Our Current Home
Our “new” home is located in SW Portland, just a quick 10 minute drive into downtown Portland. Built in 1961, it’s a ranch-style home with a daylight basement. We bought the place from the original owners, who custom-built this house for their family many decades ago. Remarkably, nearly every single element of this home was intact – the light fixtures, stove, flooring, sinks, tile…everything…was just how it was in 1961. And, everything was in amazing shape. We knew this home was for us because it had been well-loved and cared for, but it hadn’t been aesthetically updated. It was a blank slate, but we didn’t have to worry about the structure of the home. Overall, the house sits on a large lot, has a great open layout, beautiful windows, hardwoods floors, 3 fireplaces, and potential. Loads, and loads of potential, which was just what we wanted.
Our ranch has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms – a big upgrade from our quant bungalow. And, it boasts a garage! We’ve never had one of these before, and it’s truly blowing our minds. We plan on putting our touch on each room – new paint, trim, and floors will be replaced in all rooms, and each bathroom and kitchen will get a major overhaul. It will be total madness, and I can’t wait. I live for a mean renovation:).
Our First Home
Our first home was located in Grant Park, a neighborhood (and park) in the Northeast section of Portland, Oregon. It is best known as the setting for Beverly Cleary’s Klickitat Street series of books. Houses in this neighborhood generally date to the nineteen twenties and early thirties, and are primarily of the Old Portland or Craftsman styles. Some are historic gems and beautifully restored, others are begging for some TLC (with ours being part of the latter). Some are huge castles, while others are small bungalows (again, our home was part of the latter). In other words, our place had loads of built-in charm, but needed plenty of never-ending love and care.
Our bungalow was built in 1925, making it nearly 90 years old. It housed dozens of renters and families over the years, however, many original details were still intact, including the front door and lock, wood floors, crystal door knobs, living and dining room built-ins, crown molding, and wood windows. We bought the home in October of 2007 and ever since that Fall day, we were busy fixing up the place. The floor plan was simple – the two bedroom and one bathroom layout made for a snug, yet comfortable setting. We were lucky to have a large backyard, and we were unlucky to have a large amount of yard work.
Mere steps away from the house was Grant Park, 20 acres of land complete with a baseball field, basketball court, soccer field, softball field, full-size track, tennis courts, picnic site, wading pool, and playground. It truly had it all and was the deciding factor in buying our home. Parks seem to bring out the best in a neighborhood, and visiting it was a weekend staple for us. The other selling point for us? We felt we had the best of both city and suburban life there, as we were only minutes from downtown Portland.