Thoughts on Househunting


Anyone that has moved will agree that it’s stressful.  Anyone who has moved while still looking for a new home will agree that it takes the concept of “stress” to an entirely new level.

And that is where we (my husband and I) are right now folks.  Limbo.  The big move-out is this weekend, and all our stuff will be going into storage while we continue to look for a home in San Francisco.  To say that this process has been an emotional roller coaster would be an understatement – several offers we’ve made on homes have been trumped by all-cash offers… BUT… we are hopeful.  Kind of.  At least we aren’t giving up yet, or lowering our standards for what could be.  So that’s good news.

As we spend our weekends house-hunting all over the city, I’m working on a new talent that I refer to as “seeing past the ugly”.  Looking past the old decrepit bits and weird smells, the cheap renovations and the bad staging, to imagine what could be.  Kris is struggling with this, and so today I wanted to talk about one case in particular.  An already-pretty-nice, could-be-REALLY-amazing flat.

Here she is from the front…


Let me just say, I do not think this is “ugly” by any stretch of the imagination (we have seen SO MUCH WORSE).  But I think we can agree that there is not much curb appeal, the building looks kind of sterile, lacking personality, and I don’t think I’d describe this house to anyone as “charming”.  She’s freshly painted (and I like the color), but other than that, the rickety fence and handrail, and the small yard of dead shrubbery could be stand to be improved… so what would I do to improve it?

First, I’d add shutters – black shutters specifically – to the upper and lower windows.  Is there anything that is more charming than shutters my friends?? I think not.

The fence has also seen better days, so unless it really needs replacing, I’d just give it a paint job – I’d go glossy black there too.  I also think the stairs would look nice in a contrasting color to the color of the house, so I’d paint them a dark grey (they are already painted, and the light grey shows dirt, and just ultimately just blends into the house, so without replacing them, paint will do just fine, though how pretty would brick look??).

Let’s talk about the current “yard” – it’s really sad. Someone at some point tried to spruce it up with the rose bushes, but they are not bringing any color or charm to the front, and in the winter when they are bare, it will look extra depressing.  I would replace them with something green and low-maintenance like a row of boxwood’s.  Since space is limited, I’d want the green to trail up to look as lush as possible, so I might want to add some climbing vines like creeping fig, or maybe even ivy, to add more green and a “lush” feeling to the front.

Finally, I think some window boxes with low maintenance flowers like geraniums would really be the cherry on top for adding curb appeal, and make this feel like a home.

With all these changes I see it looking something like this:


Better, right?  I think just these few little changes would really make a huge impact here, and elevate this place to a new level.

Next up?  I’m going to tackle the interior with a few ideas…