Saturday, November 7, 2009
Finding the right spot
Contrary to it's built-up neighbors, Mt Washington and Glassell Park still have an abundance of vacant lots- there's always something on the market. But to find a really suitable spot is a whole different animal. Before making a selection, we looked into a myriad of requirements that the lot needed to fulfill: It needed to be on an improved street with sufficient width for fire department access and the slope should be still manageable- preferrably less than 3:1 (many hillside lots are simply too steep to integrate the outdoors into the design- we'd end up with a condo in the sky with no access to the garden). Moreover, it should have a view of some sort, it should not be in an area prone to mud- and landslides and utilities should be already in the street. These criteria alone eliminated many of the properties on the market- and we found our lot by accident. Actually, we've been in negotiations with another seller over another lot when we got approached by someone else who heard of our project. It was not after those negotiations finally stalled that we took a serious look at the lot- and suddenly we were glad, we didn't pick the other one! The lot is located on a quiet loop street, on a North facing downslope with a grove of trees at the bottom and a view towards the San Gabriel Mountains with Mount Baldy in the distance (snow capped in winter!).
After brief negotiations, we acquired the lot and started the design and planning process.