The ABode(n) – Our Home Buying Story

Since our first date, Daniel had talked about being ready to buy a house or a condo but never actually acted on it. About a year and a half after that fateful day, he had officially occupied two different Wauwatosa duplexes only 4 blocks apart, and he was confident Tosa was where he wanted to make his official residence indefinitely. At the time, I was working as an assistant to my now business partner, Chris, and started looking at houses that were on the market. In terms of the search, Daniel did not have many requirements in regards to the house other than it needed to fall within a 6 block radius from the duplex he was currently living in. Needless to say, he sure didn’t make my job easy but I was up for the challenge.

tosa-wbs-1-Wauwatosa-Sign

When it came to looking at houses, we didn’t physically walk through that many. Actually, the majority of our “first showings” happened online. (Note to homeowners thinking to sell: this is the norm! Please don’t use an agent that does not hire a professional photographer. Trust me on this, if the photos aren’t that great you significantly decrease the amount of people who will walk through your home. Not only will you have less showings, but you will likely decrease the purchase price of your home and prolong the amount of time your property sits on the market.)

The third house we walked through, we thought was the one. Until we had our second physical showing where my dad joined us and found a lot of issues, that as an experienced homeowner, he strongly advised against. So we waited for more properties to hit the market. And then, one fateful night, Daniel had taken Riesling outside to go to the bathroom before we headed to bed and he noticed a new listing sign in the front yard across the street and a few houses down.

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The next morning I received an email from the listing agent detailing the specifications of the house and that it was hitting the market that afternoon but they were not allowing any showings until the next day. So I made sure to schedule a showing for around the time Daniel would be coming home from work. Conveniently, my dad was flying in from a business trip at the same time so he was able to drive directly from the airport to look at it with us.

Long story short, we loved it. And my dad didn’t note anything alarming. So we went back across the street and wrote the offer. Because of the neighborhood, we knew there would be quite a few showings the next day and multiple offers if we let it sit too long. So we wrote a full price offer and gave the sellers a short time frame to accept.

Not long after, we went to bed. In the middle of the night, Daniel woke up and checked my email to see if they had responded. He saw the email from the listing agent that stated the sellers wanted to know more about us so at 3 am, we sat down at my computer and wrote them a letter.

We told them how we had been across the street for about a year, how we loved the neighborhood because it was the perfect combination of young professionals and families, how this house would be the transition for us as well as our favorite features of the home.

After reading our letter they were less concerned with the terms of the offer and felt confident that after 23 years of ownership they were selling it to people who would love the home as much as they had. So they accepted our offer, after only about 24 hours of being on the market.

Our Humble ABode(n)

In a month it will be the 2 year anniversary of our closing date. I can’t believe its been 2 years already. Our first year of ownership we updated the first floor including all new flooring and paint. Within the last year we moved upstairs putting in new carpet and painting all the bedrooms and most importantly made the bonus room a walk in closet (being that our house was lacking in the closet department, I finally have enough space for all my clothes).

Upcoming house projects: outdoor landscaping, reducing the required maintenance; staining the handrail and banister, and maybe finally tackling the grey/blue toilet and tub in our full bath.

How did you go about buying your house? I’d love to hear your home buying story.

xo, CoCo

Girl Behind the Blog – 25 Fast Facts!

Who knew that my January would lead to a boom in buyers hitting the real estate market?! For the most part this winter has been fairly mild and this has contributed to me being much busier than I have been in years past. This is a good thing for the most part, but unfortunately it has come at the expense of my blog.

Despite the fact I haven’t had much time to create a lot of posts, I have been able to be active on Instagram. If you aren’t following me already make sure you do so here.

Although, I’ve only been blogging/Instagramming for about 3 months, I just hit 1000 followers on Instagram, which probably doesn’t seem like that much, but it is a big deal to me! I am aware of people who have been blogging for years and have less followers than that, so I am so grateful for all of those who have chosen to follow me and my blogging journey!

Because I have a whole bunch of new followers I decided to write a quick post with 25 fast facts about me so you get to know me a little better!

CoCo headshot

  1. My given name is Colette, but I am referred to as CoCo for short. I’ve been known as CoCo for as long as I can remember, and it is too hard to go by my given name now.
  2. I am in my mid 20’s.
  3. I work as a real estate agent.
  4. My boyfriend Daniel and I bought our house in May 2014.
  5. Our house wasn’t necessarily a fixer upper, but we have been making it our own, which makes it feel like it was one!
  6. I favor grey tones over browns.
  7. I’ve always wanted a house with only black and white decor, paint and tile, but haven’t found the house with the right architecture to do it.
  8. I am biased towards Apple products.
  9. I have an obsession with gold. My Macbook and iPhone are both gold, and when I complete my office most of my decor will be white with gold accents.
  10. My favorite stores for decor are Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and West Elm.
  11. I go to Target at least 1 time a week.
  12. After listening to her Podcast Straight Up with Stassi, I’ve decided Stassi Schroeder is my spirit animal.
  13. Malcolm Gladwell is my favorite author.
  14. Paris is my favorite place in the entire world.
  15. I could binge watch crime related shows all day long. Some personal favorites are SVU and Criminal Minds.
  16. Fresh flowers and candles are must-haves in my home.
  17. My dog, Riesling, was named after the wine Daniel and I drank on our first date.
  18. I love fast food and eating out, and I have no shame about it.
  19. My favorite movies are Bridesmaids and Mean Girls
  20. I use a Nikon D60 and a 35 mm lens to shoot most of my photos.
  21. My favorite thing in my house is my Pottery Barn Cozy Cable Knit Throw found here.
  22. If Daniel would let me we would buy a house and remodel it every two years.
  23. My favorite quote is “She believed she could, so she did.”
  24. My dream house is Rachel Parcell’s from Pink Peonies.
  25. Some of my favorite blogs include Fashionable HostessCupcakes and CashmereGal Meets Glam, and The Everygirl.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about me! Comment below with any other questions you may have!

xoxo,

CoCo

 

Holiday Home Tour part 2

Today is Christmas Eve! We still have a few days with our decorations before I am forced to take them down by a certain Grinch. If you missed my first post about our holiday decor in our living room Friday,  you can check it out here.

Its no surprise I love garland, and this year I had every place that I could. My favorite place for garland is our stairs, I was glad to have enough to make it all the way to the top!

Holiday garland stairs

upstairs garlandGarland going down

I love coming down the stairs every morning to this view. It definitely puts me in the holiday spirit! I wish the garland could stay up all year!

Our dining room has lots of fun details from the tie backs to the chandelier. Not much is left undecorated!

holiday tablescapeThis cute mini sled was gave to me by my mom. She had an extra. I was looking for something to add height to the table and add to the pine and the sled did just the trick!

holiday tableChair tie backs

Dining room chandelier

Daniel’s favorite tree is also in our dining room, if it were up to him it would be the only tree we had. As you can see it takes the Charlie Brown tree to the next level. We had to tape one of the branches back on and another is about to that point.

peanuts charlie brown christmas tree

These trees sit on the planning desk in our kitchen, they tend to leave a little snow on the desk when you bump them but they are an easy clean!

kitchen trees

Last but not least, there are these super cute marquee lights my sweet friend Lindsey made me! They are battery powered so I have moved them all around our house including our kitchen and our living room. She does custom orders, so make sure you check out her Etsy site here.

Joy marquee

I am still in disbelief how fast Christmas came this year, and I’m in no rush to take our decorations down!

Wishing you and your family a very, Merry Christmas!

XO,

CoCo

Our Living Room Christmas Decor

Christmas is my favorite time of year so it probably is no surprise that I go overboard when decorating for the holidays. If it were up to me we would decorate on November 1st but Daniel is not a fan. This year I waited as long as possible until I just couldn’t contain my inner elf any more and got to work the Sunday before Thanksgiving, just 4 days early.

There are very few places left undecorated in our house, and I cannot believe Christmas is only a week away. It doesn’t feel like it because of the lack of snow, warmer weather, and how busy I have been with work when typically this tends to be the slow season of the year.

Here is a peak into our holiday decorations around our living room!

Lantern

glitter candles

This table normally sits under the front window in our living room, but I moved it to behind our couch for the holiday season so our tree could be the star of the show and visible to all of those who drove passed our house! This Crate & Barrel lantern is my favorite decoration for any season, I dressed it up with ornaments and jingle bells on the inside and a red burlap bow outside. I love how it looks on our table. On the other end of the table I have these mercury glass candle sticks with red and silver glitter candles.

Joy sign mini trees

Our house could also be considered a forest. In addition to our big tree, we have quite a few mini trees set up around the house and they come in groups of three. These particular trees can be found above one of the book shelves in our living room against the back wall.

Christmas candle

As I mentioned in a previous post I think no home decor is complete without an appropriate scent. This Celebrate Christmas candle by Yankee Candle only lasted us about 2 weeks and we quickly moved on to Mistletoe.

jingle bell trees

On top of the other bookshelf next to our record player we have these jingle bell trees. I found them at Marshall’s last year and I love how well they fit into the theme of our decor.

holiday mantle

Our mantle remains unchanged from last year, with the garland and berries, as well as our chalkboard stocking holders from Target. “Merry and Bright” was the only three word phrase I could think of. Anyone have any suggestions for next year? Also our stockings are from Pottery Barn. They will forever be my favorite because of how timeless they are. Next to the fireplace I replaced the orange sticks we usually have with red and silver glitter sticks. No place is left unturned! (PS don’t be frightened by the potential fire hazard this looks like. These candles are actually fake from Pottery Barn)

2015 Christmas Tree

Our tree hasn’t changed much from last year with the exception of a few new ornaments from our travels this year and it is now surrounded by our two new chairs we added this summer. I could dedicate a whole post just to the different ornaments we have collected the last couple years.

tufted chair christmas

This is probably the coziest corner there ever was. I styled these hunter boots with some left over glitter sicks next to the fireplace and extra pine cones and pine needles. I wish all of my days could be spent here next to the tree with a peppermint mocha and a good book. Maybe next year when life slows down a bit!

Riesling Christmas Card Pottery Barn Photo

Shamelessly, I had to add this picture to the post. Although it is not really our decor, I love this picture. I snapped it of Riesling while I was taking a few pictures of our decor and loved it so much I put it on our Christmas card. To make things even sweeter Pottery Barn reposted the photo on their Instagram page as she is snuggled up with the Cozy Knit Throw I received as a gift for Christmas last year. The photo got over 10,000 likes. To say I am a proud dog mom is an understatement. We knew our dog was cute, but this just validated things.

As you can see all of our decor is red, silver and full of glitter. The rest of our holiday home tour is coming soon!

XO,

CoCo

Instagram Roundup

Because not everyone is on Instagram (or following me yet, which you should @ourhumbleaboden) I decided to grab a few of my favorite posts recently and share them on the blog.

Back in October I had the opportunity to attend a branding workshop hosted by the Bloguettes and boy did I learn a lot about the business of blogging and social media!

Back in October I had the opportunity to attend a branding workshop hosted by the Bloguettes and boy did I learn a lot about the business of blogging and social media!

Before we painted our bonus room and guest room we had to sand down the woodwork and found years of paint underneath. Talk about history! Comes with the territory of old homes.

Before we painted our bonus room and guest room we had to sand down the woodwork and found years of paint underneath. Talk about history! Comes with the territory of old homes.

That one time our new bed frame was delivered before we had a spot to put it so it ended up in our living room.

That one time our new bed frame was delivered before we had a spot to put it so it ended up in our living room.

Our bonus room, pre-Elfa system from The Container Store, and post-paint job and new carpet

Our bonus room, pre-Elfa system from The Container Store, and post-paint job and new carpet

No place is left undecorated in our house this year. This Crate & Barrel lantern is full of ornaments and jingle bells topped with a red burlap ribbon

No place is left undecorated in our house this year. This Crate & Barrel lantern is full of ornaments and jingle bells topped with a red burlap ribbon

Our dining room chandelier complete with berries and garland for the holidays!

Our dining room chandelier complete with berries and garland for the holidays!

Our favorite spot Camp Bar Tosa decked the halls!

Our favorite spot Camp Bar Tosa decked the halls!

Helping my mom set up her Christmas Village

Helping my mom set up her Christmas Village

My super talented best friend started her own Etsy store creating marquee lights! She gave me a sneak peak at the letters she is making for me!

My super talented best friend started her own Etsy store creating marquee lights! She gave me a sneak peak at the letters she is making for me!

A full post of all of our holiday decor is in the works! Come back for it soon! In the mean time if you or anyone you know is getting married or just wants some awesome marquee lights for their home check out Lindsey’s store, belleslumieres, here. I guarantee she can make your custom sign for WAY less than other places!

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