285 Martin Drive: A Slice of Martin Acres History
Hot on the heels of announcing my pop-top plans, I thought I’d take a moment to walk down Memory Lane; revisiting the projects, improvements and changes that 285 Martin Dr has undergone in the last 60+ years.
285 Martin Drive was built in 1955 and the owners paid all of $12,975 for it. Check out the information they mulled over, when planning to purchase:
- Taxes and Insurance = $18/month
- $10,000 mortgage would cost $55.60/month over 25 years or $71.20/month over 15 years.
In 1959, they splurged and had the builder tack on a room off the rear of the ranch. It was rumored to cost a whopping $3000. Instead of walking out a sliding glass door to a patio, you now stepped into a living room. The sliding glass door remained, as did the red brick inside that room (the back of the original house) and the exterior light! The room didn’t have a foundation poured, but instead a concrete slab was laid on top of the original concrete patio and up it went from there. The new “back room” floor was first linoleum, then later carpeted. It featured contemporary (for the 60’s) wood paneling on the walls and a drop-tile ceiling. There was one light bulb in the middle of the room but I’m not sure why they bothered!
In 2000 the house went for sale for the first time since it was built. A sweet lady named Alisa purchased it for $252,000. Remember when Boulder real estate sold at a discount to list price? This house was listed for $255,000 so I’m thinking Alisa was not a bad negotiator.
In 2000, your Realtor basically took a picture with a camera (or sent the MLS staff out to do it), developed the film and sent the picture to the MLS to be added. Only seeing the front of the house was typical. Being blurry? Well, that was kinda typical too. As you can tell, nobody was too concerned about the lot size but it was important to yell it in all CAPS that there was new PLUBING in ’99! Alisa was the one I can thank for removing the junipers from the front of the house. I think she also updated the bathroom and put in the jetted tub. Well done, lady. Well done.
In 2005, we walked by just in time to see Alisa hammering a “For Rent” sign into the front yard. A week or two later, my husband and I were living in this house and with us, our 1 year old golden retriever and his new best friend. Smokey Joe was a 3 month old feral kitten who had been hanging out at the Humane Society until just the day before. It was July and the temperature seemed to stick around 95 degrees even at 1 am – which is about the time I chose to paint each night. I had painted all 3 bedrooms in short order and the dog-cat friendship had been firmly forged behind the glass door in the back room by now.
Time flies and before you know it, we had signed another lease. I was in my third year selling real estate when Alisa announced that I could either sell 285 Martin Drive or buy it from her. We purchased it in August 2007 for $347,000. It was a princely sum and I believe the interest rate on our mortgage was 6 or 7%. We wondered if we had overpaid for this house, but several of the neighbors were making similar deals with their landlords and we’d all started to become nicely acquainted and it was a smooth transition from renters to owners.
In the time between 2007 and 2010, I was busy in this house. The main sewer line got replaced, dead trees removed and the front yard xeriscaped. Insulation was blown into the walls – which had none…NONE! Two of the 3 bedrooms had complete make-overs into very nice offices and the back room met its match in 2009, when I stripped the flooring, paneling and dropped ceiling from the room. After new lighting, insulation, drywall and flooring, it seemed only right to cover the old yellow brick that made up the fireplace, with some charcoal colored slate and finish off the room with a custom mantel.
For 3 years, I had been working on a master plan to renovate the kitchen and in the fall of 2010, my vision became a reality. I think that was the year the roof was replaced too!
2012 was the year of the divorce and in 2013, 285 Martin Dr became home to Dallice, solo. Marley the golden was a half-time resident and his sidekick, Smokey Joe, was my only full time companion. All of a sudden the house seemed different. Cleaner, of course. Bigger too. And mentally, I felt like all the things I had voiced and not voiced in regards to improving this home, were mine to do. Sure, divorce is hard, but it was also a wonderfully freeing time and to this day, the memories of making this house all mine have a touch of magic attached to them.
In late 2013, 285 Martin Dr got new windows and a tankless (on-demand) hot water heater. For the first time in forever, I could fill the bathtub with hot water and wallow in it like a hippo for an hour, sipping a glass of wine and watching Friends on the ipad. The house was a whole bunch warmer, less drafty and OMG… Quieter too.
I turned my thoughts to the back yard around this time and with the help of Pinterest, found inspiration and sweated out the digging of a dry creek bed. My neighbors were never too far away and I have benefited from their help many times over the years. Painting, rock moving, digging holes for trees, taking down cabinets and more.
This brings us to 2015, the last year I lived full time at 285 Martin Dr. It was my home, my office and my part time job. My side-gig doing Airbnb with my guest room was a fun and lucrative way to earn pocket money. In 2015 I hosted guests from all over the US and indeed all over the world. I even sent one of them to stay with family in New Zealand, where-upon my parents and siblings adopted him and all his charm, thereby completing the replacement of the daughter who went traveling and never came home.
That same year Mark and I began talking about moving in together and who hasn’t heard that story already? I moved to Longmont and started making plans to make 285 Martin Drive a home for both of us… yada, yada, yada. Read the last pop-top post for more info. 🙂