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The Real Estate of Things

This category features a few home lovin’ habits that Sarah and Betsy can’t shake. From cruising through town for a little game of “Know Your Neighborhood,” you know, the one where you roll slowly past and soak in as much detail about the trim and paint colors as is possible without pulling into the drive and totally freaking out your neighbors… to lusting after attractive real estate opportunities via “Estate Envy” to the occasional “House Hunting” diary that accompanies the search before a big move. Fellow home lovers should follow along for a look into the latest lust worthy homes that these girls are unearthing.

Market Watch

I check local real estate listings on a daily basis because its my job and who knows when you might need to pick up and move to the house next door or the house across town? Truly, I check them because I love houses and real estate and something might come along that I can’t resist, my dream house listing might pop up any day. Although at this point I’m 99% convinced that doesn’t exist–not for me.

I was driving through town and I started to think back about all of the houses that we’ve toured in this county and it’s a lot. Crazy houses that were falling in or that were rambling and had no end, that had vegetation growing through the windows, some that were time capsules and some that just needed a new coat of paint.

I’m often asked what I see on the local MLS that is exciting. So here’s what I think is hot in the local Southern Pines, Pinehurst and beyond real estate market.

I’ve got modern on the brain so let’s kick it off with 630 South Valley.

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southern pines real estate modern

Why I like it –  I like the neighborhood, the large wooded lot, ample circular driveway and THE PRICE. The price gives us flexibility to renovate and the wooded lot gives us a green view when we look out of our big modern windows.

What I don’t like – All of the work that it needs, it really needs a new kitchen, new bathrooms and the addition of a third bedroom.

Potential? – Yes, quite a bit. Close in the carport to enlarge the footprint because it’s only a two bedroom and take care of that unfortunate 1970s living room window/fireplace situation. Add more windows where there are long, blank runs of siding. Do the kitchen for now, a paint update on your bathrooms and then do those later. Re-think the deck, maybe drop it down to a big patio with a fire pit.

630 South Valley is a close match to Michelle Steinback’s house featured in the September issue of Martha Stewart Living, tell me you see it!

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360 New Hampshire
is as American as apple pie.

I loved it so much a couple of years ago when it was on the market. I was in my “I want a colonial” phase.

360-new-hampshire

Why I like it – It’s in the heart of our charming downtown Southern Pines, walk to eyerthang in SoPi. On a half acre lot and bonus round — a detached guest cottage! Mom can move down and take care of the kids or you can rent it out to supplement the mortgage. It has a layout, despite it’s age, that would suit our way of living now. The deck addition on the back is good as well.

What I don’t like – Although the kitchen has been renovated it appears to be a 100% IKEA kitchen, I could be wrong and I’ll be happy to correct this if I find out I am. I’ve got zero problem with IKEA kitchens but I don’t like to see 100% use of their products in a room. The kitchen gets too contemporary and the house needed a little something different.

Potential? – Of course, really almost every house has it. Without going inside, I’m thinking there’s some kind of reconfiguration of the connection between the dining room and the sunroom and maybe the kitchen too, maybe opening up. There also may be an opportunity with some shifting around that the office or sunroom could have different uses, perhaps as a 4th bedroom. The kitchen needs to be addressed again but there’s freedom to make that change down the road. The exterior of the guest cottage could use some fixing and we really don’t know what we’re dealing with in the bathrooms.

 

My third property in SoPi is 215 Daffodil and I’m a little surprised it has been on the market for as long as it has, I’m sure I’d understand more if I could go inside.

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Why I like it? – Large lot 1.34 acres in an established neighborhood called Knollwood Heights, traditional architecture and another detached guest cottage–I’m a fan because they are really useful.

What I don’t like – I’m a little concerned with how the single story addition with the bay window adjoins to the two story portion (I’m pretty sure I can forgive)

Potential? – It’s traditional, straight forward layout could make for a simple update. The kitchen is ready for a renovation and a more open floor plan could be achieved.

Let’s head over to neighboring Pinehurst, I think I’ll surprise you with some picks here.

485 Lake Dornoch is an interesting property located in an exclusive neighborhood that is meticulously maintained and is gated.

There are typically a lot of wonderful 1960s houses that haven’t been altered in this neighborhood and I think you’ll see once you spin through the images why I like it.

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Why I like it? – High, open ceilings with exposed beams and they go a long way in this house. The square footage and number of bedrooms is great, plenty of space for everyone. Does the vintage pool table convey?

What I don’t like – To some the exclusivity of this neighborhood is great, there are perks, the club and golf memberships that all cost additional money– but I don’t need that stuff. The exterior is pretty modest, there aren’t any interesting architectural angles and it doesn’t share the same cool, modern appeal as the interior.

Potential? – Absolutely, open up the living space to the kitchen which is closed off and a little tight compared to the living area. Get some fresh white on the walls and some other modern hues, update the bathrooms, remove all the carpet and you’re in business.

175 Linden is a rare and incredible opportunity that someone is really going to enjoy!

If we drive in to Old Town Pinehurst or the Village as some call it, we find this grand but neglected estate at 175 Linden, built in 1935 on what is considered today to be an enormous lot, more than 3 acres. A rarity for sure.

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Why I like It? The sheer presence and size. The unusually large lot size that is park-like, the kitchen both Part I & II, the fact that you can walk in to the front door in to a wide hall and walk clear to the back and right out on to the back patio area, party ready! The history.

What I don’t like – That there is no HVAC system in the house and there are miles and miles of unsexy work that must be done before it gets fun.

Potential? Of course there is. Someone commented on TEOT Instagram that it would be a great B&B and I agree but the best fantasy is a single residence.

If you are planning a move to the Southern Pines/Pinehurst area, Sarah can help you find a fixer or a house that’s ready to decorate because she’s a licensed real estate agent, hit her up for house hunting and selling here.

 

 

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Today’s Modern Home

This week Betsy and I took a little time off from the store and met with our one and only local Southern Pines real estate agent Sarah O’Brien and viewed a gem.

hayes stones

 

Modern round stones lead to this dreamboat.

 

Hayes screen porch

Designed by FAIA Architect Thomas T. Hayes Jr. for his family in 1958. Minimalist on the exterior and painted a deep pine green, the house folds in to the landscape of longleaf pines.

The main floor plan is fantastic and open in the way that we want to live today. The first highlight of the tour comes rounding the corner in to the living room.

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hayes living Sarahs window

 

hayes living

 

hayes porch doors

 

hayes laney

 

The living room has a wall with full glass and a pretty view on to the best part of the lot, which is 1.14 acres. Sitting or standing in the living room you get the sensation that you are floating over the grass and you can’t deny that is pretty special.

The end wall in the living area is occupied by built-ins to house media, toys– they can handle whatever it is that you need to stow with ease. The interior wall in the living area is occupied by a large brick fireplace with a floating stone hearth and a modern slab mantle that is installed in 85% of home renovations today.

 

hayes hearth

Sliding closure of bottom part of built-ins,

hayes stereo

 

The living area is open to the dining area which grabs part of the glass view from the wall of windows.

 

hayes dining

 

Shimmy around the free-standing dining room wall and you find what can be described as a bar and entertaining area where you can mix up a pitcher of martini’s, store dinnerware and serving pieces. I saw Betty Draper standing there pouring cocktails.

You could eliminate the wall between this bar area and the dining area and make a more expansive dining room and sitting area space. The bar area itself is still large enough to put a small table. Are we having fun yet? Clearly I am.

 

hayes butler

 

From the bar we head in to a butler’s pantry with a large and original wall oven and paneled sub zero fridge with more storage space.

And then the second highlight of the tour is a very special kitchen that fell right from the pages of Dwell magazine. There are no upper cabinets in here, a very happening trend and it’s almost entirely glass from counter level up. The appliances are original except for maybe the dishwasher added in the 1980s and the sub zero likely replaced an even older fridge. You have a down draft slide in range with a small oven for daily casseroles, laminate countertops, original cabinets and wood flooring and the potential is seemingly infinite.

 

hayes kitchen

 

hayes kitchen2

 

hayes kitchen3

 

There’s a breakfast nook and a screened porch that adjoins the master bedroom and kitchen that was added in the 1980s.

 

hayes back screened porch

 

So we’re drooling now walking out of the kitchen and we go to the bedrooms. There are three on the main level, a master suite and two smaller bedrooms.

The master has a wall dedicated to built-in storage and it’s good size and it gives you a good starting point. Remove the carpet, update the lighting, paint the walls, replace doors leading on to screened porch and spruce up the built-ins a bit.

hayes master

 

The master bathroom is fun from a novelty perspective but it needs to be re-worked. Larger vanity, new tile, shower expansion, lighting, paint and elimination of the hotel sink. Somewhere in between the master bathroom and the tiny kitchen pantry there’s a laundry space in there.

 

hayes master bath sink

 

master bath shower

 

hayes master bath2

Hotel sink,

hayes hotel sink

 

Two smaller bedrooms need carpet removal, paint, lighting and a spruce up in the closets but they are perfect for kids or guests. They each have a triple set of casement windows.

 

hayes bed1

 

hayes bed1 closet

 

The hall bath that the two kids/guest rooms use needs some updating but doesn’t need a plumbing move, meaning the layout can stay which saves some money.

 

hayes hall bath

 

hayes hall bath2

Here’s something worth mentioning there are two sets of hall closets amping the storage even more. There is major storage in this house.

Let’s head downstairs to the basement which is partially finished and is a walkout. I think we were a little surprised that the basement wasn’t more finished than it was. The basement has a large living area with another fireplace and french doors on to a patio that desperately wants to be a beautiful zen garden with some sort of water happening there.

hayes basement

 

hayes basement hearth

 

The floors are concrete down here and there is one additional bedroom and tiny bathroom down here. They feel a bit dank and slightly raw so you would need to invest some money down here, allowing more light in and putting some different flooring down and changing the finishes and of course beautifying that little patio which by the way, the guest bedroom has its own little view of that patio as well.

 

hayes basement phone

 

The mechanicals are down here as well as the laundry which I think needs to be relocated upstairs.

 

hayes exterior side

 

Walk the grounds and realize that the house is cantilevered over the foundation on large beams, that its private and quiet, in a great neighborhood and that a little trimming and some landscape addition and this place could be absolutely amazing! I know you see a lot of brown and dark corridors but fresh white paint goes a long way and some finish upgrades, we’re in business.

Love this house but have no idea where to start? Call or write to us we’d love to consult, learn more about our Design Services.

Modern is not cold and it’s not the Jetsons I can assure you of that. It’s eclectic, functional and collected. Here’s a bit of inspiration of what the Hayes home could be-

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Note floating stone bench at hearth,

modern

 

One of my favorite bits of inspiration was this LA ranch feature from the June issue of Martha Stewart Living.

 

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I Spy Potential

During a routine cruise through my local real estate listings I saw this jewel. If you’ve got the feeling that you just want to ship lap some walls, bring some character back, get your modern farmhouse on and just generally do it up Chip & Joanna Gaines style–this house is for you. This house would almost certainly be one of the three properties that a Gaines client would see, we’ll call it the “pond house”.

It’s a whole lot of 1990s goodness but I’m guessing the upside is that all the renovation would be cosmetic. For $275,000 you can buy a 3,200 square foot house with a detached mother-in-law apartment, 25 acres, a shabby barn, a pond that needs some TLC in the form of carp to eat the algae and a whole lot of potential.

Do you see what I see?

 

farmhouse back porch

The decision to cover the entire porch on the back of this house was clearly a good one.

You could tailor the exterior to look similar to these examples that have been in my inspiration file since the onset of my Farmhouse obsession.

farmhouse historical concepts

We need to get an outdoor fireplace happening and screen in some of the porch and put a metal roof on.

farmhouse screened porch

Moving around to the front, we can get some windows, new front door, remove the vinyl siding, update the columns and railing, add a few architectural elements and we are in the business of modern farmhouses.

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farmhouse columns

 

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If you think you are going to take this on please email me, I’m happy to be of service!

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I’ve got dreams to remember

If you’ve been hanging out with us for a while here on TEOT, then you might have gathered that I move around a lot. I can’t stay in one house for long. For the record, I’ve been at my current house for a little over two years but it feels like at least…an eternity.  I don’t move from state to state, it’s more like one house over or maybe the other side of town. When I think about homes around here (everyday), I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as I’m physically able to move around I’ll never be satisfied with one house.

During my weekly visit with the MLS, I ran across this house.  Although I’d seen it before, it was far more interesting to me this visit.

I sent Betsy a text that said something like “I wanna move here, now. It’s like Betty Draper meets Southern Living later meets Betsy Burnham” Then I emailed it to a couple of people and then I leaned over to Dan and said look at this house. He did and remarkably he played along for a bit and was interested too.

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What I loved the most about this house is the way it sits on the property, especially in the backyard.

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It was built in 1928, but remodeled mostly by Betty Draper in the 1960s.

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Dan said you almost have to leave the wallpaper for a while because its so weird.


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Hats off on the acid yellow laminate.

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Betsy’s response to me was, “I wanna see you do that” but followed by “that place needs a serious update”. It really does, the bones are good, the potential is there as it almost always is but it truly needs a major overhaul.


535 fairway3

 

535 fairway2

Dan’s favorite part was the little hidden basketball court

535 fairway

 

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House Hunting: It’s DONE Y’all

Now that the house purchase is complete, we will happily be bringing the HOUSE HUNTING series to a close.
(… until Sarah decides to move again, which could happen any minute knowing her crew.)

But as for us, let’s have a cheer since we are donezo! I’ve never been more grateful.

The news came in last Friday that we officially closed (10 days and ten thousand headaches beyond our contract close date.) We were pulled through the mire a bit on the nuances of lending protocol, so it was hard to feel anything more than mere relief. The champagne is still chillin’ in the fridge.

Thank God for our real estate agent, Joyce Gottlieb though, who I can’t recommend enough. She was super savvy and tough as nails on hard core sellers and less than stellar funding agents. God bless her! I wish I could buy 50 more houses with her.

So, here we are! We own a home, and it’s literally a fairytale of an entrance. It’s like the Southern California version of the little cottage in the woods that lured Hansel and Gretel. Though I promise I won’t be tossing any children into cauldrons up in here.

storybook front entry

In slightly anti-climatic news, we agreed to allow the sellers to remain in the home for an expressed 30 day period after the closing. We heard that we may have access as soon as next Friday. Fingers are crossed for that, since I’m chomping at the bit to get inside and I’ve already purchased a gigantic piece of rattan furniture (a total wacko thrift store score cause that’s how I roll) for some of the SoCal style that this home calls for.

I can’t wait to style the newest batch of TEOT Pillows on it.

Until then, I have upwards of 200 cellphone photos to pour through, but I cannot WAIT to get inside the emptied out version of our new home, devoid of the Safari-luxe style of the sellers, and onto a blank canvas. I’m starting to brainstorm a bit, and so far my fantasies are a bit unbridled. Dude already said no to a swinging hammock in the Sunroom. Please let his mind be changed.

This is the future hammock room. Upon close inspection, I realized that this room has been sponge painted… and it made me laugh because it’s hideous and horrible and just weeks ago I was trying to convince everyone that this faux finish deserved a new reputation. I still believe it needs a new approach.

Sunroom at shaniqua

Sunroom at shaniqua 2

But for this room, I’m contemplating paying some homage to my southern roots, and painting that beadboard ceiling a plantation porch blue, as seen here.

Of course, I don’t even know what we will put in this room if not a hammock. It will take some living in this house for sure, to see how we spread into these spaces. We clearly do not need multiple dining tables as the current homeowners have. Boy, I can’t wait to open all of those windows and capture the ocean breeze as it creeps up the canyon! We’re only 3 blocks from the Pacific Ocean!

Another space that I’m all geeked about, besides the dudebar that I shared with you last week, is the art studio. I’m not sure how this coin landed on heads, but Heffe volunteers up this extra space that was carved out behind the garage to me and his sweet daughter, my right hand / partner in artistic crime, for our studio. Again, once we start living, we’ll see what the living brings… but I’m thinking this is TEOT headquarters for sure, especially since the demand for more pillow inventory is upon us. Can’t wait to build out some storage shelving, a little spot for photography and of course a desk and inspiration board to tack up all my fancies. One day, we’ may even carve out a spot for a pottery wheel. #dreamsarefree

shaniqua art studio

art studio 1

Maybe we’ll get adventurous and take a sledgehammer to that bathroom too!

The short story version of this home, and how we were able to snag it in this redonk market is that it has some structural issues that were scaring buyers away left and right. The sellers had been under contract more than a handful of times and each time the deal got away from them when the buyers discovered undisclosed information about some settling that has occurred over the past 50 years.

By the time we came along, the seller’s agent was shoving engineer’s reports and buyer inspections into our hands at the mere mention of possibility. You may recall that I started swooning and acting like a maniac over this home back in Feb. I practically tricked Jeff into going to see it since it was listed as a 2br and we needed no less than 3 for our fam situation.

Between the fact that the home was falling down a hill and its lack of legit bedrooms (despite its rather large footprint) we wrote it off.

But we just kept coming back to it, and as born witness on this very blog, we had a heck of a time competing with all cash buyers on every other house that we put a bid in on. So, along with our genius agent, we submitted an intent to purchase at a price that we felt accommodated the worth of the home taking into account the massive repairs it warranted. So basically, we got what we felt like was a deal, and they finally got to sell their house, albeit not for what they thought it was worth. We had several consultations with structural and geological engineers, and all of the reports were studied until we found some peace in the risk of buying a home that is settling into the ground. And we went for it.

Anywhozitz, that is behind us! YAY.

Here is a look from the master into what was once a third bedroom. The seller had converted it into the mister’s dressing room and office by opening the wall with an arch. We feel that we can easily close this up and bring the hallway door towards us to reclaim that space for one of Heffe’s youngins. Word on the street is that this will be an Xbox dungeon for gamers only. I can’t wait to find out if I’m going to have to walk by closed doors, or if we will be able to satisfy the carnal need for Call of Duty decor without compromising aesthetic palpability. We shall see.

rustic-midcentury-renovation

There will also be a struggle with the built-ins, and I would love to hear your opinion. Part of me wants to remove them completely. They are uber traditional in stature , and they are taking up the only good portion of wall that we have in the whole living room. Meanwhile, our only choice for mounting the largest tv of all time is either within the shelves of this monster, on the fireplace (where there is currently no mantle) orrrrr we have discussed a hidden screen/projector combo.

built ins at shaniqua

This is the room it sits in.

living room silver spring

shaniqua-living-room-bookshelves

This post has grown so long, I won’t launch into the landscaping and my dire hopes to claim some access from the garage into the foyer, nor will I bore you just yet with manometer readings and what a settling house on the terraces of the Pacific Palisades really means for the structural stability of this home if we indeed ever get rain again here in Southern California. We’ll talk about that another day, I’m sure!

But thank you so much for bearing with me and for allowing me to relish in this excitement. It’s truly an unbelievable house and I’m so excited to see how the dude, the homies and I turn it into our home! <3

For more pics of the home, see SILVER SPRING & DON’T JINX IT.

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House Hunting: Don’t Jinx It

storybook front entry

I’ve gone a little silent on the House Hunting front for a bit. I think that the dude wants me to keep quiet about it, in case something terrible happens, but WE ARE IN ESCROW.

My fantasy home with the blue window panes is our home!

Holy crap, I can’t believe it. I will be sure to do some storytelling as we get settled, but this is where we ended up! We’re pushing paper and giving the homeowners time to get packed up and moved out!

It’s so close that I can taste it.

gate and birds of paradise

perfectly framed bonus space in kitchen

patio

love the blue windows

living room silver spring

 

UPDATE: This House Hunt DONE Y’all.

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