Building a new house in Palo Alto

Building a new house in Palo Alto

Friday, May 10, 2013

Our home is for sale: 780 Bond Way, Mountain View

For Sale! Garden gnome not included.

After eight wonderful years, it's time to say good bye to our beloved Mountain View home. We put it on the market this week and it feels like we're sending a kid off to college. It's never looked so great and we have many, many fond memories tugging at our heartstrings. I'm sad to let it go but at the same time I'm excited to see who decides to make it their home. I hope they cherish both the little touches as well as the big upgrades we made to the house. The Norwegian post box and bathroom "dot" hooks we got in Stockholm will be staying (we decided they look too perfect to take) but my garden gnome will be moving to Palo Alto after he's done greeting the open house goers this weekend.

Here's where to send any interested parties:

780 BOND WAY, Mountain View, CA 94040


Open House Schedule:

Sat 5/11 1:30-4:30 hosted by Erika Enos
Sun 5/12 1:30-4:30 hosted by Erika Enos
Virtual Tour at:

We rushed to get the house on the market for Mother's Day (wouldn't it make the perfect gift for that super special mom?!), so we didn't have time to hire a professional to do a glossy marketing brochure. Instead, I brushed up on my Photoshop skillz and did my best to create a presentable handout. Our realtor Erika says I could make a career of this, but she has no idea how long it took me to design this pretty little thing. Too legit to quit, I think not, but please do enjoy the fruits of my labor:

My ode to 780 Bond Way
I forgot to mention my favorite dwarf lemon tree next to the driveway...
the key ingredient in my famous Meyer Lemony cookies.
In going through my files, I found the original handout back from 2005 when the best agent ever convinced me to buy the "Cuesta Park Charmer!"

It forgot to mention the original 1952 kitchen cabinets, single pane windows & vinyl floors.
Took me two years to petition the city to let me take down the dying cedar tree in front.
I originally didn't want to buy this lonely little house that looked like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but Erika convinced me it had huge potential. It helped that I was the only person willing to make an offer, so no bidding war for me...a big plus if you knew what my sad little startup paycheck looked like at the time.  After saving every penny for a couple of years and taking out a big ass construction loan in 2007, I embarked on a remodeling quest to transform the Cuesta Park Charmer into my dream home.
New layout added an extra ~1000 sq ft (original footprint is in orange)
I lived in the house during the remodel--something I do NOT recommend (very bad for one's personal life) and I ate every meal at work (late nights in the office...very good for one's career). I lucked out and managed to hire the best contractor ever who helped transform the house into the beauty it is today. You can see some of his special touches in the custom Craftsman columns he hand built and the mahogany ledge top that he designed in the bathroom to perfectly match the vanity and our Norwegian dot hooks. 
Left: The dual-colored mahogany ledge that our contractor Jeff built.
Right: The Dots bathroom hooks...came across these in the trendy Nobis hotel &
made Thomas ride all around Stockholm until we found where to buy a set.
With my newly remodeled home and fabulous new chef's kitchen, I was able to woo the best boyfriend ever, who invited himself to move into the Cuesta Park Charmer in 2008. Luckily, he came with upgrades too. He hired a horticulturist and native plant expert to design a "California habitat garden" in our front yard. It's low maintenance, requires little watering and looks great with a garden gnome.  One of our neighbors now calls our yard the "gem of the neighborhood." I call I knew I had found 'The One'. (The best boyfriend ever has since been upgraded to the title of best husband ever). 

My better half working on the yard while lazy dogs bask in the shade. That's what I call a keeper.
In addition to the native garden in the front, Erika, who has the greenest thumb on this side of the Mississippi, spent most of last weekend sprucing up the place and adding flowers to the porch and backyard. 

You know you have a great agent when she spends the weekend in 93° weather beautifying your home.
The amazing Karen Salveson of Huggelig Homes staged the house to perfection. "Huggelig" or "hyggelig" is a Scandinavian concept meaning "cozy" and "welcoming like a warm hug," which sums up exactly how we feel about the home. We loved it so much, we decided to buy the same modern sofa that she used in the family room. You can check out her fabulous design style in the photos here:

Hmm...maybe we should stay!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Moving in!

I've been remiss in blogging lately because we've been going through the most painful part of the whole process...moving. It's been a crazy, sleep-deprived week but I'm happy to report that we've moved into our new house.

Our original plan was to be done in June but our contractor Jeff knocked our socks off by wrapping up a month ahead of schedule. This week we passed the City of Palo Alto's final inspection, despite being assigned one of the more, shall we say, "finicky" city inspectors. Much to our surprise he not only signed off on our house (after making us add vacuum breakers, even though we already have a backflow preventer) but he also called it a masterpiece. Yay! 

The next morning the floors were waxed and Jeff laid out blue booties and a "no shoes" sign on our front door marking the transition from a construction site to our very own brand spankin' new home. 

Enter without booties at your own risk.
We've spent the last few weeks packing up boxes and dumping/donating/craigslisting a shocking amount of clutter we've I've accumulated over the last couple of decades. I'm too exhausted to elaborate, so for now, I will simply say, if you need conscientious, affordable movers in a hurry, call Julio Reyes, (650)417-8058. Julio just launched his own business after spending years working for a professional moving company. I never would have risked messing up our precious, precious new house on an unknown, unreviewed mover but our contractor Jeff referred Julio to us and Jeff's referrals are always so money (as in, they always save us money without compromising quality).

Moving the world's heaviest couch...while wearing blue booties.
We rented a 16-foot container from PODS for our box-able items and had Julio and crew move all of our big heavy stuff in a 24-foot truck. In retrospect, (as I'm about to pass out while writing this) I would've hired Julio's team to do everything because they are so amazingly efficient and careful. It took the three guys only about five hours to pack, move and unload all the big stuff and probably wouldn't have cost much more than the price of the Pod to have had them do the rest. They even put felt pads on the bottom of all of our furniture to protect our new floors...a detail I would've forgotten until it was too late.

Julio Reyes: (650)417-8058 or
Julio also does small jobs. Today we called him back to haul a garage worth of overflowing boxes, bags and loose items to Goodwill. The guy has magic packing powers because he managed to load everything up in a single pickup truck. We paid him $150 for this which was money well spent since it would've taken me about 10 trips in my SUV.

We rushed through this move so that we can sell our Mountain View house in May before buyers leave for summer vacation. We're polishing up the house and it'll be on the market next week.  Here's a before and after picture of the new paint job (which I like much much more):

Before with Kay's non-matchy color choices.

After professional intervention.
So pretty! This is why I need to have our awesome real estate agent approve all house design decisions. I can't wait to see how she and the stager dress up the interior...coming soon!