Ep 39: Cabin Hunting, What’s Wrong With Zillow? And A 2017 Trend Check In

June 6, 2017

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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We live in, objectively, one of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the country, with several remote, quiet vacation towns within one hour car drive. So naturally, we’re looking to renovate a cabin!

CLJ Cabin Hunting

We talk about how that process has been going, some ups and major downs for us, as well as a major down for Zillow right now in the litigation department. Hint, the Z-Estimate.

Listen to the latest episodes on: iTunes, GooglePlayStitcher.

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Blue Apron

Blue Apron
Get your first 3 meals free.
Visit and use code CLJ


Thomas Avenue Ceramics

Thomas Avenue Ceramics
Receive 20% off your tile order
Visit and use code CLJ

What We Screwed Up This Week: The Pocket Doors
A little insider information on something we messed up with the pocket door recently added to the laundry room that almost had Chris ripping out the freshly added trim.

Chris Loves Julia: Pocket Doors

Listener Question: Choosing an Exterior Paint Color
• Considerations for the style of your home, and the homes around you
• Subdivisions, covenants, HOAs
• Light vs. Dark and the impact on scale
Bob Villa: The Do’s & Don’ts of Choosing an Exterior Paint Color
• Don’t Wing It

2017 Trend Check-In
We discuss this article from Elle Decor, written December of 2016, regarding top trends that were expected to make a splash in 2017. Some have panned out, others not so much.

Can’t Get You Outta My Mind

Julia: We bought a discount mirror in a time crunch and have regretted it ever since. Julia talks about this little piece of decor that has done more to lower our self-esteem than any other item in our home.

Chris: When your project list never ends, there’s always that one project that hangs near the bottom of that list. For Chris, it’s the garage and it weighs on his shoulders as a result.
Preston: Preston spends $50 to buy an extra laptop charger and finds himself appreciate how much time he no longer spends crawling under his desk to plug and unplug his regular charger.
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Theme song Headphones by Preston Pugmire

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What do you think?

  1. karen sunday says:

    Hi, we are amateur diy’ers definitely not not on your level however just painted very faded yellow aluminum siding and it turned out so good everyone is very impressed lol we used Sherwin Williams and it is a medium gray called summit gray. I love your blog !! Karen

  2. Maria says:

    I loved the mirror situation. I have the BEST full length mirror that my grandma got at a garage sale maybe over 30 years ago. The frame around it is cute, but it is broken in 3 places, and the frame has detached from the mirror at the bottom. I refuse to fix it because I know in doing so I would destroy the magical qualities of the mirror–my legs always look long and my stomach flat.

  3. Anne says:

    Hello, could you please sing your own theme music for each section of the podcast? Like the ‘can’t get you out of my mind’ theme song by Julia. I think there should be theme music sung by Chris and Preston as well.

  4. Amy says:

    Love the podcast and found this week’s discussion about Zillow interesting. I asked my dad, who is a Realtor, about it. Apparently the zestimate is notoriously incorrect by a large margin. He told me that every time he lists a house on Zillow, he opts to not have the zestimate included. I guess that is an option for anyone looking to list on the site. He has also had clients ask to not have their home listed on Zillow due to their dislike of it.

  5. haha that pocket door mistake sounds like something I would do! Glad to fixed it easily enough. Love your podcast!

  6. Just some information we learned about the zestimate when we sold our home 4 years ago…you can go into your home’s listing on Zillow, whether it is for sale or not, and claim the house as yours. Once you’ve done that you can go in and add features about the house that Zillow may not know i.e. we had finished our basement and added a hot tub and upgraded the hardwood floors since we had bought it. You can also put in what you think it is worth. After a few weeks the zestimate will go up. I kept adjusting it upward until the zestimate was close to our asking price. Now, I stage houses and tell all my clients to do this in order to get the zestimate up. It can’t hurt.

  7. rachel says:

    Aww we just sold our little cabin in Island Park in March. Just across the street from the church… I wonder if you looked at it? It needed work and we just weren’t into it anymore ;)

  8. Phoua says:

    I really missed the “Can’t get you outta my mind” theme song this week!

  9. Kimberly says:

    I was hoping you’d provide the photo from the listener question (maybe it’s a privacy issue though). It’d be great to get a visual to go with the conversation.
    Wishing you lots of luck in the cabin hunt, we have a cabin in Island Park and it’s really a lovely place to get away!

  10. Elyse says:

    My “can’t getcha out of my head” from the episode… why is Julia calling it a z-estimate… isn’t it a zest-imate?!

    I’ve been calling it zest-imate for like 5 years in regular conversation and with our realtor and haven’t been corrected, but then again, that for sure doesn’t mean I’m right. I may just have nice friends.

    Is this a regional thing? Am I just a crazy person? What’s the answer?!

    The world may never know.

  11. Emelia says:

    I was walking my dog while listening, so when I heard, “makes me look like bunch of dogs playing poker” I laughed out loud! :)

  12. Thalia says:

    I love your podcast! I listen to it on my commute work, and every time I listen, you guys makes me laugh out loud sitting on that city bus. Keep up the fantastic work :)

  13. Hannah says:

    I feel like sounding off a little bit about the zestimate issue. I think it’s right there in the name – estimate. At the end of the day, homes are worth what the highest bidder will pay for them, no more and no less. You can’t know the true value until the sale is over, no one can predict the future with 100% accuracy. It’s a little silly to say no one should be allowed to share their (very clearly labeled) prediction because it isn’t perfectly accurate. We all look at the weather forecast even though it’s wrong sometimes ☺️

    • Jules says:

      Unless lenders are using these estimates to determine if they will lend to you on that house. The price paid for a home is very different from the appraised value and Zillow encourages banks to use their Z-estimate to determine what the home is worth compared to the loan amount. If the numbers aren’t in the buyer’s favor they could end up paying PMI, among other downstream consequences.

      • Rachel says:

        That’s odd, we just bought a house, and our lender didn’t say one thing about Zillow. There was a bank appointed appraiser that went to our home and looked at it, inside and out. Maybe the laws are different in your state? IDK where you’re located.

      • I don’t know of any bank that is using zestimate to appraise houses, they use independent, licensed appraisers. I’m echo Hannah, they are estimates, and that’s it. The value is in the actual, final sale price, and that’s all.

  14. Katie Loecken says:

    Hey there! Do you have a picture of the house you helped your sister-in-law paint? I am thinking of painting my house a similar slate blue and I’d love to know what color you used and see it!


  15. Kelly Kestler says:

    I love you guys and I love the blog, so I hate to nit-pick, but is there a reason you don’t publish the show notes until the day after the podcast episode goes live? I always listen to it on Monday, which makes the show notes on Tuesday kind of a moot point as I typically like to look at them while listening. Just my feedback, but other than that, keep up the great work! I love following along. :)

  16. Cynthia Jenkins says:

    Totally off topic but I’ve been wondering something about the interior door/trim paint in your amazing house.
    In your Deceber 3, 2014 blog post you mentioned using Clark+Kensington Designer White in semi-gloss for your doors/trims in your upstairs; however, in your JUly 18, 2016 blog post you indicated using Semi-gloss Bright White from Valspar Signature for your downstairs door/trim. Is this correct? Do you have two different trim colors in your house?

    Hopefully you can clarify!

    • Julia says:

      Most off-the-shelf whites like Designer White and Bright White are the same. When we were picking up the paint for the downstairs, we didn’t want to make an extra trip and we found this to be true!

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