packing // smitten studioExciting changes are happening over here! I am stoked to finally share that we have sold our townhouse and bought a little house (with a yard, yayyy) here in LA. It has been in the works for quite some time now, but with how things have gone for us en route to selling and buying… I didn’t want to share anything about it until the deal was done, done, DONE. To give you the short version… the market in our neighborhood (and in LA in general) is pretty nuts. Like, our current place wasn’t even on the market and we had a few offers come in the door. We accepted one offer and quickly found a place to rent but before we could move, the buyer backed out and the deal fell through. In the beginning, we couldn’t decide if we really wanted to sell but after having sold it in our minds and then being bummed out when it fell though, we realized we really were ready, so we listed it. This time it sold for real, just two days after listing.

I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason and that God has a plan. Sometimes I forget, but in hindsight I am always amazed. When we sold our place we had no idea where we would move. We negotiated a one month lease back into our contract, which basically means that after closing we get to stay in our current place for one month, giving us the extra time to find a new place. Our house hunt began. We went to what feels like a million open houses and put offers on 4 different properties in the end. We were really excited about one house and made what we thought was a really good offer the first day they were accepting them. That house ended up getting 12 offers that day, with 4 of them being all cash. We didn’t stand a chance.

Through all of this, there was a house for sale in our ideal location that we had walked past a million times, but it was out of our price range so we hadn’t even considered it. Lucky for us, it was on the market for a few weeks and hadn’t sold so they dropped the price. Even luckier for us, we knew the owners and was able to strike up a deal directly with them, saving time and money by not having to use a realtor on our end. (happy dance.) Oh and major bonus… we closed on the new house one week before we have to be out of our current place, giving us a week to move. Perfect timing.

So… my tips for buying and selling in LA? 1. Don’t fret, what will be will be. (I didn’t take this advice and was a major stress bucket until all was said and done… which seems silly now since everything worked out so well) 2. Be prepared for a roller coaster ride. So many ups and so many downs. 3. Do loads of research so you are educated with what houses really are worth in your area. (this helped us a ton, with managing our expectations and knowing when to walk from a deal or not). 4. it really is true what they say… “location, location, location” 5. Marry a super charming gregarious husband that makes friends wherever he goes so that you can buy a house from one of his friends. What, that one not so helpful? 😉

I know this is A LOT more writing then I usually do, so high five if you made it this far. You want to know the best part about our new place? It is an old fixer so you know I have big plans for it. It will be like the cabin project all over again. 🙂 More on the new place soon!

  • Congratulations!! So exciting. Can’t wait to follow along and see what you do! The CA market is CRAZY right now, the same thing just happened to us! Offers without even listing!

  • Wow congrats! Looks like it was meant to be! 🙂

  • I am so excited for you! That is awesome! I have a dream of buying and fixing up a house one day… hopefully soonish.

    Molly @ Mint Atelier


    Congratulations! This is so so sooooo exciting!! You guys are so handy and awesome, the cabin has turned out amazing (well, I’m sure you’re still not done in your own mind) so can’t wait to see progress on the new place and before and after pictures, etc.

    This is awesome! Enjoy the last month in your place till the new one!

  • Bea

    Congratulations, Sarah! I love your line about Rupert 🙂 You are not so bad either haha! I cannot wait to see what you will do with this place, I see tons of potential and I am super excited for you two!

  • Congratulations! Such an exciting time for you and your fam!

  • Ahhh! So excited for the two of you…

  • Esther

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see your new space and what you do with it! Your style is awesome! Also, I’m not in the real estate market at the moment, but this post was super encouraging to me anyway. Thanks for “writing more than usual.” 🙂

  • Congratulations on your sale and purchase! Can’t wait to see what you do with the new place….love the cabin reno so much! Looking forward to more goodness 🙂

    Just went throught the exact same thing here in LA….put in 10 offers, kept getting beat out by mulitple cash offers. Finally got the exact right place because everything DOES happen for a reason and God DOES have a plan….exactly like you said 🙂 xo

  • How exciting, and couldn’t agree more about God’s plan and timing. Look forward to following along on the new house!

  • So excited for you! I can’t wait to see how you beautify your new place! 🙂

    P.s. you look like a miniature standing on the tv console! LOVE IT!

  • Congratulations on the new house!! I’m excited to watch the transformation. I loved seeing what you’ve done to your cabin in Michigan, so I’m sure this will be just as fab!

  • Yay! Congratulations. I can’t wait to see all the projects and transformation from the new pad.

  • Thank you all so much. I can’t wait to get started over there, now if only my dad was in LA!

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story and for these tips. My husband and I are currently doing the real estate dance in crazy LA looking for our first home. We’ve been going through a similar situation but haven’t had anything work out just yet. It’s hard to stay positive but it’s really nice to hear that it can work out for us buyers who don’t have all that cash. Congratulations on your new home!

  • I discovered your website via pinterest a couple of days ago and I am loving it. I can’t believe I’ve never seen it before! Congratulations on the new house! I bought my first appartment just a couple of weeks ago here in Antwerp, Belgium with my boyfriend, and although it’s a much more relaxed situation here, I can totally relate! We ended up buying the perfect space for us and I’m so ready to start planning and decorating 🙂 I’m so curious to see what you will do with your new space! x

  • This is the first time I have been on your blog and I read this post thinking..oh my gosh this sounds like our story! My husband and I live in Nashville and the market is crazy here too. We had three houses fall through before we have the one we do now. We’ve been living on our friends floor for 2.5 months now. The first house went all the way to closing day but then our lender somehow missed the deadline and the sellers had multiple offers and went under contract with someone else as soon as they found out our lender hadn’t finished their paperwork. It was a nightmare. But oh my gosh God is soo good because now we have a house like 5 minutes from downtown that is brand spankin new and we, like you guys did, get to customize it all. I have to keep pinching myself cause if we had gone with my plan (rather than God’s) we would have been in a completely different situation. I like this one much better (understatement)…plus the 2.5 months of grown up slumber party has been a blast!

  • This is my first time coming across your blog, and I was flipping through some old posts and stopped to read this one. I just wanted to say congratulations, and I really enjoyed reading about your experience. Thank you so much for sharing, and can’t wait to see what the place looks like after renos.


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