A Compelling Reason To Buy a House instead of Renting

Hi Guys,

Happy Father’s Day!

Please bear with me here as I indulge you in my real life once again. A LOT is going on. And, I so badly want to tell you what it is.

Okay.

Are you ready?

 

Yesterday I put in an offer to buy a house here in Northampton.

 

WHAT??? But, Laurel, you said that you were going to rent a house or an apartment in Northampton, not buy a house. What if you don’t like Northampton? What if you HATE the winter?

 

haha. I can tell you right now, that I’m going to HATE the winter. But, I hate it in New York too.

I’ve been here for over five weeks. I love it here! Besides, I’m addicted to the Hungry Ghost. Plus, my son is going to be somewhere in the area. He’s promised me that. I know that he wants to have some family close to him as well.

 

Here’s what happened. Last week (Monday), I found a sweet 650 sq. foot apartment on Elm Street.

 

I showed you the building. Cale and I talked with the manager who lives in the building at length. She was very lovely and planning on showing me the apartment within the next couple of days.

 

However, that night, her father in Florida passed away. Of course, I felt awful for her, but I also took it as a sign. All of a sudden, that little apartment felt like the walls were going to close in on me. Plus, there’s no dishwasher. lol, I must have a dishwasher.

 

The next day was a blog day, but squeezed in some time to look at apartments for rent.

Fine. You win. We all know that I stayed up waaaay too late ruminating over apartments for rent.

 

But, I now know in intimate detail, every apartment there is to rent in this town. I mean, I must’ve looked at each one at least 10 times, conveniently forgetting that it had already been crossed off the list for some compelling reason.

It is exactly like having a baby. You forget how awful it was the first time and, so, you blithely go through the entire exercise again. Right?

But, in the end, I came up dry. Most apartments tend to be small; or, they are set up for room-mate situations if more than one bedroom. Plus, they’re pretty expensive for what you get.

 

So, then, I started looking at houses for sale. I wasn’t really thinking that I should buy a house. I was “just” looking.

 

Oh, stop laughing. I fully realize how delusional that is, as well. That’s because there is NO just. And there is definitely no “just looking,” either.

 

Frankly, the inventory here is pretty pathetic. But, I found a two-family 19th-century beauty for sale, in a lovely neighborhood. High ceilings, BIG windows. Oh man and, get this—a double parlor in the living room, with, not one but TWO fireplaces!

Rosedale Farm, anyone?

 

In addition, thank God, nobody has done any hideous remuddling.

 

But, WHAT happened to make you change your mind, Laurel?

 

You mean, why do I want to buy a house instead of renting an apartment?

That’s a very reasonable question. Well, aside from wanting to get out of New York, and be closer to my son, there’s one very compelling reason.

 

And, it hit me like a big icicle crashing down on my head:

 

I could Airbnb the entire top floor apartment.

 

I’m spending a small fortune on the one I’m staying in. It’s nice, but nothing special. Of course, I realize that an Airbnb is work. But, I can get help with that.

 

Oh, Laurel– please show us the house. PLEEEEEASE! Is it a Greek Revival? Your dream home?

 

Well, I don’t know if I’m going to get it or not.

And, I’m fully aware that you can get on freaking Zillow and find it. haha

Of course, I can’t stop you from doing that. But, if you do, please don’t share the link or gloat. lol I mean, it’s not difficult. There are only so many homes for sale.

 

However, pleeeease, what I really want is for you guys to send some positive vibes.

 

The other thing is that it’s going on 3:00PM. But, here’s the good news. I know that the owners are anxious to sell the house. In fact, most of their stuff is gone. They are relocating to another state. Plus, they adore the house and are going to miss it.

 

But, they just finished an open house, so I am waiting on pins and needles to hear back.

 

And, maybe I will very soon. And, then everything I just wrote won’t matter.

Okay, I wrote them a little note, and they are mulling everything over and getting back to me tomorrow.

Sounds promising. Coincidentally, my Airbnb host has a good friend who used to live in the second floor rental unit. And, she thought my offer was very good. Small world, eh?

The house is not a Greek Revival. While there are some earlier homes in the area, I haven’t seen much in the way of Greek Revival houses. However, it looks more Greek Revival on the inside than the Sheffield home. The majority of homes are late 19th century and are Victorian which encompasses numerous sub-styles.

Interestingly, I was told that this one was built in the mid-19th century. It is definitely Victorian, but not the gingerbread-y kind. Still, she’s definitely a lady.

 

So, the architectural style is a Queen Anne farm-style home with a hint of the Italianate style.

 

One of its exterior features are these beautiful corbels. The thing is, we are the ones who’ve put these specific architectural labels on the homes of the period. I think the builders of the time took whatever elements they wished to have. I love that.

 

But, let’s return to the Airbnb idea.

 

The upstairs is wonderful. I wish I could have both floors. In fact, the previous owner had plans drawn up to turn it back into a one-family house. But, I do not need that much space. Plus, whenever the Airbnb is empty, I can certainly go up there and hang out, if I like. But, here’s what’s up there.

 

  • a spacious 1400+ square foot apartment
  • private entrance
  • Large, beautiful kitchen with a charming original pantry, (see above) and yes, a dishwasher.
  • large dining area
  • living room with a fireplace! (non-working, but it’s gorgeous)
  • two bedrooms. One of them has three huge windows.
  • Window air conditioners
  • screened-in porch with a view of the neighbor’s gorgeous yard and house.
  • There’s also a tiny room with a closet that can work as a third bedroom.

 

Based on other Airbnb’s in the area, I believe I could get on average 250-350 a night.

 

If it was booked, only 75% of the time that right there is $5,000 – $7,000 a month. Of course, I would have expenses like housekeeping help. Plus, I would have to pay for utilities, and awww, I’d be forced to furnish the place.

 

However, here’s the point.

 

I think it’s possible that my Airbnb earnings would cover my mortgage, insurance, taxes, and housekeeping.

 

In other words: Rent-free for me.

 

And, maybe even a little extra!

So, I hope you can see why it makes so much more sense to buy a house rather than rent and be locked into that for a year.

I know that I keep saying that I need help. Well, if Cale can’t help me (and, I’m not expecting him to do much), I’ll just have to hire some help!

Naturally, there are other perks. There are numerous projects to take care of and blog about.

Okay. I know you want to see some more. And, fortunately, I’m not superstitious that way. I either get the house, or I don’t. If I don’t, it was not meant to be, and there will be another one.

One day.

 

But, still, I am going to show you only enough to satisfy some of your curiosity.

 

 

front porch detail

 

A Left eyed View - Italianate Victorian house.A Left eyed View – Italianate Victorian house.

 

Look how similar the columns are in this Italianate style home built around the same time.

While we saw an Italianate style home in this post, the snowy Massachusetts winters do better with a more steeply pitched roof. The Italianate Victorian sub-style generally has a flat or almost flat roof.

 

 

Oh, and I could also finally have a little garden!

 

Please note: Unfortunately, I had to back out of the offer. I feel quite badly about it. It’s a lovely home, but, it didn’t work out.

xo,

 

 

PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES

455 Responses

  1. I think this is a FANTASTIC idea!!! Rent from you, free FOR you!!! And…what a BEAUTY for a BEAUTIFUL LADY…inside and out…FOR BOTH!!!! Well – done, Laurel!!!!

    Sorry just responding to this…rather busy and many emails to go through…all the same, CONGRATS!!!!

  2. Oh, hooray for you. It’s a lovely house and I can’t wait to see what you will do with it all. Thank you for including us on your journey!

  3. Congratulations and what Gabrielle said about guts. It will be a joy to watch this home come together in a dream neighborhood, so different from my SoCal Mediterranean home. We have bougainvillea, not maples – therefore maples and elms and Queen Anne houses are enchanting and bougainvillea and bird of paradise and red tile roofs are everyday. Congrats again.

  4. So happy for you. You’ve sounded so happy with your time in the area, and having time with your son.Having an apartment to AirB&B is a great idea. I believe you’ll love this house and Massachusetts. You’ll enjoy decorating the place and using it to enlighten us on your blog. Congratulations.
    Pat from Boston

  5. This will be so much fun for you! And fun for all of us to follow along the journey! Congratulations on your beautiful new house!

  6. This house is spectacularly beautiful, fit for our amazing Laurel! Congratulations on finding your dream home finally, you deserve it!!! Can’t wait to follow along on this journey, hopefully you will be generous with photos and updates as the rooms come together.

  7. Congratulations Laurel!! The house looks wonderful which means your improvements will make it stunning. Wishing you all the best for an easy close, rewarding projects, and supremely happy home ownership!!

  8. THRILLED FOR YOU!!! Cant wait to see what you do with the place and thanks for sharing the journey!!

  9. Oh Laurel I am so thrilled for you!!! Not only have you bought a gorgeous home in such a perfect location but best of all, you will be close to your son! I just know this is going to be great for you and I look forward to reading about your new home a good times there. Best wishes!

  10. Laurel, that house is dreamy! I am sending every positive thought your way! The idea of being able to see what you do with that yummy place makes me happy — best wishes! Ann

  11. Congratulations! I grew up in a house very similar to this one, and we had a baby grand piano in the bay window. It looks like such a happy house!

  12. Oh my goodness, what good news! That is one beautiful property, we eagerly await your putting the finishing Laurel touch to all of it. I wish you all the best in your new venture.

  13. Woo hoo!! Now you will be residing in Massachusetts – Congratulations! Please know that when you see people standing on the sidewalk gawking at your house, we are admirers and well-wishers!

  14. I just saw the pic with the street sign. The first name that popped into my head for your Airbnb was Lemon Lyman. Let’s see who gets that!

  15. Oh my, what exciting news and what a joy it will be to discover life inside your new spaces. The light looks superb -what a wonderful new home. Congratulations.

  16. Oh my goodness, I just checked back to see if there was any update, and I see you’ve gotten the house! So excited to see where this takes you and so happy for you!

  17. Congratulations Laurel! It is absolutely gorgeous. Oh the joys we will share seeing you bring your new home to life with fabulous decorating. I hope you have so much fun in this latest adventure.

  18. Such exciting news! I’m so happy for you and your son, and I’m looking forward to learning along with you as you take this journey.

  19. l think your reasoning was totally sound and l agree with you. You also have a great attitude if it doesn’t work out but you must have that attitude so as not to be too disappointed.

  20. YAY Laurel!!! I am so happy for you. I for one can not wait to see how much beauty you add to this already charming home. Even more importantly I am so glad you will be closer to your son. Family is everything and I know you will love spending more time with him. I of course couldn’t wait until I scrolled down to see you did get the property and hopped on zillow to see and there were 2 contenders, I opened one and said, oh no, Laurel would not like this, lol!!! As soon as I opened the other one, I was like yes, this has to be it!! Congratulations and wishing you many years of happiness in your new home and many great posts for your readers as you make it your own!!

  21. What awesome news! Congratulations and welcome to Massachusetts!! What a beautiful place to put down new roots and become a part of their community. I am so excited for you (and us, your readers) as you decorate and share your new home adventure.

  22. Such wonderful news. It makes me happy to see you so happy. Looking forward to following along as you make your new house your home.

  23. OMG it’s wonderful!! It’s like Christmas in June!! So exciting, congratulations! ❤️ It.

  24. oh friend!!
    I’ve been off the social for a bit- had to for my sanity- and get back on today to find this!
    I’m SO excited for you and can’t wait to read and see all the things you do!!!
    congratulations my friend!!

    1. Thanks so much Elizabeth. My comment notifications on mobile still have your name on EACH one! I don’t know how on earth that happened. But it makes me smile to see your name over and over!

  25. It is magnificent! If I had your talent and vision I would have bought it myself! Can’t wait to see you Laurel it up!

  26. Oh, Laurel, you’ll never struggle for blog posts ever again! Your house is gorgeous, and it’s the kind we sometimes in the South call a wedding cake house. I love the colors they used on the outside, and those floors look original. I think you got a gem! Remember, there’s not much you can’t learn on YouTube about maintaining and repairing a home.

  27. Laurel, I worked for the Smith College botanic garden for 25 years and would be happy to ID existing plants for you, and make recommendations fee-free. Let me know if you want a consultation down the road.

  28. Congratulations!,I am so happy for you. What a beautiful house! My husband and I lived in the area over forty years ago and are planning to move back to the Pioneer Valley within the next six months. I absolutely love the area as I am sure you will,there is no place better to spend autumn.

  29. OMGOMG OMG soooo happy for you. It’s gorgeous and I cannot wait to see what you do with it. Congratulations!

  30. My only concern in your relocation venture has been that Cale might move away in the future but now that that’s all settled, I am so pleased for you. I wish all home loving girls could have their dreams come true. God Bless You and may His Holy Spirit inhabit your new home ensuring peace and tranquility. Happy gardening!

  31. I have been following you for almost a year now, and that house is so YOU!

    I am curious about the windows that have been “covered” with siding…what is the story?

    1. Good question. It’s on the house across the street, as well. I’m not sure that they were windows. What I did find out, just this morning is that in 1936 and I believe in the late 1800s this house was badly flooded. The entire street and most of the city. After the ’36 flood, they decided to divert the Mill River.

  32. Congratulations, Laurel! What a wonderful home you will have. You’ll love Western MA and New England. I lived there for 22 years (Vermont near Western MA and North Shore of Boston). I loved every minute of it! There is so much to see/do/discover plus you will have your exciting home project. Enjoy!

  33. Laurel,
    All the beauty and Grace and Kindness you put out into the world and to Us, your Clients and faithful minions, just came back to you full circle. As it should. So very happy for you and yours. Congratulations. We can’t wait to see how you make this place your own.

  34. Congratulations! Having spent my college years at Smith, I know you will enjoy Northampton and the Pioneer Valley. Discovered Hungry Ghost at last reunion.Good luck!

  35. CONGRATULATIONS! So excited for you taking this step for yourself 🙂 The house looks absolutely charming and I can’t wait to see more.

  36. Oh, CONGRATULATIONS, Laurel. The heart knows what it wants. Lucky you, to find one that is so well-kept!!!!

  37. Oh Laurel, I’m so over the moon happy for you!!! That house is just what you need and I believe it needs you too. I can’t wait to see how you put your mark on it. Best wishes for a smooooth sale.

  38. Congratulations!!! This home is gorgeous and will be so fun to watch you make it yours! I predict a Hallmark movie romance. A professor from Smith. 😉

  39. Yeah, yeah, yeah!!!!! You’re reaping the rewards of your generosity. It’s so wonderful to see you realize this dream and to share in your joy. 🌹

  40. Laurel – congratulations! The home is gorgeous! It’s perfect. I can’t wait to see how you furnish it! Good luck! It was definitely meant to be.

  41. Congratulations! Your new home is so lovely and it sounds like the town is so peaceful. I am so excited to read your posts on decorating this gorgeous home.

  42. Laurel,
    So happy for you! I live in Orlando and I go to North Hampton every January. We have a group of amazing Weaver’s that get together and weave the project of the year (.which varies). We usually stay at the Hotel North Hampton so we can walk everywhere. I love it. Hungry Ghost is a must for us as well. If you Airbnb the apartment-I’d be very interested! I constantly check your site before i do anything creative-thank you!

  43. Congratulations! It looks like a wonderful home and I can’t wait to see what you do with it. We recently moved into our retirement place, a log cabin in the mountains(that you gracefully did a post about). It has a detached carriage house with a loft apartment that will be an Airbnb one day. Like you, it is a draw for my kids as well. One added bonus is that I use it for a personal retreat. I set up my yoga mat or just go watch a chick flick and enjoy the space. I’m sure you will enjoy yours as well. If you don’t know it already, check out the blog 1chicretreat. It’s all about designing a space specifically for STR. So much fun to read.

  44. Wonderful news! A new and exciting chapter is ahead for you that I know will be filled with lots of joy!

  45. Hi Laurel, congrats on the beautiful home purchase! My daughter will be a first year at Smith this fall, so it has been fun seeing your posts about Northampton. Maybe we will run into you at the Hungry Ghost or somewhere else around town. I look forward to seeing what you do with the house! Amy

  46. Hello Laurel,
    I have always loved your website and have such admiration for your decorative talent the information you pass along to all of us and especially your wonderful personality! We DO have something in common in that I was also in show business and began as a dancer in many shows on Broadway. My last show was The Sound of Music on Broadway where I appeared as Liesl. Jon Voight was my Rolf! Crazy huh? Maybe we’ll have the opportunity to share a few stories down the road? I have to admit that this is the first time I’m writing to you so I apologize for that but I just had to tell you how happy I am for you in buying your beautiful home! I absolutely love it and really believe you will find great happiness living in it so congratulations! Stay well and have fun!! Warmly, Mary Kramer (aka Marissa Mason)

  47. Hurrah! Great choice! You might, however, consider living Upstairs and renting the ground floor. – the door is right next to the garage and you wouldn’t have loud neighbors walking around above you. Perfect investment for when your son and his family want to move in!

  48. Oh my goodness it is soooo charming, I’m so happy for you! I have friends who have done this with a home in Hilton Head and one in Winter Park, Co. She lives where it is 60-80 degrees and switches to the other house, so when it’s hot in South Carolina, she heads to the mountains and when it’s winter in the mountains, she heads to Hilton Head! It’s my understanding that the rent through VRBO pretty much covers the mortgage and expenses. I’ve always admired how she manages them herself…(no college kids, ha, ha. ) She gets a feel from every family that wants to rent. The other tip I think is genius is that she really takes care of her maintenance and cleaning people, has them to dinner, etc., Then, when she has an emergency while guest are there, she just makes a call and her people get right on it! You may be so successful at this you can rent out your lower half in the winter and head to warmer climates! Being in a college town, you probably can make a ton of money on move in weekend, graduation, etc. Soooo, thrilled for you. What a beautiful home!
    Kim Mawhiney

  49. Congratulations! I was thinking of you and this house offer during the weekend, you were so pumped up on Saturday’s post! Can’t wait to see all the pics and plans.

  50. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am so happy for you. You are perfect for that beautiful home, and I will be staying in your BNB if you will allow my husband and I to rent it. I’m looking forward to having a glass of wine with you to celebrate. xoxo

  51. Good Morning Laurel – I’m truly overjoyed for you. A lot of happiness is in your future. Being close to your child and a wonderful home is better than hot fresh baked bread.

  52. Good luck, Laurel. I can’t wait to witness the transformation room by room. We are also buying (and building!) now. Your blog is the best reference on the internet. I go to you for all major decisions. And to smile when I need a lift… IMO your expressive personality is the best!

  53. Wonderful news! So exciting! Congratulatons!
    Such a pretty house. It looks like it should belong to you. Do keep us posted on how it goes. I know a new house can leave very little time for other things.
    All my very best for your new future.

  54. Congratulations! I moved from NY to MA a few years ago and love my new ‘Commonwealth’ Your home is gorgeous and I cannot wait to see how you’ll add your special touch. I look forward to checking out your Air BnB rental for trips away from the ocean.

  55. What a wonderful opportunity and life changing experience! It seems like this was meant to be and it is so wonderful that your son is involved and wants to be!

  56. I am so happy for you, congratulations. Such a great way to celebrate the new direction in your life. I have a similar strong opinion about the need for a dishwasher. With many military moves under my belt I made the dishwasher the #1 must have. Thank you for your wonderful blog. My daughter, daughter-in-laws & I follow you. We refer to you as though you were one of our close friends.

    .

  57. You deserve all the happiness this charming Grande Dame will bring to you !
    Rent the top to Caleb. Keep the $ in the family!

  58. So happy you got it! What fun it’s going to be for you fixing it up and kitting it out. And for us cheering you on

  59. Well, now you can forget about fixing up the kitchen in your apartment! As you explore your new town, be sure to check for any low hanging signs, poles, lights. We don’t want to see you hurt again!

    Have a wonderful time and we will enjoy the transition with you.

  60. Laurel, it is always wonderful to read your blog and advice. I live on an island off Australia called Tasmania. We don’t have the age and antiquity of the beautiful homes you often have in the USA so I love to experience them through your eyes. We have many “likes” in common – classic, simple beauty and a touch of chinoiserie. Like many others I wish you and your son many happy years of sharing ahead of you and I will really be anticipating some wonderful pics, ideas and tips ahead. Best regards – Karen

  61. Wonderful exciting news….and thank you for sharing once in awhile a part of your real life…..Congrats and best wishes from a longtime reader from Italy who adores your blog. Don’t stop.

  62. So happy and excited for you! Looks so much more peaceful than an apartment in NYC. Can’t wait to be inspired and educated by the your designs.

  63. Congratulations Laurel! She’s a real beauty. This is going to be quite an adventure and I can’t wait!

  64. So happy for you!! I am a Realtor in California and every time you post all these beautiful old homes with all this lovely character, it makes we wish I could talk my husband into moving. Can’t wait to see it once you are moved it.

  65. Congrats! Hope you get it. It’s gorgeous already but know that under your master hand, it will be stunning! Happy for you.

  66. Congratulations!! It’s just BEAUTIFUL!! Can’t wait to see what you do with it inside. And stroke of genius re the Airbnb. You go girl!!! That house radiates happiness!

  67. OMG. That is one adorable, magnificent home! I can tell by how this played out for you, that it was truly meant to be. You are going to have so much fun with it! Congrats of your new adventure!

  68. Dear Laurel,
    I am so happy for you! The house is not only beautiful, it looks like a happy house. To be close to your son will surely bring you so much joy.

  69. Congratulations!! I love the area! When I visit my sister in VT, we always travel down to North Hampton. It’s one of her favorite places – mine, too. I hope you will be ecstatic and enjoy your home and being near to your son. Much,much happiness!!!
    P.s. I hope you can get that tooth repaired soon.

  70. Congrats!Two parlor fireplaces! And the windows are amazing. Corbels are a delight. Wonderful story.
    Exceedingly glad for you.

  71. So excited for you! It’s a beauty – can’t imagine anything more perfect for you and the Airbnb idea makes so much sense. Can’t wait to see how you decorate and your projects as you complete them. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the rest of the buying process goes as quickly as the offer and acceptance did. Maze tov!

  72. I never comment either, but I must add my congratulations! What an exciting news, and I can’t wait to see you make this wonderful house your own.

  73. You’re crying, I’m crying, we are all crying happy tears for Laurel. May there be many happy memories.

  74. Congratulations!!! So, if everyone of your followers rented the upstairs, you could be on target with your plan. Can’t wait to see the pictures of your designed rooms. When do you move in???

  75. I love your blog and I am very happy for you! I’m sure you will love living near your son and this home seems meant to be for you! I can’t wait to see how you decorate it!! You haven’t mentioned your boyfriend from last winter. I assume it wasn’t meant to be. But looks like you have exciting time ahead. Hearing about your personal life makes reading your blog even more special. thanks for sharing!!

  76. Dear Laurel,
    Loving this post AND your decision!! I’m a longtime fan and proud Massachusettser(?). I know you’ll love Northampton and being near your son. I live in an old Victorian on the Mass coast. I can’t wait to see you transform this beautiful house into your own home.

  77. Welcome to MA! I am sure you will be most happy on Northhampton for the foreseeable future. Perhaps you will be accepting some clients in the Boston area? A girl can dream.

  78. Congratulations! It is beautiful and based upon your aesthetic, it is meant for you. I love the exterior colors, it is just heart warming. I hope you have many happy times there. I hope you enjoy it all to yourself. People walking on top of you can be maddening. I am certain you will make this a wonderful home for you! Sending you my best wishes!

  79. Hi Laurel! I’m so happy for you!!!! And I’m so happy and ready to hear some good news!!! Covid 19 has been such a jolt to everything I’ve always believed, but the one lesson to live by, henceforth, is to grab whatever happiness comes our way, with both hands; it’s only way to go.
    I’m just thrilled that you found exactly what you need to make you happy.
    Huge congratulations to you!!!

  80. Laurel my sincerest congratulations! I am very much looking forward to seeing and learning about all you do to your beautiful new home! Excitement for all!

  81. Congratulations!! It is absolutely beautiful!! It will be so much fun to read all of your blog posts about how you decorate it!
    FYI A friend broke a tooth and she ordered a kit off of Amazon to make a cap (it was a front tooth broken off in a diagonal slant) and I couldn’t tell until she took it off to show me. She said it will work until she feels safe going to the dentist.

  82. I’m so happy for you!! What a lovely house! I can’t wait to see the posts you can create with this beauty.

  83. Laurel!!!! I’m just so happy for you! I was hoping this house was meant to be your new home. Much health and happiness! Your excitement is contagious:))

  84. Fabulous place and house to put down your roots. Do you realize how close to Brimfield Flea Market you will be……endless possibilities. …..a whole new world. New England in the fall…nothing better.Congratulations and Blessings…..

  85. Well this looks like a perfect house for you Laurel! I’m so excited for you- Congratulations! It is just beautiful and I’m sure will be even more beautiful when you get finished with it! Can’t wait to see what you do with it and how nice to be near your son.I also have a yellow house and find it a happy and cheery color!

  86. WHOO HOO! Congratulations Laurel! It’s SO much fun to watch your success and happiness. The house is a dream and you deserve every inch of it.

  87. Congratulations and welcome to Happy Valley! It will be fun watching you decorate your new home and seeing what new and exciting places you discover in Western Mass.

  88. Hi Laurel!! Congratulations!! So happy for you!! It seems like it’s a match made in heaven!! I bet a lot of your readers out here (like me!!) will want to come stay in that Airbnb and have a bonus of possibly meeting you!! Great location to have the Airbnb near a college!! It will help with keeping it full. And what a great way to offset the mortgage. It’s all working out like it’s supposed to. Enjoy!!

  89. Congratulations on your beautiful new home! It is absolutely gorgeous! Looking forward to many exciting blog posts in the future.

  90. Hi Laurel,
    I’m so glad I checked my email & saw your post.
    How exciting!!! That’s wonderful news.
    Apparently it was meant to be.

  91. It’s beautiful!!! Congratulations!! I love the story and how spontaneous you were. So happy for you! I’m very excited to watch and read about what comes next!

  92. Laurel, good luck with this beautiful home. Buying property is so stressful! With your friends/followers here on your website, you will be booked to the gills for your AirBnB. Both units are so beautiful, it would be hard to choose which one to live in.
    best, best wishes.

  93. Congratulations! It’s just beautiful! And meant to be, as you said. How fun will it be to own this place, decorate it, rent it, live there, etc., etc…the list goes on and on. Much happiness & health to you in YOUR beautiful new home!

  94. Sooo exciting! This house is a real beauty – great bones and ready for your style.
    We live in an 1848 Greek Revival on Cape Cod and rent the house out through Airbnb each summer – a couple of thoughts: make sure your inspector checks to see if you have chimney caps (we had a raccoon plus babies lodged in one of our chimneys for the past 5 weeks.) Also for short term rentals in MA you have to collect MA short term occupancy tax. You will have to register with the state (and possibly with Northhampton) and file monthly tax returns (Airbnb will collect tax for you). Email me if you need help on how to do this.
    Make sure your rental decorating is easy to clean between guests!
    Good luck with this special project and enjoy the process! So happy for you!

  95. Congratulations!!! I am so excited for you and can’t wait to see how you are going to decorate this wonderful house. Enjoy this next journey in your life.

  96. Laurel, didn’t get a chance to respond to your email this morning. Reading this email, I’m trembling with excitement and joy for you. Your question was should you buy or rent. You absolutely did the right thing – your heart and your mind sat down together, and thoughtfully and thoroughly discussed the pros and cons, and now you have the most beautiful house in the world. I’m so very, very happy for you.

  97. It’s beautiful and has so much character! (Like a certain decorator I love to follow!) haha
    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see more! Thanks for sharing!

  98. HOORAY!!! It was meant to be! Can’t wait to watch you transform this property… delighted to read this happy news!!!!

  99. Yay!🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈

  100. It only takes a few hours to change your life. I am very happy you will be near your son and in a place you obviously love from top to bottom. I’m going to need some of the same help you got this weekend soon if my house sells.

    This is terribly exciting because we get to watch you execute all your changes and decoration. Wow.

  101. Congratulations! It reminds me very much of my own house. Maybe you need a sisal right or two 😉 Best of luck and I can’t wait to see how you make it your own.

  102. Congrats! So happy for you! I love your blog…tho we live in New Mexico and are into the southwest vibe I love seeing your posts. I wish you the best on your new adventure…and living close to a son is always a plus!

  103. WOW!! This is an awesome house. I can see why you were on pins and needles waiting for them to accept your offer. I have a corner lot and I LOVE it! Looking forward to seeing more of the interior and hearing your plans that will make it your own. I can see lots of happy memories being made here.

  104. I am so excited for you! It is a beautiful home !
    I know you will be very happy there. I look forward to many more photos.

    Nice to be close to your son.

  105. Dear Laurel,
    Congratulations! Having your own house is such a wonderful thing – I know that you will turn it into a lovely, refined and yet comfortable space for your future life. All the best.

  106. Oh, congratulations on winning this beauty! May all your inspections go smoothly, and your closing be (close to) effortless (wanted this to be remotely realistic!) What a great place to call home, too.

    Looking forward to seeing you make her your home!

  107. I am so excited to get in on the beginning of your new journey. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for this beautiful place. How lucky this city to have you as its newest citizen! Serendipity at work.

  108. OMG LAUREL!! I am so stinking happy for you! What a gorgeous house!! Totally smart fiscal move combined with a dreamy place to live. I think you CAN have your banana cream pie and eat it too! There will be so many wonderful blog posts that will come out of this adventure. The different rooms that will need to be furnished, not to mention the apartment. Will that one be done first so it can start earning its keep?? I’ll get your brain us on fire with all the beautiful ideas. This is going to be so great!! Congratulations!!

  109. Meant to be! Looking forward to all the new stories you’ll have with this incredible change in your life.

  110. Meant to be! Looking forward to all the new stories you’ll have with this incredible change in your life. Wishing you the best!

  111. Oh, hurray Laurel!! I’m just THRILLED for you and cannot wait to live vicariously through your artful work on this gem. Best wishes and thank you for sharing so much with us. You go girl!!!

  112. A massive congrats, life as it was meant to be! looking forward to more photo’s and watching the progress

    ok, I am reading and was suddenly taken aback, that winter scene Italianate Victorian, is my landscape client, in Geneva Illinois. for more photos it is on my website, a pristine, really cool home. Small world
    Best!
    Debra

  113. Love the character of the house and from the photos it appears that the owner has maintained it well.. Look forward to seeing how you change the interior with your talents for space and color. I live across from a historic house in Arlington, Virginia, so I know what is involved in maintaining a period house and the winters in Massachusetts are much harsher that in Virginia! Wishing you well in your new adventure! Keep us posted on your transition from NY state to Massachusetts and operating a B&B, cultivating a garden, and maintaining an older home. We look forward to your future posts.

  114. So happy for you! I sent out a prayer for a successful offer as I was reading then continued scrolling to see that they had accepted! Thrilled for you 🙂
    I have fond memories of Northampton– only stopped there on our way moving to and from Boston area (yeah, we put a house on the market on 9-10-01, that’s a good story!) had littles then and there was a nursingwear manufacturer with an outlet store in Northampton that accounted for most of my wardrobe!

  115. LOL — Make that, “who has *never* posted here,” till now. So excited I can’t even type…

  116. Ohh how thrilling! It is just gorgeous & we all are dying to see what you’d do with it. I’m a reader from Connecticut who has posted here before, but here’s my chance to thank you for your fabulous blog & cheer YOU on in your own domestic prospects. Northampton is one of America’s BIG small towns. Kismet.

  117. Congratulations! I cannot wait to see how you put this house and air b & b together. This is gonna’ be good!

  118. OMG! It takes my breath away! I’m a huge old house lover (I’m the one who is recreating a 1903-ish Craftsman-farmhouse hybrid that we bought and had disassembled…) That is gorgeous and the AirBNB idea is perfect for you! I’m so happy for you, and can’t wait to follow your new journey.

  119. Oh, Laurel it’s perfect! I am so THRILLED for you and for us!! I can’t wait to see all the inspired posts and joy this brings you! What a wonderful turn of events. Congratulations!

  120. Way to Go Laurel! What a beautiful place. I’m wishing you success and I’ll enjoy following your progress.

  121. Oh I DID the same thing! Bought an old two story home in my home town….although not in as good shape as this one looks…I totally remodeled and it was SO MUCH FUN……kept it for two years and sold it…got all my money back..not accounting for ALL the fun I had. I Will keep up with yours now and live vicariously through you!!

  122. Congratulations on your accepted offer!! I cannot wait to follow along as you put your touch on this beauty!

  123. I love your column and am a regular reader. Congratulations. I lived very close to your apartment in Bronxville and I passed by all the time to visit my Grandparents. You will love having an airbnb. I made the downstairs of my home an airbnb and it has done very well and we don’t live in a college community. it’s close (1-1/2 hrs away) to Yosemite and we are booked all the time. I find Airbnb people take very good care of the place and it helps to live on site. I have had long term rentals too through Airbnb and love that because I don’t have to clean after each visit. Airbnb takes care of the money and deposits it in my checking account. I love it. Congrats again and with your talent and expertise, you could get top dollar for the place. People look for very comfortable beds so you should not skimp on that purchase. Connie

  124. Laurel,
    Awesomeness. I see you living in this Magnificent house already. With Your Talent This House Shall Be Very Impressive. Enjoy It In Good Health and Wealth. And close to your son too? Way to go. May YHVH Richly Bless You.

  125. Wonderful!
    I love that area. It’s beautiful.
    Yes winter will stink. But it’s only for a short time.
    Congrats!

  126. This beautiful house is going to be a blessing to you. And we too will be blessed when you share making it your home. I look forward to your future posts. Thank you!

  127. I’m so happy for you Laurel. I can’t wait to see more and follow your posts of your new fabulous home. It is gorgeous and I know you’ll make it gorgeous-er!

  128. Wonderful news for you and also to have family nearby. I’ll look forward to seeing the polish and style you’ll be adding to this beauty. Lovely area too. Hope all goes smoothly.

  129. I don’t think I’ve ever commented, but I just have to say I think it’s perfect and beautiful and I am absolutely thrilled for you!!!

  130. Laurel, I am soooo happy for you! What fun you will have. Can not wait to see what you do to this beautiful Lady, Floors are beautiful!

    It’s nice when good things happen to good people. Congrats!

  131. What a magical town and a magical home. You made the right decision Laurel- into the wardrobe (as in the Lion, The Witch and) and out of NY. You’ll be living in Narnia.
    Congratulations!

  132. Congratulations! It’s beautiful! The air b n b is a great idea. Friends of mine have a b and b near the university of Pennsylvania. It’s full most of the time, not just parents, visiting professors, and a lot of the neighbors relatives keep the b and b busy. Good luck to you and all the best:)

  133. God is good ! I’ve been really thinking about how much you have talked about making changes in your life. The house is beautiful and so much character! I’m a Massachusetts girl living in PA !
    I know so well how the change of course and fears … gave me new insight and inspiration to be all the best that I’m supposed to be !!
    Bless you and you new endeavors!

  134. Laurel – So happy for you. What an exciting time you have ahead of you. And exciting for all of us as we await your posts. Best wishes!!

  135. Welcome to the Happy Valley, Laurel! The best darn place in the world to live (Shhhh…) Maybe ai’ll see you at the Ghost!

  136. Mazel tov Laurel! You deserve such a wonderful home and I’m so happy for you! Can’t wait to see the wonderful things you do to make it your own. And we will want to see garden photos too! <3 <3 <3

  137. Congratulations! That’s a beautiful house, and I look forward to blog posts showing how you’re decorating. 🙂

  138. My first thought was OMG because I knew you were getting an apartment but then I read and realize what a great adventure this is going to be for you as well as us your readers as we all follow you. Congratulations to you and your son. You are lucky to be so close.

  139. Congratulations!!! What a wonderful adventure you are about
    to begin. I hope the house and town meet all your
    expectations. You will love having a little garden.

  140. Laurel, I know that house and Lyman Road is a wonderful neighborhood! Congratulations – that’s a fabulous find. You will never regret it. Smith College alums are always looking for places to stay, and you’ll be booked solid at commencements and reunions. Good for you! You could also rent out or lease that apartment for big$$$. Yay!

  141. Congratulations!!! What a wonderful adventure you are about
    to begin. I hope the house and town meet all your
    expectations. You will love having a little garden.

    The house looks so charming. I know you are loving the architecture.

  142. Congratulations! I must confess that I looked at the Zillow posting after your original post and have been pulling for you all day! A very charming house that I have no doubt will be a very special home and business for you. Can’t wait to follow you on your journey. I know you’re excited!

  143. Oh Laurel, I am so very happy for you. The photos you’ve shared show it is beautiful, and my only tip from having renters above us at one time, is insulate between floors if you can (not always possible, I know). I think your new home has a beckoning warmth to it, and charming details. Have you ever thought of doing video shorts/segments of what you’ve chosen to do in an area and why? Well, whatever you do, we all know your new abode will end up being as lovely as you. Congratulations, and thanks for sharing your terrific news:)

  144. Whoo HOOO ! That is so AWESOME 🙂 So proud and happy for YOU (and your good looking son)

    Can’t wait to see what you’ll do with the place.
    Blessings-
    Terry

  145. YAY. Congratulations!!!! I cannot wait to see what you do with this beautiful house to make it your home.

  146. I’m thrilled for you! Can’t wait to see how you work your magic and turn it into even more of a beauty. So happy, too, that your son will be nearby. Such great news!

  147. I am so THRILLED for you Laurel!!! I love reading your posts ~ I love your sense of humor ~ and I feel like you’re a friend. Mazel tov!

  148. I love the house. Wishing you smoothing sailing in the closing of the sale. Wise move at this point in your life. And your hoped for little garden will enhance you connection to nature’s miracles and beauty. Thanks for sharing with us. Enjoy.

  149. Yea for you…you are now seeing the “glimpse of the possible”…I know there is even more in store for your exciting new life! LOVE THE HOUSE! And look forward to seeing what you do to make it yours!

  150. Oh, oh, oh! I’m so excited for you! And, that house is gorgeous. It will be so much fun watching you add your touches to it. It’s always fun to live vicariously! Congratulations!

  151. Congratulations! I live in Massachusetts and can’t wait to rent your airbnb for a weekend. Best of luck and looking forward to more updates.

  152. Thrilled for your new find in Northampton.
    As you noted, it wasn’t too hard to find on Zillow. Are you aware that the $8,482 taxes are based on an assessment of$504,900? At an asking price of $817,000, I’m sure that you will pay close to that amount. That’s $312,100 potential additional assessment. Your taxes could,theoretically, increase 61%. I would talk to the town assessor before finalizing the purchase.

  153. Yes! I just knew it was going to happen for you, Laurel! Holy crap! (our fav irreverent phrase rears it’s head again and somehow feels right).

    Look at you, starting a whole new life! Congratulations! Xo

  154. Wow, Wow, WOW! Sometimes the desires of our heart are answered & blessings flow !:)
    My husband and I have remodeled our fixer upper homes through out our marriage of 54 years. We recently purchased our home in Grants Pass Oregon … love the forested land and, of course, the house needs work. With a degree in Interior Architecture I have often dreamed of making an historical house our home. My husband is a wood worker and very capable handyman. We often tour historical homes in our travels and marvel at the skill and craftsmanship used in the older historic homes.
    I applaud your finding a treasure … it is indeed beautiful! I have so enjoyed your blog as I design and work on our current house making it our home … you do inspire!

  155. Big congratulations on your purchase. So looking forward to seeing it blossom with your design skills.

  156. Congratulations on sellers accepting. Your offer! I hope inspections & closing go smoothly in record time. It may seem like it happened fast but then again you’ve been moving towards this decision in a thousand small steps for quite a while. Can’t wait to see your beautiful screen in situ.

  157. I know I’m late to the congratulatory party but I’ve got to chime in to say that this is the most beautiful, life-affirming morsel to hit my inbox today! I’ve JUST susbscibed/found you, Laurel and it would not be overstating to say that your posts have been theraputic! Living in Chicago, it’s a dream of mine to move to a more natural bucolic place. S-O happy for you! You bring SUCH beauty to my life. ALL the best!

  158. Congratulations! I can see why you are so excited. What a gorgeous home. Can’t wait to see where this new journey takes you 🙂

  159. Yippee!! I didn’t want to say it before the house was really yours, but it “looks” like you! So happy for you and cannot wait to follow your progress. A house is the best toy in the world!!

  160. I am SO excited for you Laurel. Congratulations! Your plan to use part of the space for an Airbnb sounds spot on. I hope you have a wonderful time designing the space and I can’t wait to read about this new adventure. I’ve got good friends in the UK who’ve been Airbnb owners for several years and have had a reeky positive experience with it.

  161. I think you’ve made a great decision to own. It’s a beautiful house and to be able to live nearly rent free is amazing.

  162. Congratulations Laurel!!! That’s great news that your offer was accepted and you are now the proud owner of a BEAUTY of a home!! I adore authentic homes with original architectural character. The exterior is stunning.
    I think the universe was definitely aligned for you today of all days – the summer solstice. It will be great to witness the progress you will be making over the coming months…
    I love that the property is a treed lot too – offers much needed shade on those hot summer days. I can visualize you sipping a glass of rose on your front veranda, writing your blogs, while waving hello to passerby. Sounds absolutely perfect….
    Turning the 2nd floor apartment into airbnb is a great idea and makes good financial sense, especially as you say “you personally don’t need all that space for yourself”. A ‘win win’ solution. I’m sure there will be lots of your blog followers who will be knocking on your front door in the future:) Until then, relish the moment when you finally step over the threshold of your beautiful (new/old) home.
    Warmest regards, KF

  163. Wow, what a beaut! And those curved walls flanking the bay window – the builder of that house didn’t cut corners 😉! Those houses were designed for cross ventIlation, too – a nice thought on this hot summer day. Best of luck!!!

  164. CONGRATULATIONS! Thanks for letting us know right away so we don’t have to be on pins and needles and we can get back to our regularly scheduled weekend 🙂

  165. Congrats Laurel!!
    Look forward to seeing you shine creatively with your new blank canvas!!
    You’re the deal. Great job.
    Congratulations again!

    Best,
    Jonathan

  166. So happy for you, Laurel! What a wonderful opportunity to start fresh and be near your son. I wish you all the best in your new home and anxiously await to see what you’ll do with it. It’s going to be fabulous!

  167. Congratulations Laurel! So exciting & it’s nice to hear some good news. I can only think, selfishly, that this is going to be a great experience for all of us too. 🙂

  168. So gorgeous. I’m looking forward to the next many posts as you make it your own. Congratulations, Laurel.

  169. Congratulations! This is going to be fun for all of us. I do hope you let us help decorate wiith you. Ha!

  170. I think this is fabulous news! I’ve been following your blog for some years- I look forward to future posts and watching you transform this little gem into a stylish and wonderful home.

  171. Laurel

    I am also a long time fan having learned so much and just enjoyed your blog for years! I have never commented before but I am just so thrilled to hear your good news and wish you such joy in your new home! Congratulations!!

  172. Another long-time reader, but first-time posting a comment. WOW! She’s gorgeous! Looking forward to reading your posts of your upcoming adventure. We just finished renovating a 2-unit Queen Anne Victorian in San Francisco & your blogs have been my inspiration all along the way. Thank you for sharing your knowledge in a fun & enjoyable way.

  173. Congratulations! It is lovely and I’m looking forward to seeing how you make it your own. I’m sure your son is going to love having you nearby too.

  174. Congratulations… this is the best news … read your first article this am and had my fingers crossed …. the house is beautiful…. and with your immense talent I can’t wait to see how you make it your own. Looking forward to the upcoming months of updates and your wonderful designs ! I’m so happy that you found your perfect place !

  175. I read your Blog this morning and I sent a quick prayer to my Dear Lord. Wow! I was so excited. What a beautiful home. I’m so happy for you. I bet you are walking on air. I shall have a special cheers for you with my glass of wine tonight.

  176. Wow! What a wonderful time for you. A new house, moving permanently closer to your son, and living in a beautiful area. What could be better! The house is a keeper…it has your name written all over it! I can already see that beautiful screen from behind your desk sitting in the living room of this house. Can’t wait to watch the transformation you will make with your talent and your educated eye. Congratulations Laurel!

  177. No sleep for you tonight, you will be designing every room! Congratulations and I am sure this will really get your creative juices flowing and provide lots of eye candy for us. So happy for you! Now fingers crossed on the inspection.

  178. Laurel –

    Welcome to the neighborhood! I live in the next town over and have been enjoying your posts as you settle into “Hamp.” Maybe we can meet for tea! I took a leap at 61 and bought my first house on my own. Had owned houses while married, but buying one on your own is very different – and it feels great! Whenever I get back from even a couple of days away, I always walk in the back door and call, “Hello house, I’m home!” Your house is gorgeous, and I am so very happy for you.

    Betta

  179. Laurel, your new home is GORGEOUS! I am so happy for you. From your writing, I can just feel your excitement, due in large part, I feel, because you will be near your son. I’m sure he is delighted as well. Can’t wait to see the rest of this beauty.

  180. Congratulations Laurel, the house looks beautiful! I’ve enjoyed seeing the town through your eyes and would love to rent out the upper (albeit, next summer). This west coast gal will be ready for adventure east by then!

  181. Laurel,
    It’s just beautiful!!! You are so lucky! I’ve always thought it would be cool to live in an older home. Good Luck, you will have a blast buying furniture and decorating the house😊

  182. Omg, congratulations! What a gorgeous house! I know that you’re going to do honor to those good bones! You deserve it. Wishing you tons of happiness and good health!

    XOXO, Claudia

  183. So very very excited for you! Having your offer accepted so quickly is mind-boggling! It will be so nice for all of us to be by your virtual side as you make this home your very own over time. Most importantly, this sounds like a wonderful move for you to be in this great town, out of NYC, and close to family. So so happy for you!

  184. Eeeee! Just saw the update! So exciting! It really is such a lovely home. Best of luck that all goes smoothly from here on out!

  185. Congratulations Laurel!!! We single ladies who invest in real estate end up financially ahead. You may have to give up some shopping and dinners out from time to time, but it is sooo worth it. I am very happy for you!

  186. Oh Ms. Laurel! I am so pleased and happy for you! Congratulations! This is going to be such a wonderful adventure; thanks for bringing us along with you. Sending you warm good wishes,
    Colleen

  187. Congrats!!! The house is gorgeous, so much character and that gingerbread…sigh. And it’s yellow :-)My favorite style of house. Northampton is a beautiful town, although a bit sleepier than NYC. My husband would move there in a heartbeat if it wasn’t so far from work. We live just east of Sturbridge, which is about 40 miles from Northampton. Don’t worry, you’ll survive the New England winters. We have for over 60 years, lol and they are getting a lot milder and far less snow.
    If you’re looking for a nice garden center try to find the time to visit Bay State Perennials in Whately. He stocks more unusual varieties of perennials or brand new introductions. It’s a nice ride out into the country and he has a nice selection of plants, although he’s probably sold out of a lot already.
    Again, congrats. I can’t wait to see you work your magic 🙂

  188. LAUREL! IT IS GORGEOUS!!! Yes, I was screaming!!! I am so thrilled for you. Can’t wait to see how you decorate it! Over the moon for you. Love, Nancy

  189. I’m so happy for you! Miracles and wonderful opportunities in life do happen and you deserve every one you get.

  190. Congratulations! How exciting! I can’t wait to see more pictures and all of the blog posts you will be making about your new home. So happy for you.

  191. What a stunning home. Great idea about the Airbnb. Not only will you have money coming in but I bet you will meet some really cool people. Great house and I can’t wait to see how you decorate.

  192. Hi, I’m a long time follower of your blog and love all of your design and paint ideas. Congratulations on the house! Wishing you all the happiness in the world.

  193. I know someone who is just Green with envy right now……it may or not be me! Congrats! You found a beauty and maybe even a goldmine! Now start designing….we are all living vicariously……..! v.

  194. Dear Laurel,
    Congratulations!!!

    I’m so pleased for you and you did not have to wait for Monday.
    Best of Luck,
    Dottie

  195. Absolutely thrilled for you! As I miss Massachusetts (Florida resident now) I’ll be sure to book a few nights at your place once you have it up and running. ( Missing the New England fall, the architecture and my gardens but NOT the cold & snow – lol)
    Looking forward to your updates.

  196. Wow! I am so excited for you! What a great idea. This will be a labor of love for you. Sending you lots of good wishes. I’ve got a really good feeling about this.

  197. Congratulations Lauren! From one single lady to another. You go girl! Lots on your plate right now, but looking forward to future posts! Lots of love and well wishes. Forward movement is a good thing!

  198. Oh my goodness!! Congratulations!! It is absolutely beautiful and I know we are all going to enjoy your journey!!

  199. Congratulations, Lauren! It’s wonderful that you’ll be near your son and in such a vibrant community. This is truly wonderful–can’t wait to see how you’ll be making it your own.
    All the best,
    Linda

  200. Hi Laurel, I’ve been following your blog for many years and have really enjoyed it. I’ve never posted obviously, but must congratulate you on your bold move. What a beauty and love that you’ll be near Cale. Sounds like a win win for everyone, house included. Can’t wait to see what you do.
    Warm regards,
    Jill

  201. Oh Laurel it’s adorable! What a fresh, pretty house. And the AirBNB potential is awesome. I’m so excited for you!

  202. Congratulations! Northampton is a great community and the house seems just perfect for you. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  203. Laurel, I’m so so excited for you. Your house is stunningly beautiful. I wish you many happy days in your new home. Danielle

  204. Laurel
    Greek Revival or not, this house is perfect for you. Congratulations! Can’t wait to see what you do with it.I
    Pat

  205. Omg Laurel, I am so excited for you. I can’t wait to see what you will do with this adorable home. It’s just perfect!!!!

    Tami Cain

  206. Hi Laurel,

    I have never commented before, but I have loved reading your blog for several years. I am so happy that you found such a beautiful home near family! Speaking from experience, it makes all of the difference. Wishing you the best on this new chapter!

  207. Incredible!!! I’m so so thrilled for you AND ME!! Because I love your blogs so much, and this means all of us Followers will be able to share the beauty and advise of how/what you do with this gorgeous home.
    Hey, did you know that you might get a discount on your Homeowner’s insurance if you tell them that you have a fire hydrant in the yard? Yeah.

  208. Congratulations!! I knew that house had your name on it. You certainly deserve such a beautiful home with the icing being near your son. Looking forward to following you on your new journey and maybe one day staying at your Airb&b:)

  209. Congratulations Laurel! The house is a beauty! What a sweet little town and close to Cale! I am so happy for you!!! I’m glad you let us know today!

  210. Congratulations!!! It’s gorgeous!
    I can’t wait to see the photos once it’s furnished!

    Take care
    Brenda

  211. Laurel, what great news! I’m so happy for you. And I don’t think you will regret the move. I left Westchester 48 years ago and have not looked back. In fact, if I could live anywhere (in Maine now), I’d choose a small town in the Berkshires. Lovely, lovely area.

  212. I think AirBNb is thinking small. In addition, once all the current state is passed, wouldn’t we all give for a weekend design retreat at laurels? Better than a spa and all like minded souls. What a treat. Im already planning.

  213. Congratulations!!!! I can’t believe how gorgeous this is – you are going to have such a great time making it yours. I look forward to living vicariously.

  214. Simply could not be happier for you!!!!
    Beautiful house, area you love AND close to your son. If houses have souls, and I believe they do, she is feeling very lucky to have you as her next owner.

  215. Congratulations on your successful offer! It looks gorgeous. So exciting to be starting a new adventure. Look forward to reading about your putting your own touches on your new home. The upstairs apartment looks adorable to.

  216. Ooh, Laurel! It is beautiful! I can’t wait to see more. With your exquisite taste, it will be such a treat for your readers. Congratulations!

  217. I am so happy for you, Laurel! When you first posted about renting, I wondered if homeownership would be a better route for you, but that’s obviously not my decision. I prayed you would find the right place for you in which to live. Wowza! It is just gorgeous and such a wonderful opportunity. Congratulations and best wishes for the many changes this entails. Life is an exciting journey, isn’t it?

  218. Did all of your regular readers look up the listing? I certainly did 🙂 All the very best to you, Laurel. Waiting patiently (not really:) for more pics and so look forward to interiors when you furnish. Whoohoo!

  219. WHHHOOOOOOO! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Wishing you the best for the new house and pending move. PLEASE keep all of us in the loop when the decorating begins. LOVE YOUR BLOG, LAUREL!

  220. FABULOUS news that your offer was accepted! Once you get in there and Laurelize it, it will turn into a gem! SO HAPPY FOR YOU, LAUREL!

  221. It looks so lovely Laurel. How exciting. Just imagine all the great blog posts this darling project will inhabit.

  222. Oh Laurel! I’m SOOOO happy for you!! I went to Zillow and the house is indeed perfect!! It is so YOU!! 🙂 It was supposed to be yours for sure!
    Big hugs and LOTS of love ~
    xoxox

  223. Thanks for sharing your great news! Congrats! I look forward to reading about your adventures in your new home!

  224. Laurel, I haven’t found the house on Zillow yet (but rest assured I will) but am excited for you. Big changes, whether this house or another, are good for us to tackle. I’m most excited that you might be able to have a garden (is it flowers or veggies you yearn for?). Maybe we will be able to give you gardening advice:))

  225. Yay! Very happy for you. Thank you for sharing the good news right away! I honk we are all invested in this journey with you and your follow up news made me so happy.

  226. WHAHoo… forget the zeros and may the fun begin 🙂 what a beautiful home for a beautiful woman! Congrats

  227. Long-time reader and first-time commenter, too! I am so excited for you, Laurel. This house looks simply wonderful. Sending good vibes your way!

  228. Laurel, I am so excited for you!

    Something similar happened to us, so now in addition to the retirement house that we are having built, we now own a small Condo in another city. Great place to spend the winter months!

    The house looks beautiful, and I hope it turns out to be THE ONE. But if not, you have already gone through an evaluation process, and now you have a better defined idea of what you are looking for – and why.

    Did the owner list the property on their own, or did they list with an agent? We used the listing agent to show us our Condo, and that turned out to be a very good idea. When she received an offer from someone else before we had decided to make our own offer, she contacted us to give us a heads up. That motivated us to move forward. As a matter of ethics she couldn’t tell us what the other offer was for, but she could tell us if our offer was competitive.

    Have you considered what your top offer would be if you find yourself competing with another offer?

  229. Laura, I’m checking in to your Airbnb ASAP….. this house is you … has divine features and it’s head over heels fall in loveable.

    Of course I looked it up on Zillow yay internet…
    Very similiar to my Victorian villa except your house (positive vibes only) has all the interior architectural features preserved.
    If I didn’t live in NZ and I didn’t like you so much, I’d be charging in for a win but you absolutely deserve this.
    I’m hanging on to hear !

  230. I have been reading you for a few years now and I am beyond thrilled for you. You just seem so much happier. I have dreamed of restoring an old home and haven’t gotten there yet. I keep hoping. Well my own home will be 40 years old this year. Does that count as old? Not hardly! I wish you the best of luck. Happy Days.

  231. I know what it’s like to find your fairy tale house, we just found ours. Best of luck, I hope it’s everything you could want.

  232. Oh, I hope you get it! It’s charming and has great bones. The only thing it really lacks is a cat.

    And if you do get it, I hope I will be able to stay in your AirBnB sometime as I need to do a few days of research at Smith when things are back to normal, whatever that means! Fingers crossed for you!

  233. My fingers are crossed for you! What a beautiful house and a great opportunity. I’ll be anxiously waiting to hear the result!

  234. Laurel, The house must be beautiful, my Grandmother always believe you should have a home with rental property. She could never understand why I had a one family home. She was a very wise woman, she let her tenants pay her mortgage. I hope you are able to realize your dream.

  235. Long time lurker but this is my first comment- Everything crossed for you today!!!
    I would love to see what you would do with that gorgeous space.
    May all your dreams come true!

  236. Best of luck to you, Laurel!! May this open the door to a whole new incredibly fun time in your life!!
    Sending you lots of love and energy!

  237. Oh Laurel,
    I feel like the owners left love energy in this home and that’s exactly why it will be yours. Doors open and shut for reasons. I’m in love with that architecture and the exterior color. Positive vibes toward you right now until it is yours 🥰

  238. Praying for you, Laurel! I love your attitude. It will all work out for the best whether it’s this house or another. But I really hope it’s this one! I’m on pins and needles and can’t wait to hear what happens!

  239. Oh my goodness … it’s gorgeous! I’m sending all positive vibes your way! I want you to have this house and I want to rent the BNB from you!

  240. Congratulations and best wishes that all works out! All of your subscribers have their fingers crossed for you! One piece of advice: when you insure this house, make sure the insurer knows that you intend to use part of it as a rental so you purchase the correct coverage. Also, do buy an umbrella liability policy and discuss purchasing the property in a LLC to better manage your potential liability should an AirBnB client get injured on the property and press a claim.

  241. Hi Laurel, I’ll call them tomorrow and see if I can help. I hope tomorrow you get a new home and Dentist.

  242. So exciting! I’ll be wishing you the best of luck. I love vicarious house hunting.

    When my husband and I were shopping for a house, it took almost a year. I’d like one and he wouldn’t be so keen, then vice versa. We put in an offer on one, then had second thoughts. Then finally we found a beautiful late Victorian that we both fell in love with. We toured it and decided that night to put in an offer right away, but by the next morning it was under contract with someone else.

    But! During their inspection, a plumbing leak scared them off and we swooped in with our offer, figuring the house would be worth it to us even if we had to replumb the whole thing. Turned out to be a $300 repair.

    So I guess the moral is, don’t lose hope even if things take a while to work out. Not that you didn’t know that! Sounds like you have a very positive attitude about the whole thing.

    Oh, also I love your point that some houses have a few differing elements than their style. Our house is what the town historic folks consider a Gothic Revival—although a very humble one. But one of the defining characteristics is pointed gable windows, and our gable window has a round top. Go figure!

  243. Beautiful! I am really hoping it works out. That is partially selfish, as I know we would all like to ride along as you fill it with beautiful things and post pics.

  244. I don’t know if this is too personal. If it is, just ignore me! Since your career is blogging about architecture and design, can you write off some of your expenses of a house?

  245. How exciting! A new adventure will be so much fun and give us new things to read about as you furnish it. Love the pantry and all of the charm. Hope you get it!

  246. Hi Laurel, I own three homes in Ma. Home ownership is the best investment. I don’t rent however. I’m really writing to tell you about the best dentist in the area. EMA Dental in Northampton on Gothic Street. Ask for Dr. Mariano.

    1. ugh. I tried them. They won’t see me. Or, at least not on an emergency basis because I’m not a current patient. I tried them and so did my host. And, I’m literally around the corner on Trumbull.

  247. Laurel, that house is stunning!!! I love everything about it. If I lived there, and I was buying a house, I would snap that beauty up in .000123 seconds flat!! I think it’s perfect for you!!
    I’m crossing my fingers and toes that you get it.

    I’ve always wanted to live in an old home. One that looks exactly like that. The porch, the colours, and to have rental income too!
    Unfortunately, my hubby would never agree to an old house. We are going to do some renovations to our super ugly bungalow that is on a super lovely two acres with tons of trees and a creek. A large creek that is navigable with a small boat, kayaks. In the winter it’s a snowmobile trail. We bought this one for the location. And that is one of the reasons I love your blog, it helps me envision what I can do with this little house.

    Wishing you lots of luck. Can’t wait to hear that you’ve got it!
    Xo

  248. You are doing everything right. One thing to consider is that it appears to be for sale by owner. This does leave you with more room for negotiations, but be sure that you are protected during and after the sale. Hopefully you have your own broker or agent. I love your choice, especially since I’m from San Francisco and am very familiar with this style of house.

  249. Hi Laurel,
    If you get the house it will turn this year around. Maybe 2020 won’t be such a poopy year after all.
    Keeping fingers & toes crossed for you.

  250. How exciting! What a beauty. I am guessing you will be booked out months if not years from your readers alone lol…maybe make it part of “Laurel’s Private Sale” so we can have first dibs! Best wishes for whatever is meant to be!

  251. And make sure you won’t have to do a lot of expensive updating in order to meet current building codes, in order to rent it out.

  252. Thumbs up. Can’t wait to see what you do with it and how beautiful it will be!!!!! And you will have an unkitchen!!!!! Also, hope you make a lot of $$$$ renting the upstairs out.

  253. I hope you get it! Somehow, it seems like your — home — dreams are also my dreams: Nice homes with projects to do to make it even more beautiful. And more importantly you’ll be near your beloved son. Holding my breath and praying…

  254. Great decision!! Cheers to you.. Enjoy this fun and rewarding adventure in this new phase of your life. You deserve it 🙂

  255. I’m a new reader joining during COVID. Laurel your a smart talented woman and fully capable of making decisions. There’s no right or wrong here. Go for it and enjoy your journey.

  256. Laurel, I am keeping my fingers crossed that you get good news. The sneak peek looks wonderful. Can’t wait to see what you do with the house to make it your own. Yes, I am already assuming you will get it.

  257. Brilliant Laurel! It’s called house-hacking and it’s a huge phenomenon in real estate investing. Buy property, rent out part and live for free or nearly, and reap appreciation and tax breaks along the way. I plan on doing the same for a section of my house (I’m building a separate entrance to it) when my twins go to college in 2 months – just drives me nuts I can’t AirBnB here in Napa so I will look for traveling nurses instead. Best of luck – hope you get it!!

  258. That house is beautiful and absolutely perfect for you!!! I hope you get it and I can plan a trip to stay in the airbnb with my beautiful daughter so she can meet your handsome son haha.

  259. I love the house! When you love something you will never tire of it. You know that! Having your son near will make your transition easier so, I hope you get what you love. p.s. call the emergency number of your dentist. If he is nice, he’ll come fix your tooth. smile

  260. Ooo I’m so excited. I let out a WOOP and did a little happy dance. With your work, you have the flexibility to escape in the winter. If the Airbnb doesn’t work you can always rent it to a permanent tenant. That way they’ll be someone around to look after things while you’re soaking up the Florida sunshine in January. Sending prayers.

  261. I’m so happy for you! The house is beautiful. I can’t wait to see the rest of it and your decorating. We live in an 1884 Victorian that only has 6 corbels so I have serious corbel envy. I manage the small garage apartment at our beach house thru VRBO. I hired a housekeeper so it’s not too much work.The income helps with insurance,property taxes. etc. Good Luck!

  262. Laurel, I worry about you basing the payment of your mortgage on an Air B&B esp.due to covid. The house is lovely and you will no doubt make it lovelier. But don’t get carried away by what ifs. Go over the figures with a financial adviser. Make sure you are safe. There are too many poor women growing older. Obviously, I don’t know your finances but please don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position. Otherwise, as long as you can afford it without help I unreservedly urge you to buy a house you love and to be near your beloved Cale who seems like an adorable and loving son. I really hope you can swing it and make it as beautiful as I think you will.

    1. Thank you, Wendy. And an excellent point I did consider. I have already been in touch with my super-smart F.A. who gave me hearty green lights. And, yes, I can afford the payments without any additional rental money.

  263. Oh, Laurel. I am somewhat new to your site and you have been my “Bible” while renovating a home in the Charleston, SC area. This will be such fun for all of us to follow and just know you will get it!! Fingers crossed. I have done two VRBO homes in Charleston and loved it. Have met the greatest people. Lots of women like you who are coming to visit their children here. Waiting to hear!!

  264. Laurel: That is so exciting! Fingers crossed that it all works out, and partly for selfish reasons 🙂 My daughter graduated from Mount Holyoke, which is just down the road, and certain college events continue to bring us back to the area (this spring, she was supposed to celebrate her 20th reunion, but of course that didn’t happen). So now when we visit, we’ll have a place to stay!! And in fact, the proximity to so many area colleges undoubtedly bodes well for your plans – we’ve had many occasions when it was impossible to get reservations for overnight stays.
    Like you, I’m a native New Yorker, now in Connecticut, but I didn’t find the winters bad at all – certainly no worse than NY. Oh, and check out the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley…they have some great finds. Again, good luck!!

  265. OMG. I’m so excited! The details you showed us says this house has been very well-maintained and not messed over. As someone suggested please make sure the city allows vacation rentals in that area. But you’ve done your homework checking out rentals and in some areas it doesn’t make much sense to rent given the high cost of renting and poor inventory. Can’t wait to hear but if not this one another. Reading all of the good wishes coming your way makes me teary. Fingers and toes crossed for you!😘

  266. Whether it be this lovely lady, or one of many more, you will find the perfect home, and have many heartwarming stories to tell about it! Good luck🍀!