Mike and I recently became proud new homeowners! We have a house in Ruston, WA, a small town in North Tacoma (with its own wikipedia entry). It was once a company town for the ASARCO smelter (defunct as of 1985). Ruston is a pretty amazing, unique place surrounded by North Tacoma on 3 sides and the Sound on another. You can see a helpful google map here: Ruston, WA
The house...well it needs a lot of work. However, it makes up for its shortcomings with a view of the Sound and a rambling yard that slopes down towards the north (part of the same slope that once made up "Stack Hill", where the smelter's smokestack, the tallest in the world back in 1917, once resided). The yard is amazing. It is a quarter acre with a couple old fruit trees and some crumbling railroad ties. It's a total blank slate. I'm very excited to plan a large garden and get cracking on the yard while we are waiting for permitting and other things to get in motion.
The inside of the house is gutted. It was a bank foreclosure that was in the process of being remodeled when the work stopped partway. The good news is that we are saved from doing a big chunk of demolition, and since we'll end up tearing down to the studs and starting almost from scratch, what we do with the layout and structure of the house is largely up to us. The bad news how much work this leaves us with. This includes all the electrical (goodbye knob and tube!), plumbing, heating, building a possible addition, restructuring the second floor and roof (for a high vaulted ceiling!), plenty more windows, siding - really everything. There is so much to do that our biggest challenge is going to be picking and choosing what to do, staying on top of it all and not getting bogged down in details.
We will have many house updates and plans to follow. Enjoy!