Even Ugly Houses Can Feel Like Home

My parents lived in the same house for over 50 years. They bought the land and built a one-story brick ranch in an undeveloped area of a mid-size southern town. My mother used to talk about how chickens (that did not belong to my parents) would run around untethered. Pat and Irene were newlyweds and buying a 3/4 acre lot, hiring a builder, and moving a new family were all big endeavors. But when you’re young, somehow change seems easier and you are more open to experiments.

The lot they bought was in a capital city that was also home to a state university. So despite the free-range chickens, my parents were urban pioneers who broke ground in an undesirable area.

House Cat Real Estate
Under construction. 1958.

 

And when the house was built and the family was moved in, I guess my parents felt like the house was “done.” And I mean “done” because they never made any changes or updates to the house. And I seriously mean no changes. Same pink bathroom. Same green bathroom. Linoleum in the kitchen. A wood-panel den. Exterior doors with hand-crank louver glass panels. A tin roof patio. Two car carport.  We never owned a dishwasher.  And the kitchen cabinets, countertops and sink were all original.

I was the youngest in the family and by the time I came along my parents had been living in the house they built for almost 20 years. And as I grew older, the house grew older with me.

I remember sitting alone in my bedroom as a teenager, among the hand-me-down furniture that my two older sisters had already used, and I would dream of how my own space would look when I could finally get out of there and make my own decisions. And in my mind it looked NOTHING like that house.  I hated the architecture and the furnishings and everything about it.

And now that I’m on my own, living in a loft right on the Atlanta Beltline, do you know what my space looks like?

It looks like my childhood home.

When we emptied my parents’ house, I took every porcelain bird knickknack, ugly lamp, and worn piece of furniture I could haul back to Atlanta. I even took their rotary dial telephone. (It still works. I’m not kidding.)

home-1
Can you find my parent’s pieces scattered through my loft? Hint: look for electric orange and avocado green.

 

House cat real estate.
Velvet barrel back chairs. (Note: Orange Cat is not vintage. Circa mid-2000’s!)

 

home-2
An “earth tone” acrylic painting and green lamps (you may not be able to see it, but the gold bases light up, too.)

 

My parents are gone and my time capsule childhood home is gone. But they live in my memories. And pieces of them live with me. But now I embrace the ugly because it’s what make my own space feel like home.

If you want to see how I’ve integrated my mother’s questionable taste (and I write that with so much love) into an industrial live/work space in Old Fourth Ward (O4W) come by my office in Studioplex for a tour and a cup of coffee from Mom’s percolator.  I’d love to help you find a house that makes you feel like you’re truly at home, too.


Red Robin REALTORSI’m an agent with Red Robin REALTORS® one of Atlanta’s premier boutique real estate brokerages. Contact me at lynn@redrobingroup.com or 404-247-9981.

Real Estate Q & A, Frenemy Style

Here’s a question I was asked a couple of weeks ago:

Is your copywriting business so bad that you now have to sell real estate?
— Neighborhood Frenemy

I mean, I get it.  I understand the confusion.  I’ve been a freelance writer for a couple of decades, and real estate doesn’t seem to fit neatly into the industry I’m already known for.  But actually, it all does make sense and go together.  First, I’ve easily connected my professions by starting this site, HOUSE CAT REAL ESTATE – a blog about my personal and professional house hunting adventures that wraps my writing and real estate talents together.  And in my first post I am going to publicly answer my frenemy’s question.  Let’s take a look:

Q. Is your copywriting business so bad that you now have to sell real estate?

A. My copywriting business, which has been around for 18 years, is more than fine. Last month I delivered 5 video scripts to Johnson & Johnson, and I have ongoing work with AT&T and the American Cancer Society.  But real estate is a continuous interest of mine that I haven’t fully explored. So here I am, introducing myself as a Georgia REALTOR® based out of Atlanta.

I bought my first property, a two-bedroom condo in the 30305 area of Buckhead, 18 years ago. (Yes, at the same time I started my copywriting business – when I go in, I go all in and I knew the more responsibility I took on, the more I would push myself toward success. It worked.)

Since then I’ve owned 6 properties (3 single family homes, 1 condo, 1 residential loft, 1 mixed use loft).  At two points in my life I owned 3 properties at the same time, although right now I only have 2.  I stay in a live/work loft located in a renovated factory in Old Fourth Ward, and I lease out a LEED-certified loft I own in Grant Park.

I’m truly fascinated by the tangible and intangible aspects of real estate, everything from architecture styles to population migration. In particular I love niche properties with live/work zoning, unexpected locations, or unique features.  So if you already know me from my copywriting business or other endeavors (did someone say sock puppet film noir or the Feline Film Fest?), let me now say hello as Lynn Lamousin, licensed Georgia REALTOR®.

I may be newly “official” but I have almost two decades of property ownership, contract, and landlord experience.  So let’s talk about your dream home. Or dream office.  Or dream second home.  I have those dreams too and I’ve owned all kinds of properties – I’d love to share my experience with you.


Red Robin REALTORSI’m an agent with Red Robin REALTORS® one of Atlanta’s premier boutique real estate brokerages. Contact me at lynn@redrobingroup.com or 404-247-9981.