ON THE BLOCK- Fresh coat: this one begs for updated paint

ADDRESS: 807 Park Street 

NEIGHBORHOOD: Park Street/Downtown

ASKING: $449,000



SIZE: 1,775 fin. sq. ft., 1,003 unfin. sq. ft.

LAND: .19 acres (estimated)

CURB APPEAL: 7 out of 10 

LISTED BY: Anne Hughes of Real Estate III, 817-9300

The power of paint is the power to enhance the appeal of a house. It can change impressions, and is by far the cheapest per dollar of any possible remodeling options. That's the good news. The bad news is that this house has wall upon wall of colors that should have never come out of the can.

The color scheme on the outside is fine enough. It's the interior that's the horror show. The kitchen, pantry and rear entry walls are blood orange. An upstairs bedroom is stuck with an underachieving robin's egg blue, while the master bedroom languishes with a washed-out pale green. One of the closets is that institutional pallid yellow-tan that recalls the early stage of a bruise or bleeding under the skin, probably left over from at least 50 years ago. The two full baths feature two utterly unappealing shades of green: one has a Wedgwood pale gray-green hue, the other a '60s/'70s neon limeade color. A new paint job should be a relatively easy and inexpensive fix, but it's a fix that's desperately needed.

Fortunately for buyers, there could be an attractive house underneath that rainbow of questionable hues. This two-story roughly square house has a classic four-over-four layout with a small central hallway and staircase. The front half of the first floor is one large, open living room, and behind that is the kitchen and dining room. Upstairs are three bedrooms, with the "master" bedroom just slightly larger than the other two, and a bath entered from the hallway. 

The brick foundation creates a barely full-height, damp basement, providing a good amount of semi-useful storage space. There are beautiful pine floors throughout. The windows are the common single-pane, double-hung style, but are modern replacements of the originals. There is one bathroom on each floor, and a small one-story shed-roof section was added on the back of the house many years ago to make room for the first floor bathroom. 

The porch is a nice red brick, eliminating the problem of rot that inevitably afflicts wooden porch floors. Short brick steps rise up to the front door and down off two sides of the porch, to the front concrete walkway, and to the blacktop parking area on one side.

The kitchen is small, and feels more so because of color scheme. There is little cabinet space, since all the cabinets are along one exterior wall. The cabinets are from at least the '60s, maybe the '40s, and are quite plain. They are unremarkable enough that they could be left alone, even amid a significant remodeling, but they aren't anything to hold onto if the budget would allows. 

While so much of this house is typical of its age, the two bathrooms are both an eccentric hodgepodge of changes from different eras. The downstairs bath is just off the back entry area which also houses a stacked washer/dryer. The bathroom door opens squarely onto a fully tiled shower. To one side, through a narrow passageway is a larger chamber with a pedestal sink and toilet and no cabinet space whatsoever. Lighter colors on all the walls would give this cramped space a sense of being somewhat larger. 

The upstairs bath is an interesting mix of eras. It has a white enameled cast iron built-in tub, surrounded by tile, yet the sink sits in the middle of a wide section of cabinet with an unusual '60s era Formica countertop. The walls roughly match the linoleum floor, also at least 20 years old, maybe 40, which is speckled green and white.

The surrounding lot is beautifully landscaped. The south side of the lot is filled with various attractive plantings, assumedly because grass won't grow well there because of shading from a row of trees on the neighboring lot. The yard wraps around the other three sides of the house, always bordered with handsome plantings— flowers, bushes, monkey grass and even small trees.

An adjacent dirt-laid brick patio more than doubles the back porch area available to sit outside and entertain, possibly playing some music to drown out the nearby traffic noise from the 250 bypass which is very close by. Altogether, the back deck area has a nice courtyard feeling.

This house has lots to offer, and, luckily changing paint is an easy and cheap prospect. Like new paint, the few other needed changes, like replacing some countertops, are also inexpensive. If you consider a house your own blank canvas, this one might be worthy of your palette.