Wednesday, January 13, 2010

House Hunt 2.0: House 2

This home is located in northwest Decatur in an established neighborhood. Most of the houses in this area are partially or all brick, and split levels and ranches are popular.

I should share something that I haven't mentioned before re: house hunting. I'm comfortable in these kinds of houses. I grew up in ranches and split levels. From Michigan to Georgia to Alabama and back, my family somehow always ended up in one of these modest, traditional homes. That being said, I am not narrowly focused on these types of homes; I would love to live in an even older craftsman — and I wouldn't turn down a brand new cape cod if we found one in an area I liked.

What kinds of houses did you guys grow up in? If you're not a homeowner yet, what kind of house do you visualize yourself in? One like your parents'? Or something totally different?

On to the pictures, pros and cons of this past weekend's "house 2." It's a 4/2 split level with partial siding, partial brick. Seems like it has good bones.


One of two main floor living areas. The left wall separates the living room 
from the kitchen and the other living area. Wouldn't it be better if it were one, 
big open layout?

The kitchen. Check out that stove. Yeah, this would need a wee bit of updating.

Upstairs bathroom. Not bad but not much wow factor either.

 View of backyard and two-car carport.


  • Great family neighborhood
  • Four bedrooms
  • Two-car carport at back of house
  • Priced where we could make some improvements
  • Nice sized, flat yard


  • Needs a totally renovated kitchen to be made modern
  • We would probably want to knock down a load-bearing wall to make a nice, big living area (versus two, small awkward ones)
  • Needs some big, some small cosmetic updates (e.g., wood paneling rooms that need painting, etc.) and some landscaping
  • Landscaping in front yard required
  • Bedrooms are small-to-moderately sized


Chiara said...

I grew up in cape cod style homes. Probably not going to find that in the DC area in my price range, so I think I am going to go to condo route! LOL It's pretty interesting to see the differences in houses by area. There are very few split levels and ranches where I grew up in Maine.

Erica said...

Good luck, KtBM. Such an adult decision for you and hubby to make ...

I grew up in a "modern" (at the time, c. 1986) 2-level with a lot of sky-lights and interior "windows". Kooky parents. If we're to stay in NY for the forseeable future, it's looking like Brooklyn condos/apt living for us. Just hoping to score outdoor space and closets.

Kb_Mal said...

C - it's wild how different regions have different style houses. It's bizarre to me that our home in upper michigan looked a lot like this split level (or at least in my memory). Good luck with your condo hunt. I will want to see pictures!

E - a "modern" 80's home. Would love to see that! Did it have a kind of art deco painted wood exterior? Love it! I'm crossing my fingers for you in your condo/apartment hunt. Big closets, big closets. No whammies.

The Orkins said...

I grew up in a traditional 2 story brick house in San Antonio that was built in the late 1930s. I now live in a sweet little bungalow/cottage thingy built in the late 1940s, and we are renovating our dream house - built in 1938. It is (and will be) a Cape Cod style. I have always been pretty traditional - but every once in a while I think I want a super modern house with tons of windows that looks like it was built out of white styrofoam. I would have concrete floors and only black leather furniture...

Good luck with the hunt - and stay in the Decatur area, or at least in our JL District meetings.

The Crow said...

I grew up in a Mid-1920's Midwestern Cape Cod that my parents proceeded to turn into an amalgamation of styles through the years in order to satisfy the needs of our growing family.

Kb_Mal said...

Riddle me this, Tres -- what does a midwestern cape cod look like? I'm trying to imagine this place of residence that's constantly being transformed. Did you guys live there a long time?

Naomi -- I have serious plans to stay in the Decatur-ish area. :)

Your house progress is looking exciting. Can't wait to see the finished product. I, btw, sometimes have visions of a wacky house that's much unlike the traditional ones I grew up in. Love your white house with leather description. :)