Presto! How I turned a table into a new home

Lauren Merritt

by Lauren Merritt

Lauren Merritt is a Pensacola native and is licensed in both Florida and Alabama. Lauren has her own law practice located in the offices of My Pink Lawyer® and is an affiliated independent counsel. Lauren is a newlywed with three bonus daughters and a newly adopted baby son. Lauren enjoys running, going to the gym, crafting with the girls, dining out, and relaxing at home with her new family.

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It all started when I talked Matt into going to “look” at new dining room tables. Those who know me know I don’t do much “looking” when I shop!


And... of course... we left with the receipt for our new table.


My house of one had grown to a house of five in the blink of an eye… and my four-person dining room table could not seat us all. Of course we needed a new table, right?!


The house itself is a tight fit, but there’s enough space for us to manage. A fixer-up I bought as a first-time homebuyer not long after my mom died, it also has sentimental value. I scrapped pennies and baseboards to get her fixed up just right.


We had no real timeline for moving. Matt was content with staying put for a while.


That is… until the day the new table arrived.


The table is BEAUTIFUL! It comfortably seats six, and it’s a step up from the quality of some of the other features in the house.


“I think it’s time to start looking for a house,” Matt confidently announced, just days after the new table arrived.


I looked at him, shaking my head, and laughed.


“It’s the table, isn’t it?!”




Talk about a David Copperfield moment. Who knew that I could transform a simple new table for six into a new home for my growing family?


We didn’t house hunt for long. A couple weeks later, we were under contract with a builder finishing up the last development phase in a neighborhood that checked all of our boxes.


Lauren house buildingThe builder broke ground on our lot about the same time the pandemic broke out. As businesses and stores closed their doors, we escaped to our lot to anxiously wait and watch every intricate step of the building process. So far, our construction hasn't been impacted by COVID-19.


Trees came down, concrete came in, and the walls went up. I have learned a lot about building houses over the past few months.


Our overall experience with our builder has been phenomenal. We have been floored with the efficiency and consistency of each crew that comes through for their part.


That said, our frequent trips to the house have enabled us to catch several things along the way that weren’t done right the first time.


Just last week, an exterior outlet was bricked into the back porch in the wrong spot. Thankfully, we caught it before the brick masons moved on to the next house.


A system with no checks and balances can result in some pretty permanent errors. That is a big concern for my clients with special needs children.


How will they continue to provide daily checks and balances for their child once the child is legally considered an adult?


When a child turns 18, the child’s parents or guardians lose the right to make medical, educational, financial, and legal decisions for the child, regardless of whether the “adult” still has the mental capacity of a child.


Florida's guardian advocacy proceedings give each family the tools they need to oversee their child’s care indefinitely.


Have questions about guardian advocacy?


Call our office to schedule your no-obligation consultation today. (850) 741-2999. Or shoot me an email here.


Lauren “David Copperfield” Merritt


P.S. And guess what?! We have decided to keep my first house as a rental. The stars aligned and Kristen’s mom, “Mama Terry,” will be moving in later this Fall. A win-win for everyone!


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