Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

Next, part two

I should probably get this out of the way right now so that many of you can recover from your disappointment by the end of the post: this has nothing to do with a television show. HGTV did not buy me a house, nor are they renovating the one we live in. All of this chaos is completely separate from the work I do for them, and sadly (fortunately!!!) I won’t be appearing in any reality show about our lives. Worst part? THIS STORY DOESN’T EVEN INVOLVE CHICKENS.

QUACK! Oh, wait. Wrong bird.

I left off where Insano Home Owners rejected our offer, and you guys, it was really REALLY hard not to write about it when it was going on. I loved that house, I could see the girls growing up in those rooms, but the cost of putting up a fence on that property was going to be astronomical, plus any other unseen costs that might arise after an inspection. And that number, that 800 days on the market, it sat on our shoulders like a gorilla eating peanut butter sandwiches. So when they walked away we felt a mixture of devastation and relief. A weird, disorienting feeling, kind of like being stranded in the middle of a dumpster behind Denny’s but knowing you can fart and no one will notice.

I had told our real estate agent that I wanted something modern, and can I just take a moment here and tell you what an amazing difference it has made in my life to finally be surrounded by gay people again? Our accountant, our real estate agent, my assistant… they just bring an energy to life that straight people cannot touch. And, hell! They make me wish I were gay! But there’s that whole penis thing and how awesome it is.

So our agent found everything that was somewhat modern in the areas we were looking, and, just, eeeeeyuuckkk. The inventory here is really depressing, and I actually said that to Jon in the middle of all this. I said, “This is just so depressing.” And he totally flipped out! We were in the car and he suddenly pulled over IN THE MIDDLE OF TRAFFIC and was all NO NO NO NO WE ARE STOPPING THIS RIGHT NOW. Holy overreaction! Calm down, Mister Blow It Out of Proportion!

He has a serious case of PTSD from what I put him through during my postpartum depression, and when he hears that word come out of my mouth he ducks so that the milk carton I’ve thrown doesn’t hit him in the head.

But in this instance I meant depressing as in, come on, Salt Lake City! You’re really disappointing me! YER NOT REPRESENTING.

I did promise him that I would not use that word in reference to real estate again, but get this. We were dropping Leta off at school one morning, and one of the other mothers who moved here from out of state last year asked how it was going. And when she saw me hesitate she goes, “It’s so depressing, isn’t it!”

Several times that day when Jon saw me laughing he would shout SHUT UP.

We exhausted all the inventory in the neighborhoods where we were willing to live and within our budget, and at that point our agent asked me how flexible I was about this whole modern thing. And I was like, um, what do you mean by flexible? And he was like, you know, bendy? How Gumby-like? And I was like, dude, if you take me to a Tuscan puss-filled goiter, you’re fired.

We had just walked through the fifth house in two hours, and he said he knew of a house that wasn’t on the market yet, and it wasn’t modern, but he had heard that it was nice. We drove by, stopped next to the driveway, and I thought, hmm. That is certainly not modern. But it looks kind of nice. Why not have a look, nothing to lose. So he set up an appointment for the next day.


I just.


When we walked through the front door of that house the next day the eight-year-old Heather Brooke Hamilton in me started cheering. Like, this was the kind of house I used to daydream about living in. And I literally had to hold in a squeal and stop myself from doing a back hand spring.

It was my dream house. And it’s just so crazy, because it is nothing like the modern things I’ve been drawn to in the last few years. But there it was, my dream house.

Light everywhere. Gorgeous hardwood floors. Huge windows. Space and then more space and then more space. A huge formal entry that opens up into a huge formal living room that opens up into a huge formal dining room that opens up to an unreal kitchen that opens up to a casual living room. A mudroom! A laundry room bigger than my first apartment! And as I was dragging my lower jaw along the floor, the real estate agent representing the buyer says, “She has remodeled all the bathrooms.”

And by remodel she meant gutted and then filled with the finest tile and vanities imaginable.

That was the first floor.

Then there was the second floor with more windows and rooms and bathrooms than I could wrap my head around. And a master suite that just… it was obscene! Except the kind of obscene where the hooker is actually quite pretty and has all her teeth!

And then, the third floor. A 900-square foot open loft. An office, perhaps? Or maybe that’s where I could put my stripper pole.

I won’t even get into to the basement, a space bigger than our house.

When we got to the end of the tour, out on the backyard that expands up and over the half-acre lot, our real estate agent who had not ever been inside couldn’t form words. He was stunned. Totally speechless. Because the asking price for this house? Basically what we offered on the other one.

I grabbed him by the shoulders and said DO IT NOW.

Little did I know that The Armstrongs are magnetically attracted to Insano Home Owners.

  • mkdsmall

    I sure hope Part III comes soon. I serious think you are ending up in this house – I mean with a table like that surrounded by windows like those – I can’t imagine anyone else in that house.

    Hanging breathlessly for Part III – oh and have a good 4th of July!

  • brendadog

    Are you for fucking real? The allusions to the lawyers and all this “drama” is over a house? Please tell me there is more to the story. Like it is owned by Cindy McCain and you found a private S&M den.

  • tokenblogger

    Does it come with the piano???


  • MustangSally

    hmmm. “not on the market yet”….. + “insano homeowners” + “lawyers” and I’m thinking you made the offer, they reneged or otherwise tried to sell it out from under you (or doubled their asking price as soon as they heard the SQUEEEE in the front door….) and you had to legally pry it out of someone’s cold (but hopefully not dead) hands.

    Or maybe, you got the house only to discover the 3rd story loft had been turned into a CHICKEN COOP and Jon did, in fact initiate divorce proceedings (hence the lawyers).

    But since you’re posting pics I’m now assuming you legally own photo rights to said domicile so I can happily jot off on my holiday assuming you also have “real” rights to the house, too. Congratulations!!! (in advance…)

  • Laura Jones

    We fell in love with a house and put a bid on it. The selling agent promised us that the people who had the right of first refusal weren’t going to exercise it. They did. He used us to goad them into action.

    We ended up in our current house and have been happy with it for 9 years. The longest I’d ever lived in a house before that was 4 years.

    If you made Chuck fat he would be too lazy to escape the fence. I have cats so my advice is tainted.

  • bunnybeee63

    Maybe the second homeowner is insano because her asking price is so reasonable? Or unreasonably reasonable?

  • kailee

    You and Jon should purchase real estate more often. Seriously, I LOVE anything and everything about house hunting. This is also why I love Sandra Rinomato and House Hunters International. The Sunday Real Estate Classifieds are like my favorite section of the paper, aside from the Travel section.

    The house looks goddamn BEAUTIFUL. I love the light fixtures! And the darker wood floors will really hide Coco’s barf. WE HAVE A WINNER!

    We’re remodeling our kitchen right now, and lady, I hear you on the Tuscan shit. It’s rampant in Northern Virgina too. These contractors come in with books and books of kitchens that look like they came straight out of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Maybe I’d be inclined to have a Tuscan themed kitchen if, I don’t know, I fucking LIVED IN TUSCANY.

  • samantha

    Oh my God, that is absolutely gorgeous. Do you need another assistant?

  • The Fabulous Mrs. Chevy

    O.M.G. That house is GORGEOUS! My heart was fluttering at each picture and I just kept taking little breaths in until my lungs exploded. I have been checking the page alllll day waiting for the post. My husband and I have been house-hunting for two years and have made umpteen offers for houses we keep losing. I hope that even though you are magnetized to Insano Home Owners that this one works out.

    Haha, my captcha is may pullout.

  • jan001

    I’m hoping for insano = ridiculously low price which you signed a contract on and are now in the process of living happily ever after! (in)

    Love love love all the light. I avoid stairs (rotten knees) but even those are sooo pretty!

    Waiting with bated breath for the next installment…

    (Ha! My captcha is “the journey” — how, like, karmically relevant and stuff.)

  • EarlGreyHot

    Holy fucking crap.

    Please, let this end with »we bought it«.

  • filmlady

    Holy crap, BEAUTIFUL place, I sure hope you got it because I’d hate to have to hunt down those lawyers and scream obscenities if you didn’t. Not that I’d really do that.

    Yes I would. Honestly, how could you let Chuck live anywhere else??

  • jess ica

    What a beautiful home!!

    I’m truly not being hateful when I say this. My WHOLE HOUSE is only 280 sq feet bigger than the loft of this house.

    I can only imagine how amazing it would be to live in such a beautiful, open home.

    Cant wait to see what the future brings for you guys! GOOD LUCK! 🙂

  • jacqueline

    this is better than porn.

  • francabollo

    Because I’m thinking you didn’t get this place, I’ll say it’s just okay. The design of the fireplace in the LR? Awkward.

    BUT, if you did get the place, congratulations and disregard my comments. I’m just hoping the universe is holding out for something better.

    Looking forward to the next installment.

  • MrsRoo

    Oh Heather. Make this be the house. THIS IS THE HOUSE, RIGHT??! Because I need this to be the house.

    This is also my dream house and I want y’all to be living in it sooooo badly! I’m sure there’s another crazy story about how you managed to wrangle this house away from its previous INSANO HOME OWNER, but this needs to be the house. Got it?!?!

  • Dryad_girl

    Do you get to keep the piano? Just amazing!!!!

  • Sailor Scorpio

    Oh. My. Gosh. I really, truly hope you got that house. I will so enjoy living vicariously through you. That house looks gorgeous, and I’m betting the pictures probably don’t capture just how gorgeous it is in person.

  • lynda

    Oh it looks so beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing pictures.

  • muse2323

    It is a gorgeous house, at least based on the pictures. And your description.

    My husband and I went house-hunting last year. What we found and did end up getting was just a little outside my comfort zone, price-wise, but they did come down about $50,000 from their initial asking price (on the market about 1.5 years). And we thought they were nuts, too–all because of the craziness over a lawnmower we didn’t even know they had.

    But I think you draw a different kind of craziness than my husband does; I can’t wait to see how/if this pans out…

  • Pinkporches

    Oh no.

  • Aunt_Lala

    I had an orgasm over the kitchen, dude. Amazing. And the floors, sweet baby Moses in a basket, those floors are beautiful!

    If you’re not going to move into this house, I’m going to freak out.

  • saraminerva444

    Part 3 before midnight right?

    Captcha: was manured

  • tksinclair

    NO! This is MY DREAM HOUSE!

    Seriously! It’s absolutely perfect! Living in S. California I have no idea how much something like that would cost but it’s beautiful and unaffordable in S. California.

  • GirlUnscripted

    I really really hope the cliffhanger ends with you getting the house for a song. Because if you didn’t get your dream house? I’ll be VERY depressed for you.

  • beannie


  • jnudler

    Okay, I am guessing the reference to the insano home owners means that the story is NOT over. I cannot believe you are doing this to us AGAIN!!! However, since there are pictures, I am thinking, maybe, just maybe, there is hope that you are getting the house. But that small voice in my head keeps saying there is more than meets the eye here. You know you cannot possibly wait until Monday, or even worse, Tuesday to post the rest of the story. Right? Right?! I’ll just be waiting here for the ending, because I know you could not possibly make this four parts in good conscience! BTW, the house is gorgeous.

  • deathbyjava

    And then the story went DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUN!!!! How can I possibly go about my weekend without knowing if you got that fabulous house or not?! Oh, Heather Armstrong, you are a most cruel story teller.

    Actually, in your last post, I thought you were going to say that CoCo had been bird hunting and that she’s been hiding dead birds in your attic which you’ve now discovered – thus giving Jon another reason why you shouldn’t have chickens.

  • knolting


  • Blahggy

    I logged on right at the right time! Didn’t see part I until part II was up. Awesome.

    In all seventh-grade-oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-he’s-looking-at-ME style, OHMYGOD! It’s GORGEOUS! That KITCHEN! That BACKYARD! THE WINDOWS!!! HOLY CRAPOLA! So awesome. I love the Universe.

  • Brea

    Did he?! Did your realtor do it – DO IT NOW?!

    It is so pretty, and it looks like the perfect place to raise your family. Can’t wait to hear the final outcome…

    Congratulations (hopefully), Armstrongs!

  • imaynotremember

    What an amazing house Heather! I hope you move in soon, it’s really fabulous.

  • angela in SC

    Oh, mercy…another chance at the game. You know how much I love playing the “Guess the Ending” game, but I don’t know if I have it in me to go another round. (Yes, I know it’s not a real contest…it’s just a contest in my own little mind 🙂 )

    Ok, I should know this one…. my parent’s are realtors. I should have the upper hand here. Let’s see…did they say that they wanted to wait 2wks and see what other offers they got since the house has just hit the market? Did they raise the price on you guys after you made an offer?

    Sorry, that’s the best I’ve got. I “bled too much of my own blood” guessing on Next, Part one. You are going to need to anounce the winner soon because I’m not sure I can go another round.

  • Wombat Central

    But with this new house payment, can you still save enough for Leta’s BYU education? Hee!

    It’s stunning. Hope the Armstrongs call this home soon!

  • Mrs.Koehnke_ it is pronouced kinky. Like S and M

    I fear there is a part three that might break my heart because, seriously, this is MY dream house! I got goose bumps from looking at the pictures!

  • Enatural7

    Dude, if you don’t end up with this house, I’m gonna be so pissed.

  • Couture Coco

    It’s beautiful! But wait, obviously I haven’t been paying enough attention, I assumed you already lived in place like this. It was meant to be congratulations!! When do you move in?

  • ladyamazing

    I’m currently searching for a new house with my…baby daddy…and I want to (and I mean really REALLY want to) hate you right now.

    That house is incredible. It is the perfect mix of modern and traditional and holy shit hardwood.

    Gorgeous…stunning…more words than my High School degree can spew forth.

    When I finished reading your post the FIRST thing that came to my mind is, “I want to see more.”

    The lighting will be amazing any time of day. As a photographer, I’m that much more jealous.

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing with us so we can visually enjoy it as well.

  • Shamelessly Sassy

    I was once touring my dream house while house hunting. All was well. The layout was amazing. Lighting fabulous. Even the wall colors were the sort I would dream of splashing into the rooms. Then we get to the master bath and the current owner is on the toilet taking a MASSIVE shit. He welcomed us in to tour the bathroom regardless. Never got up from the toilet, just continued to grunt it out. Creepiest thing EVER.

  • Tracye


    Thou are blessed!

    Grats on the new home /golf clap!

    So much sunlight…

  • Ezza

    … I smell a big but coming.


    If this is anything like my experience in buying the dream-home, there will be angry phone calls to realestate agents/mortgage brokers/lawyers, midnight drives to get documents notarised at the police station, binding legal contracts signed in a state of total intoxication, blood, sweat and tears. Oh the tears.

    But that’s my tale to tell – I hope it’s as worth it for you as it was for me Dooce.

    And tell Jonboy half an acre is plenty big enough for chickens.

    Giant freakin chickens.

  • TXinUK

    Its gorgeous . . . you must have gotten it because you can’t just post pics of someone’s house online, right?

  • Couture Coco

    Oh come on please tell us Part Three, Four and Five – whatever, just do it, then we can have a virtual house warming (pity?) party for you all!!

  • spike

    IIRC, your household moves generally coincide with major home renovations. Kitchens, bathrooms, etc. Will Jon need to reno the current house before it can be sold or have you already got plans for the new place? Beyond the obligatory need for cat-5, HDMI, and other blurbdoocery tech requirements throughout the home of course. Indoor lap pool for the dogs? Wine cellar? Moat?

  • comicmummy

    Wait, I’ve got it.

    You pitch a reality TV show to HGTV called…wait for it…”So You Think You Can Kick Insano Homeowners’ Asses”.

    It’d be like a home improvement show meets the Karate Kid but with vested emotional interest.


  • cat

    Oh my freeking lord. I think I want to move to Salt Lake City.

  • rebeccak

    JEALOUS!!! Beautiful! You guys are very fortunate! Can’t wait to see what you guys do with it! This certainly looks like a place chickens would dig, ;oP.

  • Shana in Texas

    Score! I hope you experience much happiness here.

  • dfunkmcgunk

    Dooce, you are really starting to drive me nuts.

  • southerngirl


    It looks like the Chinese have forever cursed you to live in interesting times. The little bit of backyard I saw through the dining room window looks amazing. More pics of that, please.

    Also thought you could use some humor about now. Here’s a blog that “looks into the exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs”. Hysterical.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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