Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Round Two

We went and looked at our second round of houses today. Here's what happened! Make sure to read all the way through for a bonus question!

House #1:

 This house was was the furthest into St John's of the four we looked at today. Even though it was pretty far NW, it had the advantage of being a 2 minute drive from downtown St Johns and was within a few blocks of a Fred Meyers, Dairy Queen (!!!!) and other shops. The neighboring houses were all really well maintained and the blocks was pretty quiet. The outside of the house was a little sad looking. The siding is vinyl so after a good power washing we could brighten up the white, paint the lower brick and trim, and get some flower/shrubbery action happening to the front and the curb appeal would go way up.

The inside was in pretty good shape. This was the only wall with color and all the original woodwork was still in tact. We were concerned that there may not be hardwoods under the carpet as the dining area had laminate flooring and the house was built in the late 50's when carpet was popular. Luckily a corner was peeled back and there were really beautiful hardwoods underneath.

The kitchen was in pretty good shape as well. Cabinets were nice and it was pretty clean. The stove was pretty old and there was an old rolling dishwashing machine. After some appliance upgrades and some paint it would be nice. It's galley styled so it wasn't huge but had a good amount of counter space. There was a mud room off of the kitchen with washer/dryer hook-ups and a door that led outside to this:

A garage for Tracey! It was nice inside-- some built in shelves, no leaks or water damages. We discovered that they were funneling electricity to the garage off of the central air conditioning system so that might need to be addressed. That's right, people-- central air in a house in Oregon!

Back inside we saw the small bathroom. Our Realtor hated the tile floors but I loved them. They were clean and in good shape and just needed to be re-grouted. The sliding doors on the bathtub would need to come down as well.

No pictures of the 3 bedrooms but they were all decent sized with good closet space.

You can kind of see one of the bedrooms in this shot. These doors lead out to the backyard which was a nice size. Enough room for the dog, a few garden boxes, and picnic table or a fire pit.

The only real problem our Realtor saw with this house was that we would need to put in new windows at some point. They're are double paned right now so heating/cooling costs wouldn't be too bad for the time being but it would need to be addressed in the future.

House #2:

I actually didn't get to take a picture of the front of this house because the owners were here and met us at the door. Well, one did. The other was in a bedroom sleeping. They knew we were coming so it was kind of awkward. It was just a normal looking ranch with an attached garage that was various shades of brown. Not really anything too interesting to look at.

We were mostly interested in this house because of it's location. It was in a neighborhood called Kenton and was on a block in between a huge park and a commercial street. The commercial street had a library, cafes, a post office, and a butcher. It was also just a few blocks away from the Max Yellow Line. 

Inside it had an open floorplan. The living room was on the small side and carpeted. The owner, who lurked around behind us, pointed out that there are hardwoods underneath.

The kitchen was open to the living room and had been updated. The listing said the counters were granite but our Realtor called the guys bluff and he fessed up that they were laminate that just looked a lot like granite. The appliances were newer and there was also a little wine cooler built in. Off the kitchen was a garage that was packed full of their stuff so no pictures of that.

The bathroom had some newer fixtures like this sink. There was no bathtub, just a walk-in shower that had been redone with nice tiles.

At each end of the hallway were the bedrooms. One we couldn't see since someone was sleeping and the other was just a little girls room. Decent sized with hardwoods. In between each room was a room with french doors that wasn't quite a bedroom but could be used for an office.

They were still putting up siding in the back. The backyard was a nice size. Unfortunately, there was a hoarder living on one side, apartments on the other and the back faced a large commercial space that took up the whole block. Not very private or pretty.

We didn't take a lot of pictures of this house since the owner was walking around talking to us about all the things he was planning on doing and it was kind of weird.

House #3

Back to St Johns! We had re-directed ourselves to go to house #2 because they only showed it during a certain part of the day. This house was pretty much right in between #1 and #2. Nice quite neighborhood with nice houses and lots of trees. The only downside of this location was that it wasn't within walking distance of any real amenities. We're pretty certain this was a house that was flipped recently.

This was the living room. We're pretty sure these are laminate floors but they looked great. The windows were also brand new vinyl windows which was something the first two houses did not have. The living room was an ok size and led straight into the kitchen. There was a small area off the kitchen that a veryveryvery narrow table would fit into. Maybe. You can see it in the next picture.

The kitchen was pretty fun. They left all the original cabinets and shelves but put in new sink hardware and countertops. The appliance were pretty old (not as old as #1, though!). This kitchen also led to a mud room and the access for the garage. Forgot to take a picture of the inside of it but it was bigger than the other two houses and had lots of workspace set up.

The backyard was gorgeous and had a dog run set up. This is a shot of someone elses backyard that was full of umbrellas. The entire thing. It was pretty nutty. At this point a wasp started flying around us and we ran back inside so that's it for pictures of the outside!

The bathroom was really nice. Beautiful tiles in the bathtub area (versus a plastic insert in house #1). The bathroom was between the two bedrooms that looked exactly like the living room but smaller.

Speaking of bedrooms, this one only had two. We were ok with two bedrooms if it had some sort of bonus area but it didn't, so we would have to take that into consideration.

House #4

This was the only house that we looked at that wasn't in North Portland. This one was in the Hollywood district which was not a neighborhood we were were looking at since most of the houses weren't in our price range. This was in a good spot in terms of being near amenities but was right off of Halsey (a major road) and I-84. So, loud. The side of the block the house was on was also mostly commercial space so it didn't have a nice neighborhood feeling. It was the same price was #1, though, but larger so we thought we would look.

View of the living room from the dining room. This house smelled old but kind of in a comforting grandmother way. It was really spacious but we aren't sure if there are hardwoods under the carpet. It had really great arched ceilings and you could tell it has been well taken care of. Our Realtor told us that the woman who owned it grew up in the house so it's been in the same family since the early 60's (when it sold for $9,000, according to

This phone worked! It was so cool. This house had all sorts of little built in things. There were no pictures of the kitchen or bathroom on the listing so we were a little scared of what they might look like.

They were cute! The kitchen had newer appliances but all of the original tiles. That little blue box up on the wall is actually a built-in napkin dispenser. It was a really good size and in good shape. There was a door that led out onto the back deck (first house we have seen with a deck!) but I forgot to take pictures of that. Back inside, a door in the kitchen opened up to:

An equally cute bathroom! All of the original built in cabinets, built in soap dishes and toothbrush holder and a really deep tub. The tub also had tiles of swans and stuff. Totally kitchy.

Upstairs were three bedrooms that were a bit on the smaller side. They all had hardwood floors, which leads me to believe the downstairs does all well. The woman who lived there had all sorts of cool toys from the early 1900's all over.

All of the rooms had actual closets but this room also had one that stuck out from the wall. All of the woodwork in this house was original and would look really great with some elbow grease.


  1. Did I skim read too fast for the question?
    If the question is does my mother love me? the answer is YES

  2. The question got lost! The question was: What house do you think we are putting on offer in on? -- Misha and Tracey

  3. ooooh tough, they are all good! i remember #4... great location except for the exact street that it is on; if only it were on the other side of halsey! I'm gonna guess (hope) you put an offer on #2 because it's near me! my second guess is #1 because it's so close to st. johns.