Windermere Capital Group
Clyde Rasmussen, 208-794-1909
This week, I went bargain hunting. Like a savvy yard sale shopper knows how a piece of dented furniture that has inherent character can be repaired, refinished and transformed into a unique find, so it is in real estate (albeit on a much larger scale). Ada County's year-to-date average home sales price is $264,408, and the average price per square foot is around $97. This house is priced at $79.55 per square foot, or $41,472 below our local average. It appears to be located in a decent neighborhood, seems clean and well-maintained, has a few retro touches inside and offers plenty of square footage for the money. But, like the unique yard sale find, it belongs in the hands of someone with the vision to see how unique it could be with a few tweaks.
The Contractor Modern Style home was popular for tract housing in the mid-1950s and early 1960s. From the street, this one's low horizontal profile and compact footprint conceal the fact that half of its square footage is contained below ground in the full, lookout basement. Out front is a tall shade tree on the lawn and tidy evergreen hedges below the front windows. The front porch is accented by a brick flower box and simple wrought iron supports.
On the main floor are the living room, an informal dining space, the kitchen, three bedrooms and a full bathroom. Downstairs has a family room, a three-quarter bathroom and three unfinished rooms. Golden-hued hardwood floors are in the three bedrooms and hallway on the main floor, while the floor downstairs is made of concrete. The main floor has been gently updated with an earthy palette and feels welcoming, while the basement has been left partly unfinished, and its darkened rooms activated my inner scaredy-cat before I located the light switches.
When you enter the house, you immediately enter the living room, which is punctuated by an attractive brick fireplace set off-center and accented with a brick flower box echoing the planter on the front porch. The stairwell leading downstairs is set between the living room and dining area and is surrounded by a decorative wrought iron handrail. An updated trio of pendant lights hangs above the informal dining space. In the small kitchen is a two-person breakfast bar, solid wood golden-varnished cabinetry and lazy Susans tucked inside every corner cabinet.
As you head downstairs, the stairwell is open to the family room on one side, but a safety barrier has been created with tall wooden rods spaced about three inches apart. The family room has a red brick fireplace and linoleum checkerboard flooring in brick red and dark brown. One of the three unfinished rooms could be a guest bedroom since it has a closet, but the new owners may want to install carpeting or lay down an area rug on the painted concrete floor before you offer an invitation. The other two rooms look like they've been used as storage and hobby space. Other than the original attached two-car garage, the property has a second two-car garage in the back yard that looks like a good place for motorcycles, jet skis and camping gear. The covered, rear patio is surrounded by low-growing plants and the back lawn is enclosed by wire fencing, which unfortunately provides views of the neighbors' rear yards. Tall evergreen hedges would provide privacy.
Pros: Plenty of square footage for the money. Clean, retro interior has been gently updated.
Cons: Basement could use improvements. Back yard needs privacy screens.
Open House: Saturday, Sept. 13, 1-3 p.m.