1521 sq. ft.: 2 BD, 1 BA
Built in 1921
Lot size .16 acre
Hutchison Realty, Inc., Dave Hutchison, 208-345-8010, HutchSold.com
This unassuming little home is just south of State Street in an area the realtor referred to as a "sleeper neighborhood" of the North End. It's easy to see what he means. Nearing the turnoff of State Street, there was no reason to think such a cozy and quiet area lay just ahead. Pulling up to the property, the front view is plain, but nothing is out of place. Surrounded by several other nice-looking but unpretentious homes, it certainly felt welcoming. The house is fittingly described as a cottage in the realtor's listing, and it takes just a moment to view the entire exterior. The pale yellow color isn't obtrusive, and the whole thing is quite charming at first glance.
A step up to the curved stoop and I was in the generously sized dining and living area. The hardwood floors and attractive older windows give this home's main common area plenty of character. The working fireplace (with coal insert) could be enjoyed as is or easily configured for gas in the future. The built-in shelves around the fireplace offer a nice touch. While I wouldn't try inviting the extended family for holidays, it would fit a more intimate gathering nicely. Passing through the living room on either the left or right will bring you into the kitchen. Plenty of cupboards, all in white, open up this working-kitchen space. The large white cast-iron sink is really nice. The gas range and side-by-side refrigerator are both pretty sharp and included in the sale. At some time, a do-it-yourself floor re-finish must have been attempted in this kitchen area. It appeared someone later tried to reverse it back to natural, but still, a blue veil of paint covers the floor. While it might be a job for a professional next time, an adventurous homeowner could make something happen.
The sole bathroom in this house has a newer pedestal sink and is otherwise pretty simple. All the fixtures and the full shower looked to be in good shape. There are two decently sized bedrooms. The master bedroom had a king-sized bed and still had plenty of room left over. The second bedroom, as it was being used, could stand to have a more private door, one without windows. An easy fix, though, and if this second bedroom were not needed for sleeping, it would make a handsome home office. The paned-glass double doors of this room would be a nice entrance into anyone's workspace or library.
A laundry room leads either downstairs into the unfinished basement or out the back door and into one of this property's best traits. The backyard landscaping just needs a little touching up before it can be called gorgeous, but its potential is obvious. The fenced-in yard also boasts a small garden pond, complete with waterfall and an automatic sprinkler system. There is also some decking and a bricked slab ready for a hot tub. Someone could make this into a yard to brag about given just a little time to refocus its strengths. At the back of the lot sits a detached garage. It'll keep your car, but its gravel floor precludes much else from going on in there. I'm told this property is available for R2 zoning, and if that were to occur, the garage could be revamped and made into a carriage house. The garage is accessed via an unusually spacious alley.
This home's been a rental for the last few years, which explains a perceived lack of love from its residents. Nothing has been glaringly neglected, but this would be a joy for a small family willing to give it the attention it once had. Judging by the landscaping and decking in the back yard, someone adored this property, and someone else could easily fall in love with it.
Pros: The back yard, hardwood floors, windows, semiprivate alley access and detached garage.
Cons: would benefit greatly from a fresh coat of paint inside, needs a couple shingles replaced on the roof (no evidence of leaks inside though), a little overall TLC needed.