Not as many pictures as I would have liked, but the visit itself was extremely helpful. I got to talk to the seller a bit and she filled me in on a few random details about the house. She was very cool about it and she even asked if I wanted her to leave some of the old furniture that she had and didn't want anymore[*]. One thing that I did establish about the house is that it's rather difficult to photograph from the inside. Once the folks living there move out, I'll setup the tripod and take a few panoramic shots which should do some of the rooms more justice. In the meantime though....
So the net result of the visit is that I have a much better idea of what I do and don't need to mess with in the near future. Some things are better than I had thought they were, and some were a little worse. All things considered though, the house is perfect. It's at an ideal point where it's quite habitable, but it has lots of room for improvement.
Mountains - This is a shot from the front yard. The bedrooms have some pretty nice views of them on one side and of the city on the other side (if nothing else the views are better than what I currently have ;). I suspect that the roof has some spectacular views of both (yes, I intend to verify this in the near future ;).
The Garage (outside) - Not technically part of the house, but I really like this garage. I had considered making it a 2 car garage (it's about long enough to be one), but I'm now leaning towards leaving it as a single car garage with a big-ish workshop. Since there is no way to have all my cars at the house, I think that just leaving a good amount of space for 2 or 3 cars (which already exists) is good. I did notice a few examples of graffiti along the alleys next to and behind the house so I'm going to have to keep an eye on that.
The Garage (inside) - Now, we have covered the fact that I'm a car geek so of course I had to have another picture of the garage. Now here you see something I really like about the garage. It has skylights! I don't think I would have thought to put any in my garage, but hey, they're there, I'm gonna leave them. It's amazingly well lit for a garage and it should be quite nice as a workshop too. It also has three windows which should provide a nice amount of ventilation if I'm working in there.. I am going to have to do something about the "step" from the main car parking space and the rest of the garage (the "step" is about 2 ft tall... not quite an easy climb). I'm thinking that Hazel would look quite snazzy in here once she's finished (an old car for an old house ;).
Dining Room - Living Room - This isn't a wonderful picture, but it does show off some things I find quite neat (F.Y.I. the people in the picture are my folks). The house has tall ceilings. My dad is about 5'7 - 5'8. So those ceilings are probably about 9' tall. Can we say big X-mas tree? ;). Secondly, check out the quad French doors between the dining room and living room. They look to be original to the house. I'm debating stripping them down to the wood and having them look woody... but not this year. Shiny happy wood floors throughout the house. Oh, and look, ceiling damage from a leak in the bathroom. My dad and I had independently figured out that the ceiling damage in the first floor was probably cause by the bathtubs and the owner confirmed this to us today. She said it was fixed though so we'll see how that goes. I'm definitely getting rid of the popcorn stuff on the ceiling though. Maybe put some nifty reproduction medallions up at the light fixture. You can also see the French doors that lead to the foyer/entry. Except for the kitchen (no pictures of that yet), the entire first floor can be opened up quite nicely.
The Living Room & Fireplace - Ok, for reference, the fireplace is a standard sized fireplace. Yes, the room is that big. I think that my folks are now eagerly anticipating the day that I start hosting family gatherings at this place. I want to do something with the bookcases, but I'm still not sure what. I would like to raise them all the way to the ceiling, but that wouldn't be in keeping with the prairie-style that the house tends to have. However, since it is a somewhat loose later-day interpretation of it, I could probably get away with it if the bookcases were nicely made and well designed. That will definitely be something to play around with once I get in the house....
So that's it for now. I would have liked to have more pictures, but there were too many people running around the house and I spent a lot of the time there having the owner walk show me various details of the house and explain stuff (the basement was of particular interest). We did establish that there is one light switch that powers some unknown device (the current owner has lived in the house 10 years and doesn't know what it's for... she said it might have been for the old garbage disposal, but it's in an odd place for it). Several of the rooms will need to be painted (particularly the hot pink and dark blue room), and I need to do lots of random neglected upkeep type stuff right away, but nothing too major. The plan is that I will transfer the utilities to my name on Friday and I'll probably get the keys then. The owner said that she would probably be out by Monday/Tuesday and just wanted a couple of days extra "just in case." So you can probably expect to see a much better set of pictures next Saturday when I can get in and start documenting the process of turning the house into my new lair.
[*] - She already mentioned leaving a wood table that's in the laundry room and an old church pew in the backyard. The table looks pretty nice (maybe nice enough to clean up a bit and use elsewhere in the house ;). The pew is a bit... eww, but my mom liked it and upon further inspection I determined that I could fix it up fairly easily and I do find it amusing to have a church pew somewhere in my lair... maybe next to the bondage toys... (I'm kidding ;)