There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.
Could there be anything worse than living in an old shoe? Living in an athlete’s shoe? Regardless, it’s not the type of thing a parent, and at this time of the year, a mother, would relish.
So, as Mother’s Day inches closer, and the forgetful start the mad rush to find Hallmark cards and bouquets, we wanted to take a moment to recognize one of the unsung mothers of the world with a home makeover.
Meet The Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
When we geared up for this home makeover, we asked ourselves: Who is The Woman Who Lived in a Shoe? Our best answer: She’s a good Samaritan, who’s taken in children.
Who better to shower with attention?
But this came after a long, and surprisingly heartfelt, argument over whether The Woman was in fact the venerable Old Mother Hubbard by a different name. Our rock hard decision came down to one fact: Old Mother Hubbard has a dog and The Woman in the Shoe does not.
“I grew up reading about The Old Woman in the Shoe,” said Mark Brandemuehl, VP Marketing & Business Development at Movoto. “If there is anyone who needed a home makeover it was her. Some people find having one, two, or even three children challenging–and they live in a house. Imagine if you needed to lace up your front door every night.”
The Trouble with Living in a Shoe
If we’ve ever seen a home in need of some tender love and care this is it. While this bland, one-and-a-half story shoe has a large front yard and play area for children, it’s lacking in some key characteristics that would help turn it into a dream home.
Our real estate experts noted the shoe doesn’t have a private or semi-private yard to keep The Woman’s children from running off. This isn’t a deal breaker through, as being in the middle of a forest, crime is low.
In addition, there is the double-edged sword of location. The shoe doesn’t sit in a high quality school district, and being in the woods, its walkability score sits somewhere south of 10 percent. The good news is The Shoe doesn’t sit next to a high traffic area.
Other than location concerns, there appears to be structural problems. A fallen tree is holding up the top of the Shoe, which we hope is a storage area and not a Harry-Potter-worthy bedroom.
Another problem: This small home lacks circulation. With no windows, The Woman and her children spend days inside the home squinting and nights in pitch black. This says nothing about the odors a dozen pre-teenage boys make.
What Mothers Want
In preparation for the makeover, we spoke with mothers about what they wanted in a dream home that’s been tailored for their little ones.
Much of their responses were the same. Mothers look for location.
“In my opinion, moms look for safety and quality of life for their family,” said Amanda Lopez, founder and broker of Style House Realty. “A place where kids can play, quality schools and a sense of community. They often look at homes near other families and people they may be able to relate to.”
Anita, a South Jersey resident and mother of a 6-month-old, agreed with the need to pick good location.
“As a mom, the first thing I look for is whether the house faces a major road,” she said. “ If it does it’s a deal breaker for me because it poses a danger for my children who are playing outside. That and the noise of the moving traffic.”
Aside from location, mothers wanted:
- An open floor plan;
- Dedicated play area;
- A fenced yard; and
- Storage space (and more storage space).
“The open floor plan would be so that we could host Christmas (rather than running around to several houses) and other gatherings,” said Katie, who lives in Rhode Island has a 3-month-old. “Our dream home would also have a farmer’s porch, but that’s personal preference.”
Anna Altic, a realtor who specializes in eco-friendly homes and columnist, said there are a number of honorable mentions that aren’t necessities, but loved–a decent sized laundry room and good quality appliances.
“I think moms these days are trying to do twice as much in half the time,” Altic told us. “They want to be socially conscious, provide healthy food, and spend quality time with the family so the house has to be functional and convenient.”
Big Shoe To Fill
Below is our home makeover for The Woman. Happy Mother’s Day from your kids—all of them.