Friday, September 18, 2015

Family Friday: Home for sale

For the first time since 1968, there will soon be a For Sale sign on a house in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The owner can no longer maintain the property, therefore, they need to sell the house.

Zillow describes the house as a 1,191 square foot single family home built in 1959.  It has eight rooms, nine if you count the utility room, where the washing machine, dryer, and extra freezer are located.   It also has a carport, which is a garage without a door.

It's built out of concrete block with a flat roof.  Originally, the house was painted tan with brown accents.  It's now painted green, which is a more attractive color.  

There are two ways to get into the house.  Most people use the kitchen door, which is just off the carport.  There is a front door, which used to have louvered windows that you could open so you could see who was on the other side without opening the door.  Now, the front door is solid, except for a small window where you can look out and see who's outside.  The mailbox is to the right of the door.

The house consists of three bedrooms, one bath, a living room, a dining room, and a Florida room. People in other areas would refer to it as a "den" or a "family room".  Florida rooms are excellent if you have family dropping by that need a place to sleep, or if you need a place to work on your taxes, or use a computer (or a typewriter) for your homework, or to try and write a book.  If you want to put an extra TV in, this is the best room to do it.  Or, if you have a family member who wants to learn to play the piano, you can put the piano here.

If you choose to use the back room as a bedroom, the person whose bedroom it is may not have very much privacy.  There's a door to the Florida room from that bedroom, and people are in the habit of walking through that bedroom to get to the Florida room, although you can get to the Florida room from the carport just as easily.The two rooms in the house that have undergone extensive renovation are the bathroom and the kitchen.  Over the years, the kitchen has gotten new cabinets, a new oven, a microwave, and a dishwasher.  It's also had the floor covered over, first with sticky tile, later with stone tile.  If you want to get down to the original floor, it's made of a material called terrazzo.

The bathroom used to be at the end of a small hallway which had a linen closet and another closet where extra clothes were kept.  The owners decided to make the bathroom bigger, and knocked out a couple of the walls.  This gave them more space in the bathroom for storage.  There's a good sized shower in the bathroom, and you can adjust the spray on the shower head if you want to give yourself a good massage.  However, if you want to take a bath, you'll need to install a bathtub.  The owner's spouse, due to a debilitating illness, could no longer climb into a tub.  


There's also central air and heating in the house.  This wasn't always so.  The owners had central air and heating installed about 30 years ago, mainly for the cost savings.  Without central air, it's necessary to run the air all night long during the summer to keep the house cool enough to sleep. After the flue caught fire in the furnace, the owners decided to install the central heating.  


The carpeting has been replaced at least twice, and possibly more.  The owner believes in keeping a tidy house, so the carpet that's in the house now is in good shape.  Some of the furniture went with the owner into assisted living, but the furniture that's still there is also usable.  If you wish to keep some of the furniture and the appliances, perhaps the owner will knock a few thousand dollars off of the purchase price.  


The house sits on a 7,571 square foot lot, seventy feet wide, 108 feet deep.  In 1968, there were three trees and a small bush in the front yard.  In the back yard, there were a couple of tangerine trees, a couple of pine trees, and a larger tree in the corner of the back yard that once housed a tree house. There were also hedges in the back yard, and bushes that divided the north side of the property from the house next door.  


Various plants, including ground cover, decorate the front and back yard. There's also a toolshed, in case you want to do some work with a hammer and saw and don't want to make a mess in the house. Both of the yards are ideal to play in, or to just sit out back and daydream.

Over the years, most of the trees have been removed, mainly because it was easier for the owner to take care of the yard without all of the trees.  Now, the front yard is a small expanse of St. Augustine grass, with a little bit of Bermuda grass, and a concrete walkway sprinkled with gravel that leads from the driveway up to the front door.  In the side yard on the north side of the property, there used to be two melaluca trees that were excellent for climbing.  The owner had those trees removed because they were highly allergic to the flowers that bloomed every spring.  You may still find the roots of the trees in the yard if you look hard enough.


The back yard is fenced off from the front yard.  The fence makes the back yard secure if you have children or pets.


There's an elementary school about four blocks away, within easy walking or biking distance.  This makes the neighborhood an ideal one for families with young children.  When the kids get older, they will probably have to ride the bus to school.


In the interest of full disclosure, you do need to know that there was a death in that house.  No need to worry, it was not a murder, suicide, or other violent death.  The owner's spouse died peacefully in one of the bedrooms after suffering from the debilitating illness mentioned above.  


Zillow gives the house's original purchase price as $12,500.  Currently, they give a possible purchase price of $153,384.  Due to the vagaries of the housing market, you may be able to negotiate a cheaper price.  Or, if you decide you want to rent for a while. Zillow suggests a monthly cost of $1,289.


To whoever eventually buys this house, I hope you will be happy there.


I was.


Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

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