Sunday, June 1, 2008

My First Post

Well it's finally happened, I bought a house. Well, half a house. It's a duplex and I own half. All the houses on my cul-de-sac are duplexes but this is the only one where each half has its own lot too.

I started looking a couple of years ago but stop after months of looking at small shacks that should have been bulldozed. It was very frustrating. This was the height of the housing boom and everyone was buying up little crap homes, "fixing them" and flipping them. At the time all I could afford were junk houses that someone else had renovated with what ever was on sale at Home Depot. As a designer I just couldn't do it.

For awhile I looked at buying land and putting a pre-fab on it. Let me stress here that I'm talking about a pre-fab home not a manufactured home, there is a big difference. Here in Portland we have "skinny lots" 25' wide. Perfect for a 1,500 s.f. pre-fab. As great as it sounds it turned out to be way out of my budget too.

The over all plan is to still buy some land and build my own house. It's the only way I will ever have something that I truly like. I just don't like most homes built today. They are all just cookie cutter crap. If I had been smarter when I was a little younger I would have bought one of those little junk homes and sold it and so on. I would most likely be in the dream house I designed by now. So if you’re younger and not sure if you should buy a house- do it.

At the time I gave up looking for a house I asked a co-worker if she thought girls that I might ask on dates would think it was a turn off that I was in my mid 30s and didn't own a home. She replayed that she that it was ok, but by the time I was 40 I really should own a house. Well this year I turned forty.

I slowly started looking online again. After a couple of days a little place showed up that was close to where I was living and was priced right. There was only one photo and it didn't show much but you could see that some of the cedar siding was applied on an angle. This was screaming 70s ranch with hopefully a mid-century feel. I drove by, it looked beat up but I was intrigued. Wanting a fresh start from my last time searching I got a new realtor and a new mortgage person.

A coworker suggested that I call the realtor they use, Patti Bekham. She was wonderful; she set up a time to meet me at the house right away and had some comps ready when I got there. I think she want to run away when we opened the door though. The previous owner had 4 dogs and 13 to 15 cats. IT SMELLED HORIFIC! A wall of stench hit us when we opened the door and never left the whole time we were there. The carpet and sub-floor had been torn out and the place was just dirty. The yard was complexly overgrown and I loved it. Patti soon noticed that I kept remarking on the great potential of the place. Don't get me wrong this isn't my dream house but it has potential to be a great little home. I knew I could turn it into something nice and that it would beat the socks off of all the other little dumps that I had looked at that had already been "fixed up". I think Patti soon started to see the same potential. If you live in the Portland area I would recommend her as a realtor. She was very helpful and always there to help the process move along.

So here it is my little stepping stone to my dream house.
990 s.f.
2 bedroom
1.5 bath
Washer/ dryer
1 Garage

Looking From the street. Bought the pickup to work on the house.

This is the view from the real estate listing. Side with geust bedroom window.

Living and dining room. I'm guessing that to keep the cats from burning up behind the wood stove she stuffed the area behind the stove and the brick with old phone books. That's not a fire hazard!

Oh, notice the two windows. They look into a hallway that goes from the back patio to the garage. Not sure why it's there other than it must have been a sort of kenel for her. Holly cow does it smell in there.

Little bay window in dinning area. Not sure if I want to keep the sitting area or not.

Notice the tape to keep the cats out of the kitchen drawers. Oh yeah, on the counter you can see the black light I got to find all the places the cats pee'd. Scarry!

Guest bath. The hole wasn't there. I did that my first day just because I could. Plus I'm redoing the bathrooms

Master bedroom. Nice vaulted ceiling. That door goes to a nice walk -in closet

Huge skylight in master bedroom. Faces east, no more sleeping in .

Master bath- only door in the house with a kitty door. I don't really want to know why.

Oh, notice the double stick tape on the counter top. It was all over the kitchend countertop too. ?

Back of the house. Tree limbs over hang on the house so yes there is a little moss on the roof.

Did I mention the yard is over grown.
Why pay for trash service when you can just bury it in your back yard?

Side yard. Rised bed should make a nice garden after I clear out the blackberry bushes.