About the Home

We purchased a 1938 Streamline Moderne, 2BR/1BA fixer-upper in the Olivewood Terrace community of National City (not too far south from downtown San Diego) for $191,000. Going straight to the listing agent without a buyer’s agent seemed to work in our favor, as this property had lots of other offers on the table that were much higher than ours. You could say we bought this home somewhat impulsively: Saw it on a Friday afternoon, signed the contract at 10pm that night, and the seller signed the contract the next day.

It has an attached garage that was actually converted to a bedroom, so without it, we’d only have one bedroom. For covered car parking, we have a carport on the south side of the backyard with a rickety old workshop attached. The lot is .27 of an acre (that’s spacious by San Diego standards) and partially surrounded by chain link fencing with a shared wooden fence across the back. The house was originally 615 square feet and has undergone several additions, including a mighty ugly sunroom that does nothing for the integrity of the home’s original architectural style, bringing total square footage (that we pay taxes on) to 1254.

It apparently has original aluminum awnings and hardwood floors in the foyer, living room, hallway and bedroom. The windows are not original (except for two in the first bedroom), and we’re guessing the front door is because it’s pretty cool. Typical features that make this a great example of the Streamline Moderne style are the “incised speed whiskers” (grooved stripes cutting into the stucco), curved edges, colored concrete for the stoop, and a circular porch roof.

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