The End of an Era

After living in and perfecting our first house for eight years, we found a new fixer upper that stole our hearts.  Our first house will always be our first house love, but we’re officially back to owning one house.  It’s a little sad,  but we’re so happy in the mountain house.  Even more so, we’re happy the buyers are happy in our old home.  Let’s take a walk down memory lane with a reverse before and after picture tour.

Living room before, recently opened to the kitchen:

After our move out:

Dining room before:

An empty after:

Kitchen, just after finishing a complete gut and remodel:

And after the after:

Guest bedroom before:

Now ready to house a cute little girl:

Main bathroom before:

After, emptied out:

Boys’ bedroom before:

And now, ready for the new owner’s stuff:

Master bedroom before:

And after, complete with the custom-made bed built (our buyer bought it from us):

Master bedroom before:


When Ben bought this house, the basement was completely unfinished.  Here it is after finishing it while I was pregnant with Everett:

And two years later:

My office, stocked and ready for work:

Now sad and empty, but ready to work for someone else:

The basement bathroom before:

We never did finish the steam shower under the stairs, but that can be a project for the new owner:

Laundry room and Ben’s reloading office before:

And after we moved everything out, including the washer and dryer:

The small basement bedroom as we had it just before moving:

And after moving:

The large basement bedroom pulled double duty, acting as both a bedroom and a storage room before:

When emptied, it feels even bigger:

Seeing the house empty is especially strange to me because I’ve never seen it this way.  Ben bought the house a couple years before we met, so he had already moved in.  If we’re in this house again, we’ll be visitors.  We’ve become friendly with our buyer, and we’d love to see how the house evolves over time.

Have you been a house after selling it?  Was it odd, or cool?  Did the new owner make any changes?

P.S.  To see true before and afters, check our Our First House page.

15 thoughts on “The End of an Era

  1. Wow! This is great for me to see right now. My husband and I have been house hunting (unsuccessfully) for a while now, and we’re struggling to find something we really love. This is a great reminder of what a house “can be” after some TLC.Wow! This is great for me to see right now.

  2. Did you include the curtains as well in the sale? I see they’re in the empty photos. I guess I’m just wondering if this is a common thing to do? I have some curtains that I love and wouldn’t want to part with!

  3. I’ve been back to our first home (my first love) and it’s very strange. I loved some improvements they had made but despised their paint colors choices–it hurt me to see how they had defaced MY house…silly, huh?

  4. I know how you feel, we bought our first home in the 70’s and when we drive by it now we till feel love toward the little home. Would not want to live there again but still love it 🙂
    I look forward to seeing you do magic on this wonderful new home.

  5. I love the vanity in your (old) main bathroom! That wood grain is gorgeous. I can’t wait to see what projects you tackle in the mountain house!

  6. About a month after we moved into our house, the former owner (whom we never met) dropped by and it was weird! He just walked right in like it was still his house and started pointing out all of the things we had already changed. The whole thing felt awkward to me because he was a total stranger–I guess he was intrigued but a head’s up would have been nice!

  7. Love what you did to your “old” house. Good job and I know you will make the new house look just as nice

  8. We sold our home last summer but stayed in town a few more months before moving to Montana. Our summer rental was just a few blocks from our old home and the dogs and I saw it every night during our walk. Even though the new owners were doing wonders with the landscaping it was hard seeing their personal touches on the house. And walking past the old house every day made returning to our tiny rental cottage even more miserable. I’m glad we moved away so I don’t have that constant reminder.

    1. Hey Carly, In my experience, you always find something when you’re not looking. When shopping for house things, I find so many great things when I don’t need them. Same goes for houses, at least in our situation. Wishing you luck finding ‘the one.’

      Hi Amy, Yep, we left the curtains in every room. While I loved them, most of the spaces in the mountain house are too large for the old ones. And they fit perfectly in the other house. We talked to our buyer and said we’d leave them if she wanted. She liked them so they stayed, but that’s not something you have to leave if you don’t want to. But, before you put your house up for sale, you might want to take the things down that you don’t want to part with.

      Hi the Iowa Expat! Our buyer is pretty similar to us, style wise, so we’re really excited to see the changes. It will be strange to see other furniture in a space we’re so familiar with.

      Hey C Carroll, Thanks so much for your encouragement! 🙂

      Hi Jennas03! Thanks! Ben built that about five years ago, and at first I didn’t like the grain of the top drawers! Now I love the look. We’re excited to share more projects!

      Hey Julia! Oh wow, that is TOTALLY strange. Warning would be really nice in that situation, especially because you’d never met him. I don’t know why people feel that’s okay…

      Hey Joe! You’ll get to see the new one soon though. We’re excited to have you back for a few days. 🙂

      Hi Sarah-Nadine, Thanks! That’s our goal, but it will be a slow process, just like the last house.

      Hi Britten! Isn’t it strange that it’s just a house, but there’s so much emotional attachment there?!? And to think the new owners are doing their own thing to/in it?


  9. Seeing the house empty is so bitter-sweet!

    We are still good friends with our old neighbors, so when we visit them I peak out the windows at our old house (shhh!)

    One thing that made me sick to my stomach was when I heard the new owners accidentally flooded the heating system which ruined ALL of the hardwood floors, the finished basement, and the 1st floor’s plaster ceilings.
    Such a silly mistake ruined 9 years of our hard work!
    But, now it’s really not our house anymore…

  10. Hi–landed on your blog after looking up “curtains for basement windows.” Loved the colors you used in your basement. Did you do the wainscoting yourselves? -M

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