Expert Advice

Buying The Dream

Patrick McIvor | November 20, 2013 | 9:27 AM
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I have been very lucky throughout my career to have had some amazing experience and met amazing people. During those years, I have looked around, checked things out and made a list of things I would want if I could have my dream. Then last June, about a week before we were supposed to move to our lake house for the summer, our full-time home sold and with excitement (and a bit of anxiety), we needed a new home. Now with a world of opportunities to choose from, we sat down as a family to figure out what our next adventure should be? Where did we want to live?

Our oldest daughter said she didn’t want to move from the town we lived in, Leah (my wife) wanted to stay near her mom, and since I love where we live too, all we needed to do was find the perfect home/building in the same town. Over the past few years, Leah and I had been trying to buy a building, but had struck out, and the only thing we had accomplished was loosing money. But, we thought we would try one more time for the family, and heck, if it didn't work this time we didn't have our home anymore anyway, because it was under contract, so we knew we were going somewhere.

With great hope, we set out to find a new home where I could have a creative center to shoot pictures and videos, a studio to care for guest’s hair and a guest suite so stylists could come to train with us - a tall order, but we were looking for a dream. So, the next day with contracts signed on our house, we went out to look in the town we were living in and set up appointments to see three homes. We visited two other homes that day, but fell in love with our dream.

From the moment we walked into what is know known as The Snyder House, we fell in love. When we entered the 1857 built (the civil war started in 1861 for some perspective), Federal style brick home, we were met by its current owner Mrs. Snyder, who along with her recently deceased husband were the second family to occupy the almost 160 year old home. The first family who built the house, the Hartzell, owned a legal distillery and lived in the house until 1958 when they sold the home to the Snyder’s, Dr. Robert and Mrs. Helen Snyder, who purchased it in 1958. Originally a private home for the Hartzell’s, the Snyder’s had used the building as a primary home on the second and third floors with their three children, with a doctor’s office on the first floor. When I saw this my eyes grew big and a smile came across my face, it was almost too good to be true. As we walked further through the house, things just kept getting better.

So what's the dream? The dream for me was to have a creative center where I can create, care for guests and share ideas with salon professionals. Over the next few months, I will be sharing my dream, as it becomes a reality with four key components, Studio/Salon, Creative Center, Guest Suite, Home.



An intimate, hi-end, private, four chair Studio/Salon with three team members that are open by appointment only. Our studio will have three team members from outside the home, to care for guests (that's the max variance we got for the house to allow based on previous usage) and serve as a test lab for my ideas.

Creative Center

Space to create videos, perform photo shoots, host seminars and have fun. A space where I can explore ideas, collaborate with friends and connect with salon professionals.

Guest Suite

With so many people from all over the world who have come to train with us or lived with us for an extended period of time, now they won't have to be staying in the guest room. This will be a huge step up from my first home where Nick Arrojo slept in my guest room/office and had to share it with a snake I had at the time.


Finally, our new building will be our home for our family giving us the opportunity to stay in a community we love while still allowing me to drive to New York City in less than two hours.

This is an amazing time for us and an opportunity to share even more while opening ourselves up to new people to come into our lives and share too. I look forward to keeping you up to date on our progress as we not only build our dream, but also restore this beautiful building and share our great fortune with our community and salon professionals.

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