The big reveal is finally here! This is our new house!
And in case you can’t tell by just that one picture, it’s a bit of a 1940 fixer. But a move-in-ready fixer (as evidenced by the fact that we’ve been living there for about a week!). I’m using some of the pictures from the listing (like above) and some I took, I don’t know how to attribute pictures from a real estate listing so if anyone knows… let me know?
On to the fun stuff! We’ve now got a larger and still flat lot. Our first home also had a flat lot, something I only mention because in our area there are lots and lots of homes built precariously on hills. The new house has a rectangle piece of land where most of it is behind the house so instead of big side and front yards, we’ve got tons of usable backyard! In the front yard alone we have a grapefruit and another citrus on the other side of our yard. Can someone tell me what kind of tree is in the left of the above picture?
Here’s a good look for your garden: A leggy rose on a tipping over chainlink fence gate. NOT. We’re going to need to work on the landscaping around here. Not pictured, there’s a hedge along the street side of the house (just like our last house!) that I already loath. You’re going down, hedge. Let’s enter the house:
You guys put kitchen cabinets in doorways too, right? No? That’s weird? That’s what I thought.
In the image above, to the left you see the dining room (there’s another doorway on that side) and to the hard left unpictured is the living room. We’ll return to that, but we’re going to go right, up the stairs since this is a split level home. Also to the right behind the entry door is a giant closet (with no light?) but we’ll skip that.
Up the stairs we go! You can see into the bedroom we’re using as our “master” for now, to the right is the 2nd bedroom/office and to the left at the top of the stairs is the world’s smallest full bathroom.
The above picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s so small you can only turn in a circle and that tiny toilet still means my long legs touch the tub when making use of the facilities. So how are we going to upgrade? Well, I like the bathroom in this location but as you can see the roof line starts to cut into it (and there’s a closet basically behind that tub in the bedroom) so right now we think that left wall gets pushed out into what is currently space made in the roof so there could be a full window. It may bump out into the kitchen headroom but I’ve already thought of a solution for that which I’ll explain further down. Before that, check out these fun bathroom features which make us not use this shower for now:
While I may be a little down on the bathroom, rest assured it’s because I’m stoked to get started on changing it which makes my heart flutter. I see white subway tile in our future.
In the “master” bedroom we’ve got some paneling and a ceiling following the roof which I will admit, I find charming and like it. I know it’s not everyone’s style but I think it’s cozy. However I do believe the paneling lets the sounds of the house settling come through louder than drywall, so not on our short list, we may need to check out insulation options or possibly drywalling at least part of the room.
All floors throughout the house need to be refinished but we’re waiting until construction stuff is finished since we don’t know where we’ll land with that work. The bedrooms up here were originally carpeted so you can spot some carpet glue and nasty spots. When the house was painted they didn’t cover the floors (they meant to refinish them) so there’s also paint spray in some places. The closets kind of got it the worst but they’re still functional. This is the rest of the bedroom and my closet (the husband took the one in the other room).
The other upstairs bedroom is in the front of the house and is our office. The staging picture below makes it look super tiny with a twin bed but it’s actually about the same size as the other room.
The quirkiest thing about this room is that the linen closet is in here, you can see it behind the entry door below.
Back downstairs, let me show you the living room. This is one of my favorite parts about this home.
Big open beamed ceilings. And that fish? It’s (allegedly) real and though this is staged, it was the previous owner’s. We’re told he caught it. I asked to keep it. Martin the Marlin is now still in the house!
Below is a picture taken from the dining room looking at the living room. It’s a good size and while I still am perplexed by floor vents, it will definitely accommodate plenty of seating. Again, these floors eventually will get worked on. And I haven’t picked any colors yet in the house. I’ll figure it out down the line…
This is what I call the “sunroom.” It’s an unpermitted structure attached to the house that will need to come down. It wasn’t built on a foundation and since we live in earthquake country, we want all structures to be safely permitted. Plus we have some big plans for this part of our lot (hint: they involve kitchen and master bedroom) so this structure needs to be removed anyhow. For now it’s just extra storage space.
Back inside, from the dining room looking at the kitchen:
Looks can be deceiving, the cabinets in here appear to be mostly original but with a newer wood veneer applied to them. Translation: Disgusting cabinets on the inside. But the granite countertops are actually nice looking and may have some repurposing in their future.
Remember me talking about the bathroom upstairs and kitchen headspace? If that becomes the plan, the wall you’re looking at above will jut out on the top of the wall. Which would be awkward except that we could add low cabinets that look built-in to make a large pantry. Maybe add a shorter wine fridge. I kind of am in love with the idea but we’ll see where it goes.
The layout of the kitchen is a little piecemeal and as hinted at, will be changing hopefully soon. This ain’t my first rodeo with kitchen renovation so I’m looking forward to tackling it, knock on wood! I’ve been Pinteresting it up on the kitchen lately. See the doorway above with stairs down? We’ll head there in a moment.
Oh, that old Wedgewood stove? It’s likely original to the 1940 home and is in great working condition. Plus now I never have to wonder how long to leave my rib roast or biscuits in the oven.
Outlets in the oven? Makes perfect sense. By the way, I don’t really understand the griddle on this thing. Do I use a pan ON the griddle or cook directly on it? Or is that just a cover (I don’t think that’s it). I’m just going to stay away from that for now.
Okay, down the stairs from the kitchen into a space that used to be garage. The door on the left below goes outside, the glass door on the right is a pantry and the door directly ahead is a full bathroom.
A rather nice but low ceiling-ed bathroom. The bathroom, pantry and a finished garage “living space” were unpermitted and added to this two car garage. We’re hopeful about keeping a half-bath down here (removing the shower) and probably will need to remove the pantry.
Here is our two car garage! The rest of the space is to the right and that wall at the end with a door is maybe 8-inches from the actual garage door. The ceilings in here are super low due to heating and AC ducts which may or may not remain that way. I’m looking forward to this being an actual garage again even if it is just because we want to put a bunch of shelves and storage in here. And a laundry area.
Back through the house to the backyard, the crowning jewel of this house:
There’s some work we’ll be doing ourselves back here but I can say that the deck comes out with the sunroom and my garden lives next to that (dilapidated) white shed. That other building you see? Totally stinky (smoking…something) and totally unpermitted. It will come down. And the greenhouse? TBD but likely will be removed and if I want a greenhouse, it will probably be smaller and not located right in the middle of the yard. The good news is: there’s plenty of room for a chicken coop!!! As long as the building removals reveal no skunks this time, we’ll be all set.
This next view is from the upstairs bedroom and gives you a better idea of the layout of the yard. On our “someday” plan will be extending the patio or a deck from the house about as far out as the sunroom and deck go out now (because remember, the sunroom/deck all get removed). There will still be plenty of room for some croquet playing and gardening.
My other current favorite thing about our yard is the peach, plum and pear trees. I’ll get some pictures of just how many pears we’ve gotten so far but it really amazes me. Looking forward to preserving some this weekend!
Here’s your final view of the house from its back side:
There are plenty of projects to keep us busy, just how we like it. We prefer to own a home that we can make our own and we are truly looking at this house as a blank slate. While we only added about 100 square feet to our living space (not including all those unpermitted spaces) we greatly improved the neighborhood we live in. We’re a few blocks from a wonderful park with a community center that has bocce ball, softball/baseball fields, tennis courts, a skate park and even a community garden! Two blocks away is a little commercial area with some restaurants, shops and a post office. Our commute is also a little better now so we’re doing better all around! Welcome to our new home!