May 4, 2008

3314 Duchess

More house hunting! Casey and I went out with Susan again yesterday and this time only looked at houses that are in Sparkman Club Estates. Sparkman Club is an area with about 300 houses that are located approximately South of Royal Lane and North of Merrell between Marsh and Webb Chapel. We really like the community feel and big trees that are all over this neighborhood. Most of the houses were built in the 1950s and 1960s and while some have been extensively remodeled and updated others still need to be brought into the 21st century. All of the houses in the neighborhood (whether dated or not) really seem to be well kept and in pretty decent condition. Sparkman Estates has a community pool, tennis courts, tennis league, bunco group, yesterday they had a Kentucy Derby party at the clubhouse, etc. Pretty neat neighborhood!

We looked at 7 houses in the neighborhood (one of them is the home from my previous post the I loved but is pretty expensive) and found one we really liked, 3314 Duchess. It has a great big oak in the front yard, pretty brick, a great bay window, and pretty decent curb appeal - Casey wants to change the tiny white spindle post in the enterance to something more substantial, but it wouldn't need done right away.

When you walk in you start to realize just how much work this house needs. Our first task would be to reclaim the garage. The previous owner converted the garage into an atrocious mother-in-law suite with a gross and tiny kitchenette, one room, and a storage area. We want a garage - so that would need addressed. When you walk in the front door, to your right you see the formal living room and dining room - and the wall we would want to take down. The far wall would become an extension of the kitchen with the closer area with the large bay window combining with the living room to make a large great room.




This is the view of the current family room which is on the other side of the wall that goes away. It has a very pretty fireplace with gas logs. It also has really ugly wood paneled walls, a ceiling fan that is hung far too low, weird sliding glass doors which back to a deadbolted iron grated door thing that makes it impossible to get out, and pretty brick floors - that would sadly probably have to go because they would be too hard to match.




The house has a kitchen that matches the living room! This picture is taken from the dining room looking in and shows just how dated it looks. The microwave and oven (front right of the pic) are straight from 1960s and go quite well with the dated wood cabinets. If possible we want to knock out some wall above the cooktop and build a bar area there with some stools and such, add cabinets, replace countertops, either replace or reface the current cabinets, and we are thinking we would turn the hutch and bay window at the end of the kitchen into a little sitting area and wine bar - add a small fridge, perhaps fridge drawers (depending on cost) and put a cute little bistro area in the window.





We have big plans - and until we meet with an architect and contractor we don't know if they are possible and how expensive it will all be. After we meet with these people, and if still financially makes sense - we are pretty excited about the idea of making this home our own with our ideas! If we end up making an offer - you could be looking at pictures of our first home!



This last photo is of the really great back yard - it looks much prettier now than it does in the photo with everything dead from winter!

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