“Cat Valentine’s” House For Sale and More

by hookedonhouses on January 27, 2013

Ariana Grande Cat Valentine Victorious house

1. Here’s some celebrity real estate news for my younger readers (including my daughter Lily). Ariana Grande, who plays Cat Valentine on the popular Nickelodeon show Victorious, is selling the house she grew up in for $2.49 million. She’s relocating to L.A. for her new spin-off show Sam and Cat. Check the listing with Coldwell Banker for photos and info.

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Kim's mudroom addition-Living Vintage

2. A reader named Kim added a mudroom to the back of her house and made it look like it’s always been there. See how she did it on her blog Living Vintage.

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5 Questions 5 bloggers Emily A Clark

3. Emily A. Clark asked 5 of us 5 questions. See her Qs and our As here.

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Jefferson House Franklin TN

4. A reader named Sarah owns this charming historic home in Franklin, Tennessee, called Jefferson House. You can rent it on your next trip to TN–details at VRBO.

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blog header before domain switch 2008

5. This week marks 5 years since I started blogging (anyone remember that header from ’08?). In that time I’ve written roughly 1,500 posts, which have gotten 75,000 comments and over 45 million views. I’ve learned a lot, mostly by making a lot of stupid mistakes along the way!

Thanks from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this community of fellow house snoops addicts. The only reason Hooked on Houses is still around 5 years later is because you are.

Julia-simple teal signature


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Eleanor @ Ballyhoo & Bedbugs January 27, 2013 at 8:42 am

I love that mudroom addition! Thank you for sharing such fun links!

Beth January 27, 2013 at 8:44 am

Wow! Congratulations Julia! Yours was one of the very first blogs I subscribed to, and remains a must read favorite. Here’s to another five…and another five…and on and on! Best, Beth.

Marta January 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

Congratulations . . . your site is such a success! It’s always so fun to read. I’m so glad I found you!.

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Thanks, Marta! I’m glad you did, too. :-)

Vicki January 27, 2013 at 9:04 am

Congratulations! I’ve been hooked on houses my entire life and hooked on your blog for a few years. I can still remember how happy I was to find it and take your quiz! Thanks so much!

65andcounting January 27, 2013 at 10:08 am

Love it here. Love the divergence of opinions too. It goes without saying “there’s something for everyone.”

I’ve never felt the need to travel to Franklin Tennessee, until today! Truly lovely home Sarah.

And Emily, great five questions.

Here’s one more: How did you come to naming your blog and Julia, bummer that someone hogs hookedonhouses.com but doesn’t use it. Was it that way five years ago too that caused you to be @.net?

hookedonhouses January 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

Good question! Here’s the (semi) short version of my blogging story for anyone who hasn’t heard it.

5 years ago I was burned out from writing for my job (I wrote content for college textbooks, which involved a lot of research and tight deadlines). I made a new year’s resolution to find a way to have fun with writing again. So I sat down and started jotting down topics I was interested in but had never had a chance to write about, like books and organizing. Then I wrote, “I’m really hooked on houses. I spend all my time off looking through listings and watching HGTV for fun. I could blog about that!”

So I went to the computer, checked Wordpress to see if there were any blogs called hookedonhouses.wordpress.com, and since there weren’t, I signed up for it. I had no idea what I was doing. I had never read any blogs about houses (just about books and writing, really) and assumed I’d just have a few of my friends and my mom reading it.

I was shocked when I started getting readers out of nowhere (it seemed to me) because I wasn’t really promoting the blog or anything. I got named by a newspaper in London as one of the top 10 new blogs to watch and suddenly had lots of readers in the UK.

After 8 months I had so much traffic and it had become so much work to keep up with everything that I decided to get my own domain and put ads on it to pay for some of my time. Hookedonhouses.com was parked when I checked at that point, and when I asked the woman who owned it (a real estate agent), she declined to sell “for any amount of money.”

I have since trademarked the name and she can’t use it now even if she wanted to but still won’t sell. No idea why she’s been hanging onto it without using it for 5 years. Maybe someday! :-)

65andcounting January 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

So fascinating, Thanks.

And kudos for trademarking your name. Never occurred to me to do that although I did buy my own domain name (I’m a blogger also, but not about houses so I don’t use that moniker here).

As for the .com versus .net, long done are the days when that’s important anymore. Years ago, in the internet beginning, people were leery of visiting a.net’s site. Today, no one gives it a second thought.

hookedonhouses January 27, 2013 at 11:44 am

So true. I was really worried about it back in ’08 but it’s worked fine having the .net.

House Crazy Sarah January 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm

that’s so fascinating…. I had to settle for another version of my blog domain for that same reason – someone has already reserved http://www.housecrazy.com (a real estate company) so I had to add a dash (www.house-crazy.com), and that throws a lot of people off.

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Maybe it’s the same agent holding onto the one you want, too! ;-)

Amelia January 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

Happy blogging anniversary!

Rebecca@MidCenturyModernRemodel January 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

Your post caused me to wander through your other anniversary posts. I have been too embarrassed to post a one year anniversary post because of the **ahem** issues. And I can’t decide if my one year is the day I started or the day I admitted I was blogging to others. 4 month difference. Anyway, I enjoyed the walk down memory lane and the mistakes too. About your domain. Part of my job responsibilities is I manage domains for a very large company. Have you paid a legitimate watching service to keep track of this domain and purchase when it expires or the owner perhaps expires? Don’t, of course, respond publicly to this comment. haha.

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I need to look into that. Thanks, Rebecca!

House Crazy Sarah January 27, 2013 at 12:03 pm

congratulations on five years Julia! That is really like 20 years in Internet time, right? :)
I also really enjoyed the “five questions”!

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Sometimes it FEELS like 20 years, that’s for sure. Hard to remember life B.B. (Before Blogging). :-)

AB January 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Congratulations!! Your blog is the highlight of my morning, sometimes my whole day! You do the right amount of everything. I hope you sit on your sunporch and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

AB

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm

What a nice thing to say. Thanks! Maybe I’ll find time to go sit in my sunporch later today and do some back-patting. Ha. :-)

Kelly January 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Congratulations on your anniversary! You’re blog is so informative and is my favorite!! Thanks for pulling together all these amazing posts!!

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Thanks, Kelly!

Ricki Jill Treleaven January 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Congrats, Julia! And I want you to know that your blog inspired me to start blogging. :D

Have a peaceful Sunday!

xo,
RJ

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:25 pm

No kidding? I don’t think I realized that. That’s great! Always love hearing from you, Ricki Jill. :-)

Marcela January 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Julia, Congratulations on your anniversary !!!. And thank you for sharing today’s stories. Loved Kim’s mudroom (following her already). The Jefferson house is a treasure, a true dream home, so peaceful, elegant and simple. Does Ariana’s house come with a paint allowance?, :-) the outdoor space, however, is beautiful. Thanks again !!!!

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Thanks, Marcela! :-)

Monica January 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Happy Anniversary! I’ve been reading since ’08!

Tracie January 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I love your blog! Congratulations and I look forward to many more fun posts! I like that rental, but would sure like to get in there and make it more personal…lots of great things in there…those vintage kitchen pieces are so amazing!

Take care.
Tracie

Emily A. Clark January 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Thanks for the link, Julia! (And, I totally should’ve asked that question about how you each named your blog!)

Kim January 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Congratulations on 5 years! Out of all of the blogs I follow, your’s is my favorite and I look forward to it everyday. Thank you for making this website and all you do to keep it going.

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Thanks, Kim! So many of my favorite posts were written because you told me about the houses in the first place, so I owe a lot to you! :-)

Poppy January 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Kudos to you, Julia!!
Your beautiful blog has been a constant source of information, inspiration and serious FUN!! I will never forget the first time I set eyes on that sweet logo/ banner of the pretty yellow house with the red door- a catchy representation of your own home, right?

Love-love-love reading you!
Happily hooked,

Poppy

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Thanks, Poppy! I wish my house looked like that yellow Craftsman that used to be in my logo. It was just clip art my blog designer at the time found and used. In fact, since it was clip art, other blogs started using it in their logos, too, which is why I had to change mine. I kept getting emails from readers saying this blogger or that one had “stolen” my logo. I kept it between the posts on the main page, though. Love that little yellow house! :-)

Erin January 27, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Congratulations on your anniversary, Julia! Your blog is by far my favorite. I think I found you about 4 years ago, and I have been hooked ever since! I remember being thrilled when I found your blog because it validated my obsession (my husband just doesn’t get it when I want to drive through my favorite neighborhoods for date night- although he is sweet to indulge me mostly)! It’s obvious there are a lot of us sharing this passion and you’ve created a wonderful online community for us! Thanks!

hookedonhouses January 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Thanks, Erin! You’re one of my old-timers at 4 years. I always enjoy your comments. Thanks for sticking with me for so long! :-)

Christina from Dallas January 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Erin, I love to drive through neighborhoods too and browse and then I run home and go to zillow to look up all the house facts and the price! Then if I don’t feel like going out I just cruise all the real estate websites and look at the houses for sale. I love to put in a price way out of my range just to see what houses at that price point look like inside. Are we all crazy?

Alie B January 28, 2013 at 11:00 am

Congratulations on 5 very successful years, Julia! Thank you for all you do for us every day.

xo

Cindy January 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Congratulations. You’ve created a nice little niche for yourself on the internet.

theSavvySeeker January 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm

That mudroom addition is definitely a WOW reveal!! I love what she did with the beadboard ceiling and wood panel walls! Great look!

Jane January 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Happy Anniversary Julia — I love your blog — all the best for many many many more years — I will be reading!!

Christina from Dallas January 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm

45 million views? Wow I can’t believe that. That is fanstastic! You are doing so well and I love your blog. So glad you do all the work searching and researching the background on houses so we don’t have to. I love stopping by for a bit each day so I can to see what house you have found for us. Congrats to you on your anniversary!

Stacey January 29, 2013 at 12:24 am

Congratulations! You are one of my favorites. I think it is your sweet nature coming through in the way you write, even when it’s those nutty bad realtor photos, you are never snarky! Refreshing! Thank you for being a fun spot to visit when life gets too serious!

hookedonhouses January 29, 2013 at 8:06 am

Aw, that’s so nice! Thanks, Stacey! :-)

Julie B. [Holland] January 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Congrats Julia, you have made many of us so happy by having the blog you do. Many more years of blogging for you ( and us) THANK YOU ! :)

hookedonhouses January 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Thanks, Julie! I truly appreciate loyal and supportive readers like you. :-)

Erin @ The Great Indoors February 3, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Congratulations on five years!!

Erin

hookedonhouses February 4, 2013 at 7:17 am

Thanks, Erin! :-)

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