After a year of renovating our house while I was pregnant and rushing to finish everything before baby arrived, we’re now on the hunt for a new house! I’ve gotten a lot of messages on Instagram asking why we’re looking for a new house when we just finished our reno, so I figured I’d write a post about it.
The biggest reason we’re looking to move is that our house is a three story townhome where the master is on the third floor, and the two additional bedrooms are on the first floor. This was GREAT for having guests before baby, but now it means Gwen’s nursery has to be on the first floor away from us, which I really don’t love.
I actually thought it would be a lot easier moving her to her own room than it has been. Never say never when it comes to kids because it turns out I’m actually SUPER uptight about her room being below us two floors away.
We also have no yard. We’re really close to everything in town (right next to Hermann Park, walking distance to the zoo and children’s museum, etc) but there’s no place for Gwen (and future kids!) to run around and play outside.
On top of that, Jared’s entire family lives in North Houston which would be awesome for play dates with other babes in the family, being near our in-laws, plus being able to afford a yard and decent sized house!
While all of these things sound great, we’re still hesitant to move away from downtown. We always swore we would never move to the burbs and live in a cookie cutter house (which we will NOT have a cookie cutter house!), and it’s a little nerve-wracking to move farther from our friends, favorite restaurants, the studio, and all of our usual places.
When it comes to the studio, we’ll likely let go of it and have a designated space for it at the new house. Depending on what we find, we’re hoping this means a guest house type of space or building a new small studio in the backyard. Since having Gwen, we’ve only truly utilized our studio a small handful of times, and it’s just becoming a really unnecessary overhead expense.
Eventually, we’d really love to buy a lot of land outside of Austin and build, BUT we’re just not there yet. Which leaves us to looking for a house on a decent sized lot somewhere north of 610. We’ve quickly realized that we can’t afford the homes inside the loop that have a large lot AND a big enough house for moving the studio back into our home while also keeping future kiddos and guests in mind.
We still haven’t gotten a real estate agent just yet because we really wanted to get a feel for what we wanted/didn’t want before going down that road so that we could find someone well versed in certain areas of town, etc.
We’re looking house with great bones, a decent amount of square footage, and be on an acre or more that we can renovate and do as we wish as far as building a studio, pool, whatever it may be. We don’t want the brand new, cookie-cutter, super close together suburb style home, but we also definitely don’t want anything that easily floods which is challenging after the Hurricane Harvey scare from last year.
In an ideal scenario, we’d also be able to qualify for the new house without having to sell our current home so that we don’t have to rush to move in and it gives us some time to renovate bigger projects without living in renovations again.
So far we’ve found a few that we really like in The Woodlands, Tomball, Cypress, and Conroe areas but really want to stay close to a main interstate so that we can get to town quicker.
Basically, we have quite the dream wishlist, haha! But that’s where we are so far. We haven’t made any official or major moves towards a new house just yet, but we finally have our loan application things out of the way and are on the hunt! We’ll be sure to keep you filled in along the way, but also let me know if there are any specific q’s you have for us as we go!
In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to pull together photos from each of our final renovated house posts!…
OUR FINAL KITCHEN REVEAL
OUR BEDROOM AND BATHROOM REVEAL
GWEN’S NURSERY REVEAL
OUR GUEST BATHROOM REVEAL
OUR LIVING ROOM REVEAL
OUR GUEST BEDROOM REVEAL
25 thoughts on “Sugar & Cloth Casa: Why We’re Looking For a New House”
you are really doing a great work, carry on the hard work.
The house is looking very beautiful and thanks for giving us tips on which we can focus while searching for a new house.
You’re welcome, Jeff!
I like your website. No fluff, just helpful info. Great job.
We are so relatable to the situation now, Ashley. I also relocated from my studio apartment which I owned during the early years of my career to a new 2 BHK apartment which is really spacious since I’m now married and is essential to have few more rooms. Hope I too could extend it in the future. All the best to you and your family :)
I understand your reason. I grew up in a rural area so I had like a mini forest on the back side of my house in which I used to play a lot as a kid. For me, every child should have that place were he can go outside and experience nature. My best childhood memories are playing with friends outside, thinking we were exploring the jungle Indiana Jones style. I hope you fin the place you are looking for.
Excited for you guys!
Ashley, The renovation looks great, I especially love the kitchen and the furnishings. But those I’m sure you will be taking with you when you move. By the way, I’m a realtor here in Houston, in the Loop. And I can totally relate to you wanting to stay in the area where you currently reside. It seems that you guys on the right track by narrowing down your top must-haves. Next order of business is getting a realtor, then finding out what you can afford. Knowing this will certainly help you narrow down location even further. I’m here if you need any help/advice.
Yolanda J. Washington
I grew up in The Woodlands and while I thought for so long I’d never live there as an adult I’m coming back around to it. There’s so much nature, the public schools are amazing and it seems like there’s more to do there every day.
Check out the older homes in Grogans Mill- I think they tend to be less expensive (where my parents live at least!), don’t flood and are five minutes from 45.
Ok, so I need to know where you got that horizontal wall hanging that’s in the first picture! It’s adorable!
Hi Amanda! Thank you so much! The link for the wall hanging it in this post : https://sugarandcloth.com/sugar-cloth-casa-our-dining-room-makeover-reveal/ .
Hope that helps !
Sounds like you need to find something in The Heights! I feel like that area is a much better fit for your needs rather than outside the loop. But you have to do your cost benefit ratio. For me, no amount of space is worth spending such a large amount of time commuting. 1hr total commute each work day = 186 hr/yr = not worth an extra room for junk to be in + gas & car repairs. Ya’ll will find something perfect! Just keep an open mind and know yourself! Figure out was is truly important to you and what you can live without :)
Thank you for your sweet words Laura ! We really do hope we’ll find something cozy soon !
This is like a dream. It looks amazing. I loved it really.
That is so sweet , thank you !
I totally understand where you’re coming from, I may not have littles yet myself, but I know I wouldn’t like that either – I hope you find something gorgeous soon and I’ve no doubt you’ll sell your house easily because you’ve done such an incredible job on it. Best of luck with it all!!
Rebecca | http://www.peppermintdolly.com
So nice to receive such encouraging comments on our home hunt adventure! Thank you and we definitely do hope we find “the one” soon!
As a Cypress girl, I find it to be perfectly in between downtown and the Woodlands…I could be a bit partial though:)
Haha the search will have to continue but definitely open to a lot of places !
Your house is my Dream!! I’m going to have to stalk it when it goes on the market!
Haha thank you Chelsea ! We will keep everyone posted !
Your page is darling I’m so glad I stumbled upon it! May I ask where your coffee table is from? Love the marble (?) top! You have such fun style
Love that you’re sharing your house hunt! I’m a realtor in Austin and have lots of family in the woodlands. Hopefully you can get approved to buy without selling, that’s so much less stressful! Tip… Ask your lender about recasting your loan after you close. (It allows you to add a lump sum later without having to refinance. like proceeds from the sell of your current home) Good luck with your search :)
Sounds like you are going through what we just went through! And I’ll also be giving up my studio space in Favor of a converted garage, or maybe a she-shed if we’re posted here long enough. We found our perfect home, so I know you will too!
Thank you for the encouragement Ariel! We’ll take all of the good vibes and well wishes we can get !