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.

  • WayToGeaux

    I want in on the speculation. Because debating with other Doocebags about how your predicament will work out is much more entertaining than sitting around waiting for your next post. Or your next post-ette, as you can’t seem to spit it all out at once 🙂
    I think that Insano Owner #1 came back, accepted your offer, at the same time that #2 accepted. The Armstrongs were then forced to choose between two essentially perfect homes, a situation more difficult than having no home to ponder at all. Hence the question about view vs. back yard in the Community…you wanted us to help you decide where to live. Am I close?

  • screwdestiny

    Gah! You’re killing us here! So, you didn’t get your perfect dream house? Or was it just a hassle? I need to know!

  • ClaireinAustin

    I absolutely love it! the floors are stunning, and the windows absolutely wonderful!
    modern, schmodern: this place is flat out beautiful!

  • angela in SC

    WayToGeaux, thank you for joining us in this exercise that I am calling the “Guess the End Game”. Great job on your guess! Excellent speculative skills my friend!

  • theurbancowgirl

    I’m pretty certain I want to make sweet, sweet love to that house.

  • Mandaray26

    OMG! I feel like this isn’t going to end well! This house is *so* amazing.

  • LuckyMama

    I want to make out with those incredible floors! I mean it…HOLY MOSES I LOVE THOSE FLOORS! I’m not all that into formal living spaces, but I would gladly have them if I could live in that house! And those chandeliers! I am in love and eternally jealous! Congrats Armstrongs!!

  • Keri

    Oh, my GOD! That house is beautiful! I’m crossing my fingers that this series of posts ends with “and then we bought it”!

  • mrs.notouching

    Well… since nobody has said it yet… Oh Em Geee! The house is gorgeous!

  • Anu

    Wow! That is a big ass house. I love it. Too bad HGTV didn’t renovate your old place. Would have made for hell of a show.

  • ClaireinAustin

    also-does it come with the piano?

  • J. Bo

    It doesn’t matter if the outside looks like Hagrid’s grubby hut from the Harry Potter movies; the inside is obviously “The Room of Requirement” for you and yours!

  • Lanie

    There HAS to be something else going on than buying a house. Because what is this tweet about:

    “All of HGTV talent just said, “Heather, you are not allowed to tweet about this.” Oh, man.”


    Why should HGTV care, if it’s just the Armstrongs buying a house?

    Also, while there are many jaw-droppingly lovely things about this house, what EXACTLY is attractive about that bathroom, particularly the vanity?

    And some of the hardwood IS beautiful (the piano area, the kitchen, the last picture) – but the wood on the stairs, the two pictures after the stairs, and the second-to-last picture is just ugly. WAY too grainy, and/or planks that are WAY too mis-matched. I mean, my family’s house was nowhere near as nice as this one, but our hardwood was much better done.

    Just saying…

  • medwards

    what a great place. The kind of place that you could spend the next 50 years in. The best part will be moving day. It’ll be such a blast with the kids and Tyrant.


  • ClaireinAustin

    and ok, if we’re playing “guess the rest of the story” then I bet you made an offer, it was accepted, and then they found out who you were and what you did and tried to back out because they decided they didn’t like you. and that would not only be mean and bratty, but illegal, right?

  • danioz

    Looks fabulouso. We have just moved and doubled our space, not quite what you have there but it has blown our mind.
    What a lovely family home for you all.

  • s3rp3nts

    Wait tho. Insano homeowners good this time? Because I’m confused.

    And damn, girl, that house is the hotness. I wish I lived in an open market where home prices were normal. Sadly, I live in DC, where home prices are not normal. And I live in a dump because I hope the owner will sell it to me when he becomes (yeah, like he’s not already) too old to make the repairs…

  • Laurie C.

    House looks gorgeous…and I found a post about chickens you might enjoy!

    Good luck with the whole home thing…and perhaps you’ll have room for some chickens?

  • Sabine

    Oh it’s just beautiful. Congratulations!

  • The Bold Soul

    ::hanging off that cliff you’ve left us on, by my fingernails:

    Which is really uncomfortable considering I just got out of the hospital after having major gall bladder surgery, and I’m not supposed to reach for anything high.

    Please, put me (us) out of my (our) misery.

    WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED? If I weren’t hanging off this damned cliff, I’d have my fingers crossed that you got your dream house.

    Hoping it goes your way,

  • adi82

    They obviously got the house or she wouldn’t be posting pictures of it! Right? And I think the reason she’s been away from the computer for a while (and having guest posts) was because they were in the process of moving. In fact, I would guess that’s their laptop sitting on the kitchen counter.

    Soooo….congrats Armstrongs!! Gorgeous home. Can’t wait to see more pictures and hear the rest of the story of how it came to be yours:)

  • lusses naturae

    waiting! baited breath! all that. please tell us what happens next…

  • territorial

    Gorgeous home Heather!!!!

  • Absent Minded Housewife

    My gay sister and partner bought a house in Utah County. As you can imagine, house shopping was an interesting experience for them. You can’t exactly pass each other off as roommates anymore.

    Anyhow all the choices were pretty much Celestial Chic so they went with the house in a neighborhood of hermits. Even with that going for them there was “Families are Forever” stencilled across the family room wall.

    They hung pictures of themselves partying with their red cups all around it. It’s excellent.

  • Enatural7

    I really hate ‘To Be Continued’. Hate.

  • BeanMa


  • mrs_k

    Okay, so I know this is all “wahhh wahhh first world problem” of me, and I know you deserve an enjoyable holiday weekend with your family… but waiting for part 3 is kind of killing me a little bit. Just sayin. You are a master of le cliffhanger.

    Hope you guys are, in fact, having a great holiday weekend 🙂

  • bobbie

    My husband wants us to move to SLC after he “retires” from the military. You’re not giving me warm fuzzies on the availability of houses there – especially when you’re buying up the nicest one! Congrats on the beautiful house (I hope – Insano Home Owner #2 a foreshadowing of doom?)

  • christine1127

    Lanie…I think that tweet was just about the party she attended with all of the HGTV talent. Don’t think it had anything to do with the housebuying. HOWEVER, I really think there has to be more to this story than just “we found this amazing house” and had trouble buying it, etc.” A couple of Heather’s posts:

    “I’m headed out the door in just a bit to huddle up with some lawyers, and by some I mean a few hundred.”

    and… “But I will still be here giving you updates and filling you in on everything when I’ve been given the green light.”

    Why would someone need a green light just to say they were buying a house and had run into some big snags? Doesn’t that kind of thing happen every day? There HAS to be a good story that we will soon hopefully hear.

  • christine1127

    sorry for the double post…editing to delete. 🙂

  • Lanie

    Christine – One wouldn’t! And yes it does!

    And if there IS no juicy story the entire internet will deflate like a soggy balloon.

    It is now suppertime-ish out there and no update, harumph.

  • WhatForMomma


  • olgapb

    beautiful house! does this mean both houses are owned by the same people? do they just want to torture you? hope you get this house!

  • guinness618

    How many people out there believe that someone is tipping off the neighbors as to who is actually interested in the house? I think it’s a Coco conspiracy.

  • Squeetthang

    AMAZING! I absolutely love it!!! I died laughing on your comment about the gays bringing light…it is so very true!

  • lesliepaige78

    beautiful home. not modern but contemporary with that homey feel. love the contrast to white walls and the gorgeous floors and the WINDOWS!

    cant wait to hear about the crazies and the adventures of selling your own home. you make mundane things and turn them into really great stories.

    i have to totally agree about gay men having this energy and making things…well just….more fun.
    i need more of that in my life too.

  • foundmercy

    I read this at home last night and when my husband asked what I was doing, I told him, “Drooling.” Not that I’d want such a big house, but it’s just so pretty!

  • Anxious Annie

    Did Ranger lose his hair because of you?

  • Jan

    Just beautiful, Heather. I, too, live in my mind in the pages of Dwell magazine, but you can still do a lot with the interiors. If you *did* manage to purchase it, it will obviously have more resale value than a modern house, assuming the culture out there doesn’t change over the next 30 or so years.

  • Norabloom

    This house reminds me a lot of your current house, except it’s obviously much bigger. I’m looking forward to seeing you put your own stamp on the house, since right now it’s decorated fairly generically. Not that you asked, but I think that space on either side of the fireplace is calling out for some bookcases. Looking forward to seeing the end result!

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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