And So It Begins

My wife and I began the search for our first home during the early months of 2009, with the hope of making our monumental purchase at some point in the summer. We had gotten married the previous June and were renting a house in the Highland Square neighborhood of Akron.

We found our rented home to be very comfortable, affordable and beautiful, and we originally intended to continue renting for a few years after our wedding; but the supply of houses for sale seemed ripe for the picking, home prices were dropping, and news of the first-time home buyer tax credit convinced us that we need not wait any longer.

Besides, we were both eager to put our skills to good use . . .

My wife, Hannah, is a graduate of the Interior Design program at Kent State University. She works for FirstEnergy, a locally-headquartered energy provider. On most days, she enjoys her job and finds her duties as a designer of corporate workspace to be fulfilling. Ultimately, however, she yearns for opportunities to fully utilize her creativity, unrestrained by the limitations of corporate guidelines.

I graduated from Malone University with a degree in Bible & Theology. Being uncertain of the direction I wanted to go with that, and having always been interested in the trades, I decided to take a construction job at Nantucket Homes in Hudson. I originally thought this would be a temporary pause on my journey toward a "real career." But after three years, I know I want to do this work for many years to come.

And Hannah and I have learned that we share a passion for renovation.

Thus we began our search. It made sense to buy a house now--we both held reliable jobs in the Akron area, lived close to family, and enjoyed being part of a vibrant community of friends in the area.

But as the hunt drove us around West Akron on chilly, rainy Saturday mornings, it was our eagerness to renovate that would really get our blood flowing (that, and the tax credit that would drop an extra $8,000 into our renovation fund).

We would finally get the chance to pour our skills, our ideas, our hard work into a project that we wouldn't have to leave in the dust after it was complete. On the contrary, we would probably be living right in the middle of the dust for quite a while.


  1. I feel so privileged to be the first to post a comment. This is Matt's "old man" / dad. I remember Matt's love for "handy man shows" when he was a young boy, and you've come a long way!
    I know both of you will be successful, and I wish you both a lot of fun along the journey!
    Enjoy the adventure!

  2. Good luck on the house you two! I know you'll unleash its "hidden potential" looking forward to the tour on one of my trips home. XOXO Colleen- Atlanta

  3. Wow.. Matt and Hannah.. impressive.. I'm so glad I clicked on the link..!

    You both know I am here to help you in any way that I can..

    Hoping everything goes flawlessly after closing..
    Mom Renee

  4. Hey Hannah and Matt - Sorry Kevin and I couldn't make the Halloween Party at the new house, but I am sure it is beautiful! Congrats! The Brokaws

  5. Love your house and love your blog... I'm currently renovating my 60's house out in california and it's a mess right now. I hope I can capture the same vibe you did with your lovely home. http://flyingnunhouse.blogspot.com/

  6. Hello Matt,
    Love your work in progress....
    Do you have any suggestions for a Mid-Century Modern gutter system?

  7. Hello,

    I am a Canadian MCM home owner. I've quite enjoyed reading your blog, and in the five years that I have owned my home I have faced many dilemmas similar to those you have posted about. Currently, I am taking on windows, and I am wondering if there might be a way to contact you privately by email with a question or two.

    Many thanks,

  8. Enjoyed looking at your site. I have a 1960 mid-century modern home in West Akron that was designed by Keith Haag. The structure is unaltered from original plans but the decor has been modestly updated. It will be on the market soon. Any suggestions for the best way to market the house to MCM fanatics that will appreciate all the details? (oiled walnut cabinets and paneling, terrazzo floors, built-ins, etc)