29 January 2009

Comparing Bungalows

We went to an open house on Sunday. It is a little bungalow, similar to mine, built in 1938. Mostly I wanted to go out of curiosity. Actually there have been many open houses I've wanted to see over the years, but I've been too timid to go since I am not actually house hunting. But this time was different. First of all, I talked mom and Lewis into going with me. Secondly, they are asking almost twice what I paid for my house just five years ago, and I wanted to see how Oliver's Bungalow would compare. We've put a lot of money into our house, and I've been afraid that, at least right now, we have more money sunk into the house than it is worth. Market value worth, not, you know, what it is worth to me. I know that most of the improvements we have made were necessary, long-term investments. But it is interesting to see something so similar, in our neighborhood, on the market for this price.

This little brick bungalow has some things that we don't have, but I still think our house comes out looking better. And if they really get anywhere near their asking price, I'm gonna feel a lot more comfortable about all the money we've spent.

Stuff the Open House Bungalow has that Oliver's Bungalow doesn't:
+ brick construction
+ driveway, off-street parking
+ - one car garage (straight into basement with no dividing walls, safe?)
+ beautiful back porch
+ cool beadboard porch ceiling
- new breaker box, but older electric wiring, outlets and switches
+ central air
- + tiny, tiny, but level lot, nicely landscaped
+ - wash up sink and urinal in basement (what girl doesn't have that on her wish list?)
- steep staircases
- no attic to speak of
+ more nook type storage spaces
+ first floor laundry
- possible foundation damage
- painted, but pretty, wood work (probably oak)

Stuff Oliver's Bungalow has that Open House Bungalow doesn't:

+ all new plumbing
+ two new, larger bathrooms
+ all new electric
+ all hardwood floors
+ restored chestnut wood work, more detailed
+ terrific wide staircases, with easy tread to riser ratio
+ more character
- metal siding covering stucco (in who knows what condition)
- crazy steeply sloped lot
+ more spacious, taller ceilings
+ more closet space
+ better kitchen cabinetry

All in all, it is a cute little house, with a lot of potential, but it needs some major work, just like my house did.

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