house hunting with the Parsons

by | Sep 13, 2022 | Decorating | 464 comments

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful and encouraging comments on yesterday’s post.  We are very excited!  So, I have been waiting for weeks to spill the beans about our new house, but as with the purchasing process of our MN house, I didn’t want to share all of the details in real-time.  Job searches and house hunts are some very stressful life events full of twists, turns, steps of faith, and sometimes disappointments.  It’s just too much to bring blog and social media followers along.  We even kept things pretty general with our friends and family for a while to keep the riders in the rollercoaster to a minimum.

But, behind the scenes, we were looking at houses with a realtor, making an offer, and then going through several different inspections since we were buying an “as-is” home.  I’ve also been working on all of the paperwork for closing day.  I must’ve blocked out how much work goes into buying a house even though we just did it five years ago.  Anyway, we looked at a bunch of houses online and with the realtor until we narrowed it down to one.  Here were three that were near the top of our list.  Let’s see if you can guess which one we bought…

petersburg, VA home | miss mustard seed

(This home is in my Opa’s old neighborhood in Petersburg, VA.)

NOTE – I’m showing pictures of homes I’ve photographed in this post, not pictures from the actual listings or houses we considered.  That might cause some snooping and cheating!  So, enjoy the pictures, but don’t take them into account when you are voting.

house number one | early 1800s home

I was in love with this house from the moment I first saw the listing.  It was the old historic home I was hoping for, so we had to give it a serious look.  This early 1800s house had some amazing original features like a center staircase, large windows, a sun porch, a back staircase, hardwood floors, and trim work.  The house was a good size and the property included several outbuildings including a climate-controlled workshop and a small guest house with potential to be a great studio.  This house really got my wheels turning and I was giddy at the age of the house.  It did need some editing, love, and updating, but it had a beautifully renovated kitchen and other updates that balanced out the work left to do.

The big downside to this house was a 30-minute commute to the church (also Jeff’s place of work) and the boys’ school.  It was also smack on a pretty busy road.  I mean, there was a tall hedge of evergreens that provided some privacy, but the front porch was feet from the road.

We had to weigh if the long commute and road noise was worth the outbuildings, 200-year-old features, and more acreage.

fort snelling home | miss mustard seed

(This 1819 home is a part of the Fort Snelling compound in Minneapolis/St. Paul.)

house number two | 1970’s brick rambler with a pool

I was surprised that I even wanted to look in this house, but it had good-sized rooms, was in a beautiful neighborhood, and had a pool, which is something that was on my boys’ wishlist.  (I wouldn’t mind it too much, either!)  Even though it was built in the early 1970s, it had a traditional feel with nice trim work, a woodburning fireplace, and beams.  You could tell this home had good bones and I was actually excited about the fact that it needed cosmetic work including a kitchen renovation.  I have been itching to rip out a kitchen and start from scratch, so this appealed to me.  While it didn’t have separate outbuildings, it did have an oversized two-car garage and a large living room that could be used as a studio.  This house was also in close proximity to the church and school and was one of the least expensive homes we looked at.

The downside to this house was that it wasn’t as old as I wanted and it needed a lot of work.  It also didn’t have outbuildings I was hoping for to accommodate my business.

rochester, mn home photographed in Feels Like Home | marian parsons | miss mustard seed

(This is a 1970s home in Rochester, MN that I photographed for Feels Like Home.  You can see more of this beautiful home HERE.)

house number three | the charming 1940s four square with a workshop

This house had so much going for it because it ticked a lot of the boxes on our wishlist.  The house was charming with a central staircase and a traditional foursquare floorplan.  It was in a historic neighborhood close to church and school.  It also had a large garage workshop and another workshop space above the garage.  As a bonus, there was a well-maintained pool, a poolhouse, and an amazing patio.

The downside to this house was it was small.  The extra workshops provided space for my business, but the house would be a tight fit for our family and for entertaining.  We would also have to do quite a bit of work to the outbuilding to make it work for us.  Not only would we need to do cosmetic work, but would have to take on bigger projects like running a water line and adding climate control.

charleston, sc home | miss mustard seed

(This charming brick home is in Charleston, SC.  I took the photo during a carriage tour in 2021.  You can read more about that trip HERE.)

So, which house did we choose?

 One – The early1800s home with outbuildings?

Two – The 1970’s traditional brick rambler with a pool?

Three – The charming 1940s four-square with a workshop?

Leave your vote in the comments and I’ll let you know which house we bought tomorrow…

464 Comments

  1. Janis

    #2
    The Minnesota house was not your style at first. You will work your magic on this house also.

    Reply
    • Vivian Robinson

      I vote house number 3

      Reply
    • Kriss

      I also think #2

      Reply
  2. Katrina

    #1. A 30-minute commute is not much of a commute; may be on a busy road but your kids aren’t toddlers, yet it has the age that you have been wanting.

    Reply
    • Andrea Trueba-Anderson

      I think number 1

      Reply
      • Vallie

        1940s house

        Reply
    • Dawn Wendel

      #1

      Reply
    • Linda Greiss

      #2 It has pool, is close to church & school. The house itself is big enough for family & entertaining. The oversize garage, large living room & challenge of kitchen redo cinched the deal.

      Reply
      • Jenna

        #3! It has proximity and charm. You guys are pro at taking things from wild to wonderful; you’ll do it here, too!

        Reply
    • Jean

      #2

      Reply
    • Catana West

      I think you chose #1

      Reply
  3. Addie

    I think you are tricking us….none of these!!!
    #1 It says at the bottom…”this home is part a compound in St. Pau; MN”…..???? No..you are leaving to go to east coast.
    #2 This is in Rochester, MN….you blogged about it!!!!! Same…not east coast.
    #3 Is in Charleston South Carolina. Computing through 2 states would be TOOOO far.

    But it is a little confusing because you said in #1 it was in your Opa’s old neighborhood….Virginia. Virginia is a reasonable comute IF it is ONE of these I am going with #1. It is what you are dreaming of age/style wise and the out building are a big plus.
    I am thinking it might really be the opening picture on the blog cover page!!!!! They are all very nice.
    You are killing us!!!!

    Reply
    • Nancy Bennett

      She explained that these photos are not of the actual houses she considered, for privacy purposes.
      The explanation was a bit confusing.

      Reply
  4. Marianne Miller

    I am thinking #2 , the pool would be great therapy for your broken foot,and a reno would work for the blog. I am sure you probably do a lot of entertaining as a Pastor’s wife , so #3 wouldn’t work for that and the first one’s location both on a busy road and close to the road is thumbs down.

    Reply
    • Irene Kelly

      Number 2 is my vote Good Luck Marian and family I know tonight you all are rambling around your new home and exploring every nook and cranny which I know you will renovate it all and cannot wait to see the results !

      Reply
  5. Linda

    #2

    Reply
  6. Claire

    Hmmm, this is hard, and fun. My first guess is #1 but I think maybe you chose #3. #1 looks just like you but you seem to not like the commute. I bet you chose #3.

    Reply
    • Laurie McLaughlin

      I think you chose
      #2. This one is a great place for the boys (the pool), your husband, short commute, and most of your needs are met. The rooms are large enough, unlike #3. The neighborhood is beautiful and you are not next to a busy road. The historic house can come later!

      Reply
      • Carolyn

        #2

        Reply
      • Jill

        #3

        Reply
  7. jill

    My money is on #2 – I know the Petersburg area and it’s unfortunate that the surrounding city/suburbs are less than desirable now a days. It’s been decline for several decades. It’s truly shameful and sad because some of the historic homes are simple stunning!

    Reply
    • Ann

      I’m thinking #2. It has potential for a lot of creativity not major Reno’s . Pool for boys … close to your husbands work … who knows though you may have gone for the vintage and extra extra work ! All the best in whichever place you transform to a welcoming haven !

      Reply
      • Erica

        I’ m guessing #2! I can’t wait to hear!! Congratulations!!

        Reply
  8. Julie N.

    How exciting!!! I’m thinking #2.

    Reply
  9. Jo-Ann

    I think you bought house number 2.

    Reply
  10. Patty

    I think house #2

    Reply
  11. Jeanne

    I am thinking 3

    Reply
  12. Susan Blair

    #2

    Reply
  13. Irene Kelly

    Yes you are tricking us because you said you are moving to MD and Petersburg VA is not MD so I am opting out of voting ! And you were supposed to make settlement today Sept 13th Will check in with you on Wed Sept 14th to find out where you have landed !

    Reply
    • Debra

      Number 2 and you will creatively make it beautiful with your artist eye!

      Reply
    • Kay

      She said, “NOTE – I’m showing pictures of homes I’ve photographed in this post, not pictures from the actual listings or houses we considered…”

      Reply
  14. Kathy

    I have no idea why I think it is house #2. Maybe because it doesn’t have the negatives of the other two. I really think a long commute would eliminate #1 and #3 doesn’t seem to have enough room(s).

    Reply
  15. Susan

    #2

    Reply
  16. Susan

    #3 for the win!

    Reply
  17. Krista

    I think #3 even though your heart was with #1. Will be so fun to see!

    Reply
  18. Becca

    So happy for you and your family at finally being able to move into your God-appointed home!! I’ll guess #3, another 1940’s home in a lovely neighborhood.

    Reply
  19. Alice Anne

    #2 is where I think you will work your magic!

    Reply
  20. Elizabeth

    2 or 3 but leaning to #2, however with 3 you can entertain by the pool!

    Reply
  21. Connie Jones

    3 great choices! I went with #3 for the historic neighborhood, 1940s charm, pool and convenience to work and school.

    Reply
    • Rmbourne

      I think you guys chose #2! Can’t wait to hear!

      Reply
  22. Carol Sapp

    #1 and I can’t wait to see your new studio!

    Reply
    • Kidron

      I’m guessing #3.

      Reply
  23. Marie

    #1 30 minutes is nothing nowadays to drive to work. 20 years ago my husband had an hour because the traffic was so bad, we only lived 17 miles from his job. (we lived in south Florida) . The other two houses just don’t seem like your style.

    Reply
    • Kay

      #3

      Reply
  24. Diane

    #1 has my heart.

    Reply
  25. Michelle A

    I’m going with number 2, but they all sound great.

    Reply
  26. Diane

    But, I think house #3! I love a historic district.

    Reply
  27. Katerina

    I think you bought house number 3! You will have your own studio and a pool!

    Reply
  28. noreen

    i think number 2 because you would like the challenge!

    Reply
  29. Bettye Greenwood

    I say #1 probably because I want to see you redo a really ole house!

    Reply
  30. Lisa Wells

    I’m thinking Number 2

    Reply
  31. Donna Doble-Brown

    I love them all and can’t wait to see what you chose!
    I was thinking of you earlier today Miss Marian . . . .I am at a HUGE fork in my life road at 61 and I was contemplating my situation and starting to stress which doesn’t help anyone, when I remembered the day you showed us your “creating color charts” video and mentioned it felt like therapy! I thought well let’s give it a try! I had some new watercolors I wanted to try out and so I sat and made a chart. It was SO fun and just what I needed! So thank you 🙏🏻 🙂💗 much love to you all on this exciting time!

    Reply
  32. Kathe Neat

    Hey there Marian! This is so exciting for you and your family….Congratulations!!

    I am going to guess y’all decided on House #1

    Reply
  33. Robin Drewes

    I say#1 cause of the pool
    But I wouldn’t be surprised if you pick#3

    Reply
  34. Karen L.

    #3 because it can be changed to be just right, even to adding more room, but you can’t change the location which sounds perfect.

    Reply
  35. Cathy

    I found it! I’m not spilling the beans though 😁 Real estate and research are my jam! All blessings to the Parsons family in this next chapter 🙏🏻

    Reply
  36. Cathy

    I know which one! I’m not spilling the beans though 😁 Real estate and research are my jam! All blessings to the Parsons family in this next chapter 🙏🏻

    Reply
  37. mary

    I’m guessing either 2 or 3! The busy street and 30 minute commute would be my deal breaker. They all sound quite charming and appealing for different reasons. Can’t wait to see what you have chosen and all the wonderful changes you will make!

    Reply
  38. Rose P

    You’ve waited long enough for that old house. I’m going with #1 even though it has a newly renovated kitchen! I think “old” outweighs a new kitchen. Lol. Can’t wait to see

    Reply
  39. Carol

    #2 sounds like the best fit

    Reply
  40. Helen

    I’m aiming for house #2 – sounds like it’s a charm.

    Reply
  41. Jackie Schnell

    # 2

    Reply
  42. teri

    #2 Really enjoying this blog!

    Reply
  43. Jenifer Mathewson

    #2 You are not afraid to put in the work. It has most of what your looking for.

    Reply
  44. Kim Krause

    I’m picking #2!

    Reply
  45. Carolyn Sands

    #2.

    Reply
  46. Barbara

    I’m going with #2

    Reply
    • Linda

      I’m thinking #1

      Reply
  47. Kathleen

    I’m thinking #2 but think #1 might have won out. Can’t wait to hear and see the next house you’re going to make a home.

    Reply
  48. Helen

    House #2

    Reply
  49. Becky Jacobs

    I’m thinking the 70s rambler. The other two sound more your style but the commute is a con and the last one is too small. So although it’s newer I think the 70s is the sun and you will make it look awesome!!

    Reply
  50. Denise P

    #2 1970’s rambler

    Reply
  51. Janet Johnston

    I am thinking house #2, because it’s close to husband’s work, kid’s school and a pool for them , and needs a full kitchen renovation which is something you’ve always wanted to do!:)

    Reply
  52. Olivia

    I think number 2

    Reply
  53. Norma

    I think that you selected #3. #1 also seems like you, but perhaps too far for your husband the boys. #3 is a real challenge, I believe just your style!

    Reply
  54. Leah

    3 for so many reasons! I feel like it gets you everything you’ve wanted and you guys decide to maybe add on or just create a more cozy lifestyle for your family. Charm is an invaluable quality.
    Leah
    @this.good.house

    Reply
  55. Martha Weber

    #2

    I wanted it to be #1; however commutes can be tricky. I’m looking forward to finding out your choice!!!

    Reply
  56. Suelynn

    Number three for sure!

    Reply
    • Lynda

      I am gonna govwith house #2. The Rambler.

      Reply
  57. Karen

    I think #2

    Reply
  58. Sandy

    It has to be #3

    Reply
  59. Carolyn Kellam

    I feel like maybe it’s house #2. Sounds like it has the right challenges for you and money left in the budget to build just the outbuildings you want. And the pool for the boys!
    Whichever, I know you will make it lovely!

    Reply
  60. Susan K.

    I believe it’s between 1 and 3, but I’m voting #1!! Can’t wait to see it!

    Reply
  61. Tammy

    #2 for sure. Your boys will love having a pool and you will love a new kitchen.

    Reply
  62. Nan

    I’m going to play it safe and say it’s going to be either 1, 2, or 3.😬. I can see you going for any of them. I will be pleasantly surprised tomorrow😊!

    Reply
  63. Betty

    #2 because that is what I would have chosen ! I live in Winchester and I know the area.

    Reply
  64. Janie Bacon

    #2

    Reply
  65. Jenn Anderson

    I guess #2. Whatever it is, it will be fun to see you work your magic!

    Reply
  66. Jan Cohen

    #3

    Reply
  67. Patricia Kasparian

    After reading the descriptions twice, I think you guys chose House No. 2. You can fix it to be your own “era” and it has the space and the outdoor features sounds great. Plus, you’ll do that kitchen we’re all waiting to see!!

    Reply
  68. Mary

    House #2

    Reply
  69. Phyllis Runyon

    It seems #2 has the most votes and I agree. I can see the love you will give it!

    Reply
  70. Holly Binns

    I’m guessing #3 – some historic charm, outbuildings, a pool for the boys, close to church & school – seems like other than being a bit small it checks all the boxes. Excited to see which one you chose!

    Reply
  71. Karen K from Buffalo

    #3

    Reply
  72. Carolyn

    2

    Reply
  73. Mary Kaiser

    I think you picked # 1

    Reply
  74. Carol

    My guess is #2 the ranch rambler. I don’t see you living that close to the road no matter how much you like that first house and the last one is too small. The ranch makes the most sense. Cant wait to see real house you chose.

    Reply
  75. Carrie Purkis

    house #2 sounds like the house for you and your family!
    Enjoy the pool.

    Reply
  76. Liz Thomas

    #3

    Reply
  77. Margaret

    #1

    Reply
  78. Sher

    I vote #2 also!

    Reply
  79. Kristi

    Number two

    Reply
  80. Jean Elliott

    #1!

    Reply
  81. Bobbi

    70s Rambler with Pool

    Reply
  82. Cathy Molen

    I will guess #2. It has a pool for your boys and is close to church and school. It has great bones and can do your magic and turn it into a beautiful home.

    Reply
  83. Cathy

    I will guess #2. It has a pool for your boys and is close to church and school. It has great bones and can do your magic and turn it into a beautiful home.

    Reply
  84. Fonda

    #1

    Reply
    • Fonda

      OOPS! I forgot that it was far from school and church. I change my mind to #2.

      Reply
  85. Kelly

    #1 is my hopeful guess. You make this so much fun for us.

    Reply
  86. Molly

    I vote house number 2!

    Reply
  87. Sandra

    My vote is #2…sure it’s close to work & school & it even has a pool. But the fact that you can create your own kitchen, that’s the clenching selling point IMO!

    Reply
  88. MaryLynn

    I say number 2 b/c it seems the least likely. I would have gone with 1. We have always lived in the country and are about 30-40 minutes from town. It never bothers us and most people in our community commute to work. You will make anything better and beautiful. Congrats

    Reply
  89. Cheryl

    Number 1

    Reply
  90. Barb

    #3

    Reply
  91. Debby

    House 2, a beautiful rancher in Spring Valley. I have lived in Washington County all my life. So glad to welcome your family to our county

    Reply
  92. Bonnie Kilgore

    I’m going with #2 where you can work your magic on the kitchen!

    Reply
  93. Debbie Rejmer

    Number 2
    I think you would like being closer to the church plus get to redo the kitchen.

    Reply
  94. Marilee Reyes

    No. 1, just because it appeals the most to me.

    Reply
    • Susan

      Number one!

      Reply
  95. Bea

    This was tough but I’m going to guess #2.

    Reply
  96. Lynnett

    2

    Reply
  97. Judy W

    #2

    Reply
  98. Julie

    #2, 1970s home. Being close to school & church is important.

    Reply
  99. Becky

    Oh I’m thinking you chose the 1800’s home. A rare find . A 30 minute commute is a minor issue for having your dream house!! 😊

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Hello!

Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

Let's Connect

WATCH ON YOUTUBE

Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!

decorating, projects, and recipes for Summer

  • mexican lasagna bake aka burrito cake recipe
    I love recipes that are…quick to make, can be made in one pot, are easy to adjust to different food preferences, and are delicious!  Such is the case with this […]
  • the best strawberry rhubarb crisp
    We have an absolutely wonderful next-door neighbor.  She has blown snow out of our driveway when Jeff was unable to, she has saved Calvin’s bike from sitting out on the […]
  • decorating with shells
    As I collected shells at the beach this spring, the question I was asked most often is, “What do you do with them?”  And I get that question!  When we […]
  • Isle of Palms 2022
    I thought I would share a little bit more about our time at Isle of Palms this year.  If you’d like to read about our trip last year and the […]

Categories

Articles by Date

 

our sponsors

 

 

Bliss and Tell Branding Company

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This