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January 9, 2011

Won’t You Be My Neighbor–Hoarding in a 1957 Ranch

By RetroRuth

For two weeks last summer, if anyone remembers this, I watched the family of a deceased gentleman clean out the accumulated detritus of the man’s 1957 ranch house.  I watched this because the house is RIGHT down the street for me, and because they didn’t just divide up his belongings and move them out.

They THREW them out.

And they were right to do it.  From the looks of the multiple dumpsters out front, the gentleman had never thrown away anything. He was, quite simply, a hoarder.  And from the looks of it, one of the ones who kept garbage piled in his living room.

Outside

But, since collectors of Mid-Century are, how shall we say, opportunists, (Does everyone feel comfortable with that term?) I couldn’t help wondering what treasures were going to be released into the world.

Everything must have been too destroyed for an estate sale, but now the 1957 ranch is for sale. Yes, some of it is scary. And it isn’t pristine by any means, but I think we can all get a little thrill from the bits and pieces that are still salvageable.

Entry

The entryway and living room. While the built-in is marvelous, the carpet reminds us why the asking price for this house is only $85,000.

Kitchen

Those are some fuzzy cabinets.

Eat-in Kitchen

Don’t look at the stains on the floor. Just the chandelier. Just the chandelier.

Dining Room

The dining and kitchen chairs, all piled in the dining room.

Bedroom

One of the bedrooms. Love the drapes! Scared of them, but still love them!

Bathroom

A quite glorious bathroom. The floor pattern and the wallpaper are especially swoonable.

Master

The master bath, complete with built-in vanity.

Tom and I are split over this house.  Would you take on this enormous restoration project if the price was right?  Tom says, “No.” and I say, “Yes.” What do you think?

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14 Responses to Won’t You Be My Neighbor–Hoarding in a 1957 Ranch

  1. Deb Reply

    January 9, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I would, in a heartbeat, if I were younger!!

  2. Missouri Michael Reply

    January 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I would definitely tackle this project! However, seeing the current state of the house, I think that the first thing that I would do would be to spend the money and have a professional cleaning service come in and completely go through the house. The project most likely won’t seem so daunting after they get through with it.

    And, after enlarging and reviewing the photos, I don’t believe that that is dirty / stained carpet. I believe that they ripped the carpet out and whe we see in the photos is the subfloor. Installing new carpet / flooring in the house after the cleaning crew comes through would do wonders for how it looks.

  3. Pat Reply

    January 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    The bathroom floor alone would make me take it on!

  4. Queen of Fifty Cents Reply

    January 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    You had me at the fireplace, and the pink tile bathroom sealed the deal. Having it cleaned first is a great idea, and I would try to negotiate for the sellers to do that. In fact I can’t believe they put it on the market without cleaning up first. Must have been worn out from hauling all the stuff to the dumpster!

  5. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    January 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    How sad! It’s such a wonderful house. I think that I’d take it on but there would have to be some deep, deep steaming hot water cleaning. And I’d also have to have someone thoroughly check between the walls for rat’s nests, etc.

    We have a family member who kept his home in this exact same situation and a lot of the walls were ruined from the inside and the wiring chewed through. And that sub-floor that we’re seeing would have to be replaced if those are unknown stains and not flooring adhesive. It would be a costly thing for someone to do but…what a lovely house. All of that wood – and I just love the kitchen. I hope that someone does decide to!

  6. Sara in AZ Reply

    January 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Oh boy, what a gorgeous house. I think I would probably take it on too. With some work this place could really shine.

  7. Lorie B Reply

    January 9, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I guess my first worry would be if there is mod in the house. I would INSIST on a VERY complete inspection. If that came away ok, then it would most seriously be worth the retro. Lovely fireplace and bathroom.

  8. LSIE Reply

    January 10, 2011 at 11:28 am

    So what’s wrong with it? Just a little dirt? If that’s all, then go for it! House inspection from a reputable service definitely in order. If there’s anything major or structural wrong then try to negotiate it into the contract for the sellers to repair.

  9. Annie B. Reply

    January 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    If this baby passes inspection, jump on it with both feet. This is a diamond in the rough!! What an unbelievable price their asking!

  10. sablemable Reply

    January 11, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Hell, yes, Ruth! At $85,000 for all of that house; what a steal!

    Opportunists – good word!

  11. Meeem Reply

    January 12, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Here is a horror for Tom: Would you like me and Dad to buy it??? Hee Heee Heee

  12. Desirae Reply

    January 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    This home will be glorious once it is restored. I love the built in vanity in the bedroom. You don’t know what you’re missing until you have one! 🙂

  13. NIftythrifty Reply

    February 13, 2011 at 12:21 am

    My husband and I just bought a 1956 brick ranch, much like this one. The scope of the project is quite extensive, but we’re very excited. Our friends don’t really get why we would want to tackle this, but we can’t all buy big, new houses!

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