Guess I'm going to have to learn how to spell Detroit.

Friday

So you might have been wondering what the hell has been going on around here.

Well, a lot has been going on personally for us this past year. Things beyond the stress of renovating and selling a house. Things beyond buying a lot and designing a house. Things that make you rethink everything.

Let me preface with this: Marc and I have a very clear vision for how we want to live our lives. We want to have time to spend with our kids, we want to travel frequently, we want to be live in a kick-ass house, we want to design things, and we don't want to worry about money.

Slowly, we started to realize that this might not happen with the house at 106. We never talked about it, but it was the common backdrop to many discussions. Asheville is a very expensive place to build. We were cutting things out of the new house left and right. We were likely going to end up with a house that was just ok, and still not have money to travel. Bah. We started dragging our feet in finishing the drawings, as you may have noticed.

Fact is, we would have been fine. The house would have been fine. Our lives would have been fine.
But if you know me, fine  is not my thing. 

Our last lunch at Detroit's Lafayette.

We've mentioned moving before. We looked, we researched, and we just could not decide. So we bought the lot and started designing a house. Then some family things happened that turned us upside down. About a month ago, we were driving from Detroit halfway to my parents' house for a hand off of sorts. Marc was riding next to me half sleeping, half gazing out into what is the frozen flat tundra of Northwestern Ohio in the winter and I remember thinking, If I say this, I won't ever be able to take it back. But it still just felt right, so I said it.

"If you want to move to Detroit, I'd be open to it."

Marc turned to me with a look that I'll always interpret as I'm-so-glad-I-married-you, and said only: ok. We hemmed and hawed over it for a couple of weeks when we got back to Asheville, but that initial look had already pretty much sealed the deal. We were moving to Detroit.

See the thing is, sometimes it takes losing family to make you realize how much you need your family. You can't get that person back, but you sure can hold the rest of them closer.

Plus, to be selfish, it's really hard to have two kids, two jobs, and not live near family. The life goal of spending a lot of time with our kids? Have that. The life goal of traveling? Nope. The life goal of living in an amazing house? Not likely. Job Security? Sorta. Minimal money worries? I wish.

So in 3 months we will start a new adventure a little more north.

I'm no stranger to moving. I've lived in 8 different cities and 18 different "places" since I was 16. But it will be hard to leave Asheville. Out of all those moves, I've lived here the longest by far. We have amazing friends and have done some fun work here. I've felt constantly nauseous since we started telling people, but just felt like if we were ever going to make this move, we should do it now.

To get to the nitty gritty: we will be selling the lot. Interested? Email me at bunny@86nit.com
OR check it out here. http://asheville.craigslist.org/reo/4347673691.html

We are looking at the Ferndale, Royal Oak, Berkely areas, but are open to others. We will either buy a lot and build, buy a house and gut reno, or buy a weird building and gut reno.
I'll blog about it if y'all are interested.
Live in Detroit or have advice? I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

Excited? Shocked? Sad? Let me know. Maybe it will help with my nausea.

33 comments:

  1. Good luck! You have to follow your heart, and it's better to do it now than to realize halfway through building. I would love to hear about your reno or your build, whatever you do. Renovating a building into a house sounds like a very fun project.

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  2. Good luck. Just chiming in to say YES, please blog about it, whatever it is.

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  3. I'm excited for you!! Moving closer to family was such an increase in our quality of life. I hope you really enjoy Detroit.

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  4. I can not wait for your absolutely awesome new adventure.

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  5. I grew up in Grosse Pointe, spent summers Up North and went to U of M - Ann Arbor. I see you as an Ann Arbor/thereabouts sort of family. Any chance of that? Also, you are already most likely familiar with DIYdiva.net, but maybe she would be a good fellow SE Michigan based blogger to ask (I do not know her at all, but she seems pretty cool and very talented at house stuff). Good luck!

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    1. I forgot DIYDiva was in MI!
      I would love to move to Ann Arbor, but it defeats the purpose a little. Too far from family, too expensive. There is an amazing stock of MCM houses there tho. Man. I'd love one of those!

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  6. Wow! Hope you will have time & energy to bring us along for the ride! Maybe you'll end up doing something wild like Heather & Aaron at Firepole in the Dining Room.

    Sending hugs for whatever family crisis you are going through and good luck with all the change you are about to encounter - sounds like this decision with move you closer to realization of your grand plan!

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    1. Thanks for the new blog! Great work!
      Also, thanks for the hugs. :)

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  7. I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!

    And my vote is for buying a weird building and gut reno. But I'm a masochist :)

    Bahhhh! And you'll be close to Kit and Katy who are absolutely fabulous folks (and Matilda is like 3 weeks older than Mina - best buddies!)

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  8. Guess what? Your superfan here lives in Ann Arbor!

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  9. Guess what? Your superfan here lives in Ann Arbor!

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    1. So nice, it had to be posted twice! ;)
      Zingerman's trip is in my future right?

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    2. Seriously, look me up or message me - love to meet up!

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  10. Go where your heart is. And wherever or whatever that is, please blog about it!

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  11. I can't WAIT to see this new chapter. Please, please buy something weird.

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  12. Congratulations! This sounds like an awesome new adventure! I'm lucky enough to live near my family and it is amazing watching my nieces grow up and getting to hang out with my parents too. I wish you best and I really hope you blog your new journey, I'd love to read it!

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  13. I've been following your story back since the knot days and your fab wedding! I think it's great you are moving back to the area--we need cool, young families with design sense to invest in this area! Can't wait to hear about this next adventure.

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    1. Isn't it crazy how small the internet felt back in the knot days? Love it!

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  14. Nikki, keep putting it out there. People don't always tell you they follow you or what they think, but they do. Follow you and think. And by people I mean me. And others like me, too, I'm sure. You guys are inspiring. Follow your heart and make waves, my friend. Life is short, live it up! Good luck with the move, and have fun! I'll be following.

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    1. So sweet. Means a lot to hear. I love seeing your sketches too. Keep them coming!

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  15. Good luck!!! I wish you guys the best and please keep writing about your adventures in nesting.

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  16. Great post. Really psyched for (and jealous of) you guys. "Deserve" is a word that's too often thrown around, but I honestly feel like you guys deserve this.
    Looking forward to following the journey

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    1. Thanks Chris. Means a lot coming from you!
      Now we can work together as a team to get Meryl to move!

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  17. wow! good luck with everything! i'm sure that you will find something great in detroit!

    i completely understand the desire to be closer to family. we've been living 7 hours away for the last 8 years, and once we had wesley, we also realized that we wanted to be closer to everyone again :)

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  18. Hmm. Not trying to burst your blogger-support-bubble, but my experience living in a "transitional" neighborhood in the SF East Bay with two grade school kids was not good. Constant redevelopment/political turmoil, property crime (burglaries up and down our block, our car's window was broken and items taken), no kids playing freely around the neighborhood sidewalks. Now I love living a few states away in a central, stable 1950s single-family neighborhood. Don't live where people may sell crack car to car outside your house (yeah, we saw that once), or where your city sees a powerless neighborhood.
    To sum up: pick your neighborhood wisely, avoiding architectural/affordable/proximity temptations in favor of an existing, lively. politically-savvy, and healthy community, preferably with kids nearby the same age as yours.
    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

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    1. RT - I get it. Believe me.
      I've been to Detroit enough over the past 14 years to understand the reality of the situation and be annoyed by the the "ruin porn". As much as the architect in me would love to buy a house for $5k, the adult parent in me realizes that I like to walk to the library, sit on my porch at night, and you know, have the cops come when someone is breaking into my house.

      That being said, you aren't going to find us in a mcmansion neighborhood with no sidewalks. We picked our locations in Asheville very carefully based on how we like to live our lives and we will do the same in Detroit.

      I love the quote at the end of your comment. I'm really hoping that happens in Detroit and we can figure out a way to be a part of it.

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  19. How exciting, welcome to the D! I am down towards Ann Arbor myself, but the areas your looking at are awesome as well. Lots of great restaurants and culture, and there's so much cool stuff here too!

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  20. Good for you for having the guts to say you'd move. It's exciting, scary, vomit-worthy, and all kinds of other fun stuff, but I can't wait to hear all about it!

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  21. That's great! I live in Royal Oak, and stumbled on your blog a number of years ago. As a DIY'er myself, I'm happy to welcome another one back to the area! Hope you find something that works for the family!

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  22. Good luck! Detroit gets a bad rep, but it is a good place to live. I grew up in Birmingham, and the cities you mentioned all seem like a good fit. There are also a bunch of reasonably priced MCM houses in Beverly Hills, which is a village in the Birmingham school district.

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  23. good luck on your new adventure! very exciting.

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  24. I'm excited for your next adventure! i'm selfish and think it will make for great blogging material :)

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