But Seriously? Let’s Move Into One of These Houses!!!

Ever since admiring Spencer’s cute home the other day, I’ve had bungalows on the brain. As in… I fell down a real estate rabbit hole, and when I hit bottom, I did a little more digging just to make sure I had really, really looked at every remotely suitable property available in BC.

Drooling over million dollar homes I could never afford wasn’t the game here: I set myself a somewhat realistic budget max of $300,000 (CAD). In Vancouver, $300K gets you a studio condo, or maybe a 1 bedroom if you don’t mind living on East Hastings. There isn’t much potential for dreaming in those scenarios; I much prefer my current apartment to anything that’s for sale in the city. But outside of Vancouver… oh my! The world is my oyster, just waiting for a fresh coat of paint.

942 Glover Road in Trail

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This pink palace in Trail is selling for a whole $69,000! There are two one-bedroom suites, and one three-bedroom suite in the building. God knows what the interior is like–there are no photos online–but for $69K, the mortgage would be tiny, and there’d be money left over for renovations. I could live in one of the suites, and rent out the other two. The mortgage would be paid off in no time, and then I could move up the mountain to Rossland (or over to Nelson) and keep my income property in Trail.

There’s actually a ton of ridiculously cheap real estate in Trail. It’s a pretty industrial little place, and compared to most towns in the BC interior, it’s not great. But as a place to start out, and acquire an income property, it could totally work.

1469 Fourth Avenue, Trail

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The award for cutest roofline goes to this little charmer. Unfortunately the interior has been renovated in a rather soulless way, but damn–that roofline! This hovel has two bedrooms and one bathroom, all for $129,000.

1722 Leroi Avenue, Rossland

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If I did move up the mountain to Rossland after starting my real estate empire in Trail, I could get big ol’ five bedroom, two bathroom house for $294,000. I could rent out the extra bedrooms to ski bums in the winter, and enjoy a taste of that ski season lifestyle. That big deck would be perfect for a snofa!

1881 Second Ave, Rossland

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This $220,800 option is utterly devoid of curb appeal. However, the interior has some charm just waiting to be revealed, and I love all these windows. There are three bedrooms upstairs–lots of space for my bedroom, an art studio, and a guest bedroom–with a rental suite in the basement for income.

301 7th Ave, New Denver

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Looking outside of the Rossland/ Trail area… I keep having to look up where New Denver is, but I’m sure it’s lovely. And if beautifully preserved historic charm is your thing, this two bedroom, two bath gem could be yours for $228,000. The kitchen and bathrooms could use a little work to get them back into a style better representative of the 1898 glory of the rest of the place, but it would be such a worthwhile project! Really this place is just too fab, and based on the description, some of the crummy un-fun renovation work (like better insulation) has already been done.

1971 Harbour Drive, Ucluelet

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And out on the west of the west coast… I suspect in the long run, I do want to be in the interior (for the skiing) rather than out on the coast, and in a house rather than in a condo, but I do have to shout-out this fabulous balcony bathtub in Ucluelet.

436 W 8th Ave, Prince Rupert

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Prince Rupert is another great coastal community, and would be much closer to good winter fun than Ucluelet. Besides this fantastic bathroom, this house is cute as a button on the exterior, and has an adorable vintage kitchen that look reasonably functional. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms for $199,000–well under my $300k maximum!

And there are sooooo many more options. I am going to do this again–such fun!

Link 35: Let’s Move Into This House

Apartment Therapy can either bore me to tears, or leave me irritated beyond measure. But I keep checking back because every once in a while they toss out a gem. This “beautifully understated Austin bungalow” manages to feel warm and homey and chill despite the on-trend-ness of the space.

I’ll Have to Make This Someday: Bettine

I’ve been in a little bit of a garment sewing mood since returning from my trip. This means I’m doing a little sewing, and a lot of looking for inspiration online.

It’s not really the season for a light little dress like Bettine, but I am definitely going to make this someday. I have a very similar dress from Modcloth that I wear a lot, so I know it will work on my body. Having a homemade version (or two) would be fab.

There are many lovely examples of Bettines on Pinterest for inspiration. I particularly like the two versions made by this lady (found via the Curvy Sewing Collective).

My Week at the Excellence El Carmen

I went away, and now I am back.

I spent a week at the Excellence El Carmen resort near Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I’m still processing the experience–it was my first all-inclusive vacation, and I am really not an all-inclusive vacation sort of person–but I’m sure at some point I will have something to say it. In the meantime, some photos.

Vacation Reading

So, apparently I’m going on a trip next week! I still can’t quite believe it’s real… although you’d think all the hours I spent scouring the internet for the perfect resort (and the hour I spent at Swimco pouring myself in bathing suits) would maybe have proved it to me. The trip is a birthday present from my unbelievably generous parents, and I am just so grateful to them. They left the choice of destination up to me, and while a trip to an all-inclusive isn’t normally my thing, once my mom suggested it, I decided to embrace the luxury. This is my chance to enjoy something I’d never pay for myself. On Monday, I head off to the Dominican Republic for a whole week at the Excellence El Carmen resort in Punta Cana!

Here’s what I’m going to read while I’m away… books

The Hothouse by the East River by Muriel Spark. Selected because Muriel Spark, and because it sounds creepy and fun. Plus it’s a nice slim volume for slipping into my bag.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I haven’t read enough Woolf, and that’s something worth fixing.

Fonzie, Fonzie Superstar by William Johnston. My friend Meg sent this to me for my birthday. If nothing else the cover is 10/10, and I’m sure it’ll be a fun read when it’s too hot to think.

The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux. I like Theroux. I like trains. Picking this one up at Pulp Fiction was a no-brainer.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit. I did consider getting Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me but decided that I didn’t need to die of a poolside rage stroke. This Field Guide seems like a more appropriate vacation selection.

I want to dig into all of these right now, of course! But first there’s laundry, and tidying, and packing…

Link 33: On Thomas Pynchon (with bonus Bling Ring and Elena Ferrante)

The recent uproar around the identity of Elena Ferrante reminded me of this 1996 Nancy Jo Sales* piece on finding Thomas Pynchon. Such a difference in treatment: even when Sales (rightly) points out how terrible Vineland is, there is still so much respect for Pynchon, his work, and his privacy. Although I do think there is space for journalist inquiry alongside philosophical and literary questions of authorship, authority, and anonymity, Claudio Gatti’s approach was invasive and misogynist. Katherine Angel lays out a good argument for that here: “The crime that Ferrante has committed, in Gatti’s eyes, is that of witholding the signs by which he might read her as a “woman writer”.”

But do go read that Pynchon piece (and wish you could be friends with him–he just sounds so nice).

*of Bling Ring fame

Links 27 through 32: On Many Things

Link 27: Surprise fireplace! I have been reading Manhattan Nest for 3ish years now, and Daniel’s posts never disappoint. I can’t imagine what it would be like to demo your kitchen and find a freaking fireplace. So cool.

Link 28: My Karen Templer fangirling is unending. I had planned to have thoughts on Slow Fashion October, but this week I had to throw some money at Old Navy (*sigh*) to get kitted out for the resort vacation I’m going on next week, and I haven’t quite worked through the guilt yet.

Link 29: Personally I would say this goat has nothing to teach us. We can only watch the goat, and know we are looking at something familiar.

Link 30: If I didn’t already have my vacation knitting planned (I’m bringing my Improv #2 sweater), this would make for a fun beach project.

Links 31 and 32: I don’t feel qualified to really comment on either of these last links, but it was interesting to read these two pieces on the Watts neighbourhood in Los Angeles one after the other. Can the area’s long-standing issues be alleviated by some form of benevolent capitalism (if there even is such a thing)?

The People’s Cheeseburger (Eater)

A Journey into the Mind of Watts by Thomas Pynchon, 1966

Also, here’s Frank Zappa inspired by the Watts riots/Rebellion:

Link 26: Errol Morris

This 1989 profile of Errol Morris popped up on Longform this week, and it is a delight. I think I chuckled at every single direct quote from Morris; he really comes across as a charming kook who just stumbled into exonerating an innocent man (and who really knew how to run with the information he had).

The Thin Blue Line is on Netflix, and, even knowing the story and how it all turns out, the film remains utterly compelling.

Standard Operating Procedure, Morris’ 2008 work on Abu Ghraib, is also on Netflix, but I just don’t have the emotional wherewithal to watch it. Someday, though.