1011 S. Shoshone St. 

This starter home is located on a pleasant stretch of Shoshone between Kootenai and South Junior High. I took a tour of the Bench recently in which the guide said that she thought that in the next few years, there would be a lot of remodeling of older homes on the Bench, much like the North End. This particular house is not a fixer-upper, but it does have a lot of potential for remodeling.

The lot is about two feet below the sidewalk level. The driveway slopes imperceptibly, but there is a raised flower bed at sidewalk level, where it's easy to notice the drop. This is not a disadvantage, as I think one could plant bushes in the neatly maintained bed to shield the house from the street.

This house has one story and is sided in white stucco, with a brown roof and an attached one-car carport. There is a roof over the stoop and a charming white screen door with spindles and ornaments, which I discovered was a new vinyl door.

The living room is bright, even though it's carpeted in brown. The adjoining bedroom is also carpeted. Off the living room is a bathroom, which includes the laundry. There is a tub/shower combination and two built-in linen closets. A second door leads from the bathroom into the large kitchen, which still has its original cabinets. There is also a second entry to the kitchen from the living room. Adjoining the kitchen is a bright eating area, which, like the kitchen and the bathroom, are floored in brand new vinyl in an attractive stone-like pattern. Off the kitchen is a second bedroom, and in the closet, the oak hardwood is visible that is hiding under the two bedroom and living room carpets. Both bedrooms have pretty big closets. All the windows in the house have double panes and are equipped with mini-blinds. Another door off the dining area leads down a few steps into the third bedroom, which was added on sometime ago. It is an attractive room, and like the other bedrooms, has two windows.

Off the dining area are stairs to the partially finished basement, which is in good condition. The main room is well-sized and has two windows. Adjoining is a large storeroom and another room, which houses the furnace and hot water heater. The house is heated by gas forced air. There is a swamp cooler off the dining area, which is on the west side of the house. Also off the dining room are stairs to the large, fully-fenced backyard, which is graced with a mature Silver Maple in the center. The front and back yard are watered with inexpensive irrigation water.

PROS: This is a property with lots of potential because the house is on a large lot and is in an area of nicer homes. The oak floors are beautiful. I'd pull up that carpet immediately to reveal the hardwood floors. The home has many possibilities for someone wanting to remodel.

CONS: The closet in the added third bedroom and the shed at the back of the carport block the window over the kitchen sink. I would remove the closet and replace it with an armoire (or add a closet in another part of the room) and then dismantle the shed to restore the window over the kitchen sink. I would also do some remodeling in the bathroom to unblock the window, which is partially blocked by the shower tile. The downstairs room should be finished, and a garage could be better than the current carport (and the driveway could be paved).

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