It’s official – we’re moving! After almost four years in our beloved home, we’re moving on. I’ve absolutely LOVED making our current house a home these last few years, but excited to have a bit more space, less stairs {won’t miss those haha} and a space we can hopefully grow into. I will most definitely miss our courtyard and all the time, energy + love that was put into it!!

Timeline of everything…

Had a few questions in regards to the timeline, why things were still ‘up in the air’, etc. so figured I’d hammer out a quick timeline for those curious. We closed on this new home in October 2020, but there was a renter living in the home from the previous owners. Instead of asking her to vacate, we figured why not let her stay while we figure out our construction/renovation projects! Which has been super helpful from a financial standpoint of course. Our current house is on the market {with one offer that fell through}, we were fortunate to have a renter living in the house through mid-February 2021. Things that have been/still air up in the air include: what projects to tackle first, renovation budget, should we live in the renovation, trying to find a temp apartment in the interim, listing our current home + dealing with everything that goes along with showings, etc. But I have faith and trust is will ALL work out in the way it’s meant to. For now, we’re enjoying being in the comfort of our current home, while the new house turns into a full blown construction zone.

Where is the new house?

Downtown Charleston the ‘South of Broad’ neighborhood.

How old is the house?

The original portion of the home was built in the 1920s. And has since had 2-3 {we think?} additions over the years. The previous owners did an upstairs + downstairs addition in 2007, so it’s a bit of a mix of old and newer throughout. But lots and lots of quarks + charm.

How much approval do you need from the Historic Preservation?

Luckily none since we’re only tackling interior projects right now. And while we’re in the historic part of downtown, we’re not on a street that’s suer strict or ‘watched’ as closely. The home is old, but not 1800s old. Now if we wanted to paint the exterior a different color or add a porch {which we may do in future} there may be more of an approval process needed.

Do you love living downtown?

Unequivocally YES! Having living in Downtown Charleston for about 4 years now, I honestly couldn’t see us anywhere else. Never say never of course, but there’s just nothing quite like being the in heart of Charleston. I’m most definitely not a ‘city’ girl – could never live in NYC or Chicago type thing, but Charleston has just enough hustle/bustle, along with cozy neighborhood nooks. Within such a tight nit local community you get to know your favorite bar tenders, baristas, corner store workers, neighbors and they become friends! Of course I don’t have anything to compare to living ‘off peninsula’, but where we’re at right now.

Do you want kids/what about schools downtown?

Little personal here, but I don’t mind sharing! Firstly, yes – I’d like to be a Mom more than anything, and can’t wait for that to happen in its perfect timing. It’s tough to base huge decisions on a future you can’t currently see, but considering schools for future children is definitely something we considered/looked into to make sure we were informed with our options. Sadly the Charleston county school system has a lot of work to do, and while Sterling and I are huge supporters of the public school system {we both grew up attending private + public at different times}, downtown public school most likely won’t be a viable option for us. There are a couple incredible test-in schools that would be amazing, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. This is a big reason a lot of families move to Mt Pleasant or West Ashley – totally get it, and absolutely worth weighing.

What made you decide you needed to move?

Since Sterling is in the real estate industry, I feel like we always have our eye on the market and what’s happening in terms of inventory, rates, etc. We explored moving in 2018, but luckily those plans fell through – making way for this purchase! We never felt like moving was a need per se, but with crazy good interest rates we decided to just ‘look’ one weekend. Famous last words. That ‘looking’ turned into – wow, we really love what this house could be! Love that we’re staying downtown, but will have more living/entertaining space and room to grow into.

How was the home buying process?

Buying any home is always a little stressful. Whether you’re a first time home buyer or vacation home veteran. There are inevitably always ups + downs throughout the process, but overall – this one was pretty painless! This is the third home we’ve purchased, so knew what to expect. It helps that my husband is a mortgage broker and well versed in real estate transactions as well. If you’re headed down the home buying path soon, I’d recommend asking friends/family for their recommendations on a Realtor, Mortgage Broker, Insurance Agent, Title Attorney, etc. Surrounding yourself with a good team that keeps you informed and provides sound guidance is KEY.

How big in the new house?

About 3,600 sq ft – way more space than we need for just the two of us! And I’ll admit, it’s a lot to take in. But we’re looking forward to growing into the home and really making it ours for years to come.

Do you have a backyard?

We do!! And it’s surprisingly good size for downtown. It’s part of the reason we love this house some much – LOTS of potential. The backyard is pretty sad at the moment. It’s a bit of a hodge podge of landscape that doesn’t really tell a story, interesting flooring and is really just in need of some TLC. Once we move in, I’d like to try and tidy it up myself and see what I can do back there to make it feel more ‘us’. But we’ll absolutely do a backyard overall in a few years! Also excited to just live in the space for a bit before we tackle the outside. Get to know the house, our flowing within it, and what we see our needs being for the outdoor area.

Are you changing the footprint of the home at all?

Not really. No exterior walls will be shifted. There are a few minor wall/entry changes we’ll be making: opening up the current pantry to make way for a bar serving station, knocking out the master walk-in closet to make way for a larger bathroom, and making the current laundry closet into a proper ‘his’ closet, then transitioning/building out a bonus room to a laundry room!

First project?

Planning on tackling pretty much all the major construction projects first: kitchen, master bathroom, another upstairs full bathroom + laundry room build out for phase one! Along with some new drywall in the front rooms and electrical throughout. I’m equal parts nervous and exited to see how it all comes together. My goal is to make the space more functional to better suit our lifestyle and allocate proper storage for all. the. things. Hopefully no more storage unit for all my entertaining pieces!

Are you keeping the stain glass windows?

Got a lot of this! When I shared the initial walk thru of the home {which is saved on my IG story highlight!} you’ll notice a two stacked stain glass windows in the staircase, which also connects/is visible in the kitchen galley. They’re original to the home, and part of of the previous existing exterior wall. While I can appreciate the beauty and character of them, they’re not quite our style and don’t really make sense from a functionality standpoint with what we’re doing in the kitchen area. Our contractor is carefully removing them and setting them aside for donation though!

Favorite part of the new house

Ugh. This is tough, but I would say the overall floorpan is my favorite aspect! Is that a cop out?! I know that’s encompassing a lot, but the layout is what made us truly fall in love with this home. From the moment we walked in, I could just envision a future: dinner parties and family holidays in the formal dining room {which I’ve only ever DREAMED of having one day}, casual family dining and gatherings in the kitchen {mentally insert island and all new everything haha}, movie nights in the family room, reading on the screened in porch. It was just a feeling, that all stemmed from the flow of the home.

What small aspect or detail are you most excited about?

Great question! Honestly, I think having a fireplace/mantle for the first time!! Somewhere to actually hang our stockings and decorate for the holidays…eeeeek, so giddy just thinking about it.

Are you redesigning your office in the new house?

Still TBD on this one. My current office is arguably my favorite room in the house, so I’d like to bring aspects of that space to the new house. Blue and white forever! But find myself working from the kitchen table most days, so not sure we need to create a dedicated office in the new house. We shall see. I’m really trying to thoroughly think through our lifestyle, daily routines and how we live to design all the little nooks and

Who are you working with on the remodel?

I’m happy to share our Contractor, Designer and Vendors info once the project is complete! I prefer not to refer service based businesses until I’m able to have a clear opinion from start to finish. Learned the the hard way in the past. Now, if you’re local and in need of a fence guy – I’ve got you covered!! DM or email me for info.

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Oh exciting! is it one of the older historical type homes? my favorite kind of vacation is going to charleston by myself for a few days and slowing riding a bike past the gorg houses, especially in the spring. i’m only in columbia, so it’s not too far of a drive. AHHH. I WANT TO GO LIKE, NOW.

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