Uncategorized May 26, 2020

We bought a house to restore, then Covid-19 happened

Last summer I was showing homes in the Spokane Valley. My clients were running late and I had arrived early. Instead of waiting the ½ hour in front of the house, I decided I would run over to an estate sale a few blocks away, ( I had noticed the signs earlier that were placed all over the neighborhood.)

When I pulled up to the house, I wasn’t impressed at all. It was the second day of the sale and the house was in disarray. I walked in and noticed the beamed ceilings, the clean lines and it felt oddly familiar. I was only in the house for less than 5 minutes when I knew I had to ask the person who was conducting the sale what was going to happen to the house. They told me the seller was going to sell it but they didn’t have any information. I gave them my number and asked them to please give it to the owner. I ended up showing the house to my buyers later that day to see if they liked it. Try as I may, they laughed at the thought. My clients told me they did like the neighborhood and style of the house, but they didn’t want a fixer.

Weeks later, I got a call from the owner of the estate sale company. He told me that the seller would like to talk to me and gave me a number to call. I’m a Realtor®, so I am thinking that this is great news! I called the number and left a message. I was so excited as there was something quite unique about this house. I look at homes everyday and never felt what I was feeling. It was like a connection to my past. As a child, I lived in only two homes; one was a 1960’s white rancher which my parents bought when it was brand new and a home my parents designed. It was a 1974 shingled contemporary with lots of glass windows. The house was built by none other Portland’s more iconic mid century architects Saul E. Zaik.

When I finally spoke with the owner’s son, he told me that his mother was in a nursing home and the house was indeed for sale. In that moment, my heart got the better of me. I told him that I loved the house and I wanted to buy it. As I said those words, it felt like an out of body experience. I then had to call my husband Chris and tell him that what I had done. At first he was very skeptical. The house was in need of some serious work.

Last Fall, we closed on the house. Originally, we were going to fix it and add it to our real estate portfolio. Spokane’s vacancy rate was under 2%. Chris figured it would make a nice winter project. Then Covid-19 happened. I have to admit that our business was hit hard. All of a sudden, Chris had a lot more time to devote to the project. He has worked on the property every week since we purchased it. It has been a labor of love for sure.

We finally put it up for rent when we were about 80% finished. We had some interesting inquiries from tenants as most didn’t have a job but had $25,000 to give us up front or they had dogs. I kept wondering how can you be in your 20’s and have all that money saved up but no job or a job history. Red flags everywhere. Our fear was the new floors, the white cabinets, new appliances, etc. would get damaged . So that is when we decided it was time to sell.

We aren’t finished yet but are so close. This house has become a home to us, even if it is just for the workday. I will miss it, but she needs to have someone who loves her as much as we do. We bought it from the original owner. We see ourselves as caretakers helping restore the house and bring it new life.

It was built by Momb Brother’s Construction as a model home for the neighborhood. Lyle Momb who was once the President of the Spokane Home Builders had an excellent reputation as a local Spokane Valley Builder. He took such pride in his work.

1960 Mid Century Modern Atomic Ranch located in the heart of the South Spokane Valley.

1960 photoExteriorLiving RoomLiving roomKitchenMaster BedroomFront of House

3 bedrooms

3 bathrooms

New kitchen with all new stainless steel appliances

JennAir Gas downdraft range

Vaulted Ceilings

Roll in shower

3 fireplaces

New Master Suite

Main Floor Laundry

New Washer/Dryer

Updated Electrical & Plumbing

New front yard landscaping

Sprinkler System

RV Parking

Expansive Patio Outside

Storage Shed

12124 E 25th, Spokane Valley, WA 99206


Windermere Manito