The House That Lars BOUGHT!

It’s been a long time in coming…but yes, Lars bought a house. Guess we should change our name now?

We’ve lived in Provo, Utah since moving here 7 years ago from Copenhagen, Denmark, where my husband is from. First we came for Paul’s school, then once he was done in 2016 we technically could have moved anywhere…but where??? Lars at that point was in a studio space and we had a few employees so it would have been tricky. We knew we didn’t want to move to California where I’m from so we just didn’t budge! We brainstormed where we could go and then…fours years later…we have a kid and then Paul recently got a job here in Provo a few months ago, yada yada yada. It was that last final straw where we realized, “ahhh, we’re here I guess!” Nothing like decisions being made for you.

So, here we are! I’ll admit that I go back and forth about wanting to be somewhere else all the time, but ultimately, we’ve developed a really wonderful friend group and community that would make it extremely hard to leave.

We had also been waiting for the housing market to crash. Utah County has been going up and up and up…and keeps on going up! We finally realized this may be our new reality so we might as well start looking. And then once we decided to look there was no going back.

We bought a house!

We were right in the middle of shut down and working from home and GOING CRAZY when we decided to look! Our small apartment was/is bursting at the seams and rather than make space we decided we just needed to explore all our options. It was the only natural thing to do 😉 The unfortunate thing is that we LOVE renting. Ha! We’ve had landlords who have become family and it’s honestly pretty sad to move.

Some friends of ours were also looking and they found an awesome house at an awesome price and that gave us some hope. So we put it out into the Instagram universe…and the universe delivered! A reader pointed us to a house that had gone on the market that day and it was cute and adorable and at good price IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. We RACED that day to get pre-qualified and our realtor for that house, Aaron Oldham, was so kind to make it happen. Well, sadly, we couldn’t compete with a cash offer. That happened a couple more times.

We did a ton of digging around and found out that there were/are going to be a ton of houses going on the market in our neighborhood in the next few months and immediately we thought of our dream home. Maybe that one would be one of them?

Yup! It was! We had been walking by this house for years and commenting on how we’d love it one day. It’s on a cute, quaint street that’s hidden and so quiet. I also knew that it was being renovated (I’m super snoopy ;). One day I mustered up the courage to knock on the door and find out what was going on. There was a worker who was doing the window mouldings who let me walk through the house. And then the realtor, who was also in charge of the renovations, came in and said that the owner would sell it to us AS IS.

It was shocking!

Because of the state of the house, it’s treated differently by loan officers so it took us a little while to figure out how to make it happen. With some creative problem solving and miracles, it happened! We closed last week.

And now, the circus begins! We have to QUICKLY put in flooring, bathrooms, kitchen and some other things to move in ASAP and then we will take our time after that.

Ready for a tour?

Kitchen

Here’s a view of the kitchen. Phase 1 of the renovation consists of finding used kitchen cabinets (already found on Facebook Marketplace!) and put them in. We’re not necessarily going for beauty in this first phase.

As you can see, there’s absolutely nothing. However, we do have a fridge and range in the garage waiting to be put in so we have something at least.

This is the other side of the doors from the family room. That entry leads you into the living room.

Living Spaces

And here you can see the staircase up to the third floor. There are 3 levels, the bottom level being a finished basement. In my dreams, and this was part of our original search, we were looking for something where we could put Lars in the basement. And I’m pretty sure it’s a go! Just gotta figure out some stuff there.

Ok, the basement. I’m not going to show you every room because they all pretty much look the same. You can see it’s the basement because of the concrete. There are three bedrooms down there along with a living space and two bathrooms.

And this section is for the kitchen.

Basement

I WISH the bathrooms still looked like this, however, during the week that we were trying to figure out funding, the owners proceeded with the renovations and removed all the bathrooms completely, so in the mean time, we have to put something quick and cheap in. I’m open to your suggestions!

Bedrooms

I’m not going to show you all the bathrooms because you will seriously not know the difference between them. They’re very much all in the same state right now!

This is the one room in the house with flooring, but it will need to come out once we figure out what we’re going to put in there. It’s the laundry room slash pantry.

The process to buying this house was probably one of the most complicated ways we could have done it and there were many miracles along the way and a lot of people helping us out to make it happen.

Legal help

Though I have many people I could thank publicly, I HAVE to give a huge thank you to my attorney, Sara Pendleton of Tailored Legal Services. She’s been our Lars attorney for the last many years and she’s also acted as a broker on a number of houses. She stepped in to offer us advice and guidance along the way so I felt secure and comfortable so we didn’t have to use a real estate agent, which cut down on costs on both sides. In the past she has acted as a broker for people buying houses and then gives a check directly back to you. On a separate note, as a creative business working with a ton of contracts, she’s the best! If you’re looking for someone for your small business, I’d HIGHLY recommend her. She’s saved me and my business many many times. Plus, her background is in the courtroom and she can fight so well and hard for you. But at the same time is so kind and professional. Email me for her contact if you’d like.

The future house

It’s rare to find any sort of colonial/Georgian house in this area. We were ready to accept a mid century into our lives. Mid century doesn’t speak to my soul so we are really floored that this one worked out. As you can see, it’s pretty bare and rather boring right now, but we have grand plans in mind for it and I cannot wait to show you the inspiration of what we intend to do with it. One day. 🙂

In the mean time, we have a TON of work to do to get it liveable so we can move in, HOPEFULLY in the next month or two.

If you have any tips on cheap and fast Phase 1 solutions for flooring, kitchens, bathrooms…I’m ALL ears! We gotta get a move on!

Give it all to me!

16 COMMENTS

  1. Oooof, I have lived in an unfinished home multiple times. Many late nights! #1 buy everyone in the family a pair of slip on house shoes.

    I’d set up a camp kitchen for a couple months until you can do the kitchen you want. When you remodel, you have to live in a makeshift environment anyway, so you may as well do it now and not get your flooring destroyed later.

    LET VENDORS DO THE LEG WORK! Consultations are most likely free (box store or custom builders), give them measurements and photos and let them present you with a few layout options and quotes. Then you can make changes from there.

    Start with bathroom and entry way flooring, these are the areas that the subfloor can be damaged. It is okay to throw a rug down in bedrooms while you wait to afford the flooring you want.

  2. OMG its sooooo divine!!! Yes to the kitchen plans. As a professional I would recommend that flooring be something you invest money on. Removing it and putting another one is always expensive and annoying. Do it once and do it well !! Mainly on the main floor. BTW Boho looks great in those houses !! Congratulations from Argentina!!

  3. Check out the bedrosians website for tile I found some great options a few weeks ago in their clearance section. Wayfair was also a great resource for us in our kitchen remodel for knobs, faucets, sink etc… we got a white granite sink because it said it wouldn’t dent or scratch or stain but there are some stains or water marks I haven’t been able to get out if I could go back I would go with a light to medium gray because I think it’d hide things better. My in-laws have black and say theirs gets spotty very easily. I still prefer my sink over ceramic or stainless but stainless would be my next choice. I’m not sure what the requirements are for your loan but if possible but I recommend not rushing to purchase things because that costs more in the long run, better to wait and get what you really want.
    There are really good options for waterproof, wood-look flooring. Congrats on your purchase, good luck in your deal finding, and can’t wait to see what you do.

  4. Fab!! As someone who moved her family consisting of a 2 year old and 4 year old into a home under renovation (being rewired – read plaster was being drilled into and wire replaced behind and plaster dust everywhere and the downstairs bathroom completely gutted) consider finding somewhere to camp out until it’s done. Any neighbors going on a month long trip or any way to rent month to month while you finish construction? You think you can live with it but it gets “real” real soon. Best wishes! It’ll be something to reminisce about in years to come.

  5. Wonderful!
    Last year my husband and I started over… I have moved many times and found that I each space, room, yard had an expression… a purpose. For me, sometimes, a quiet contemplative space allowed the *creative* joy to flow. I see that in your book and your work… it will be joyous to see how this flowers.

  6. You might want to double your time and money commitment. Everything takes longer and costs more than anticipated.

  7. I cannot believe you got a blank slate Georgian in Provo!!!! Such a miracle!!! I am so excited for you. Also as one who has lived in a house while renovating with young kids, I agree with previous comments re: flooring and kitchen to do it well the first time. It’ll save a bunch of money in future to not rip stuff out. Other spaces, nbd, do it in phases. But kitchen and main level flooring just get the gold done right away! I cannot wait to see how it turns out!

  8. So happy for you! And that will be so fun to have Lars in the basement! Having done a lot of renovating I really agree with what Sadie said about doing what you want as much as possible from the beginning. Also I would say get personal recommendations on different contractors. And as far as all your cabinetry I cannot over recommend Carriage House Mill in Orem enough! Super high quality, completely dependable and ethical! like really use them for sure or at least invite Rex out to give you a bid because they were hands down the best we’ve worked with. They totally came in and saved the day for us when another contractor failed miserably. For flooring we ended up going with high-quality LVP (luxury vinyl plank) over hardwood and we have been so glad we did. It’s gorgeous and I just don’t worry with kids and pets plus it cost a lot less. Good luck! Enjoy! For me home remodeling and decorating are my favorite creative outlet!

  9. Really happy for you. It is the most endearing thing in life. I too have my plot ready, and we are in the process of designing a house and building it on our own. It is going to be a tough process, and we are going to love it.

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