We began our home search after moving from Austin to Phoenix in May 2014. Opting to rent while we searched and saved gave us time to figure out what we were looking for in a home.
Many of the houses we found in our price range were builder spec or southwestern ranch style in a neighborhood of the same style. Homes in the older neighborhoods embrace larger front and back yards, encouraging community interaction. But the newer neighborhoods offer small front yards allowing for little neighbor interaction. Many of the backyards are small too, which means you have to leave your house if you want your kids to play outside.
With my appreciation for midcentury modern design, an education in architecture and Doug's desire to continue working from home we had a few items we hoped to find. In no particular order:
1. Personality - A home in a neighborhood with unique architecture and a history.
2. Live/Work - Work space separate from the noise of the house since we both work from home.
3. Room to Grow - An interior to accommodate a growing family. Not huge, just well-organized.
4. Outdoor Adventures - Space for outdoor living and exploring during the cooler months (yes, it does happen in Arizona!).
5. Love Your Neighbor - Infrastructure that encourages neighborly interaction was a hope. And a cul-de-sac, a huge plus.
Slow and Steady
One thing I continue to learn when it comes to home buying, work, relationships...okay, LIFE: Patience. Pays. Off. So far in this process our patience has truly paid off. The week we started up our search in earnest, we found it! A mid-century modern (MCM) fixer-upper on an old horse property.
The house had been on the market for a few months, with one other offer to fall through. Ironically, the day after we made our offer we MET the family who made the first offer. She is the sister of a good friend of Doug's. Small world indeed. We were able to have a good discussion with them about the property. Her husband is an architect and appreciated the unique MCM style of the house as well (good, so I'm not totally crazy!). Even though the house was not right for them...they will still be our neighbors.
While we don't have any official information on the house, we do have a few floor plans and site plans that were maintained by the original owners. The house plan was signed by J. Keil.
Ralph Haver was also a well-known architect in Phoenix from 1940 to 1970. His neighborhoods were known as "Haverhoods". We don't believe we purchased a Haver home, though it certainly has similar characteristics. You can learn more about Haverhoods here.
When the original owners lived in the home, they used the site plan to document when certain plants were installed and when they died. I hope to document our landscaping process in the same way to pass along some day.
Stay tuned for construction photos!