Monday, February 16, 2009

Looking at Houses

So, this morning we went to go look at this house in our preferred neighborhood.

It is listed at the very top of our price range in a fairly modest neighborhood, $265,000. At this price, we expect that everything will be done, updated, refinished and move in ready.

We had been recently admiring this house which was the basis for our assumption on price. It was listed at $239,950.
It is a huge four bedroom, four bathroom American Foursquare. It had been completely gutted and renovated. All new systems, new kitchen, new roof, all done. It is on a good block just a few hundred feet from a large park.

So, we had high hopes for this brick house today. It is also on a good block, corner lot, a block and half away from the same park. This is what we saw:

From the street, not so bad.

As we got closer, we could see some issues starting to emerge on the outside but exteriors can be a bit more difficult to keep up than interiors. Some water damage on the soffit and some stucco issues on the porch.

Let's go inside and see what we can see, shall we?

Would you look at those entryway floors! What was that?

And that's me trying to take in the living room/dining room combo? And oh, I how I wish blogs had "smell-o-vision" technology. It smelled like a cross between hair straightener solution, lysol spray, and church lady perfume. And the house was doused in it! And check out the double sided Chesterfield sofa. Who puts that in their living room??

It was at this point that we start to hear voices. Plural. Several. Kids mostly. And the realtor yells up the stairs that we're here and looking at the house. A teenaged boy comes down the stairs saying that he and his siblings will be leaving because they are off for the holiday. It was an awkward moment to say the least. Especially because we have already commented none too complimentary things about the house so far. Like I said, awkward.

Someone, sometime had ripped out the original French doors and replaced it with this ugly rectangular opening with those attractive planters between the front room and back room.

More living room. Can I just say here that every surface was covered in wallpaper, throughout the house. And not in a good way.

It baffles me that people put their house on the market and do nothing to make it marketable like declutter and depersonalize. Isn't this common knowledge these days?

This is the downstairs bathroom. Love that groovy metalic wall paper. And tell me, who thought it was okay to make bathroom fixtures in yellow. Really? Yellow. Who thought that was a good color?

And let's move onto the kitchen. All the particleboard uppers had been covered in some sort of stainless steel, but they had never been finished around the edges. The floor, and I am so sad I didn't get a picture of this, was tiled recently. And in the center, they had added decorative medallion wall tiles that had raised high relief of neo-classical baskets. Weird.

They didn't bother to move the fridge so they just tiled around it.

The original porch had been closed in to make an odd little dining nook and a sun room. I personally love how they have recreated the "Hall of Justice" in the sun room.

This is the upstairs bathroom. Spectacularly craptastic.

The basement was incredibly scary. Beyond scary. There were like three different furnaces. A very scary glass block bar. Just very scary:

So, it was a grand disappointment, to say the least. They must have been high to think of pricing this place where they did. It needs everything and a huge amount of work. It will sit like that for a very long time. Given our tight budget, I'm more than willing to take on a project house, but this lacks the really neat stuff I love in these houses, namely the French doors, and those wide open entries with grand staircases. We shall keep looking and I shall continue to document it all!


  1. Oohh... I like the second one! And it's less expensive. Yummy.

  2. Sally,

    Funny you should say that. The second house was the one that started the "let's put the house on the market and move into the city" process. It was a really fabulous house. It was completely renovated pretty nicely. The bathrooms were pretty bleh, very builder grade, but everything else was done. Unfortunately, it has already sold. I'm not heartbroken as my perfect house is out there! Thanks for stopping by and being my first commenter.