and that type of thing. I can't wait to see how your new home turns out!
    Cheers! – Shelley

  6. Aja Avatar

    Exciting! We're actually building right now, too! In the home stretch, thankfully. 🙂 it can definitely be stressful, but it helps to know what you want! Our builder and staff looked at me like I was crazy SO many times when I asked about specific details that weren't the norm. However, I know for a fact that they have now used some of my ideas in other houses! Hopefully your builder will be open-minded and willing to figure out special details or features with you. I follow you on Pinterest and am pretty sure I've re-pinned 85% of your home pins.:) I can't wait to see your home- it will be gorgeous!

  7. Kate Avatar

    We built our first house…and it had it's pros and cons. I loved picking out each detail, loved knowing that all of the stains and bumps around the house were caused by us and not some mystery person, loved watching in anticipation as each wall went up, cabinet went in, light turned on…the hard things for us were dealing with timing issues (NOTHING happened according to schedule for us!), quality control, and some cost issues. If you're using a more custom builder, you probably won't have those issues. We built in a subdivision where the builder was huge and building tons of houses. If that's the case, you might just need to pick your battles. 🙂 If you can remember that in the end it's just a house…and there are things you'll love and things you won't so much about the process, I think you'll be good! After all the headaches, delays, and frustration throughout the process, it was very worth it to move into a fully customized house. Congrats!

  8. Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door Avatar

    That's great news!!! Congratulations! A new build will be awesome as you can make each choice, and make it just the way you want it!

  9. Serendipity Refined Avatar

    I've done three total "gut" rehabs and one large build from scratch. Let me know if you'd like to chat. There are photos of the house on the blog. More than anything else, I'd tell you to spec EVERYTHING and SET DEADLINES WITH PENALTIES IF COMPLETION DATES ARE NOT MET!!! Other than that, as long as you can make choices quickly and not change your mind after you make them, you'll do fine! It's a wonderful process and such a cool thing to be able to do.

  10. Kathryn Avatar

    Did you know we built our house? I am sure you will do a fantastic and PERFECT job picking everything out. Your Pinterest boards are so consistent with each other (and beautiful, too!) that I think you know exactly what you want. I don't think you'll have a hard time knowing what to choose. 🙂

    Some things we learned:
    1. Pay very close attention to door movement and room size. For instance, I wish I would have asked the builder to make our laundry room even one foot wider and to make the door from the laundry to the rest of the house a pocket door, because that door is ALWAYS in the way.
    2. We paid cash for some upgrades that we didn't want to mortgage, like the brick front steps, the basement bath, and upgraded light fixtures in the kitchen. That helped us keep our mortgage budget under control while still feeling like we got more upgrades than we originally thought. Oh, and we just kept track of the "overages" and cut the builder a check at the end. I don't know if every builder will do that, but it's worth a try!
    3. Upgrades WORTH PAYING FOR (whether in cash or mortgage): the counter tops you want, nice cabinets, energy-efficient windows, and wood floors.
    4. Buy the nicer light fixtures right from the beginning. You will never want to pay $500 down the line to replace the crappy ones with the ones you wanted in the first place, but if you wisely use your lighting budget and get what you want from the start, you will end up paying less overall.
    5. I know this is a totally personal preference, but it's a HUGE one in my comfort level: Wire for ceiling fans in all the bedrooms. You don't have to put in a fan, but you will always have the option. I think it keeps the rooms fresher, too, since the air doesn't get stale. (*cough* gross kids *cough*)
    Ah, well, I could apparently talk about this all day. I'll stop now, but I'll end with saying that building is a GREAT and FUN experience and I have total confidence that if you go with your gut, your house will be awesome!

  11. Tiffany Avatar

    Congratulations! I'm so excited for you. I think it will be amazing to build your house just the way you want.

  12. Mindy Avatar

    Are you shitting me?! That is beyond exciting!!! I get obsessed over things that don't matter too, but I figure you want to get it right the first time, right? Which is why we STILL haven't gutted our kitchen.
    I'm super excited to follow along the process. I have dreams of starting from scratch on a piece of property, too, but I don't see it happenin' anytime in the near future. So I shall live vicariously through you. 🙂

  13. Kathy C. Avatar

    very exciting…and stressful I'm sure! But it's going to be so fun picking out exactly what you want!

  14. {Hi Sugarplum!} Avatar

    So exciting — and I know all your choices will be great!!! I don't think I have the balls to build a house…I get paralyzed with indecision!!

  15. Karli @kindredstyle.blogspot.com Avatar

    This is really exciting! I can't wait to follow on for the progress pictures.

  16. Aubrey {All Things Bright and Beautiful} Avatar

    While I have absolutely no good advice to offer up about building a house, I can say CONGRATS!!! That sounds amazing and I think it will all be worth it! And daaaang, I would do it for that playground action alone (c; It looks perfect! Hope you're doing good and having fun with the build!!!

  17. pbrenner Avatar

    My husband and I built our house in Arizona. It was a custom build, starting from a book of plans that we found and modified greatly. When we were initially trying to make decisions and kept asking for prices, he finally said – give me the complete list with everything you want. If it's over your budget, start eliminating extras or downgrade items.

    The biggest things I originally wanted that we left off after seeing the total price: standing seam metal roof stonework on the porch columns. The stonework wasn't actual masons fitting stones, it was fake stone looking stuff wrapping the columns (it looked awesome, but was prefabbed) – it was going to cost $2500 per column (x8 columns).

    Things I love that we did: pocket doors in several locations so we didn't lose usable wall space; cabinet doors and fronts in solid wood, inside of cabinets is white laminate (very bright, easy to clean, lowered overall cost of cabinets while still maintaining a high end look with what you see); roll out shelves and drawers in cabinets; light comes on/goes off automatically in pantry when open/close door; outlets in the floor in the living room so we could float the couch away from the wall but have lamps on either end; prewired for cable/internet in all rooms. I know cable and wired internet is a little passé, but we have 2 old computers that work great, but aren't wireless (I use them to transfer embroidery designs to my machine), so handy to have. I agree with Kathryn – get light fixtures you want up front – they make a HUGE difference and for relatively (percentage wise at least) small cost can really upgrade the look of the house. We had a great builder who negotiated good rates for some things that we paid cash for = it felt a little like a drug deal when we took bundles of cash to him, lol … but we got 20% or more knocked off costs of some things – like the driveway (we built on acreage, so had a long driveway to put in), the septic and utility trenching, some of the concrete work, etc. If you have the cash, and your builder is reputable and can accommodate this, it can add up to big long term savings. His subcontractors were more than happy to accept cash 🙂

    Sorry for the long essay, I just wanted to share my experience. It is not a process for the faint of heart (are you good at making decisions at Starbucks, lol? If so, that's a start!) For us, it was well worth it … we got a beautiful and perfect (for us) house. Good luck, what an exciting time!!


    PS I now live in Texas and my dream house is in AZ 🙁 I have said several times that when my husband retires and moves here with me (he still works in AZ), I want to build that exact same house here, lol

  18. Julia Stewart Avatar

    Well, this house looks lovely! A new build is great; you get to pick out everything you love, not what someone chose. It is a bit stressful indeed, but anything worth having in life, is stressful: marriage, children, job. You won't regret getting a brand new never before lived in home. We did it and we love it.

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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