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3905 Grover

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Between World War I and the Great Depression, American domestic architecture saw a revival of the picturesque house, and those years are referred to as the era of the Period House. This property at 3905 Grover is a picturesque house, a cottage in the Tuscany style. Its neighborhood, bounded by Rose Hill, Latah, Cassia and Roosevelt, contains a mix of houses, usually small, including many picturesque houses. The streets are curbed and guttered. Some multiple-family dwellings are present like duplexes and fourplexes, but most of the houses are single family structures. When I was there, I heard a rooster crowing. It's that kind of neighborhood.

This house is white stucco trimmed with dark gray and shutters, and the new mansard roof is black and gray with new rain gutters. Inside, the living room is quite large, and the windows, which open inward, are surely the original casements. From the living room, a door leads to the small kitchen, which has two more casement windows. The kitchen floor is vinyl, and the cabinets appear to be original. The window over the sink is new vinyl. There is a pantry closet, as well as built-in storage cabinets along another wall. A door leads outside to a beautiful 12-foot by 12-foot covered deck.

Located off of the other side of the kitchen is a set of stairs that lead to the upper level. At the front is the master bedroom, a modestly sized room with double casement windows on one wall and a single window on the side. The closet is large considering the house's age. Also off the upper level corridor is a bathroom with coved ceilings like the master bedroom, a bathtub with a white ceramic tile and shower surround. Built into the wall is a floor-to-ceiling linen closet. The window looks onto a mature silver maple, giving the room a lovely "up in the trees" feeling.

Returning downstairs to the kitchen, another full flight of stairs descends to the lowest level of the house. Off of the landing is another bedroom with two new sliding, vinyl windows. One is very large and is the egress window for the room. There is a big closet and a niche for a dresser. Another door off the landing leads to the unfinished part of the basement. Through a door only about four feet high is a room housing the gas furnace and new hot water heater. There is a drain in the floor, and perhaps this is where a washer and dryer could be placed. There is also room for storage.

Back up the stairs on the upper landing is a door to the extra long single-car garage. However, the garage is very narrow, so you'll need to unload your groceries in the driveway before you park the car. The overhead garage door is new.

The backyard is large with a healthy lawn, which is undoubtedly due to the automatic sprinkler system. At the end of the lot, on the alley, is a shop with lots of deep shelves. Also on the alley is a free-standing carport in which the owner could park an RV or another vehicle. There are three-foot-tall picket fences along the sides of the lot.

PROS: Certainly the charming architecture is a pro. Those casement windows strongly evoke the '30s. The house is well maintained and freshly painted. The back deck is wonderful and would be a great place to sit and enjoy the outdoors. I like the big lot and the mature trees.

CONS: I'd want to put some money into the house, including the addition of good storm windows and screens that don't detract from the age and style of the house and a redone kitchen retaining the original cabinets. It would be nice if the four-foot door leading to the basement room could be expanded as high as possible if it is to be turned into a laundry room. I don't think the house has 1,347 square feet of finished space.