Monday, August 24, 2009

1926 English Tudor, Puyallup

UPDATE: Yesterday we decided to bag the sale (only 10 people showed up by Saturday at 2:30, so we decided to box everything up and take it to a local 2nd hand store in time to celebrate Mass with Fr. "Bro-in-Law" in Tacoma.

That left us open on Sunday, so we went house hunting. Just as it happened, a realtor from the Tudor home we looked at in June. The developers want someone to purchase the outbuildings on the property with the house, so they are willing to make property line adjustments with a buyer. We all concluded that this might be some time to try to get some property out of them too--maybe 2 acres or so.

So we met up out there again, went through the outbuildings and the house. Learned from a gentleman that stopped by that he used to date the girl that lived in the house. After the English gent and family (the Avries) listed this, a footballer from America (last name Bonds, played with the UW and won a Rose Bowl tournament for them) bought the property. They ran a blueberry farm, The Avries-Bonds Farm, off of the 20 acres that this home originally had. Yesterday, as we drove out, we saw these gorgeous blueberry stands, covered in non native Himalayan blackberry vines, lining either side of the driveway. Locals were out picking them clean. The bushes are at least 30-40 years old, so you can imagine the amount of blueberries. Sadly, it is these stands that are slated to become a new neighbourhood of 50-80 McMansions.

While walking through the outbuildings, we discovered a trough that denotes a milking facility, a Steelcase Tanker desk, a 1960's calendar, and this sign--which Hubbie and i immediately fell in love with--that helps record what bushes have been picked clean and tell fieldworkers which still need harvesting. When all the pegs are turned a certain way, it reads "completed".

What a find, eh? We both agreed that if we purchased the place, we'd be cleaning this sign and hanging it in our living room. :o)

Just a few more pictures to round out the post:

This is the kitchen...amazing, isn't it??? I am standing in the larder.
I love this rack. At first i thought i was a spice rack, but the slats don't have bottoms. So what could this have been used for?

This is Nona in a downstairs bedroom with a great view of the backyard.

The house from the back yard.

Well, the sad tale as it goes is that Hubbie has poured over all the information on the internets that he can find. Codes, property values, flood plain maps, zoning codes and has come to a very sobering conclusion that isn't too hard to guess. Cities just don't like farmers anymore. There isn't much usable, flat, non wetland property we could potentially get out of the deal, and basically the developer just wants someone to property line adjust the outbuildings onto this property and assume responsiblity for having to fix or tear down because they don't want to spend the money on it themselves. It's these types of developers i hope suffer so much through these economic downturns that they can't recover their "business" after the economy turns around. Makes me so mad i could spit fire, but they aren't the only ones to blame--it's also our culture of the bigger, better *Brand New* homes that are mass marketed to people that feel their lives can't be content without such a cheaply made mini-mansion. We won't go there today, though. :o)
If we really dealt with the developers , if they would accept the deal Hubbie would like to propose, then really we'd only be getting the about the same amount of property that we have now.

Is it worth it to have a house like this? That remains to be decided. Or maybe by the time we decide, someone will have decided for us and bought the place.
Original Post: 6.20.09

Here are a few pictures of a really nice home we looked at today. The current owner has had it since 1947!!

There is a long driveway--easily big as a city block. This is what's at the end. The house sits above the Valley floor and is nestled in the base of South Hill.

The neighbour came by while we were standing on the deck. They share an easement drive with this house. He said his family has been neighbours with this house from the beginning--mid 1920's In this area, the big hops farming boom was just dying out then due to disease and with many Dutch and European settlers here and immigrating still, bulb farms--mainly daffodils and tulips--started gaining popularity and popping up all over the Valley floor. We aren't sure what was farmed here on their 20 acres + originally, but the neighbour did tell us that the original owners were English and this home was designed by the gent based on a house he had known in his old neighbourhood there.

This is the intersection of the old house (on the right) and the 1970's addition (left).

This is the addition...the people who owned this home took loving care of it. This old bay window is actually original. It originally was on the wall they blew out, and they replaced it in the front of the addition, so it is next to the front door.

Ready to see the treasures that await inside?

This is what they call the dining room. It is the first room on the right as you walk in the door. The coved ceiling blew me away--especially because they are painted a beautiful blue-green and the walls are a creamy blue. Sadly, the original dark wood has been painted, which also means the windows have been sealed shut. Don't you just love that radiator and chandelier?

This is the living room just across from the "dining room". Little Miss Ri looks like she belongs here, eh? I absolutely love the hearth--flush with the wood floors. And the window seating and the radiator boxes. Oy!! First thing that would have to go is that mirror above the fireplace. The other thing we would change is the dining room...why would you make a dining room next to your front door? I thought that was just for apartments? One great thing about this house for us is all the bookcases!! That would be a **huge** asset. Anyway, this whole area would become a living room.

The window to Ri's right is the front of the house. There is a gorgeous view over the land in front and the Valley. On a clear day, you can see to the Olympics. Sadly, all that land is slated to become 70 McMansions. razz-a frazz-a (explicative, explicative)!!

The floors seem to be hardwood, but what type? We aren't sure. Probably Doug Fir, if it was locally sourced. I love the detail of the darker band of wood to designate rooms.

This is the main floor bedroom (pre-addition, this was the only bedroom on the main floor.) Wouldn't it make a delightful guest room?

Outside, there is a creek that runs just beyond these windows by a few feet, representing the property line.

This is the guest room closet. This window is at the front of the house & has a view of the Valley.

Here is the downstairs bathroom (was the only pre-addition).
Looking at it in a photo, it's charming.
Seeing those cranberry stripes in real life kinda makes one feel as though they are Alice in Wonderland! :o) They would have to go! And sadly, (have you noticed there are lots of "sadlies" in this post? huh.) the tile floors, which i fully expected to be pink or white hexagonal tiles where an unfortunate vinyl. *Sigh*

This is the kitchen and a slight view of the backyard.

The kitchen was amazing, dark, but amazing. See that stove? It's an old school Frigidaire! It replaced the old woodstove that would have been there in the 20's-40's/50's. The old chimney is still accessible under that wall jutting out above the stove. Wouldn't it be lovely to recreate that?!? You could heat the house with that!

This is the room that in the 20's till modern day refrigeration would have been the cooler, or "larder" as the English say.

It has been turned into a nook that has tons of cabinets, even one housing an old wooden, wall mounted ironing board. Sadly, this room isn't big enough to be the dining room. But there are so many cabinets and pantries in this area...i wouldn't even need a canning room. All the "little put-up jobs" would fit in the kitchen!! It puts our 1950's galley style kitchen to shame.

In keeping with the original floor plan, we're on to the upstairs...

Surprisingly, there is an upstairs lu.
Just the right amount you need for an old house like this--
a simple water closet, complete with radiator!

1 of 3 bedrooms upstairs, with a view of the backyard

2 of 3 bedrooms: this was the original "master".

Lots of old, beautifully kept woodwork in the house!

those 1970's light switches need to go though!

3rd bedroom is a gem...those windows actually open inward.

In the room is a small closet built into the wall and another hide-e-hole of a closet.

Wouldn't this make a great kid's getaway?
From here, it was down to the unfinished basement. Very dark down there, as you would expect, but charming, unexpectedly.

The house is heated with an old boiler. This photo below is a picture of the old wood/coal closet.

The basement has a few of these too...they are ash depositories for the mainfloor fireplace, and this one for the original stove that was in the kitchen.

We have one in our carport for our fireplace...makes cleaning out the ash a lot more fun!

This is a large living area sandwiched between the boiler room and the coal closet.

It would make a great living room for tv and computer, if we could be assured there were no water issues. It's actually built like a have to climb 2 or 3 steps off the basement floor to stand in it. Immediately, i could see Ri and her teenage friends (in just 7 years, you know) hanging out down here.

This would have been the garage, i believe. Now it is this adorable little space...what would you do? Craft room? Parties? The door leads to a covered carport at the front of the house. Perfect for Spring and rainy Summer day parties.

Another little area in the basement...crafts or writing area for me and Mike?

Now, moving on to the addition back on the main floor. This is where this house is disturbing.
It was added on in the 1970's. This is the window that i mentioned was repurposed. The 70+ year old woman that used to live here was wheelchair bound, so she had it built so that she could remain in her home. This room they are trying to sell as the "master", but it truly is large enough to be it's own apartment! We talked of possibly making this a dining room--probable formal dining room. Little wainscotting and some cabinets and hutches might make it look wonderful?! Definitely, the carpet has to go!

This room is just off a little hall that is the intersection of the basement stairs, the backyard/back carport (this house has 3 carports) door and the hall from the living room and doorway to the kitchen. If you could see over to the right of the bed, there is a deadend hall with a window, 3 closets, and a huge linen cabinet, then a doorway to the bathroom.

This is the bathroom, complete with jetted tub and another linen cabinet.

It also has a handy telephone and astray mounted near the toilet! (say wha?)

Sorry i didn't get more pictures of the outside. It's pretty hard and it was rainy today (11 minutes shy of our record for longest dry spell, if you can believe that!?) The front walk to the door is a curved staircase with dense bushes. The backyard is a pretty little patch of grass (500-600 sq ft or so) that is mucky and muddy even after 30 days with no rain, so i am guessing the creek contributes to a lot of that, which could be really bad for the house's foundation, being that the creek runs just a few feet from the west side of the house.

We are ambivalent about it so far....namely for 3 reasons: 1. there is no usable land (where would we start our Mactutis Family Farm?), 2. it's pretty pricey (and because i am a geeky restorationalist kinda gal, i can't fathom how much more denairo we'd have to spend restoring light fixtures, switches, flooring, painted molding and windows...), and 3. NO ELECTRICAL OUTLETS UPSTAIRS! We get put out still, after living in our home for 8 years +, because some rooms only have 1-2 pronged outlet per room (no ground wires here!) Or if you are lucky, the bathrooms in our current home only have an outlet in the light fixture. Seems to me that might be a pricey thing to remedy as well....

1 comment:

Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!