We’re Selling the Condo!
We’re going back – way back! – to the start of this blog. Who remembers our condo? It was the first home Scott and I purchased together, nestled on the second floor of a yellow brick corner building. So if you’ve ever wondered how our blog got its name, all signs point back to the Condo That Started It All. And today, I’m here to tell you: We’re selling the condo.
The Story of the Condo
Coming in at 675 square feet, our little home had an open living room and kitchen, one full bath, one bedroom, and one office – just enough space for us, our pets, and our 20 closest friends at any given time (hah). In all seriousness though, the condo was home base among our group of twenty-something friends, and it will always hold a special place in our hearts. We purchased it in 2007, got married in 2008, and we started Yellow Brick Home in 2009. (If you’re doing the math, that makes this blog 12 years old!)
It’s impossible to look back on our lives in Chicago without thinking of our first home together. We learned so much about who we are, we started a business, we tapped into our creativity, we worked really hard (most nights and every single weekend), and we had so. much. fun sharing it all with a small, loyal community of DIYers. It was before Pinterest. Before Instagram. I think I had just signed up for Facebook! The blog was our outlet, and we were inspired by so many others that had already established themselves in the DIY community. John and Sherry. Nicole. Kate. Stefanie!
The blog was a fun way to connect with others while turning our beige-box into a home we loved. We experimented with color – a lot. We painted our bedroom orange (and soon after painted it minty green), wallpapered a hallway, spilled a gallon of paint in the bathroom, rescued furniture, made our first built-in.
Why We’re Selling
Six years after purchasing the condo, we were ready for our next adventure, and soon enough, we were smashing a champagne bottle on the side of the home we live in now. We decided to keep the condo and rent it, which is how we became accidental landlords (and kind of liked it)! We learned quickly what it meant to be a landlord in Chicago, and we’ve had a handful of longterm tenants in and out of our condo for the last eight years.
When our current tenant let us know that he’d be moving on at the end of his lease this May, we knew we had a decision to make. Do we continue to rent the condo, or is this a sign to sell? In the last five years, we made a business out of renting our Tree House, and we made an investment in the Two Flat that worked out better than we could have imagined.
We met with our realtor. We Zoomed with our accountant. We made a pros and cons list. We considered the perk of someone else paying down our principal, versus the downside of special assessments and HOA fees. In the end, and after considering the other investments we had made in last several years, we felt it was time to let her go.
Getting It Ready
The condo, while still our special girl, is certainly rough around the edges after a near decade of rental living with multiple tenants. We could not be more excited to share that we’ll be sprucing her up in preparation of the sale, and I’ll be sharing more about our plans this week!
Friends, if you’ve been with us since the condo days, can I hear you in the comments?! Thank you for being here!
I think I started following around the time you painted that green pattern on your living room wall… it’s been a while!! Thanks for sharing so many interesting projects that keep me hooked!!
Yes!! I remember condo days fondly ???? happy to see it again before you sell! Thank you for sharing!
I remember when you built that living room built in. I was always so impressed how hard you made this space work for you. As an apartment dweller at the time, it really resonated with me!
I’ll always have a special place in my heart for small spaces.❤️
I’ve been here since the condo! It’s a great time to sell!
My first read on your blog ever was when you made the built-in! So I’ve been reading here for over ten years now. It’s always been fun, engaging and inspiring – thank you! And thank you also for still being around – hardly any of my first favourites are still active :)
My heart! Thank you!
Can’t wait to see this space again and see how you two will update it before selling!
Yep, I’ve been around since then and always love seeing what you guys are tackling next!
Wow! The condo! It’s been so long. Looking forward to you two fixing it up and saying a sweet goodbye.
I met you when you bought your current home! Missed out on this gem! ????
It’s in the archives! :D
I’ve been following since 2009/10ish. I LOVVVVEEED (and still do) the living room built-in. Thank you for sharing this part of your lives with us <3
I think I came in on the end of the condo days, I don’t remember the orange bedroom!
It was… something. But I’m glad we did it!
Me! I found your blog through YHL and I have loved following your journey ever since. You inspired me to paint a chalkboard wall years ago inspired by your condo. Still love mine and will miss the chalkboard wall when we move in three days.
That chalkboard wall is packed with memories. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye.????
I remember that condo fondly! I loved following along for all your ideas for small space living. And of course pet portraits!!
Nick and I are feeling all the feels :) Loved living in that place so much! Thanks again for having us there for four great years.
You guys were awesome. We were so lucky to have you!
I think my earliest project memory is when you hung bikes on the ceiling! Or was it the wall? We bought our first place in 2007 and I liked that we both painted our kitchens green!
I love that so much! We still hang our bikes from the ceiling, haha!
I didn’t start following you until your current home. Can you link to info about your bikes on ceilings? Sounds like that could be a good fit for us!
Excited to see how you’ll spruce her up to sell! I’m just now renting out a home and would love to hear your thoughts about being a landlord.
I remember your condo so well. The bright green, the orange bedroom, all the fun color I could never grow the backbone to experiment with. I still to this day remember the way you altered the built-in to fit your slide-out record player. And the dinosaurs! So much good happened here. Congrats on your decision to sell!
DINOSAURS! Our hot pink T-Rexy is still with us to this day, and it’s Lucy’s favorite little pal!
I remember the living room built in! You’re one of my favorite blogs and I can’t believe it’s been so long already!
12 years of blogging – WHAT!
Like many others here, that living room built-in is what brought me to your site. As a tiny apartment dweller for many years, your creative use of space was so meaningful to me. I’m excited to see you revisit the space and continue to inspire me!
That wall of shelves was our first big project, and it’s so wonderful to know so many of you found us through it. We’re so grateful for you!
started following just as you bought the current house… so came in at the tail end of the condo days!
Yes! I’ve been here since then and fell in love with your style and blog immediately! Full circle now, yet so many new adventures ahead.
Following shortly before you have moved into our current home. Thanks for so many inspirational years
The amount of creativity you two expressed in that tiny space was so inspiring! I was hooked immediately & have enjoyed following along all these years.
I’ve been here since the condo days! What a joy to follow all the homes, styles and colors, great DIYs, a positive and hopeful outlook and so much great inspiration. You’ve helped me find my style along the way, and I couldn’t be happier in the home we love. Thank you!
Seeing these pictures felt like such a blast from the past! I’ve loved seeing how you guys have taken the small space ingenuity you had when I started following you in the condo days and brought that to bigger but still quirky spaces.
Yay! So happy to be described as quirky. We hope to never lose it!
I discovered your blog via a YHL ‘Reader Redesign’ of your media space so many years ago. I’ve always enjoyed following along as a fellow Chicagoan and former Logan Square resident!
I never knew Condo, but have looked back on past post recently, so I’m a loose acquaintance. Thanks for explaining your thought process on selling, I always wonder when we will sell an investment and for why. It’s always a good idea to have smart people on your team, and we recently set up quarterly meeting with our accountant to all keep up with the businesses and ideas.
Such a good point. We had to start having quarterly meetings with our accountant (who I hired back in The Pet Shop days!), because as our business grew, so did our MANY questions. We’re grateful to have a team of smart, thoughtful people to help guide us.
I remember the condo! I also remember a few emails I sent you during my first time home buying journey about what condo life was like. Thank you for your gracious and helpful replies! Been a happy condo owner since 2014 and actually just bought another one in a different part of town. Happy for us to be able to revisit it a little bit as you spruce it up to sell. Best of luck! I’m sure it will get snatched up quickly.
Aw, thank you, Staci!
OMG! Big day, but honestly this is probably THE best time to sell. I’ve been watching my sister and some friends navigate the market and it’s bananas.
We’re excited and nervous and questioning ourselves every day… but mostly excited! Thank you for pioneering the way, Nicole!
Awwww!! Loved this little condo. I remember when you did the built ins. It is a great time to sell and maybe another first-time homebuyer will get their start here. ????
Misty-eye alert! Found your blog in 2009 through Young House Love, and would sneak views during lunch at my very first job out of college. I’ve been saving up ideas ever since then, and after (finally!) purchasing my own version of a YBH (in Logan Square!) this year, I’m returning to old tutorials I remember reading way back then. Have loved keeping up ever since!
GAH! My heart! How exciting, thank you for being here all these years!
How has it been 12 years?! I don’t even remember how I found your blog, but have been following you since the beginning. I was newly married and apartment dwelling in 2009 and loved watching y’all make that tiny place so special. Thanks for sticking around for so long and creating such wonderful, authentic content! Love y’all!!
Pretty sure you introduced me to FLOR tiles and invented the chalkboard backsplash?! The one that started it all still feels so special and uniquely you!
Julia! If it wasn’t for the world of DIY blogs, I’d never have met YOU! I don’t even want to think about that.
Condo days stand up! We still have and love our DIY coffee table (from the new house, but still OG!) Thanks for keeping us inspired for 12 years!!
Are we the grandparents of blogging?!
I started following you around the end of the condo days. But went back and read all the former posts
I’ve been here since the condo days! I remember when you recovered your grandmother’s chair, so I’ve been following for at least that long… I think I must have heard about you from YHL? Anyway, Hiiiii!! Thanks for years of fun and helpful content!! ????
Hi! Right over here, from Atlantic Canada! I’ve been here since the condo. Since (what feels like) the start of the blogosphere with all of the cool kids learning this whole thing we call DIY. Being able to see the condo again in all its glory really makes me excited!
Also arrived here because of the living room built ins and have stayed around ever since! Truly love following along on your home renos and DIYs.
Been a reader of your blog since RIGHT before you guys bought the house! LOVE all the color you used in the yellowbrickhome. :)
My favorite condo detail was the pop of color on the (crown?) molding. Loved it so much (and it stayed with me so long) that I added color to my trim while housebound last spring.
I’ve also been hanging out here since the condo days! Thanks for giving us a peek into your life for all of these years. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Wishing you the best in your new adventures!
I remember being GREEN with envy over your custom built tv unit, and laughing every time you killed your terrarium! I miss your use of colour and your MCM vibes, but love how you do lots of exterior stuff now.
Remember when I overwatered it and put tampons in my terrarium?!?
Been here! The blue console table with the little hanging knobs was something I loved right away!
That goes WAY back!!
I remember the media built in!
I have been! Can’t remember exactly when, maybe 2011/12? A few years before my (now) fiancé and I also moved to Chicago. We bought our first condo here this past summer and still look to you guys for inspiration. Congrats! It will be fun to look back at the condo with fresh eyes.
I lived in a condo just like this in Uptown and moved to a house in Lincoln Sq (wood frame / siding circa 1878) right around when you moved. Your blog has been a constant source of inspiration and help! Currently planning a kitchen and referencing all your posts on that transformation!
I think I first saw the condo when you made the living room built in!
So good to see the condo again! Congratulations on making the decision to sell. I started reading your blog around the time you re-did the studio. I LOVED the little gold socks on your desk legs – and still do. We recently bought our first home and I always visit the archives to check out your tips and tricks before we tackle a project. Thank you for sharing and inspiring! I love following along.
I started following just before you moved into your current house! It was your custom tv unit that lured me in. I stayed for the pets, and your amazing designs :)
I’ve been here since the condo days, too. I’m so happy you are taking us along on this final chapter of the home that started it all! I remember one post you did during your condo days about your tiny art wall (I think was next to your front door), where you displayed your first pet portraits. This was before you started making them for others, of which I am lucky to have two! I loved that post because it inspired me to start collecting small originals, which is all I could afford at the time. Those pieces, which now hang on a tiny wall in my kitchen, were the start of my art collection.
Aw, Rachel! I’m trying to remember – do you have a dog and cat painting, one is on an aqua colored background?
Yes! My little dog, Mack, is on the aqua background, and my fluffy gray cat, Smoky, got pink. I’m always amazed at your memory!
Scott is afraid of my photographic memory.???? I never forget a pet!
I’ve been here since the condo! Happy for you guys (and happy to be here)
I started following you early early, after clicking through from a comment you left on YHL! At the time we lived in a 650ish sq/ft garden suite and I was looking for anyone with space challenges that I could copy. I had a minty green bedroom, coral and navy rescued furniture, thanks to you! Tried many furniture DIYs, expanded outside my comfort zone to make our space work for us. I’m so appreciative of the inspiration I had 10+ years ago from you and other early bloggers! You filled a niche and convinced the commoners that we could try!
Oh my heart!! Thank you so so much.
I’ve definitely been around since the condo days! Congrats on 12 years of blogging! I’ve enjoyed watching all of your projects, pets and family over the years! Hey, from a fellow Pittsburgher!
Like another commenter here, I also found you through YHL. Yellow is my favorite color so of course I had to find out why YBH?! I found a post about the Condo, completely done, and fell in love with the smart way you maximized storage and transformed every cozy space. I’ve been following the Tree House, The Two Flat from the beginning and have read almost all posts on your current home. You guys never disappoint: sending hugs all the way from South TX!
Maria! Thank you so much!❤️