I have a guilty pleasure habit of browsing the MLS listings occasionally (and by occasionally I mean all the time) and so it is no surprise that I found a cute little place in Port Moody that sparked my renovation itch into high gear. The place I am talking about it a cute old timer with good bones, and not much else…but its got good bones!
Let’s review this property a little.
Port Moody – right in the heart of it all. A ten minute walk from the West Coast Express and the new Evergreen Line expansion. Walking distance to all kinds of shops, dining, and Rocky Point Marina. Across from an elementary school, close to all other levels of school, and on a nice little strew with houses being rebuilt, updated or preserved.
This is one of those old bungalows that looks a hundred times smaller than it is. At 2400 sqft the house hides its extra sqft well behind a cottage like facade with steps leading to the door in the middle and windows on both sides. Its grandma’s house in a nut shell. The rock/glass-stucco is in original state in a nice hue of reddish pink with wood framed white windows and a brick chimney to complete the package.
There is a good sized yard with the lot being over 8600 sqft. An old garage stands at the back of the property facing the lane (bonus, a lane!). The garage is in ok shape, its bones are not nearly as good as the house, I think the foundation of the garage is a little substandard. There isn’t much of a defined drive way, enough for 2 cars to park but the rest of the yard is in a natural (slightly wild) state. Off street parking is all at the back but there is plenty of gravel shoulder at the front of the house to park additional cars for visitors.
Bedrooms and Bathrooms:
It is currently listed as having 4 bedrooms and 2 baths, sure…if you want to call those bedrooms. There are 2 rooms on the main floor that technically are being called bedrooms. One is the original bedroom, the other is a room with sliding glass doors and double exterior door to the yard, and some very badly laid laminate. Although it feels more like a fish bowl this room does have the proper proportions and functions of a bedroom. Up a steep flight of stairs into a low height attic is the 3rd bedroom. Large with sloping ceilings that top out at 6’6” this room certainly could be a bedroom. The last bedroom is in the basement and it painted in some fantastically bright paint with a giant cat on the wall. (insert cat noise here). Yes this is also a bedroom albeit a little dungeon like.
The bathrooms are something out of a germ-o-phones nightmare but yes there are two locations with plumbing for the general purpose of bathing and such. One is on the main floor and is the original bathroom. Its old yet functional, and filled with years of accumulated dirt and grime. The second bathroom is in the basement and is truly one of those places that you look at and immediately wish you had dressed in a hazmat suit.
Kitchen, Living, Dining:
They all exist on the main floor in some capacity. The kitchen is an odd mishmash of old and new and renovations gone wrong. Its tight and doesn’t leave much to be desired. The dining room is also a little tight. It seems they stole room from the original kitchen to make a more formal looking dining room but in the end there are just two rooms that are 2 small to feel good. The living room however is a large open space with a fireplace offset to one side, a nice big window and original hard wood flooring. Certainly the living room takes the prize for being the best room in the house.
The stairs to the attic are a great bonus, the do go up towards the exterior side wall of the house which reduces the useful space you can get out of that floor. The ceiling height is low but acceptable. There are windows at each side of the house in the gable roof ends but no dormers or other areas of added space or natural light. Good thing the house isn’t super huge or it would be really dark up there.
Mostly unfinished, this space allows one to peer into the inner workings and construction of this house. There is clearly knob and tube wiring present, some questionable alterations that have been done over the years and some very old mechanical. There is a door to the back yard, yay for revenue property potential! The windows are a little on the small side but there are enough openings to work with for a suite and the mostly unfinished state allows for a good review of what work would need to be done and the surprises that are likely in store.
Despite all of the hazmat worthy things in this place it does have good bones, good architectural character, a great location close to transit, and a seemly reasonable price range. It warrants a little extra investigation to see if the renovation budget and potential property value after renovation will align to make this place a worth while investment.