As we prepare to say goodbye to our Overland Park house and hello to a new adventure, I wanted to take some time to reflect on how far this humble ranch has come. We knew with our little ones getting bigger, school districts were about to become a very important part of our lives. As anyone in this area will tell you, the Kansas City school district is...interesting, and we knew that our Hyde Park home was not going to be the place we were able to stay forever. We looked to Overland Park to make sure we got a jump on a great kindergarten for bud, and to find a house that we could really inject with our style.
Our main goal in looking for a new home was to find the most boring house in a good neighborhood. We wanted something that was not so nice that we would be in a bidding war with other families, but not so trashed that investors would have jumped on it. With the rise in popularity of house-flip shows, properties in desirable neighborhoods are getting snatched up left and right and getting ‘flipped’. Word to the wise, be very careful looking at ‘flipped’ homes, as the goal is to make as much money as possible and sometimes that can mean cutting major corners to get a home aesthetically ready to get on the market! So, with that in mind, we wanted something that wasn’t ‘done’, as we have all the capacity to do that work ourselves, and make sure it’s done 110% right.
The Walmer house had sat on the market for 65 days and hit all our criteria. Sturdy, clean, ugly, and did I mention ugly? Guys, it was so bad. The only things we liked about it were the price, lot size, and school district. That was IT. Floral wallpaper, closed off kitchen, a fireplace that hadn’t been touched since 1986. I can honestly say there was not one thing about this house I was hesitant to change. We were able to get it for a steal, and then the fun part started. Well, fun for me in that I watched all these amazing changes happen, may have been a bit more stressful for Kevin.
Our first move was to take out the two walls that closed off the kitchen from the rest of the living space, lace in and refinish the hardwood floors, and vault the ceilings. Opening up the ceilings was an incredible breath of fresh air, and really took the space from just another ranch in the ‘burbs to a different level of style. Over the next while, we were able to save up what we needed to update all the subsystems, which I think would probably count as some of Kevin’s favorite features of this house, while mine would be the blue steel fireplace and the custom concrete waterfall table/island. Actually, when that piece was being installed, it was dropped on the steps leading up to the house, which is funny now but was decidedly not funny when it happened.
There are so many things I’m going to miss about this house, but looking ahead to the next is always fun to imagine. Our wishlist for the next house would include a mudroom, and an office for all of our Brasstacks business. Running your business on the same space that you prepare your meals isn’t what we’d call ideal, and we are very much so looking forward to having designated workspace in our next home. But, we will always carry such fond memories of this house, and are so thankful it is going to be enjoyed as the gem it is for decades to come.