Some homes are more than places to live. Some homes, like our latest listing, are places to love. The sellers poured thirteen years of their lives into this charming bungalow, and their affection is impossible to miss. As soon as you approach, you notice myriad updates, thoughtful details, and “the pride of home ownership” on full display. From solar panels to recycled glass, every inch of this house was crafted with love—this home was a member of their family.
We worked with the sellers to write a welcome letter to prospective buyers, and today, we want to share that letter with all of you, because homes like this—and home-owners like this—are the best part of our job. We want everyone we work with to have the opportunity to fall in love with a house and transform it into a home the way they did. May this story of home-ownership inspire your own.
Welcome to this home on Pearl Street. Welcome to the neighborhood, the quiet, the view, the walk to the lake, the coffee at Vitta, the book you ordered, the tomato you grew, the chickens clucking. Welcome to sunset light on Seward Park, to an outdoor shower after a swim in the lake, to a date night walk into Columbia City, to handmade gnocchi at Pizutto’s, to nesting birds in the spring and cozy mornings in the winter. Welcome home.
We purchased 5231 Pearl Street in 2008 and put our mark on it with love (sweat and tears, too). We opened up the main space of this 1942 house, removing walls to the former bedroom and kitchen and installing posts and beams to take advantage of the natural light. Floors were stripped of linoleum and carpet and refinished with wax/oil and tile placed in the bathroom and kitchen (which also has radiant floor heating). The lathe and plaster walls were removed, new electrical, plumbing (Pex), and formaldehyde-free insulation were installed, then new 5/8” drywall was placed. You might notice our select choices to minimize our environmental impact while creating a warm and efficient home; trim boards are reclaimed old-growth fir from the bottom of the Columbia River, recycled glass splashguard, and countertops made of chalkboards from Garfield High School.
After the birth of our twins, we remodeled the former attached garage, putting a sound barrier between bedrooms. The birth of our third son led to the expansion of the small bedroom with storage underneath. Energy-efficient work was a part of this remodel, covering drafts and installing insulation in the basement.
Outside, we constructed a new cedar deck with two rainwater cisterns, laid a patio, plumbed in an outdoor shower (with hot/cold water), and built awnings over the front and back doors using reclaimed wood. The original cedar lap siding for the house was restored, with new matching siding placed everywhere else. A metal roof and 20 photovoltaic panels were added along with metal gutters – this solar panel system provides 85% of our electrical needs. (An incentive from the city and state for installing the system provides us around $2,500 a year. This, along with the warranty on the equipment, will transfer to the new owner.) What we managed to do to the yard came from a desire to restore an almost tree-less lot to one with shade and wildlife habitat. We’d be happy to identify the plants for you from native species to the numerous fruit and nut trees.
We love this house, this block, and this neighborhood with its deep history. There is so much here and so much potential. We look forward to handing it off for your vision.