About two years ago, I was organizing my collection of DVDs when I noticed a frighteningly consistent theme.
Somewhere in Time (Christopher Reeve)
The Final Countdown (Kirk Douglas)
Frequency (Dennis Quaid)
Peggy Sue Got Married (Nicholas Cage)
Field of Dreams (Kevin Kostner)
Back to the Future (Michael J. Fox)
Did you figure it out? They’re all about traveling back in time. Half-jokingly, I tell people I’m only biding my time here until the smart people figure out how to travel in time, so I can get back to where I belong: the 1920s. As someone who loves history, I really am in love with that time in America’s past.
I don’t love the 1920s because that’s when Sears Homes were all the rage; I love Sears Homes because they were offered during the 1920s. In order to write, “The Houses That Sears Built,” I spent four years immersed in the periodical literature of that time. I read - literally - tens of thousands of pages of magazines and newspapers of the 1910s and 20s.
And that’s why, when I first saw 3916 Gosnold Avenue, my emotions took over and my old Realtor training fell off the cliff and I grabbed my husband by the lapels and told him that I *had* to have this house. (That’s actually a true story.) The house was built in 1925. Somehow I felt that if I could just get into this house, I’d be one step closer to getting back to where I was meant to be: 1925.
That was 4-1/2 years ago. Now - having lived in this house for 4+ years, the practical realities have set in, and both my husband and I long to find a place on one level, with gutters than can be accessed with a step ladder, and exterior paint jobs that can be done in a couple weekends, rather than several months. We’re ready to simplify, simplify, simply (as Henry David Thoreau once said), and the best way to simplify our housing is to downsize.
Today, Sunday (July 17th) we’re having an open house. Even if you’re not in the market for a big beautiful old house, it’s a grand opportunity to come inside and see the color of obsession. Everything we’ve done to this house has been done with love, precision and a deep abiding love of history. That, plus passion, makes for a most excellent restoration job.
Enjoy the photos, and please stop by if you’re out and about. It really is a gorgeous old house.
Now, about the house.
It’s has been faithfully restored to its original splendor, and has a high-efficiency gas boiler (94%+), high-efficiency central air (14 SEER) and a dazzling rainwater harvesting system. Enjoy the best of old-world craftsmanship together with the latest and greatest of modern technology. In short, you’ll have the unique pleasure of living in a beautiful old house with none of the environmental guilt.
Mr. Realtor will be here from 12-3 pm on Sunday, July 17th at 3916 Gosnold Avenue.
It’s 2,300 square feet with three bedrooms, 1-1/2 baths, with a large sunporch, full third floor and awesome basement.
17 Really Good Reasons to Buy The Big Pink House
1) Low electric bills - average budget bill of $115/month (and we love our air conditioning!).
2) High-efficiency central air (14 SEER) with all new ductwork, and electrostatic air cleaner (installed October 2007).
3) High efficiency, top-of-the-line gas-fired boiler (94% efficient) installed March 2011.
4) Thorough restoration of original (Buckingham Slate) roof, with new copper flashing and copper cap at roof ridge. Roof repairs will be required again in 2085 (or so). (About 25% of all the construction debris found in landfills is roofing materials. Slate is the “greenest” roof in the world and with occasional maintenance, it can last forever.)
5) Seamless 6-inch (extra large) aluminum gutters and downspouts.
6) No worries about old plumbing! Entire house replumbed with new copper lines in 2007.
7) Electrical service updated (some new wiring and new panel) in Spring 2007.
Fresh paint, too! Two coats of Sherwin Williams Duration (25-year warranty) cover the home’s cypress clapboards.
9) Eleven new high-end replacement windows have been installed within the last two years. Windows on home’s front are original (to preserve architectural integrity).
10) “Move-in ready” for your favorite quadruped! Custom-built picket fence surrounds peaceful back yard.
11) Who doesn’t love a little house, especially one with a slate roof? “3916-1/2 Gosnold” is a custom-built “mini-house” with a 9′ ceiling, floored attic, built-in ladder and vintage windows.
12) When it’s time for the morning’s ablutions, step into the bath and back in time. Faithfully restored second-floor bath features porcelain sconces, vintage medicine chest, and a Kohler Memoirs sink, sitting atop a restored hex floor. Also has elegant wainscoting, Danze high-end faucets and solid brass vintage towel rack.
13) Modern kitchen is full of light with seven large windows, stainless steel appliances and a brand new Kenmore gas range (May 2011).
14) Harvest Time is nearly here! Tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, strawberries, zucchini and flowers thrive in three separate raised bed gardens in spacious back yard.
15) Handy rain-water harvesting system already in place for those thirsty plants, with more than 200 gallons of available storage.
16) Bibliophiles delight! Built-in bookcase on sunporch is more than 9′ tall and 6′ wide, with 27 sturdy shelves.
17) The house was custom built in 1925 by William Barnes, owner of one of Norfolk’s largest lumber yards. His grandchildren recall that he hand-selected every piece of framing lumber that went into the house. And it shows.
To schedule an appointment, leave a comment below or contact the Realtor.
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