Welcome to my blog!
In 2016, I had been living in a fairly agreeable apartment in Kenosha for about 4 1/2 years. It was near work, but was besieged by a somewhat dying neighborhood, the rumbling of a train stop, and the commotion of a police depot. The neighbors, a revolving door of grad students and families trying to rebound from the lingering housing crisis. All in all, something of a non-community.
Between the general malaise of my area, some recent changes in apartment management, and a jump in rent, I started to seriously consider home ownership in one form or another. At first I really focused on being on a happening area (in contrast to my contemporary location) A condo on the East Side was where I started looking.
After lots of searching, pricing comparisons, a couple of different real estate agents, and the realization that a garage would be nice, I shifted scope to a reasonably priced house. I ended up looking more on the South Side until I found a place I really liked.
This yellow bungalow, built in 1923, was a modest take on many of the Craftsman style homes I had admired in my searching. It had a lot of old school woodwork, a built-in china cabinet, and most importantly, windows, roof, foundation, basic construction were all really solid.
I can’t tell you how many houses I wandered through where people had screwed up the house in one bizarre way or another. Stair cases you had to limbo to descend, floors like the ocean in a storm, “open floorplans” that eliminated bathrooms and inserted hyper-modern kitchen elements where they just didn’t belong. To say nothing of the places that were just rundown.
Suffice to say, my sense had become tuned to a certain amount of “wtf did they do?” and this spidey-sense was oddly silent when I visited this house for the first time. My real estate agent, who had waded through some of the goofy examples with me, turned and we both gave a look of “huh, this might actually work.”
The house had all the hallmarks of grandma decor, but as we walked through, we could see it had been seen to, even if some of the details had gotten away from her.
I grabbed all the old realtor photos to show what the house looked like as I first saw it.
Overall, I really appreciated the strong fundamentals and the potential the house has. Take the pictures above, throw in a half-bath that’s not shown, and a full, unfinished basement, and it’s a solid deal.
I finalized my purchase on June 2nd and quickly laid out plans to start updating it. More on that to come!