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Rare Find

Mid-’50s recent reno.



This house is on the border between the Berclair and Nutbush neighborhoods north of Summer Avenue, just off Graham. I cut through here occasionally, but when I heard there was a renovated house on the market for $60,000 I made a beeline over to take a look-see. That’s about what I paid for my starter (and still-current) home 25 years ago. And finding anything in that price range today is rare indeed.
First the negatives. It’s got some original paneling that’s been freshened up with a good coat of primer and a nice soft paint color. The ceilings are only eight feet. There isn’t central heat and air, and the house is small. You were expecting 10-foot ceilings and 1,200 square feet completely renovated for $60,000? Get real!!
This little house is set on a well-maintained street with a lot of long-term residents. It also has two lovely, mature oaks in the south-facing front yard. They alone will go a long way in reducing those air-conditioning bills in the summer. There’s another large tree in the rear yard too. You will have leaves to rake in the fall, but the trade-off is worth it.
This renovation removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room to open up the space. New cabinets were installed, as were a ceramic-tile countertop and backsplash, something not common at this price range. A beadboard wainscot wraps around the bottom half of the new kitchen and dining room. This material takes abuse better than Sheetrock, and the glossy paint finish is easier to keep clean, no little matter in the long run.
The living room is comfortably scaled, and, surprisingly, the two bedrooms each have two generous windows that allow light and air from two directions. That’s a detail most new homes even above this price range have eliminated as nonessential — to their detriment. Both the living room and bedrooms have been newly carpeted, and new fans and lights have been installed throughout the house.
The bathroom was also completely redone. Well, not 100 percent, because the renovators realized the value of the original heavy tub and kept it when all else was gutted and set on the street. So, with the original tub as centerpiece, a new toilet and pedestal sink were installed. This room also got a beadboard wainscoting, and the walls above were given a light tone-on-tone faux finish to add pizzazz.
There is a carport attached to the house on the west side and a covered front porch to welcome guests. In addition, there is a masonry, single-car garage out back that has had an equally large wood-framed shop added to the rear. You could probably park two cars nose-to-tail if you just had to, but having that shop area seems like a better deal. There is also a separate, small shed to store garden tools
This little house has been redone top to bottom. The lot is large and could easily accommodate an addition off the rear. That would make it easy to expand the kitchen and add a master bath as well. It is in move-in condition and quite appealing, but it’s the price that makes it a rare find.

4042 Print Avenue
720 square feet
2 bedrooms, 1 bath; $59,900
FSBO: Teresa, 409-1422

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