It’s been a bit since we’ve posted anything on here. It’s taken some time for us to adjust to some big life changes, good and bad, but I think we have finally found our ground again. We wanted to share a little bit about the current state of our guest house renovation, why we are renovated and who the heck is funding this…
If you’ve been following along with us on instagram, you know we’ve still been very present over there. We’ve shared a ton of updates on new baby animals for the ranch like chickens and a rabbit (which, RIP baby bunny, we loved you for the two days we had you).
Renovation Why & Update: When Matt and I first got married in 2014, we had plans to move into my parents guest house on the Tremaine Ranch property for only a few months. I had hopes for taking a job in San Francisco, and Matt was ready for a change from his current career with the Chandler School District. There was no opportunity for growth in his position, and I was working at a company in Arizona that just wasn’t fulfilling for me. Filled with amazing memories and coworkers, but leaving me missing something at the end of each day. We just were both ready for a change and had decided that we would move to create these new opportunities we were both excited for.
The guest house on the property has needed some serious TLC for quite some time. The plumbing would always back up, lack of closet space, a home filled with hand me down furniture and old windows letting our AC/Heat out to all the world – meaning higher bills for us to pay. Long term, it wasn’t an ideal place to stay and we had discussed how we would be looking for a place of our own. What we weren’t expecting is how hard it was going to be to leave this beautiful property. I mean, I grew up here. I have loved living on this ranch property and the idea of moving away really broke my heart. Despite not actually owning the property ourselves, we’ve put in many hours of love and labor into keeping it alive and created our own ownership. We help with the mortgage, we do the landscaping, we take care of the animals, we help water all of the plants… the list can go on. This is where we got married! The history before ours is important to us, and keeping our history alive here is too . It means so much more to us than we knew. So, we decided to stay. We decided to have a conversation with my parents, letting them know that no matter what happens, we would love to eventually buy this property from there. And so, that was our new plan.
Last year, we found out some news about my dads health. My parents would need more help around the property and staying here, making this place ours, was really important to all of us. We had made the decision to make sure that everything done moving forward with the property was intentional and had purpose, including the guest house renovation. Matt and I had dreams of renovating the guest house. We had plans hand drawn, design elements picked out and we thought “well, maybe in a few years we could pay for it”.
My parents own a remodeling company called Classic Home Improvements. They’re beyond talented and always execute incredible work. With discussion of what we wanted to do and a realistic timeframe, there was no way that Matt and I would ever be able to afford to do anything like this on our own. We wanted to stay on the property, but honestly, the guest house was just getting slowly worse and worse. Before my dog died last year, he was insanely sick. He was diabetic, blind, deaf… He was this little trooper trying his best and still living a really great life. He unfortunately had peed in our carpeted house more than enough. After cleaning it over and over again, ripping the carpet out was the best option. So, we lived with concrete floors in the house. It just was little things that continued to add up that we needed to make changes for but financially were never in a spot where we could take the plunge. And we wanted to do it all rather than piecing it together throughout the next few years. So, after figuring out a plan to make the renovation work and getting financial help from my parents, we were able to make the jump to get it all done sooner rather than later. My parents are financing the renovation and we are insanely grateful for their skills and knowledge on the process of a renovation, crew, and resources. We would never be able to do something like this without them. We can’t say thank you enough to them for investing in our lives and our future in such a big way. Matt’s parents have also been over lending their hands to the process. Between electrical work, plumbing, installing skylights, doing all of the demo ourselves, touch up painting, and so much more… we put a ton of work into this ourselves, but we are insanely grateful and appreciate the support from our parents.
So why am I telling you all of this… why do I think someone out there may care…. I think part of me wants to keep things really honest and transparent. I want to make sure you guys know that yes, we work really really hard and we have made a great business and name for ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we are in a place to financially afford something like this. Realistically, we maybe could have in a year or two, but we needed to make these changes now. The internet is filled with people sharing their happiest moments of travel, home renovation, work success and everything in between. And yes, these are all SO GREAT AND EXCITING to share. But sometimes, we have to share the hard truths ourselves. We were not happy in the home we were living in. We loved the property, the neighborhood, the space, but didn’t feel like it would ever be a home for us. We needed to create a home for the two of us that actually feels like a home. A place where we are able to invite friends over for dinner at a dining table indoors. A space that is designed how we like it. Happiness is important in life, and knowing that our home never represented us or created a happy space for us was a big deal in our mental health. I am definitely aware that this is a huge privilege. This is a huge blessing. This is a huge gift that people rarely get. We have been going to sleep every night absolutely amazed that we are given such an incredible gift and honestly can’t believe it. We can’t say thank you enough to our parents. We’ve built this property with them to what it is today. We consider this property ours by ownership of work. We continue to dream of what is next and how we can make Tremaine Ranch even more special for all of us. Dreaming of what it would look like with goats, more flowers, selling fresh eggs, opening up the garden and creating a magical space for friends and family to always feel welcome in. It is almost there, but we are excited to make it ours in the future. And seeing how we are able to support and help each other as family means so much to us.
So what does this mean for us long term and how are we moving forward… Long term, our plan is to take over the property and make it ours. My parents are talking more and more about their retirement plans, and traveling/downsizing is becoming more of a priority. The plan is the be able to have them stay at the guest house as needed; essentially a switch. When they are gone, we will list the property on Air BnB for short term property rental. We’ve had great success with Rowhouse 25, and we are eager to see our casita listed on Air BnB in the future. Our plan is to move out of the guest house and into the main house on the ranch within 1-2 years. We’ve got a 5 year, 10 year & 20 year plan mapped out and it is really special to see how hard we are all working to make that plan a reality.
The goal with sharing this is to share the truth of what our lives look like without putting on a facade of what we want you to think our life looks like. The internet is wonderful and social media is great, but it comes with its own cons in the comparison world. My goal is to make sure that you guys know that running a business is really hard, and sometimes you need to take out loans and ask for help in ways that may be really embarrassing to share. But you know what, who cares!? If I can share my honest truths and experiences, to let you guys know that we really are just doing our best, that is all I care about. After all, we are ALL just doing our best. Thanks for reading and I hope this didn’t strike any negative chords with anyone. We appreciate our platform to share and love being able to be honest without pretending to be or do something we are not capable of doing on our own. We understand that this is rare and know that not every family dynamic is this way. We feel so lucky and we hope that comes across. <3