Thursday, March 27, 2008

Green with Envy

My little sister and her husband are thinking of buying a house. They are going to get a SCREAMING deal. Here is one of the houses that they are considering. At $98,000 I wouldn't even blink befor buying this gem. It's begging for a little once over HGTV style.

It's in one of the historic, beautiful neighborhoods. Great stone and brick work. Can't you just imaging some beautiful snowball and peonie bushes out front? Plus, that porch! I'd rip out that hand rail on day one of my ownership. Yuck.

The front room has a beautiful fireplace. That brick work? yes please. I'd rip out the cabinets on either side of the fireplace and get rid of the heinous mirror/mantel. I love the little square stained glass windows. Very charming, don't you think? Also, I'm a total sucker for arched walkways between rooms. So great.

This is the view from the front room into the dining room. Not much work that you'd HAVE to do here. Personally, I'd get rid of those little table things on the arch. Love the arch sconces.

The floors throughout look to be in pretty good condition, so those could stay. I'd really try to knock out the entire wall on the right. It is between the kitchen and dining area. If it was gone the back of the house would be more open. The small door between kitchen and dining is really old school.

Becuase my little sister is pretty much fantastic in the kitchen, she could make it work as it is. I've put some pictures together so you get a rough 360 view of the room. The way the pictures are spliced it's a little distorted, but the room is a perfect square. Starting on the wall that adjoins the dining room (the one I would rip out):

First off, what a light fixture, eh? White tile goes all the way around the room. THrough the door we're seeing my sister play with my adorable munchkin in the dining room. Rotating around the room to the right:

This is the only counter space currently in the kitchen. and a free standing I wonder where I can get pink fluffy curtains like that. The ear doctor would love the put them in every window of our house...

Again, rolling around to the right to see the last wall in the room:

These built in cabinets are the only storage in the kitchen. I'm not sure how functional they really are, and I'd hate to rip them out becuase they kind of bring in the character of the house but they're kind of ugly as is.

What would you do to this kitchen?


CageQueen said...

I'd budget for a $10,000 kitchen remodel and gut the thing. A house like that here in California would sell for $600,000+ so there is no way we're going to be looking to buy any time soon. Then again, most houses here aren't cutesy like that one; we're living in a concrete and stucco jungle.

TRS said...

That is a beautiful classic bungalow! I'd hate to see any of the bungalow architechtural features torn out (bookcase flanking the fireplace, archway ledges) because I don't see what could be gained by doing so.

The kitchen could benefit from a gutting and good design. I can't tell what the wood cabinents look like... if they are nice wood or weird plywood. I'd try to keep them if it were practical and contributed to the new design... but in that case, it wouldn't break my heart to tear them out.

Great house. Buy it Maggie buy it! I'd kill for a house like that. I'll never be able to afford one in Denver.
Sheesh... what is the housing market in St. Louis like if such a great house is $98,000. Maybe I should move.

Maggie said...

Update: Today we're going to go in and make an offer on this very house.

It does NEED to have a little work done repairing some water damaged cielings and a little patch work on the roof. Also, the wood floors will need to be refinished. We have no where near $10K for a kitchen remodel, but we are planning to make it over. Eventually.

Jessica said...

The idea of tearing out those built-in bookcases breaks my heart. I wouldn't get rid of those built-ins in the kitchen either. I'd paint then white and change the doors to one's with glass fronts to use for displaying cake stands, china, pitchers, and cook books. :)

I've been looking at houses for a month or two in my area and finding something like this for that price would mean I'm living next to a crack house. Sigh.

TRS said...

it makes sense if it's a bit of a fixer upper... but it's a great space with great bones. Totally worth the investment.

Realize in Denver I have a 740 sq ft one bedroom Condo in a 1948 (former apt )building for the purchase price of $101,500.

And last year I spent $1200 replacing pipes from my bathtub to the common pipes.

Yep. make do with the kitchen as best you can. Take the time to decide what you really want and the best use of the kitchen before you remodel.

Good luck!

TRS said...

P.S. I love Jessica's suggestion of replacing the doors to the built-ins with glass front.

Looking at it again... the whole area is built in with the staircase and pantry closet... I don't know that you would benefit from tearing it out. The space wouldn't really see an improvement without replacing the whole unit with new cabinets and that's a lot of $$$$
Instead, I would select cabs that complement the original styling... you'll get a lot of milage that way.

Lindsay said...

There are occasions when it frustrates me that I live in California. Seeing the purchase prices for ADORABLE houses in other parts of the country are JUST THOSE OCCASIONS. ugh.

I'm too busy being jealous to come up with good ideas for that kitchen. But wow, what a cute house! Buy it up!! :)

Dan's mom said...

For those of you worrying about preserving the arts & crafts detailing in the house - relax. Those are the very details Dan loves in a home. The bookcases & built-ins will be safe. He's very focused & does alot of research when he tackles a project. That being said, he is also or rather first, a married medical student so time & budget will give a new meaning to "thrifty"

girl from florida said...

That house is a STEAL!! I'd also get rid of the mirror mantel (easy and quick) and perhaps down the road, tear down the wall (or now if they can afford it). I'd probably keep the bookshelves (unless the windows are tall enough to go behind them- do they?) and get rid of their sliding doors, she could make that SUCH a cute area to display lovely books and art pieces. And maybe a new island in the kitchen if there's room. Regardless... what a find!!!! I'm jealous, too!

Tanya said...

What an adorable house! I love Craftsman bungalows, really anything older with a bit of character.

Good luck to your sister and husband on the house! Im sure they will make it a lovely home.

Kim said...

I love that house! I hope you get it, Maggie.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I hope that them buying means they plan to stay in Missouri. Let's see -- if the ear doctor could get a job there, and you could get an engineering slot, a house like that could be yours! Far away from the unreasonable prices of Boulder.

Courtney said...

OMG. That house would EASILY cost $800,000 in the bay area. I kid you not. I am SOOOO jealous. Kyle and I will NEVER be able to buy a house. :(

Anth said...

$800,000, Courtney?? Eek. I am so glad I don't live in the Bay area! That said, this house would cost more than double here. What a fab steal. It has some fantastic details - the porch, the archway.

However that kitchen. Just the idea of having so little counter space makes my head hurt. She needs one of those kitchen tray carts on wheels that doubles as counter space, that she could push against the wall when not in use, to get by until they can afford a remodel. Maybe just restain the built-ins in the kitchen, or paint them a fun retro sea green? They definitely have potential.