Renovator's delight

Well we've almost done it: we've almost bought a house. If all goes well, it will change hands before August, when the land is subdivided officially (big downpayment has been paid, so I'm tempting fate by boasting already). So here are the specs: 2 storey, 200 square metres (which is BIG for Latvia), 100yr old, wooden terrace house in Agenskalns, Riga. This is a suburb with lots of potential - like Brisbane's West End around 20 years ago. Right over the river from the city, lots of cultural developments happening in the vicinity - new national library, concert hall, etc. We have a tram line on our street, a few stops into town. All the locals think we have gone totally mad buying a wooden house, they reckon we'll freeze, the house will fall down around us, etc, etc. You will probably be horrified too when you see the pics below!! But we have faith and super-under-grit-and-dirt vision goggles and believe that we can make it into a great house. Luckily also our family also have these special goggles and we are being sponsored by various family members... Plans for the house include two separate 'granny flats' - for my parents and for my mum's cousin Jānis, who lives in Washington, but comes to Riga regularly. Stay tuned for more...

Here are some snaps we took when doing our 'condition report' - only a few were worth posting. This is the house from the backyard (where we will have a small yard enough for a carport, clothes line, basketball ring and puppy dog ;) ). The house looks the same from the front but with more shutters. On the left over the fence is the neighbours house, on the right is the driveway from the street to the back yard. One very gracious friend commented that it looked like the old orphanage from the movie "Anne of Greene Gables". I think she was being kind!


This is the most charming bit of the house. Hmmmm. It used to have 7 1-room flats and a small shop in it. The flats and shop were heated by 8 wood fire stoves which are still there, the only method of heating. This is one of the first things we want to improve!

Oh yes, Soviet stencilling is another bit of charm we will have to preserve in the process of renovation...

Something the previous shop owners left behind! The shop used to be a second hand clothes store - but sadly got cleaned out before we signed the contract

2 Responses so far.

  1. Marite says:

    Now that I have seen pictures... gosh, I just can't think why I might not want to live there while we're in between apartments! :)

  2. Mook says:

    Hey! Watch it! These photos were the best ones I had! You haven't seen the bathroom facilities yet. (there are none!)

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