We’re moved in!!! Mostly. Our kitchen is still a construction zone, the toilets and showers are giving me sass, and I’ve been wandering around at 3am every night hanging things, so I am a puffy exhausted mess – but all of the bedrooms are more or less set up, we have a usable dining room, I know what day the trash gets picked up, et cetera. And the Wifi is functioning (!), hence my ability to write this post.
(BY THE WAY. 99% of the reason I’ve been able to do all of this while also being a working mother and maintaining a marginal degree of mental stability is Duckbill. It’s a personal assistant service. Go get your free month with code RAMSHACKLE and thank me later.)
Ok. So I’ve had a loooooot of questions over on IG about this move, so let me explain: Without disclosing exactly where we live, because creeps do exist, we found a property in our school district that’s WAY better for our needs (outdoor space, bigger living/dining area for us to hang together in, great community amenities, lots of kids and families, super safe and chill) and…wait for it…
Literally half the price of the condo we’ve been living in for the past two years, while being double the size.
We don’t have an ocean view anymore. No need to send flowers; I shall survive.
I was initially going to sell the condo, but then I realized: If at all possible, one does not sell a rentable home in an extremely expensive area that will unquestionably appreciate in value. So I scrimped and saved and deprioritized things like shoes and restaurants, and ended up being able to rent out our previous place for a price that at least covers the monthly expenses. Is this sustainable? Will I have to sell? It’s all TBD.
But I have to say…my single mom self is kinda puffing up with pride. She’s a real estate mogul now! Kind of! (OK, what she *actually* is is cash-poor and panicky, but still proud.) See, for the past ten years – ever since I got the real estate bug, when we bought our adorable first house wayyyyy back when – my goal has been to one day be able to fix up properties and then rent them out, so as to create passive income and inch away from the stress of being a freelancer/hustler.
I love what I do – which, on any given day, comprises 4-5 semi-intertwined jobs, none of which provide any semblance of stability – but I do not love the constant anxiety about whether I’ll be able to afford life next year. Or next month. Right this moment, though? I kinda feel like a badass.
Moving on! Meet my favorite room.
Here’s the Before:
Before we even moved in, I painted the entire interior, installed can lights (not in this room, which was a mistake, but everywhere else), and had the dark wood floors sanded down to a lighter color. The difference was night and day.
What you see here:
- IKEA Billy bookcases (highly recommended; there are tons and tons of hacks you can do with them and they look so much more expensive than they are)
- Sparkly disco ball planter to create dappled light effect
- Faux Eames chair
- Electric piano
- Faux marble electric fireplace
Over here we have an incredible Restoration Hardware lamp that I bought from my friend Audrey – who is helping me with layout and setup of this place – eons ago, a thrift-store library lamp, a CB2 chair I found on Facebook Marketplace, and some art I bought at the Fairfax Flea Market. (I am aware that it is slightly off-kilter.)
That stone cross was a find from a little shop in Mexico – it’s super heavy, and I adore it.
And there you have it! There are some things I still plan on doing – hanging curtains, as an example – but I absolutely love this space. More before-and-afters to come!