It’s official, we have moved into our new home in Pacifica and our home in San Francisco is now on the market. I’t s been another crazy busy month doing repairs and getting the place ready to sell, but I think it’s looking pretty good! If you know anyone looking for a wonderful home in the city, please share the link below.
Photos and tours of our new custom Net Zero Energy home coming soon!
And here’s our Owner’s Statement if you want more information about the house and our wonderful time there.
Our names are Bob and Christine Boles, and we wanted to give you a little history of 745 Faxon Avenue, and of our wonderful 27 years living there and improving the home and garden.
We got married in 1992 and started looking for a home later that year. We immediately fell in love with the house (it had great light, wonderful 1920’s details and woodwork, and the four squares in the fireplace detail that matched the Craftsman cutlery pattern we had picked out!) It was only a two bedroom, one bath at the time, but we saw the potential to add on and remodel to make the home better fit the needs of a modern, growing family, especially as the lot had a wider than usual side yard.
We started the major remodel a couple of years later to add a master bath and closet upstairs, and a bedroom, bathroom and family room/home office downstairs, which included excavation for more ceiling height (the retaining walls in the backyard give you an idea of the original soil level). As our budget was tight, we finished the project over an extended period of time. In 1996 Christine laid the tile in the bathroom downstairs while 8 months pregnant with our first child! We designed and built some custom artwork into the house over the years, including the mosaic tile behind the stove, the stained glass in the front door, the iron work in the front railings and master shower curtain sculpture. The Magritte style bird mural in the downstairs bedroom is the work of our daughter. You are welcome to paint over it, but we wanted to leave it in case you might like it. She had a larger unfinished mural of the Golden Gate bridge and a peacock on the long wall, but now the canvas is blank and awaits your own creative impulses!
We are big readers and Bob recently built a “Little Free Library” in the front yard. It is amazing to see the number of neighbors that stop by, take a book, or drop off books. It’s a great conversation piece as well. It was built using old cabinet doors that we found in the garage when we moved in, but they were not meant for exterior locations, so the paint should be well maintained. Bob created the top of the roof in a ceramics class we took as a family and the roof tiles are old plastic laminate samples. It is dedicated to Bob’s parents, Doctors Jim and Beth Boles.
We are environmentalists and did as much as we could afford over the years in terms of energy improvements; upgrading the insulation, the windows, the heating system, adding a solar system, adding a graywater system from the laundry to water the new trees and bushes we planted in the side yard. We only decided to leave this wonderful home on Faxon when we found a vacant lot in Pacifica and built a new Net-Zero Energy home for ourselves.
Speaking of planting, we wanted to specifically point out some of the edibles in the garden: 7 blueberry bushes, a fig tree (look for the baby fruit already showing!), a grafted apple tree with four varieties, a comice pear tree, one lemon tree and one bush, a passion fruit vine, two rhubarb plants, and several herbs including mint, rosemary and sage. The upper right part of the rear yard (at the low retaining wall composed of sections of our old driveway concrete) was our vegetable garden. Things that do very well here include kale, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes. Many birds, bees and hummingbirds enjoy the garden too. The first year living in a new house can be fun as there will be surprises as things bloom at different times. Christine is a big fan of purple and irises as you will soon see.
While most of the side yard on the south side is our property, the concrete path belongs to the neighbors at 737 Faxon, Barbara Davis and Martin Levin. They are really nice people, great neighbors, and their home, being single story, looks out onto this portion of our yard. We opted to not build a fence and new path to separate our properties, but left it open to share their path so we had more room for planting and they can enjoy looking out onto our garden.
We raised two children in the home and the neighborhood is very family friendly. Many of the neighbors became good friends. It is sometimes hard to do gardening in the front yard because we often get into conversations with them! There is a dead end street, Elmwood Way, towards Ocean Avenue where kids in the neighborhood gathered to play basketball and have water fights. The Westwood Park Neighborhood Association has its annual meeting and barbecue every year in September on the upper Faxon green, and there are always activities for kids, usually including a visit from the local fire department with an engine they can climb on! The Ingleside library moved a few times, but has always been in walking distance. Public transportation on muni and BART close by is convenient, but also freeing for kids as they get older and more autonomous. Our daughter attended Lick-Wilmerding high school, one of the top high schools in the Bay Area, also in walking distance! City College is just down the street, and we and our younger son have taken many classes there over the years. Classes are now basically free for San Francisco residents.
Our garage was also a great workshop space for us and the kids over the years, used for stained glass, glass painting and fusing, woodworking and 3D printing, and most recently for running fiber optics to create constellations in a dome for our new home.
The restaurants and commercial district on Ocean Avenue have improved so much during our time here. Whole Foods, Target and Walgreens are within a few blocks and we have some amazing restaurants and coffee shops around as well. Our top favorites are Java on Ocean and Champa Garden Thai right down the street, Sakesan for Japanese, Poke Bowl, Beeps for burgers and Pakwan for Pakistani food, West Portal is also close by with more top notch restaurants and bakeries.
We are sad to leave the home as we have loved it and our years there have been very good, but we are at a new chapter of our lives with kids grown up and in college, and 745 Faxon is now available for you to create your own memories!
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