Sunday, May 4, 2014

What was Old is New again


A couple of days ago I found out that my childhood home is up on the market again. This is the one we sold last August.

At the time our real estate agent thought the buyers were getting it because it was so close to the Pacific East Mall, in Richmond. But, it turns out they must've been nothing but a couple of flippers.

I guess it was providence that I Googled the address on Friday as the first Open House took place today. Considering the brisk seller's market, It was likely now or never to see the transformation.

* * *

I use transformation akin to a transformation from a caterpillar into a butterfly.

They'd basically restuccoed the entire outside, because they had a whole bunch of wood rot to deal with, and all the windows were replaced, with all but two being moved from their original location.

Mind you this was a house built in 1949, yet they chose to use that rough stucco outside, which has been the trend on many buildings in the last couple of decades.

I was surprised they didn't put up the faux shutters around the windows, and the scalloped main living room window was replaced with a somewhat smaller cookie cutter square window, with no sill. Honestly, it looked unfinished.

On the bright side, the front yard was landscaped with fresh tanbark, and most of the foliage was gone, making it look a lot cleaner and bigger.

As we entered the house, the first thing we were greeted with was brand new flooring and NO wall between the living room and kitchen.

Truthfully, this is one of the things I'd pondered when I had visions of remodeling the house to live in. But, it was fascinating to see. I was a little surprised at the size of the kitchen window. With the great view of the Golden Gate Bridge, I would have went one size wider myself.

As we went room by room, there were newly sheet rocked walls, freshly painted a stark white, which brightened up the place considerably. Cabinets were supposedly all custom made. But, the ones in the bedrooms looked like standard laminated shelving, which could have just as easily came from Home Depot.

Downstairs finally got its bathroom; something that had been sorely lacking. I always hated having to make the trek from the very bottom of the house to the upper level every time I needed to use the bathroom or take a shower!

The lower "family room" had been turned into another bedroom, with the closet being exchanged for a slightly raised small alcove large enough for a full-sized bed. You still had the double-glass patio doors, which surprised me a bit.

The deck was downsized to half of what it was. But, the new one doesn't shake like the 1970s era one did, and has proper pier restraints to the ground.

Oddly, they only landscaped half the backyard, leaving the lower section by the freeway sound wall a small weed patch. I had to laugh as one of the grape vines I'd planted had poked through the fresh tanbark in back and was now a couple feet tall.

I scratched my head on why they didn't spend the extra money to install a solar electrical system, given there's such a large roof with unfettered access to the Sun, and they put a brand new roof on anyways?

Adding to all these changes mentioned were a sewer lateral and electrical wiring; basically meaning this was a "new" house compared to what stood there only eight months ago.

* * *

Leaving I said a silent "good-bye" to Tigger and the house in general. Unlike last August there was no crying and depression. OK so maybe a very little smidge of depression which was gone as soon as I walked out the front door. Perhaps it was more catharsis, than anything else.

It was good to see the transformation, even though I might not have done everything that was done. But, I think my sister and I left with a good feeling that whomever buys the house will have years of enjoyment before the next remodeling, 30 years hence.

(I was EXTREMELEY happy that they didn't chop it into two units, which was the fate for the houses to our immediate left and right.)

Click on the photo below to see the current RedFin listing:

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