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My House

Early in July of 2003, I was having dinner with a friend of mine and we drove through a neighborhood where one of my friends and coworkers owned a house. I saw a house with a for sale sign in the yard and thought it looked pretty good. After driving past it, I looked over my shoulder and saw that it had a large garage behind it. At the urging of my friend, I turned around to take a closer look. As soon as I pulled in the driveway I had a really good feeling about the place, and immediately called the number on the for sale sign. 47 days later I closed and was the proud owner of my first house.

House pictures and descriptions
(All pictures can be “clicked” for a larger version)

The Garage:

Ok, In typical "guy" fashion, here is the part that sold me. The Garage! It's a huge 2 car garage, which is rare for older in-town homes. The garage is much longer than a car, and wide enough for three cars. In fact, it's almost as big as the house.

Apparently at one point the garage was finished out as an apartment, which left me with a finished ceiling, an attic with pull down stairs, some old plumbing, and most importantly a drain hooked into the city sewer system. This gave me the chance to run new plumbing to the garage which is where my washer and dryer now live. I've also installed a small hot water heater and a utility sink, which is really nice for dealing with all those things I don't want to wash in the kitchen sink!


The Shop:

The thing I like most is that I finally have a place for a bike workshop, my tools, and camping gear. For years I've been working on my bikes in the middle of the living rooms of various apartments and struggling to drag my stuff out of storage every time I need to make even the simplest repairs or adjustments. One of my first projects when I moved in was to build an eight foot long bench with a peg board back to serve as the base for my bike work shop. That corner of my garage has pretty quickly evolved into a bike shop that is every bit as capable as most commercial shops. It also provides a great place for me to host monthly get togethers with my biking friends where we can all work on our bikes and grill out. I work on bikes for all my friends and there are at least a hundred bikes that are in and out of my shop on a regular basis.

The House:

Now that we have that out of the way, we can move on to the house. It's an all brick home built in 1945. It has original hardwood floors in all room except the kitchen and bath, and has been completely restored. It was bought as an investment property and must have been pretty much gutted as everything inside was in great shape when I moved in. There are 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a good sized living room, separate dining room, and brand new kitchen and bathroom.

Front - From Street

Back - From garage

Back - Between garage and house

Back - Looking toward street

The Fireplace:

I was very excited about the fireplace when I first saw the house because I've always wanted one. There was a long road between what I started with and what I wanted and ultimately ended up with though. I took plenty of pictures as I did the work so you can see all the steps. Here are main before and after shots:

The Kitchen:

For an older house the kitchen is actually bigger than you would expect, and during the renovation they did an excellent job making use of the room to create ample cabinet and counter space.

The Lot:

Now for the actual layout of the property. The real bonus is that there is an empty lot beside the house and I was able to purchase that also. All in all it is 2/3 of an acre of nice flat useful yard. The empty lot has several large trees and really makes a great yard for the house now that it has been cleared. It was completely overgrown in brush when I moved in, and will probably always be a work in progress.