By Alyssa Starelli, August 1, 2018
By Alyssa Starelli, August 1, 2018
Once upon a time, many many years ago, when I was yet a young thing — before my joints creaked and my hair grayed (like back in 2014) — I met Eric and Karena in front of a mid-century modern house. It wasn’t the RIGHT house, but it was a nice one. It cemented our working relationship and started our friendship. We went to cool shows, we saw cool houses.. it was alright!
A few months later I was able to hook them up with a pocket listing (essentially, a friend told me their home was available to my clients if I ever had someone who’d be interested) of the most astounding mid-century in deep East PDX (that’s my opinion but it’s widely shared). It had vaulted, beamed ceilings, a rad fireplace, a stellar pool, a spiral staircase, and plenty of room for the sanctuary of lazy Bassett hounds (K & E’s preferred breed of dog). But there was a caveat: the sellers had to find a house of ‘comparable coolness’ in a better school district closer in to the city. Quite the feat for anybody, but a bigger feat for people trading in the ‘best house’ ever!
So Karena and Eric patiently waited, and waited, and when the sellers bailed out of the deal for lack of finding something as-good, we commenced shopping. We shopped for several years, always chasing a ghost of “The House that Could Have Been“. As my hair grayed and my knees began to creak (not really, but felt like it) we continued to see a house this month, another house that, maybe a few all at once.. But they all were just NOT RIGHT. Goldilocks WASN’T eating porridge in that dining room!
So we persevered. We kept the dream alive that they would indeed find the dream home — one with a vaulted beamed ceiling, fabulous fireplace, swanky swimming pool, room for hounds to roam, and cool paneling. And in 2017, they did.
It’d been on the market for a month or two, but the pics weren’t particularly representative — the kitchens (yes, two) needed some love and it was deep into Happy Valley. I’d certainly brushed over it assuming it would be a resounding “NO”. But they decided to hit an open house, and in person, the house WOWED! It had everything on the list: Fabulously high vaulted ceilings with an array of central beams and cross beams in both kitchen/dining and the living room which were separated by a huge roman brick open-bottom two-sided fireplace, with built-in rotisserie grill. The kitchen had a dutch door, original metal cabinetry, an island and a lot of potential! The master suite had it’s own deck, (even the garage had a deck), and there was also a spiral stair case down to the AMAZING pool! The house was full of cool paneling, and offered myriad rooms for offices and dens, guest rooms and hair salons! There was an entire second home in the basement, complete with knotty pine, roman brick fireplace, and jalousie windows, and french doors, all of which opened up to the pool.
BUT, what’s more:
Standing in either the living room, dining room, or kitchen and most of the bedrooms of either story of the home, or from either of the lawns, the hot tub house, or even bobbing in the pool you could see an EXPANSIVE VIEW that from some angles included Mt. St. Helens!!! This was something the deep east dream home did not offer! Goldilocks says this one is “Just Right”.
BUT THERE WAS A CAVEAT.. Of course there was! These sellers wanted to partition the lot to create a flag lot below, prior to close. Sounds easy enough right?? (wait for it).
Karena and Eric waited and worried through eight (8) painful months of fruitless updates and frustrating responses from the city of Happy Valley, hands tied, as the sellers muddled though on everyone’s behalf. The partitioning of this particular lot turned out to be an untenable mess and a very expensive and time-wasting proposition. After much persuasion and fact finding on our part (and perhaps some relief on theirs) the Sellers agreed that it was simply not worth the cost, nor especially the further wait (we were OVER IT) and they should give up and sell the property as a whole for a reasonable price.
So in July of 2018, 4 years and 9 months and many gray hairs later, we CLOSED on that house and swam in that pool, drank champagne and celebrated the painful art of PERSEVERANCE!! [and then we checked out what that creepy hidden sealed (with duct tape no less) passage way in the basement was, pics below].
So CONGRATS to my good friends Karena and Eric. It has truly been an adventure with you! I can’t wait to see what you do with your dream home, and I look forward to watching movies from the pool, playing mini-putt putt on the lawns, and growing even older watching that view with the two you!
Ps. sorry I didn’t get pics of the pool or the view, next visit!