Updating a 70 s contemporary house

You can’t see it, but there’s a large side yard and a creek that runs along the back of the property.With an asking price of 4,900, we think this was a good deal. And finally, even though we do have more strip malls per capita than any place should, we do have a tiny “downtown” area that dates back to the time our bedroom community was mostly farmland.

Ranch homes were made to utilize the land they were on, so when the view is this good and the windows are this big, don’t take away from the beauty.

Go with simpler colors and lines and have that be the focus.

Our front yard isn’t particularly large, but it feels spacious because there’s a nice distance between our house and the neighbors on either side: We like our neighborhood so much better than many of the new neighborhoods we see, with houses all crammed together on postage-stamp lots, nothing much more than paint color to distinguish one from the other. But we see so much potential here, especially for people like us.

Our neighborhood has an organic, grown-over-time quality that we just don’t see in new developments. (Meaning, people with more energy than money, who like a good project and want to make a place their own.) Take a look at this home, which was on the market for less than a week before a “sale pending” sticker appeared on the realtor’s sign: This is a project house, for sure–but when we look at it we don’t so much see the dated color scheme and too-cute window boxes and boxy shape as we see that sweet bay window and space for kids and the trees framing three sides of the house.

This 4-block area is filled with small, independent, locally-owned businesses.

As much as we can, we try to spend our money here, rather than in Portland.We’re a financially-stretched, stirred family with members who need both proximity and space.So, yeah: We bought a big, boxy split-entry house in the suburbs.We may be five minutes from chain restaurants, discount retailers, and a warehouse grocery store (by car, of course), but we’re determined to make this our version of the American Dream. We think the suburban split-level may be a house whose time is coming, and we want to tell you why–so you can get in while the gettins’ good.While a city neighborhood full of mid-century ranches and small, independent businesses would be cool and all, it wouldn’t get us the things we’re really yearning for. (And because if more people who like what we like join us, the community will change in ways we’d like.) No, there isn’t the kind of hipster cool we see in Portland: But there’s still a kind of cool.Even if you’ve had this home for over 30 years, doesn’t mean you can’t dress it like it’s a younger 20.

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