Blueberry Fields Forever

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The Good, Bad and the Ugly, part three: THE UGLY.

Posted by in The House

This could also be called “the funny / sad” installment. When we first saw the place, there was a sleeping bag and a 24 oz can of Tecate in the back yard. The house had been empty for almost a year. Remember that game, PipeMania? This reminds me of that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipe_Mania  Inside the unfinished basement / garage, there was a finished room, with carpet and drywall and shades. We called it the Dungeon. Somebody left their pants by the window. Close to the Dungeon, there was a shower and a…read more

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The Good, Bad and the Ugly, part two: THE GOOD.

Posted by in The House

After showing you the scrary bits, it’s time to present the good stuff. There’s a lot of good in the house. It’s been left practically untouched for decades, so there’s a lot of charm left. No bad 80’s wallpaper anywhere. Original kitchen cabinets from 1906. Tiger oak mantle. Pocket doors. Coved fine plaster ceilings. Intricate picture rails. Beneath the gross carpet are beautiful wood floors that have never been uncovered. They’re the original redwood subfloor. The doors and doorknobs are all antiques – even the hinges of the doors are…read more

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The Good, Bad and the Ugly, part one: THE BAD.

Posted by in The House

Like I’ve told you already, there’s quite a bit to fix around the house. But thought I’d share a few highlights: The roof: 4 layers of roofing (you’re supposed to have max 2), including the original cedar shingles. The roof leaked so bad, it came through the living room (the roof will get it’s own post later). The paint: so old, that it’s worn down to bare wood. Good thing is, you can see what color it has been. (Cream and cream – I’ll tell you later what we have…read more

The Hunt for the House

Posted by in The House

We thought we had a wishlist that wouldn’t be possible: House, not a condo or tenancy in common Nice neighborhood (were looking in Berkeley, North Oakland, Albany and Alameda) Yard, bigger and sunnier the better Over 1,000 sq ft Walkable, close to transit and a grocery store 2-bedrooms or more, or 1-bedroom with bonus space (for an office and guestroom) Commute to SF downtown < hour Vintage home, pre-1950’s, preferably 20’s or older Income-generating potential: mother-in-law-unit Cosmetic fixer, so that we can afford the house and the renos, nothing major……read more

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Lay of the land

Posted by in Renovations, The House

Our house was built as a single family home in 1908. Most Alameda houses were built as summer houses for wealthy San Franciscans. Our home is a “catalog home”, there are other homes on the island that look  like ours, but whoever built ours added some bits that don’t really go with the style – the architect at the time must have hated these additions! But I kinda like ’em. Who knows what the layout was originally – you can see a few places where there used to be doorways,…read more

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TODO

Posted by in Renovations

So, what do we need to do with the house? Quite a bit. We are so lucky to have gotten an FHA 203k rehab loan (more on that later), otherwise this project would have been difficult to afford. The process is such, that we had a federal housing administration consultant, who went through the house, much like a home inspector, and wrote down an extensive, multi-page report on everything that needs fixing to bring the house up to an acceptable health & safety level.  So, here’s everything that we’re doing:…read more

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The house | Talo.

Posted by in The House

Hello world!

Posted by in Uncategorized

Here we go! The idea with this blog is to keep you guys updated on our home process. Bilingually.   Noniin, nymmennään! Tämän blogin tavoitteena on päiväkirjamaisesti kertoilla meidän taloprojektista. Kahdella kielellä. 

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