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House-Hunting, Part 1: Belinda Brick

Dear House-Hunting Diary,

I decided to publish this post, because in the end – any good Internet sleuth can pull this up on the MLS. Real estate listings, records of sale, and property taxes are all public record and pretty easy to obtain. Two in particular have recently entered our realm of consideration and I thought it’d be fun to have a post of this nature to look back on.

This time around, our list is a bit more specific than our first house-hunting experience back in 2012.

Our (Main) Criteria

1. Large Lot, A Little Acreage
You see - though it’s not downtown, I do work in an urban setting. I appreciate this energy during the day as it fuels me, but I appreciate a reprieve from the hustle when I return home at the end of the day. And as you can imagine, Nick’s job as a pilot takes him to major metropolitan cities, small hotel rooms and cramped shuttles to and from. My love for city skylines knows no bounds, but I was hesitant to raise children in one.

We may work in the city, but did we want to live in one? Plus, if we bought a home on a smaller lot than what we have now, I’m sure our kids would call a family meeting to demand an explanation.

Case in point, we looked at a beautiful new construction on a very small lot. Landen reported to his dad that they wouldn't even be able to toss a lacrosse ball. The yard was that disappointing.

2. Four Bedrooms
We live almost 6 hours away from the closest relative, and because of this, average an overnight guest a month. I’ve grown tired of pulling out the air mattress because I didn’t have a private space to offer them.  

3.Attached garage
Pretty much an expected addition to house-hunting criteria in the Upper Midwest, and Nick expanded this to be a 3-car garage.

Beyond that? We like the south metro, and I wanted to keep my daily commute reasonable. I wasn’t afraid of taking on another fixer if it meant we’d get the lot size we desired. While I had a short list to work from, I still kept a relatively open mind. The Tri-Level taught me that the aesthetics of a house can be transformed into a home, and that I was capable of rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.

House 1: Belinda Brick
Belinda Brick is a 6-bedroom, 3-bath, 4,000-sq. foot home located within our current school district. Location-wise, this is certainly worthy of our consideration. Plus, it sits on 5.59 acres.

First impression was good - I liked the simplicity. The house sat in a small neighborhood on a cul de sac, so traffic would be limited to our neighbors only. And, Landen and Madelyn would befriend the other kids there easily.

These photos were published in an old listing. Nick went to the showing while I was at work, and he said these were an accurate representation of what he saw.

The kitchen does seem to offer plenty of storage space and a really good flow. And, there'd obviously be plenty of room to host dinner parties! I think the listing said the home was built in the early 2000s.

Plenty of natural light comes in through the large windows, and that fire place is definitely something to get excited about.

The drawbacks, according to Nick, is that this was a very custom-built home for the family now trying to sell it. He didn't understand how the space was used, and didn't feel it would be suitable for us.


The property itself, though over 5 acres, is so hilly that Nick questions how much of it can be used for more than just its view.

Verdict: It has potential, but we decided to continue with our hunt.

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