June 20, 2013

House Hunting. Sometimes I think we're nuts.

We have been a house hunting, probably a bit prematurely, but it's a pretty fun weekend activity actually.  I think my husband would agree.......as long as he gets his ride in first.

I've found myself saying recently that being able to see the potential in things is both a blessing and a curse. Let me illustrate this a little better in photos by sharing with you one of the homes we looked at this past weekend.

Photo via Big C Realty
No, I'm not kidding.  Nicholas (The Cyclist) actually woke me up out of a dead sleep, waving around the iPad saying "look what just came up!  I don't even know what this place is!"

Photo via Big C Realty

Photo via Big C Realty
I was intrigued and immediately started researching.  This is known as the Fava house.  It was designed by Carter Sparks and completed in 1956.  From what I can tell, Sparks is/was? a well known architect in the Sacramento region in the 60's.  He eventually designed several mid-century modern homes for the Streng Brothers.

Photo via Eichlernetwork.com

This is what the house once looked like, in sketch and photo.

Photo via Carter Sparks.org

Photo via Carter Sparks.org
 
Photo via Carter Sparks.org

Photo via Carter Sparks.org

Photo via Carter Sparks.org
You see we are not opposed to rehabbing a property.  We are considering a special type of loan that allows you to incorporate rehab costs into the mortgage.  After seeing this property I even went as far as researching how to make it a historical site and getting tax credits for an easement.  Neither of us could stop thinking about this place all night and how amazing it could be.

We asked our agent to take us for a visit the next day.  We warned her that she'd think we were nuts.


By the time morning had rolled around I had learned a lot about the property.  The original owner's, John and Joan Fava were artists and musicians "who had a fondness for stories of the Wild West".  "A small cloisonne pin of a gold saddle and lasso is embedded into the shard glass fireplace surround." 





The Fava's lived in the home for 60 years until they could no longer take care of it.  It was sold to someone who intended to fix it up, but that buyer ripped off the carport and sundeck and then stopped working.  It eventually went to auction and is now listed for sale.  The old photos above were found inside the home.



Honestly, visiting the house was really sad.  It makes me wonder about the circumstances surrounding the Fava's leaving because the house is still filled with all of their things.  It's like they ran out for an errand and never returned.  I am kind of shocked that the house hasn't been cleaned out, it shares a driveway with two mansions and they literally look down on the Fava house from every window.




I surmise that the brokerage firm that bought it initially intended to raze the home and build a new structure, but quickly realized that if they did, they would catch Hell from the historical preservation and MCM communities.  A recent article indicates there are offers on the home that are a mix between restoring and razing.



For us, after seeing it in person, we know our pockets are not deep enough to restore the home to what it once was.  There is dry-rot throughout the entire wood structure.  It appears the only salvageable portion of the home are the brick walls and possibly some of the interior belongings.  At this point, it seems the only way to restore it is to re-create it from scratch.  We certainly hope whomever buys this home does the right thing and restores it to its original beauty.  It would be a shame to tear it down.

By the way, of all of the rouge photos I've found, I seem to be the only one brave enough ( or maybe dumb enough) to venture upstairs.  I didn't fall through the floor, so it was worth it.  Seeing Mrs. Fava's old cowboy boots broke my heart a little bit.




Sources:
Eichler Network - source 1, source 2




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4 comments:

  1. Sarah,

    Thank you for this fascinating journey through Sacramento history. I had never heard of this house, but the compassionate and thoughtful way that you presented this story makes me wish that I had the funds to contribute to the restoration of this wonderful home. I am very impressed with the way you have brought this story to my little corner of the world.

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    1. Thanks Tony! Too bad the Fava's didn't have neighbors like you and Deb. :(

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  2. I have been frothing over that house for quite a while. So glad that there are some people are looking at it with an eye for restoration. We will all just have to keep our collective fingers crossed that one of the "razers" don't get it.

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    Replies
    1. UC, it changed from a property to a lot and then it sold. Hopefully the new owner will rehab instead of raze!! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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