The Petch House is for sale


The Petch House is a 3000 sq ft, 1895 Queen Anne in Eureka, CA. It’s named for the original owners, Thomas and Phyllis Petch.

I know of this house because Greg DeBacker bought it in 2002 and blogged about his renovation from 2005 until 2012, at which time the site went silent. He did an incredible amount of work on what started as the neighborhood crack house, and documented most of it on the blog. It’s one of my favorite house blogs ever because it’s thoughtful, dirty, and has a beautiful and meticulous attention to detail. This entry gives the history of the house.

I don’t know what happened between 2012 and now, but the house has come up for sale. I hope it’s being sold for some fantastic reason, and I hope all Greg’s hard work felt worthwhile. It really looks like it was.

More changes

Life has been more complicated than I really indicated in my last post. I got laid off from my job shortly after we got the house, so since then I’ve been picking up freelance design work and thinking a lot about my future. I’ve decided to try doing real estate. I’m about halfway through the study now, and I’ll hopefully be licensed as a broker by the end of the year. It’s not so much that I want to sell things to people, it’s more that I love old houses and want to see them in the hands of people who want them as badly as I do. So we’ll see. It seemed like something a lady my age is inclined to do, and I would like to work for myself at some point.

In the meantime, my sweetheart has been supporting us by continuing to commute to the Bay Area during the week. It’s been stressful on us (him, much more so), but he has a good job that’s given us insurance and enough to get us by while I’m not earning much.  He’s a trooper. Because of our limited income, we’re on a strict budget that hasn’t allowed me to start all the projects this house is clamoring for. So I guess what I’m saying is it’s going to be slow going for a while.

We did a bit when we moved in but my list still includes:

  • Paint all the rooms!
  • Replace missing moldings
  • Get rid of weird 90s arch where pocket doors should be
  • Get exterior repainted
  • Completely redo kitchen
  • Enlarge upstairs bathroom & add laundry
  • Update downstairs bathroom
  • Repair window flashing
  • Etc.

So you know, stay tuned for the next several years! No rush here.

Hello Portland!

photo 4

Hi guys. As I mentioned, we moved to Portland from Alameda last July. It’s had its ups and downs, but it was definitely the right decision. In December we moved from our temporary apartment to the house we bought in the Piedmont neighborhood of North Portland. Portland is crammed with bungalows and Edwardian-era four-squares and I didn’t think we were going to end up in another victorian, but we did.

We found it quickly, but we only got it through bargain shopping and luck. It had been a rental for a few years and was a little beat up, the owners lived out of town, and it may have been priced a little high at first, so it was languishing on the market. We scooped it up with the help of a very sharp real estate agent.

I was hugely excited about the photo above (a digitally produced copy of the original) that came with the house. I don’t know who those people are, but they are presumed to be the first owners. I like to think about the place being haunted by squealing teen girls.

You can see from the pictures below that it got a bit craftsman-ized along the way, to better match the majority of the homes in the neighborhood. I have mixed feelings about that – it lost a little bit of the millwork and some of the stained glass, but it gained a big porch.


This is an insane house for us. It’s not a mansion, but it’s more house than we EVER conceived of owning in the Bay Area. We weren’t looking to go bigger, it just happened to be the bargain when we set out to look. So our new mortgage isn’t as small as we’d hoped it would be by moving, but it’s less money for about twice the square footage.


These are MLS photos from some time ago (despite the 2014 watermark), and the paint job isn’t in good shape anymore. There’s a whole lot we want to do to this place, but money is a little tight right now – because of reasons I’ll get to soon. I’ll try to update a little more frequently! Thanks for visiting.

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