Friday, November 15, 2013

How We Found Little Pink House III

So here's a little history on our new house, Little Pink House III....

Like I said yesterday, we moved to our rental (Little Green House) knowing it was temporary.  We wanted to find a place to settle that was between Big Daddy's work and his clients (spread across the Salt Lake Valley and Utah County to the south) but we didn't know where that place was.  We wanted a nice neighborhood, somewhere we could raise our kids.  Somewhere we could put down roots and make friends.  Somewhere with big trees hopefully (which are hard to find in Utah).  Somewhere that our neighbors weren't selling meth out front (i.e. Little Pink House I).   We weren't sure what city that was, let alone what neighborhood, but as soon as we drove down the street to check out Little Green House, we knew we were getting close.  Huge Chinese Elms hung over the streets.  The town had an old feel to it, some history.  The houses weren't all cookie-cutter brown stucco and stone.  It was smack dab between Big Daddy's work and his clients.  It just felt...right.

So we moved in and set into motion Phase 1 of our house hunt:  looking for a house very nearby for us to buy. We're picky.  Actually, that's not true.  We just don't have the taste that 95% of other people in Utah have, which makes us seem picky when it comes to house hunting.   Big Daddy and I like modern.  And we like Craftsman, which was the original version of modern.  Craftsman is just starting to appear here a little bit.  Modern?  Forget it.  It might as well be the bubonic plague to Utahans.  So trying to find a bit of chrome amongst all the wrought iron, some red amongst the beige, some concrete amongst the slate, some white amongst the knotty alder....well, you might as well have been asking for the moon.   After looking at dozens of boring beige stucco and stone, Old World European/rustic cookie cutter spec homes, we decided to move to phase 2 of our house hunt:  finding a lot to build our dream house.

Commence 9 months of fruitlessly searching for a lot that was A) west facing.  If you don't know, west facing lots are THE BOMB DIGGITY.  The front faces into the sun in the afternoon and evening, leaving the Eastern back yard all shady.  Utah summer sun is HOT, and having a BBQ at an East facing house (with a west facing back yard) is like cooking burgers on the surface of the sun.  Plus with a west-facing house, in the winter your front walk and driveway snow get melted off by the sun! It's perfect.  B) In a nice neighborhood (i.e. median age between 30-40, lots of kids, preferably no drug dealers next door.  C) on a quiet street.  Somehow all of our houses have been on fairly busy streets.  We wanted a street without major through traffic.  D) preferably having established trees.  I'm from Michigan, people!  I need me some GREENERY!    E) Oh, and the lot should be decent sized, say 1/3 to 1/2 acre.   E) And it should be in our budget.   That little thing.  But that's not much to ask, right?    Well APPARENTLY it is.  We found two lots that came close to being what we wanted, but one was too expensive.  The other had neighbors who may or may not have turned out to have been heroin dealers.  One neighbor was surely the long lost second Sanford Son. 

So we began Phase 3 of our house hunt: Widening the search to include already-built houses way under market value but needing a lot of TLC so as to be ready for us to put our own touch on them.  Ha! That had about an icicle's chance in hell, right?  Well, as it turns out that was a lot easier than buying a turn key house we liked or finding a lot that suited our needs.  Within about a month of opening up our search to include renovation houses, we found Little Pink House III.    I'm not sure what made us want to see it. The pictures online showed the worst parts and neglected the few truly amazing elements.  The outside was hideous.  But for some reason I was drawn to go see it. And once Big Daddy and I walked through, despite how scary the house was in so many ways, we looked at each other and said, "I think this is it." 

1 comment:

Charlie N. Holmberg said...

Am I allowed to guess the city or is it supposed to be a secret? Because I bet I can guess right! ;)

Excited for you to ACTUALLY CLOSE and for pictures!