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Estate Envy

House Hunting: Pacific Palisades MidCentury in the Park

The dude and I went to visit this home for its open house on Sunday. In my mind, we were just going to scope it out, not so seriously, but as we rounded every built-in planter, metallic wallpaper clad bathroom, or wood-paneled built in bar – well, I fell deeper and deeper in love.  Now I’m all wanty.

One of the coolest offerings, this midcentury ranch style home backs right up to a trailhead that leads through the Santa Monica Mountains and right up into Topanga State Park. I can really get down with the idea of hitting the side yard for a 6 mile hike. Its packing a ton of atomic quirk that I’m super into, but I think Heffe gives it the side-eye as he counts up the renovation dollars. He is always so stoic and he is almost always so right.  As much as I think I’d like to live with grasscloth wallpaper that is still in tact from 1956, truth of the matter – I really want to update. I immediately start making exceptions in my mind when I see something that I like, and since this home is at the tippy top (actually it’s over) a newly established budget amount, I’m trying to pretend like it’s move-in ready and we don’t have to replace the museum worthy pink oven and stove, like immediately.

But, the great thing about viewing this home is the new hope that I feel – that the giant sleepy market may slowly be awaking from it’s long holiday nap, and soon there will be interesting homes available for us to consider. We have a new budget amount and a new resolve to stick it out Westside. Now that I’m growing more and more familiar with the Palisades, I’m finding that it has every bit to offer us that Altadena appeared to have (albeit at twice the price.)

If we can find something similar to this classic midcentury at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains, something that is either a little lower on the budget spectrum, or a little higher on the actual move-in ready-o-meter…. well, maybe we’ll finally have found our dream after all.

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Estate Envy El Medio Bluffs

Sarah sent me a link to this home that is out of the budget and the dude rues the day because I can’t shut up about it.

I drove around to get to know the neighborhood and I thoroughly enjoyed the totally unexpected Asilomar Park at the top of the bluffs. While I sat there, I fantasized about walking my puppy to that park on the bluffs daily, and cruising around the neighborhood on bikes with Heffe’s kids. It’s an idyllic neighborhood with lovely Santa Monica mountain, canyon and ocean views. I’m not sure there is a cooler neighborhood in the country. I’ll be keeping my eye on it, meanwhile peep the perfect post and beam that caught our eye and sent me on the journey. Sarah and I will continue to email back and forth in depth about it’s pros and cons!

 

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House Hunting – Considering PreFab

I have a gypsy fantasy that I refer to as Seven Wanders. It is a fluid fantasy that has something to do with renovating my camper, something to do with Heffe brewing beer, something to do with launching an entrepreneurial hospitality business, and something to do with weekend getaways in Southern California and North Carolina.

Do you do this? Is it normal for people to have abstract fantasies that they name and build a website for!?

So, getting back to the fantasy of living on some mountain land. Once we find it – let’s erect a Pre-Fab! Here are a few options that I dig. I especially lean toward the lean-to shape shed roofs with rustic and modern elements mixed together, lots of texture in the reclaimed woods and walls of glass! So lovely in a natural setting like Topanga Canyon.

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PreFab homes the estate of things
Connect Homes Model 7.4
eco space studios
jenny pre fab

The Sierra by Jenesys 

 

The fantasy is ever-evolving on my Pinterest Board Mountain Land Dreaming
Follow Betsy’s board Mountain Land Dreamin on Pinterest.

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House Hunting – Disappointment

Gaywood

Whew! In the past two and a half weeks we’ve visited three homes in Altadena and placed offers on two of them, and LOST BOTH. And even though this home tour is old news… I’m still pleased to look at the photos and think what if…

Truly, I’m pushing to remain about as hopeful and positive as I can throughout this process. It’s really started to feel like a game. Losing out on this house (number 3 of 4), wasn’t so bad because I could immediately set my sites on the fourth that I showed you previously. But by now, I admit, I’m feeling a little defeated.

Throughout this process, I just absolutely pour over the photographs of hundreds of home, but when I find one that we visit that we think can work, I grow a bit obsessive. It’s fun if not borderline unhealthy, but I have no self control. I just love to flip through pics and dream up ideas for renovation and decoration.

Our friend Billy showed us this particular Midcentury Modern, and that is what steered the dude and I toward Altadena. We were already pondering moving the home search out of the Westside because it was feeling like we’d exhausted our options. The disappointment of the last few westside tours really helped me to realize that the budget wasn’t going to get us what we deeply wanted in terms of our lifestyle at home – it felt like we should expand our search.

The time capsule quality of this particular home, plus a nice night exploring town with our soon to be neighbor friends got me all bent on living in this sweet hillside community just north of Pasadena.It was easy enough to wrap my head around decorating, and I was stoked about all of the space, the night time glow of the city over the vast landscape in the backyard, and a spot for the camper, plus just the right amount of opportunity to update kitchens, bathrooms, etc. If nothing else, the experience definitely cemented a big move from Santa Monica to Altadena as a true prospect for the dude and I.

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House Hunting – Things Are Gettin Crazy

I have more homes to show you, I do. Because last week, while I was NOT posting, we had put in an offer on a midcentury modern (seen here in my Instagram feed) up in the hills of Altadena (record scrrrrrraatch – what?) We were on pins and needles awaiting word, when this one hit the market with a bang. Spoiler alert, we did NOT get the other one… despite our best intentions.

I say that the home hit the market with a bang, because we were literally awaiting final word on the other house when we discovered it, and mere hours after we had the realtor looking into it for us, it appeared on Curbed LA. I’m like “no, no no no no, don’t be on Curbed, we don’t want ANYONE else to know about this home for sale but us. We had a feeling that the other home was going to fall through. That put the tally to 3 offers, 3 times beat by all cash.

So, here she is. This home marks our 4th offer. I’ve skipped a few steps in the natural storyline b/c we went through a bit of a process to move our search over to the clear OTHER SIDE of Los Angeles. But this post is in real time, as we are currently sitting on our hands, awaiting news of on acceptance. I’m not built for the real estate game. I’m way too emo!

Will they accept? Will we beat out by yet another all cash offer that doesn’t give us an opportunity to play for it? I don’t know. But this time I took a moment to write a personal letter to the seller, to let them know why and how we might take up in their house, to pick up where they are leaving off in calling it home.

This is what she looks like…. she is practically a fantasy glass ship having sailed right through the fairy tale land of the Sierra Nevada, anchored in the hills overlooking all of Pasadena and downtown in its orangish purple glory. Wax poetic much? I just hope we get the opportunity to dig into this midcentury with the right guidance to make it home for our future and our family. We are talking renovation budget and honoring midcentury legacy already.

PS. here is a snapshot at the floor plan that the homies and I doodled on while we were fantasizing. How cute right?

EPSON MFP image

 

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House Hunting in Los Angeles – Spanish meets Modern

This little house has been sitting on the market for some time, toying with us, taunting us. It’s in a sweet little neighborhood that is quite near the future Metro train stop, on a quiet street with alleyway access. It has ample parking, beam ceilings, and an incredible indoor/outdoor living vibe. The price just recently shot up which is an interesting strategy. We have been feeling trigger shy for two reasons. Top of budget, plus just imagine – is it awesome or awful to share your shower experience with the entire master bedroom plus the backyard? Peep the pics below for the master bath with floor to ceiling windows in the shower stall!

I was kind of digging the idea of looking out upon my vintage camper while taking a long soak in the tub.

The surprise of such an architecturally aware, if not starkly modern addition to the back of this typical Spanish Colonial Beach Bungalow, plus its updated exterior color were appealing. It was updated inside as well with bold bathroom tile choices that I didn’t mind. Heffe and I agreed that we’d need to make some changes though. I can hardly stand the sweet honey oak overload in that kitchen, and check out the strange exposed closet system in the master!

The home has 3 bedrooms and a nice little patch of yard plus outdoor living space that totally makes up for the small living space inside. It also features a detached garage along with 3 parking spaces. Kinda seems like it might work for us if we were willing. I really do love the idea of hopping on the train in 2015 and having car-free LA adventures at my fingertips! I could definitely imagine my Santa Monica posse popping over for evening entertainment.

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