HIP TO BE SQUARE
Modern in Denver Cover Story | Fall 2015
There were holes in the ceiling, but that wasn't nearly the worst of it. Cabinets were torn away, and much of the house was down to the studs. It needed all new electrical. New plumbing. New heater. New air conditioner. The former owner pulled down walls and roof beams, which exposed -- to the horror of all involved -- a sagging joist spanning 25 feet or more, help up at either end by two-by-eight boards, which might plausibly have dated to the Eisenhower administration. The kitchen boasted new windows, but they weren't to code and would have to come out as well.
Angie and Scot Graham must have known they didn’t have to do this. They didn’t have to sell their immaculate Bonnie Brae Tudor and everything in it to take on a yearlong renovation project. They didn’t have to buy a dilapidated 1956 beauty their realtor found on Craigslist. (It wasn’t even listed in the MLS). They didn’t have to pack up their children and move across town to start over. “It was overwhelming,” said Angie, “but we knew we wanted to be in this neighborhood, and we felt like we were getting a good deal.”
Indeed, the west Denver suburb of Bow Mar has long been a residential hotbed. Sporting a delicious array of well-crafted upscale homes and anchored by a recreation-friendly lake, Bow Mar’s supply of affordable real estate is minimal, because people who move in tend to stick around. Unless, of course, an enterprising couple is ready to pounce when a Craigslist fixer-upper slips through the cracks.