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NW HM 4 U?

Circa 1905 Craftsman shotgun in Cooper-Young.

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A shotgun can be the perfect first or last house. It isn't so large that it's a chore to maintain, and it's one of the least expensive houses to buy — all-important if you're looking to eliminate the superfluous and focus on the essentials.

This shotgun has not led an easy life. It had become a low-end rental property with aluminum windows and was stripped of its interior trim. There wasn't much in the way of heat and air and even less in the way of charm.

Fortunately, it was rescued nine years ago, and a slow, sensitive renovation has updated the services and restored the finishes. Wide exterior trim was installed around new, insulated windows and doors. A period oak door with flanking, paneled shutters was installed at the front. The porch was rebuilt with an antique brick foundation and wood flooring. Old Arts and Crafts copper lanterns were added as the final grace note at the entry.

The interior received even more attention. Antique, four-panel doors with 1920s brass hardware, salvaged from Davies Plantation in Lakeland, were installed throughout. Enclosing the back porch provided room to add a laundry as well as glass-fronted, floor-to-ceiling cabinets that provide pantry space next to the kitchen. And a central heat and air system was installed, along with charm.

The comfortably scaled living room runs full-width across the front and is enhanced by 10-foot ceilings. The bedroom is in the middle, with a side hall passage to the rear. The kitchen has an assembled look, with one wall of built-ins accompanied by furniture cupboards and a central work/dining table.

New pine floors, stained a medium brown, were installed in both the kitchen and bath. A vanity with a tri-fold, mirrored medicine cabinet was also added. A large floored area in the attic is available for the extra storage everyone needs.

You might think a shotgun is just too small to be livable. But remember way back before texting, when we valued every vowel? Now we communicate rather well without a lot of them. So, maybe a little, well-renovated shotgun could now be the perfect "nw hm 4 u." •

1069 Meda

Approximately 750 sq. ft.

1 bedroom, 1 bath; $98,000

Realtor: Kendall Haney Group, 725-1968

Agent: Nick Dacus, 729-3411

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