Saturday, July 20, 2013
After living here for more than 12 years, we are moving to Portland, Oregon. We have to sell our suburban homestead, where we have invested thousands of hours and dollars into making the place more comfortable, functional and sustainable. We never planned to leave, but we must, and we need to find a new family to enjoy what we've started. There's a lot you can do with an acre, and we've done quite a bit!
The property is at 102 Winston Way in Waunakee, WI 53597. (You can see some more interior pictures by the official Stark photographer at the preceding link to our official MLS listing.)
The image on Google maps is a couple of years old--it shows the raised bed garden and the solar hot water, but not the new landscaping in the front and the new roof.
Waunakee is just north of Madison and is a great place to live, with excellent schools. We live close to the middle school, high school, village library, one of the elementary schools and the intermediate school. Check out the map link: we are an easy walking distance to all of these places. If you have kids, their ability to get themselves to school and activities is a significant quality of life issue for the parents!
This is a two level ranch home with an open floor plan. You walk into an entry area that looks over to the living room--a huge space with a vaulted ceiling.
The kitchen and dining area are completely open to each other, and mostly open to the living room. Behind a pocket door of solid oak, there is a hallway with three bedrooms and two baths. There is also one bedroom and one bath downstairs. The master bath and downstairs bath have showers, the second upstairs bathroom has a new oversized tub as well as a shower.
The lower level is a walkout basement, with a south facing sliding door providing plenty of light, and substantial windows in most rooms. Half is finished (family room, bedroom/office, bathroom) and about half is unfinished (big wood shop, pottery area, laundry room, lots of storage.
The kitchen is huge, with the original oak cabinets. We have made many improvements to the property, and planned to live in it forever. We installed a geothermal heating and cooling system last summer, solar hot water several years ago, a whole house fan a few years back and a new roof just this spring. The main living area has hardwood flooring that we just got refinished. The non-master bedrooms have hardwood flooring that we installed a few years ago.
We have extensive edible landscaping, with three apple trees, a peach tree, a pie cherry tree, a paw-paw tree (with fruit for the first time this year!), maybe a dozen blueberries, raspberries, hardy "Prime-Jim" blackberries, a blackcurrant bush, jerusalem artichokes in abundance, asparagus and winecap stropharia mushrooms spreading throughout the yards of wood chips I trucked into a shady part of the property.
We have a big formal raised bed garden, with the beds made of 2' x 2' concrete patio blocks on end--the most comfortable gardening ever!. There are 4 beds made like this, each L shaped and 3' wide, 9' long (18' total, sort of). You can see it on the satellite photo linked above. The inner L shaped beds are about 2' tall and built of black locust. We also have 3 more typical raised beds, each 4' x 12', that are just made of boards, and every year I use the large area in the "back back" for pumpkins, sweet corn, sprawling tomatoes and edamame. The only chemical we've used on our property in over a decade is occasionally some glyphosphate. The soil here started out pretty good and has become simply amazing.
When we put in the geothermal HVAC they drilled four 150' deep wells in our front yard, and we took that as an opportunity to completely re-landscape. Formecology did the rockwork and we did the earthmoving, putting in a new lawn, a hugelkultur berm and over 2000 bulbs and a couple dozen fancy day lilies.
The house has an attached 2 car garage and in the back is a 45 foot by 45 foot outbuilding. Yes, it's an airplane hangar--we are on the Waunakee airstrip. No worries about noise--a couple of Harley motorcycles driving by make more noise, and for longer, than a little 4-seater Cessna taking off. Most days there are no planes at all--most of the pilots are retired dudes who fly on sunny Saturdays in good weather only. Being on the "airport" is how this typical looking ranch home has a one acre lot. We have a really nice guy currently paying us to store his airplane in the hangar, and he doesn't mind all of our stuff in there as well.
What I love about our house is that you see it from the street and think "Oh, that's a nice house." Then when you walk in the front door you think "This is bigger than I thought." Finally, when you walk through the living room and look out the south facing windows you think "Wow!"
The crabapple in front of the house is simply gorgeous, with beautiful limb structure. It's what you see when you're at the sink in the kitchen. I have a shade garden underneath, with spring bulbs and lots of different hostas. The stone wall and steps are new, installed last summer, so there's now some new room for gardening! The other tree in this picture is a mountain ash. You can see that the "basement" windows are substantial for much of the house.
The kitchen is full of space, including storage space. We put in a stainless steel sink with a small tub on the left (with garbage disposal) leaving room for a whole cookie sheet to sit flat in the right hand sink. The faucet is a Grohe, and you can also see the little faucet for our reverse osmosis water filtration system.
The stove is by Bosch, and if I could take it with me, I would. I LOVE that stove. The flat surface is easy to clean, and each burner has 9 heat levels, with two burners having multiple sizes available. There is a spot for every one of my pans, and low/slow cooking is a breeze. The oven does convection baking, convection roasting and even dehydrating--I don't use my counter top dehydrator any more for things like drying tomatoes. It has a proofing setting which will warm the oven to 90 degrees, and basically you can get that oven to be any temp between 90 and 500 degrees, in 5 degree increments. The range vent is by Broan, and it actually works. It vents to the outdoors, and it's not so horribly noisy that you never want to run it. The refrigerator is a GE Profile, with the freezer on the bottom. It is less than a year old.
If there is a theme for our house it is FUNCTION. We have spent money (often a lot of money) on things that work for us.
This is the formal raised bed kitchen garden in the back yard. You can see the hangar behind: we have resided the north wall and installed three large windows, which makes it a nice thing to look at (much better than the original metal siding)! You might be able to appreciate the large gate, big enough to drive through, between the kitchen garden and the hangar. The main door of the hangar is partially open in this picture: the white panel sticking out will slide into place to close the door, or all of the panels can be turned sideways and slid to the sides in order for an airplane to leave.
Having all the windows in the hangar makes it a much more enjoyable space to occupy, but it is also wired for power.
Turning around from the kitchen picture location, you see the dining area and how open it is to the living room. Most of the main floor (entry, living room, kitchen and dining area, hallway for the bedrooms) is done in solid oak, which we had refinished this spring--gorgeous.
Both the dining area and living room have multiple south facing windows bringing in plenty of light through the Wisconsin winters and affording nice views of the beautiful back yard.
Here are two of the apple trees, and another view of the hangar. There was a chicken pen hidden behind those trees (shhhh! no telling!), which does get sun in the morning. On the other side of that fence you can see (newly installed--very sturdy, made of redwood with steel poles) are playing fields for the schools. No neighbors for the chickens! There is a line of spruce trees shielding the pen from view on the west side.