Friday, March 28, 2014

I'd totally live here: Bluff Park

A single-story blue bungalow has captured my heart.  The 1920s home sits in the architecturally diverse Bluff Park neighborhood in Long Beach.  I refer to this humble abode as "my house," and was thrilled when a sale sign appeared on the front lawn.  If my husband had been keeping loads of cash in a Swiss banking account it was the time to tell me! Alas, neither of us had saved enough or earn enough to be contenders for the $899,900 property.

The facts (according to its listing)
Built 1920
Located 2 blocks from the ocean
3 bedrooms
1 bathroom w/ marble shower and sinks
1454 square feet
8237 square foot lot
1 car detached garage
Hardwood floors
Forced heating
No air conditioning, but who needs A.C. when you're 2 blocks from the ocean?!

The first thing I'd do if I bought this house is replace the front door with one that matched the era. Perhaps I'd install a door like the one below in a darker stain.  I like how its glass echoes the squares in the windows on the front of the house.  We'd get our American flag flying and choose some simple chairs for the porch. The front of the house also needs some color.  Potted pansies would look pretty.  What's awesome about Bluff Park is even though it's an area of historic, million dollar homes, it's not a gated community.  However, it's not unusual in California to have anything and everything that's not bolted down stolen from outside your home.  Thus, whatever we put on our porch would not be too nice or hard to replace.

Living Room
The living room is light-filled and has nice floors. The woodwork has been painted throughout the house, which is okay with me, though for close to a million dollars one would think you'd find original woodwork.   A head scratcher is how the home's listing mentions a formal dining room.  Unless they mean the small room off to the far right with its own exterior door, I see no formal dining room. 

Surprisingly the house has no fireplace or built-in hutch.  My hunch is the original builder spent so much money obtaining the primo land they had to go with a no frills house.

If we really wanted a fireplace, I would consider an electric fireplace.  Ideally we'd install a gas fireplace, but that requires an exhaust vent that would be plainly visible from the driveway and front sidewalk.

I wish there were more photos of the kitchen.  It looks tiny, but functional.  Does it open to the backyard?  How much counter space does it have?  Is the fridge located in an awkward place?  For $899,900 one would hope to slide into an updated, attractive kitchen but with this property buyers are paying for the location.

Front Bedroom


From above (the house with the pavement squares)

I see a sliding glass door, a deck, and shed.  Though you can't see it in these photos, there's a large apartment complex across the alley facing the backyard, so taller trees are in order for privacy.  The shed may have to go bye-bye, though maybe we'd add a bathroom and storage area on to the back of the garage since the house has only one bathroom, and 1920s homes aren't known for their ample closet space.  For the backyard, I'd bring in a professional landscaper.  I'd ask for a fountain, a fire pit, colorful desert plantings, shrubs, and trees. I'd like a place that attracts a variety of birds, animals, and butterflies that we can maintain ourselves.

Property History
Mar 07, 2014
Sold (Public Records)
$899,000 -1.9%/yr
Public Records

Jan 13, 2014
Listed (Active)
CRMLS #PW14008242
Jan 12, 2006
Sold (Public Records)
$1,050,000 37.8%/yr
Public Records
Sep 19, 2003
Sold (Public Records)
Public Records

(If the the folks who bought the house in 2003 kept it until 2006 (selling it right before the housing bubble burst), they made a real killing with their home sale!)

Last weekend we passed the Bluff Park bungalow.  The weather vane had been removed along with the bamboo blinds covering the front windows.  The porch sat empty and the house looked like a blank slate.  It will be exciting to see what its new owners do with this little piece of paradise.

Previously at The Pad:
I'd totally live here: Hong Kong
I'd totally live here: Ortega-Vigare adobe
Heck yeah, I'd live here: Echo Park

Other home features:
Newport Beach cottage makeover
Neutra home my idea of heaven
San Diego Cinderella home for sale
One house, three exteriors
Venice home restaged, back on market
Dream midcentury house: 1966 post and beam
Report: Lee Snijders at Home & Garden show

Photos via Google, Santa Cruz Construction Guild (wood door), The Simple Store (fireplace)