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October 28, 2010

Mid Century House For Sale

By Sara In AZ


Soooo, Mike and I have been on the Mid-Century house hunt for a while now. During that time we have gone through a ton of houses. Most are remodeled to within an inch of their Mid-Century lives, and a very few are left alone. I came across this house on the Phoenix/Scottsdale border and I was intrigued. It was built in 1960 and had 2300 sq feet. The pictures on the MLS looked pretty original, but it is hard to tell from the pictures just what the place will be like in person. So we made an appointment with our realtor and we were on our way.

I probably was initially really drawn to this house because of the AWESOME concrete screen block patios on the front and back. The house also faced a mountain (which we soon learned had a down side) and was on a huge lot. I thought the 2300 sq feet could work for us, even though the house only had 2 bedrooms – we could always add on down the road if the house was that great.

Here is the front of the house with the fan-tab-u-lous enclosed concrete screen block patio. It is a ranch type home.

And here is the interior of the patio, you can also see the mountain in the background.

What lovely screen blocks they are!

Here is the first picture of the kitchen. I do have to admit that it was pretty tiny. You would be hard pressed to fit in anything but the smallest of tables if you wanted an eat in kitchen.

I thought the copper hardware and copper Vent-A-Hood were super cool!

If you walked through the kitchen (where that garbage can is) you would enter this room. It used to be the carport or garage and was converted at some point into another living room area. It felt a little chopped off from the rest of the house because it used to be the garage and you had to go back through the kitchen to get to the rest of the house.

Going back through the kitchen you would come to the main living room and dining room area of the house.

Looking to the right you would see the fireplace and living room area.

Love that copper hood!

Looking straight out you would see the back patio.

Ooooohhhhhh, more screen block!!!

Looking to the left you would see the dining area.

This is outside, on the back patio. I am in love with the patios on this house!

The house had 2 bathrooms and I was curious what they were like since there were no pictures on the MLS listing. I have to say, they were pretty tiny. One bathroom still had the original pink tile, but the vanity side, by the toilet, was badly water damaged.

Here is the other bathroom.

Here is the shower.

I only took pictures of one of the bedrooms.

Since they are just bedrooms, well, I guess they are not really that exciting!

And it was here that we found out why it was bad to live by a mountain – if your property isn’t graded properly!

See where the outlet is on the bottom left? Well on the floor (under the carpet) it was really squishy. We did not understand why this would be since this house was built on a slab. Then we started looking around the room, and we could see where there was water damage along all the baseboards and up some of the wall. Not good.  Then we went outside and noticed this!

Gosh y’all, I am really so sorry I do not have a better picture of this, but if you look at the top right side of the shrub you will see a dark spot on the foundation of the house. We investigated further……to the front we went……and discovered a huge trench had been dug under the house for water to pass through! Really – not good y’all. Rain has probably been running through there and eroding the concrete slab and that is probably why the floor felt squishy.

We can get some pretty heavy rains here during our summer Monsoon season and since we don’t normally get a lot of rain our ground can’t take a lot  of it, so the water just rushes to the lowest point. Since this house is situated right in front of the mountain it would get a lot of rain run-off from that and probably would flood easily if it had enough rain. We were pretty sure this bedroom was added on at a later time and this was just an easy way out of grading for run-off properly.

Since we definitely do not want to live in a house that floods easily the house search continues y’all……………………………….

Have an AWESOME Halloween y’all!

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11 Responses to Mid Century House For Sale

  1. Annie B. Reply

    October 28, 2010 at 8:28 am

    CRUD!!!!!!!!!! Those gorgeous concrete blocks and the house had to be squishy. Life is NOT fair. I was ready to go out and find you a housewarming present.

    I wonder if they’d let me buy just the concrete block screen!!!!!!!!!

  2. Sara in AZ Reply

    October 28, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I know Annie, I really loved all that block on the house too!

    I will probably be screaming it from the top of my lungs when I FINALLY do find a house! You’ll be able to hear me all the way over there. 🙂

  3. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    October 29, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Oh wow, it is possible to bless a house’s heart because well…bless it’s heart! I feel so bad about the water situation. In no way could that be good. 🙁

    Some beautiful touches there – those concrete walls…that stove hood…that fireplace..and I can only imagine what lovelies you could put on those built-in shelves.

    You’ll find that dream house though – and I bet it won’t have a moat around it! 🙂

  4. Jamie in Hollywood Reply

    October 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    You are wise to check a house out so well. I know here in California a house must be free of mold before you can sell it, (I know this from personal experience!) and it can cost a pretty penny to fix it. That house would certainly have mold because of the rain runoff. This is what happens when people add on architecturally without proper guidance. There are some great bargains out there on mid century homes and it is a great time to buy. I hope you find the perfect one for you.

  5. Sara in AZ Reply

    October 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Eartha – Yes, I think it is possible to bless this house’s heart! I felt really sad for the poor thing. And, no moats – well you never know what I’ll come up with next! 🙂

    Jamie – Thanks! I know we will eventually find something. Yeah, my husband and I are pretty paranoid, so we try to really look things over the first time we go through a place to see if it will even be worth our time. I am really an advocate of preservation, but I think in this case there is not really much you could do with it besides starting over from scratch. 🙁

  6. fookie Reply

    November 1, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Sara, good on you for checking it out. Frankly, so much is lost in this house that I didn’t see ‘mid-century’ past the blocks. All over the Valley there are houses with evidence of “natural rock decor” streams and if you watch you will see they go under the house. Natural wash concealed by the builder, is what I see, improper grade and no house will survive that even with the scant rain the Valley gets.

    There are fabulous abandoned mid-century homes dotted through the Buckeye area, and even a few in the vacinity of northern near the 101 freeway. Problem is, they are abandoned because “progress” has encroached. You can’t live there.

    Good luck in your quest! I’m new to this wonderful blog and LOVE this section particularily.

  7. Sara in AZ Reply

    November 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    fookie – Thanks for your comment! This house definitely had improper grade, which really was too bad. You are right, there was not much MCM left – just little touches here and there.

    That is really horrible about the Buckeye houses, I was not aware of those.

    Thanks for your well wishes! We need all the luck we can get. Glad you found us, come back often! 🙂

  8. Jamie in Hollywood Reply

    November 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    It is so nice when good people give good advice and help one another through websites such as this. Technology can be a wonderful thing when used properly. I’m sure that you will find the perfect home and with help from folks like fookie it can be made easier. I am still in awe of how easily we can all communicate but then, I still am in thrall when I fly and look out the window! I’ll say a prayer that your house search will be fruitful and easier. God bless all the well meaning people who contribute.

  9. Sara in AZ Reply

    November 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Jamie – Thanks so much for your comments! I could not agree more. I am amazed at how connected we all really are. I very much appreciate all the people who leave comments, helping me along in my house search. And, thank you so very much for your well wishes – it is very much appreciated! I know we will eventually find our old house, it will happen someday! 🙂

    PS – When you figure out how those planes stay up in the air you let me know – that has always amazed me too!

  10. RetroRuth Reply

    November 2, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Aww – you guys are so sweet! Jamie, I also love how everyone is so connected by this crazy mid-century fixation. And how easy it is to make friends from around the globe!

    Welcome, fookie!

    Sara, Eartha is right, it is like a moat. Maybe it could protect you from invaders! 🙂

    Sorry this house didn’t work out. I know the right one is out there for you!

  11. Sara in AZ Reply

    November 2, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    I don’t know Ruth, a moat could be a good thing! hee 😉

    I know, we will find something eventually! But, if we don’t, could I have your house? 🙂

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