The big yellow house.

Living in a 1200 square foot house with four children, one of them a newborn, a 78 pound dog and a husband-man may be tolerable for some, but this mama was losing hope of ever having a private moment in the bathroom again, let alone a quiet moment in any room. We could hear the children constantly, no matter what room we tucked them into.

But our effort to find a larger and affordable alternative seemed futile. Every one of our Zillow searches produced the same results. McMansion A or McMansion B. Same houses, different suburb and nothing at all appealing to us.

Seth and I both grew up in century-old houses with solid wood floors, creaky doors, quiet nooks and massive wooded yards. In our childhood homes, imaginations could run wild and we were constantly entertained. A newer house without history, solid floors and a private yard was out of the question.

So, refusing to settle, we waited.

When Foster arrived our online searches became more frequent. 1200 square feet now felt like 800 and we were literally tripping over each other. And then we found it.

The big, yellow house.

We were both shocked that it was actually available. It has to be sold, we thought. This listing can’t be accurate. We scoured through the listing, trying to figure out why no one had snagged her up. Yes, the rooms were old. Yes, it needed work – but “Hello, World!” would you look at her?


When we walked in for a showing, the realtor didn’t have much of a sales pitch. “I’ve shown this place 30 some times and everybody walks out scratching their heads. No one knows quite where to start.” And then his conclusion, “I think it should be a Bed and Breakfast.”

“They probably just lack imagination,” I said optimistically.

“Uh-huh,” then his attention went back to his phone while he crossed his legs and leaned back into the lone chair sitting in the empty kitchen. And there he remained while Seth and I went exploring through room after wallpapered room. I walked slowly behind him, climbing up the stairs and working my way through the narrow hallways. The house, originally built in 1807 has several add ons. Each one quirkier than the next. There were secret passages between the children’s rooms – all completely separate from the “adult” side of the house. And the playroom was ridiculously awesome. Complete with a winding, princess staircase, a library book ladder and secret nooks in every corner.

Seth whispered, “This house is crazy and different and awesome. Like our family.” And when he said that. I knew. It was a done deal. He was right and this was it. This was our forever home. But how could we possibly make it happen? Foster was barely three weeks old and the price was way out of our range. We would also have to sell our house, of course.

Within  a few hours of our walk through Seth went into Super Dad mode and didn’t stop until closing day. While I stayed on newborn baby and business running patrol, he listed our house for sale (and sold it by owner), negotiated the sales price on the new house down by over six figures and met with contractor after contractor to get estimates on necessary fixes and updates we’d need to make when we moved in.

In spite of the odds and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, we moved in last month. And now you know why we have been so quiet… we didn’t want to jinx anything and have been unimaginably busy.

So, there you have it! The space is here and we’re not quite sure what we’ll do with it all.



22 Replies to “The big yellow house.”

  1. @Jen and JJ – yes! More pictures coming and JJ – so happy you find this inspirational. Whatever you dream is possible. Crazy!

  2. Awe, it sounds simply amazing and wonderful and already so full of love, laughter and life! Cant wait for you to share more pictures ( if you decide its appropriate to of course)! Much love to your family . So happy your dreams are coming true!

  3. There are just so many things that don’t ring true about this story. First of all, the house was listed as recently as April 2011 for a whopping $779,000. and, then, inexplicably, it was sold in March 2012 for a comparatively paltry $210,000. How did the property lose more than half a million dollars of value in less than a year? And then, you two come along in December 2013 and pay $330,000 for it? The property depreciated by more than $500,000 at a frightening pace, and then it suddenly appreciated from that low of $210,000 all the way up to $330,000 in a little over a year? Why, the yo-yo effect with the price? You two always act like you’re the smartest people in the room, so your self-aggrandizing “story” in the Columbus Dispatch is no surprise (BTW, how long are you going to continue trotting out that BS about you working on a morning radio program like it was the high point of your career?). But, if realtors were trying to steer you clear of making a mistake on a major purchase such as this–undoubtedly because the place is haunted, it was the site of a mass murder, or it is a gigantic, gaping money pit–then maybe, just maybe, they know something you don’t. Imagine that, someone that’s actually smarter than you. I know it’s impossible for you to comprehend that, so carry on. There’s nothing to see here…that is, unless you plan to trot out a follow-up story in the Dispatch again in a year or so after you finally come to your senses and admit, “We were wrong.”

    1. She works in marketing of course she self promotes that’s what marketing is all about. And the 779,000 to 210 drop would be explained by the dismal housing market at the time? maybe the owners where in over their heads so sold at a loss… idk and to be honest it doesn’t matter if you don’t like how she represents herself, well then stop reading and spending a huge amount of time looking up these “facts”. Who cares?

      1. There is so much more to the story on this house. It was a sale within the family – hence the drop in value. Unbelievable. Please just ignore Sean, he has been harassing us now for years and years.

  4. Geeeez Sean! Are you familiar with the expression ” If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Alania & Seth congratulations, it’s a beautiful home! Sending good vibes your way.

    1. Ashley, there’s a back story to all this. You see, Alaina has, for a very long time, displayed a pretty disturbing pattern of deceitfulness and unbridled arrogance. She’s a shameless self-promoter who doesn’t really care who she adversely affects, as long as she comes out making herself look good. And Seth, by association, is just a naive and emasculated pawn in the game. The fact that she enlisted the local newspaper to help propagate this fabricated story is evidence enough that she needs to turn nearly every aspect of her life into a stage show. It’s pretty sad, really, especially when you know what’s really going on. And, why do I care? Well, that’s a whole other sad story in itself.

  5. What an exciting adventure Alaina! I hope you don’t mind me letting your other readers know that real estate can be listed at whatever price the seller wishes, even several hundred thousand dollars beyond its value. If they find a buyer who is willing to pay their high asking price, great! If not, then usually within a year or so sellers will get serious and drop their asking price to reflect the property’s true market value in order to facilitate a sale. It doesn’t mean the property lost value, it just means the owners adjusted their inflated asking price to reflect the true value. Enjoy your gem! Enjoy the process of fixing it up and making it yours!

    1. Oh yeah, you are absolutely right! We were so lucky… and after our purchase it immediately appraised at much higher. We were just very brave and offered what we could pay. The land attached to the house also changed from 11 acres to two. We have two.

  6. I drive past this beautiful house each and every day and have always wanted to walk through…I’m glad it got a very deserving family. Many happy memories to be made here!

Leave a Reply