Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dream House (1956 Time Capsule Ranch)

Good morning!

We start out today's post with a second-long French lesson. Class, repeat after me....Je rêve d'immobliers...phonetically, juh REHVV dihmohbliyAY. That's French for "I am dreaming of real estate". And isn't it the honest truth this morning! My friend Kelsey is thinking about moving back to town when her husband returns from deployment in 2014, and I am thinking that the best course of action is for me to play Barbie Dream House on Zillow in my off desk hours as if it were, in and of itself, a paying job. I've learned how to set the search functions on Zillow to show me houses built from 1800-1970, in Nashville, Tennessee, and under $250,000 (ideally WAAAY under $250,000, but there's no fun in only looking at moderately priced houses!). While I love the house I'm in to death, I'm going to have to homestead some day, and haven't I been having a ball looking under the guise of helping out a friend.

Well, it's all fun and games until someone gets someone gets their heart broken. Folks, check it out. It's my house.


This ranch-style, 1956 house sits on a hill so high up and close to Nashville that you can see the Batman building from the backyard. YOU CAN SEE THE SKYLINE FROM YOUR BACKYARD. This first picture might not knock your socks off, but let's keep looking, it gets even better. All one floor, eighteen hundred square feet, on two acres and some change, and decked out with all the finest bells and whistles 1956 could afford you.

Here's your entryway, brick wall and tiled floor and all the wood paneling you could shake a stick at:


Can you imagine a 1956 hostess, dressed to the nines in sharp heels and a sharper brocade wrap dress, answering the door for her first housewarming party? "Oh, hiiiii, Margie! Tom! I'm so glad you could make it out, come in, come in!" Highballs on a bar cart and jazz blaring from the hi-fi, that planter on the right would be filled in with a luscious, tropical looking silk plant, grazing the ceiling with its artificial foilage. The space under it acts as storage for firewood. Why would you need firewood? For your indoor fireplace, naturally:


The hearth that serves as the center of the home! Check out the light fixtures attached to the wall above it and the built in shelves (is there still a reel-to-reel sitting on one of them?). The ghostly dark rectangles mark out where art used to hang-- can you imagine a family portrait here, or an abstract of a city scape? I would hang one of the oversized pictures from my den here. Because act like I have not seen myself in every room of this house in every possible domestic situation, and where I would put what! Somebody give me the keys to this place!


The other side of the room is almost as impressive as the fireplace wall side. Look at those enormous windows! Do they even qualify as windows when they're that big? And the light that the room gets. Imagine an ultra long, low, all clean lines sofa here-- a conversation pit built on a sectional and a love seat and one of those modern brass arc floor lamps. I know, from moving into my own house, that a room that looks this big can look much smaller when you start putting in furniture, but I'm having trouble imagining that the furniture I have would take up more than a quarter of the space. Maybe you could carve out a formal dining space out of the remaining room?

Kitchen:


Nothing ultra fancy, but a major upgrade from what I currently have. You could put a more retro/new stove under that stove hood there. I feel like the stove that matched the hood must have put in some time in the seventies'. I am so in love with the late sixties'/early seventies' linoleum (put in the same time as the stove, I bet!) that I wouldn't even bother updating it. See the eat-in kitchen, and think about a pair of kids eating cereal while mom packs lunches at that long formica counter. A cheery pair of avocado green café curtains over the sink there and you're ready to go.

Bedroom one:


Sliding wood door closet! Walk-out-to-the-patio access! I would add a mile of pinch pleat curtains to the track-hardware already in place.

Bedroom two:


Look. At. Those. Windows.

Bedroom three:


Bedroom four:


Built in desk! Built in desk! Put a mirror and a line of lights up on that wall and it makes a vanity for morning makeup application! Pair of closets! Be still my beating heart! I spent just this morning wrestling hangers trying to pull a specific dress out of the closet, but not before the plastic had snapped on the one I was trying to free. The solution is not to thin out my inventory of dresses, but to HAVE ANOTHER CLOSET.

Den/office space:


More built in bookshelves, more long, huge windows. Knotty pine paneling!

Bathroom one:


Bathroom two:


And last but not least, the back yard:




So you're probably thinking now-- why don't you have a real estate agent on the phone?! GET ON THE PHONE. Is it expensive? Friends, it is under $150,000. Which is insane. There's a house two streets down from me with missing window shutters and a half falling down back deck that is $129,000. It's not the price, and it's not the house. As I clicked the "map" option on the site and zoomed out of the street to see what neighborhood the house was in, my heart did an elevator drop. Once a mid century community of educated, professional African Americans-- doctors, lawyers, teachers-- this suburb has gone drastically downhill in the last thirty years. In the sixties', this house would have been in a much nicer neighborhood, income-wise, than either of my grandparents' houses. In 2013, it's one of the highest crime areas on those maps of crime areas that make me not want to look up my address for fear of what my neighbors are up to. Why! WHYYYYY. So sad. I guess I'll have to keep on the hunt for....Kelsey! I'm definitely not looking for myself! Haha.

How about you? Do you have a crazy story about hunting for real estate? How did you find the house you're in? What scotches a deal for you as far as buying somewhere you'd want to live in for the next thirty years, or so? Which part of the house makes you pine the worst for this property? Let's talk!

That's all for today, but I'll be back tomorrow with more vintage things to drool over! Take care, and I'll see you Thursday. Til then!

26 comments:

  1. Big, open, and dreamy...yup, I could live there too!

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    1. Can't you just see your furniture in it? I am still daydreaming about this like a week later.

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  2. oh my gosh what a dreamy place! my heart really started to beat a little faster. and that price! it is just too bad about the area!

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    1. I know! And I hate to hate an area-- again, it used to be a vibrant community. I kept telling people about this house and describing the floors and the rooms and the windows-- first question? "Where is it?" Me, with the sound of a deflated balloon. "Neeeevermiiiind."

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  3. Maybe my definition of bad neighborhood differs from your definition. I ADORE this big ole house! Any time I see pink tile in a bathroom, I am charmed.

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    1. This tile color (pink and greyish blue) is exactly the shade of the bathroom in my parents' house! My mom always hated it, I always thought it was about the best thing going. I hope I can find the tile of my dreams again in the house of my dreams....just in a less crime-riddled area.

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  4. Wow! Hey on 2 acres who cares who your neighbors are! BUY IT!

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  5. What a beautiful home! It's too bad that many if the coolest houses are in the roughest neighborhoods. It might be worth the trouble for all of that paneling!

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  6. I have been stalking this house for a very long time just based on the outside appearance. When it went up for sale and I saw the inside I about died. :)

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    1. I just think it's one of those things where the neighborhood won't get better. And that kills me to say, because if ever I fell in love at first sight with a house (like you!), this is it. Here's hoping something similar turns up somewhere and soon, before I die of a broken heart!

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  7. Ooooooh, that's a pretty one and the price is RIGHT! Stupid neighborhoods. Stupid crime.

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    1. Agreed, agreed, agreed, and AHGREED. It's nice to look at though, isn't it?

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  8. what a time capsule, and a gem,it would be so fun to give it back to its original charm.. out here in California that house would be close to 600K bad neighborhood or not… We see a lot of neighborhoods start to make the turn… it takes just a few to move in and start making the change…
    This totally looks mad men to me… I love it, thanks always for sharing.

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    1. I can just SEE the Mad Men style furniture and decor in it. Takes the wind out of you for a minute! Still, I hope another dream house is around the corner. Thanks for reading!! :)

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  9. I hate to say it because I loathe carpet, but a ranch-style house really needs wall-to-wall (in the rooms without linoleum, that is). I remember feeling so SAD when my grandparents replaced the shag in their 1968 chalet-ranch house. Granted, they still have carpet, but it's not shag. They also got rid of the astroturf on their screened porch. Not quite as sad, but still!

    I get really excited when people our age buy mid-century houses and really go to town making them back into the masterpieces of the American Dream they were meant to be. So much better than living in a housing development, I think!

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    1. Think about a grass-green, like medium green, shag throughout. Whoo weee! That would be SOMETHING, though. And I also agree with you on old houses-- my main solace in this find (and its disappointment) is, hey, the Greatest Generation literally built hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of houses like this-- surely there are a few more left in Middle Tennessee that someone hasn't ripped everything out of, right? ((as I start singing "Someone to Watch Over Me" with lyrics adapted to fit me pining for real estate))

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  10. That estate is really breathtaking! I would want to live there too, if I was given a chance. Too bad the area is not well-secured. However, it’s still too good to be true.

    Darren @MirrRanchGroup.com

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  11. this is the most beautiful thing i have ever seen. like, it's so perfect i wanna throw up.

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    1. I know! All it needs is me to live in it! I could die.

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  12. It's nice to enter the real estate world, especially when you're dealing with houses and apartments that have classic and vintage designs. I helped my friend in looking for a new place too, and her only request is to find a house that has vintage designs. It's been all fun and games, until I realized that I can use everything I've seen for redecorating my house. Hehe! Anyway, I do hope you'll enjoy your real estate task. And I hope your friend finds a spectacular house. Thanks for sharing! :)

    Katy Desroches @ Dominical-Real-Estate.com

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  13. It's hard not to start kind of looking for yourself when you start LOOKING looking. :) Thanks for reading, Katy!

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  14. Thanks for sharing your fondness to that house, Lisa. I also fell in love with a certain villa in Colorado. I can say that it’s a dream come true because it has all the things that I want in a house. Unfortunately, somebody’s already got it. It was really disappointing. Haha!

    Brian Quanstorm

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