Home Sweet Home: Daydreaming About A House Again

By Brittni • posted on 02/15/2024

A California born DIY designer makes a home in Atlanta, GA inspired by her west coast roots and laidback style. #modernhome #organicmodern #diningroom #californiastyle #midcenturystyle

Do you ever go on the internet and look at houses for sale just for fun? Because I do it ALL the time and I’d really love to hear that I’m not the only one. It’s kind of a (slightly strange) hobby of mine. But it’s not all weird because Jeff and I are saving up to buy a house again…For the last two years, we’ve been pretty seriously saving up for a really good size down payment and sadly we’re still not there. It’s a work in progress and I knew it would take a while, but the fact that we’re still not quite ‘ready’ to buy a house again will not, I repeat WILL NOT stop me from looking. Haha.

Anyway, I got it in my head a while back that I wanted to take you on the whole house journey / obsession with me. And I have teamed up with Owners.com, a national real estate brokerage that aims to make the home buying and selling journey personalized, efficient and simple, to show you the houses that I’ve been dreaming of lately. Including one house in particular that I’ve been eyeing for over a month now. It’s still for sale! Does that mean I could get a really good deal if I can convince Jeff we NEED this house?

You’ll have to let me know if you think it’s worth it! And I want your honest opinion because it’s not exactly a ‘cheap’ fixer upper.

Okay, so here’s the deal. Like I mentioned before, Jeff and I have been saving up for a house for the last two years and we’re still not there. But a girl can dream, right? So, every week I pop onto Owners.com and check to see if any new houses have come available and then I dream  about all the changes I’d make if we bought that house and how I’d make ours. Is that crazy? Please tell me it’s not crazy.

I’m sure you know there are various sites that you can pull up house listings, but one of the reasons I specifically like Owners.com is their preference-based search options. So I don’t have to look through 50+ pages of houses that ultimately don’t have the features we’re looking for in a home. You can even select whether a feature is just ‘nice to have’ OR ‘important’. And while the best matched properties will show first in the search results, you’ll still see all relevant properties. So, there’s no risk of missing out on a good fit that may not meet all your criteria. Love that!

Searching for our dream home with Owners.com. #househunting

Want to see the number one contender in my dream house buying scenario right now? It’s this mid-century fixer upper. And before you freak out about the price, I should probably mention that it’s def outside of our budget. Especially when you consider the fact that A LOT of additional work needs to be done to get this little gem back into shape. BUT I seriously fell in love with it, can’t get it out of my head, and do the calculations over and over again to make sure there’s no way we could go in with a lowball offer and make it work. I mean, it checks almost all of the boxes for me for the type of house we’re looking for. And speaking of which…

What I’m Looking for in a Future House

1. A house with great natural light!

I mean, you knew I was going to say this right? Natural light will always be my number one because I spend so much time at home…I’m kind of a homebody, I guess, but I like to feel connected to the outdoors even when I’m inside. So huge windows, skylights, etc are big musts for me.

2. A house that needs some TLC.

One of the HUGE draws to buying a house for me is having a big project. When we bought our first house over ten years ago, we had no money. Like none. So, all of the minor changes we made were very, VERY budget-friendly. And I love budget-friendly decorating and renovating, don’t get me wrong. But now that we’re older and are working hard to save up for our dream house, we’ll finally have some money in the budget to make it feel like ours and have fun with the design more than we’ve been able to in the past. So, a house that needs some work is very high on my list. In fact, it may even beat out natural light for the number one spot, in some cases, because technically we can always add bigger windows, skylights, sun tunnels, etc if we find the right house.

3. A house with character.

Along the lines of finding a house that needs TLC, it also needs to have some character. This could mean a lot of things, so it’s difficult to put it into a sentence or two. Kind of one of those I’ll know it when I see it things…like when I saw the underneath the stairs built-ins in our current place. I just knew what I could do with it if we decided to move in and it’s since become one of my favorite parts of the house.

4. A house that has a garage.

This is actually one of Jeff’s must-haves, not mine. I don’t care much about whether or not we have a garage, but it’s his number one request…must be a guy thing?

5. A house with at least 2,000 square feet.

Since I work from home and we have a kid, we really need space to spread out. So, a house with over 2,000 square feet is currently in my must-haves. It is what it is. I’m not super proud of the fact that we feel like we need a big(ish) house for our family. But that’s the reality when factoring in the work from home aspect and the possibility of adding more kids at some point.

I could probably go on and on about my list of must-haves, but I’m going to cut it off at five for now because this post is already getting pretty long. I’d love to know what your top must-haves are when looking for a home? Do we overlap on some things on the list? What are your non-negotiables? And if you’re currently house hunting (or just like to browse like me!), be sure to check out Owners.com. 

A California born DIY designer makes a home in Atlanta, GA inspired by her west coast roots and laidback style. #modernhome #organicmodern #diningroom #californiastyle #wallorganization

Okay, so back to that really expensive fixer-upper. Now that you know what my must-haves are. Here’s what I would do to said dream home if we could somehow pull the trigger on buying it.

Let’s start with the positives and what made me quite literally fall in love with this house. Number 1: Character! This house has a whole lot of character…and natural light. Yes, please! The hardwood floors look they’re in pretty good shape, I love the fireplace in the living room, and I can totally picture us living amongst the trees with all those deck spaces AND a stream in the back!

Onto the negatives…the wood ceilings make the space feel cramped and dark. So, the first thing I would do would be either sand down the wood to see if I could get a lighter finish OR paint it white. Gasp! I know some of you are going to hate that idea, but personally, I don’t mind painting over wood when it’s necessary. To each their own, right?!

Next up, the kitchen and bathrooms need full-on renovations. The kitchen is a bit difficult to figure out from the photos alone, but it looks very, very small and dated. So, that would need to be expanded and updated somehow…maybe into that space across from it with the windows and piano? And bathrooms are a blast from the past, so any upgrades there would be awesome / necessary.

Already sounds like a big chunk of money, but wait, there’s more! I’d also remove the carpet from all the bedrooms and replace them with hardwoods that match the originals. And spend the remaining (imaginary) reno budget on the exterior. A fresh coat of paint on the exterior (probably black, but maybe white?), repairs to some of the deck spaces, and possibly tear-down that privacy screen at the front of the house to let some more light in? What do you think? What would you do?

Searching for our dream home with Owners.com. #househunting

So, I recognize that this is a lot of talk about a house that we will likely never purchase. But I hope you’re along for the crazy ride with me. And if anyone can convince Jeff that we should at least go to an open house, by all means! That said, here’s a few more houses that I’ve been dreaming about in Atlanta that check most of my ‘must-haves’ boxes.

This one is basically half the price of the dream house and has some (semi) similar vibes. AND it’s bigger.

This one is too finished feeling, and a bit too glam on the inside for me, but there are things I really like about it.

This one is huge and has A LOT of potential for renovations.

And this painted brick home is intriguing too – much lower price point, with some projects. I really don’t like they’ve already redone the kitchen and it would need to be redone AGAIN if we were to move in, but it reminds me of our first house a little bit. Which I kinda like.

Side note, for anyone that lives in Atlanta! Atlanta home buyers now have access to the Owners.com white glove service, which is a team of expert real estate agents who are dedicated to matching buyers with their dream home. How cool is that?! Thumbs up from me on that one.

A California born DIY designer makes a home in Atlanta, GA inspired by her west coast roots and laidback style. #modernhome #organicmodern #diningroom #californiastyle #staircase #modernbookshelf #builtinbookshelf

Hanging out with Brittni Mehlhoff of Paper and Stitch at home with her son. #modernhome #organicmodern #diningroom #californiastyle #midcenturystyle

So that’s it for house talk today! But before you head out, I have some questions for you! Do you own a house? Do you do the weird daydreaming hobby thing that I do and search houses for sale on the internet for fun? And last but not least, what do you think of my dream house? Am I completely crazy? Give it to me straight. I can (probably) handle it.

This post is sponsored by Owners.com. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper and Stitch running.

3 comments | Click here to reply

We bought the first house we went through back in 1980, when interest rates were 12%!!!!!
We are still here and probably will be until death.
Though this was the first house we went through, we went to over 20 open houses. I really think doing that solidified what we wanted, and gave us ideas of what we could do with whatever house we ended up with.


Thanks Paige. Totally, the chance to spread out with a bigger home, especially since I work from home, is at the top of our list.


Good luck finding the next house! I totally agree about the over 2000 square feet part! That’s a must for our next place!


Paige Cassandra Flamm
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