Defining a Dream…

Several kind souls have asked – what are you looking for in a house?

In an effort to nail that down myself, I’ve looked at many houses listed for sale and also houses that have sold (which also helps give an insight on value).

In my opinion, Zillow is the easiest online real estate website, and I’ve spent many an hour, reviewing the possibilities.

Initially, following Wayne’s death, I decided it was time to fulfill my long-awaited dream of a “house in the country,” and attempted to find a suitable home on a couple acres out in Suffolk, Zuni, Windsor or some place west of Hampton Roads. Subsequently, I’ve come to realize that I need something a little more manageable.

Earlier this week, that became even more clear, after I was completely bedridden with a virus of some kind.

I was born and raised in Portsmouth, and it’s an area that I know very well. For a dozen years, I lived in St. Louis, and for the next 10 years, I lived in Norfolk. Several kind folks have suggested Norfolk, but for many reasons, I’ll never live there again.

I’m open to Portsmouth, and also to Northern Suffolk (contiguous to Portsmouth).

There are days when discouragement sets in, but that’s when I return to this house in Portsmouth (pictures below), in a neighborhood known as Green Acres. (Yes, that really is the name of the neighborhood.) And this house – this one house – absolutely sends me. It fills me with an unspeakable glee and joy. I’ve spent many an hour studying these photos.

Unfortunately, it sold eight months ago. I’ve even thought about knocking on the homeowner’s door, and asking if they have any interest in selling. Problem is, all the unique and vintage features that are so charming are probably long gone now. I hope I’m wrong, but…

So at least – after this long journey – it’s become clear to me what I truly want in a home:  Beauty, elegance, refinement, character, peace, and best of all, at least a splash of something vintage.


This house has it all. The lot is .6 acres, which is just right and big enough for a koi pond!

This house has it all. The lot is .6 acres, which is just right and big enough for a koi pond (or a raccoon feeding station, as my buddy Dale calls it). This house is so classic for so many reasons. And it's in Green Acres!


In addition to the courtyard in the front, theres another small garden wall in the rear.

In addition to the courtyard in the front, there's another small garden wall in the rear.


Whats not to love about this back yard?

A better view of the courtyard in the home's rear.


These massive windows define this Mid-Century Modern home, where the outside spaces are brought into the home.

These massive windows define this "Mid-Century Modern" home, where the outside spaces are brought into the home. Very Californian and very wonderful.



I swear, if I ended up with a house this delightful, I'd cherish it every day and make it a testament to the Mid-Century Modern movement. I'd even buy a 1950s car for the driveway - if I could find a good deal. 🙂


And heres where my heart just melts into a puddle.

And here's where my heart just melts into a puddle.



There's so much that's wonderful about this kitchen, I'm not sure where to start. So I put little hearts on the good stuff. First, the metal cabinets appear to be in wonderful condition, with their enamel finish still shining so pretty. Next, that red formica with the stainless steel trim. Heaven on earth - right there. And that Frigidaire "Flair" Stove. I might just swoon. And then there's the refrigerator - also original. In a former life, I owned an appliance shop in Portsmouth and am pretty good at repairing old appliances. I'd dedicate my life to keeping these old appliances in working order.


So thats my dream house - sitting on .6 acres in Green Acres in Churchland in Portsmouth. Could there be another one of these lurking somewhere in Portsmouth? Lets hope.

So that's my dream house - sitting on .6 acres in Green Acres in Churchland in Portsmouth. Could there be another one of these lurking somewhere in Portsmouth? Let's hope.


To see more pictures of a dream kitchen, click here.



  1. bfish

    The kitchen and the rear courtyard are sweet!

    You are right that unfortunately it could be pretty difficult to find another home with such an immaculate (and upscale for its time) vintage kitchen.

    Sorry to contradict Dale, but I’m only about 75 miles from you and we’ve not had issues with raccoons eating any of the many koi in our pond.

    The biggest menace is blue herons — so if you want a pond I suggest you ignore conventional wisdom about not siting near trees and instead look for a wooded lot with enough clearing to dig your pond.

    Herons like open spaces when they “go fishing” so they can keep an eye out for enemies.

    There’s more I’d be happy to share when you get into pond-building mode.

  2. Gemma

    I saw something just like this in the Hampton Roads listings somewhere in the first three pages!

  3. Gemma
  4. Gemma











  5. Jeanette

    Try and There are many homes for Virginia listed in both places. I live in Missouri, so I don’t know the towns/cities in Virginia, but maybe your dream home can be found listed at one of these two sites! I spend hours looking at both of these websites, as I just love architecture. We used to own an 1896 Victorian on the National Historic Register, which was my dream home, but we moved several hours away. I love your website, by the way!

  6. Sears Homes

    Hi Gemma,

    Thanks for those links!

    I’m looking for at least 1,800 square feet and at least .4 acres.

    Portsmouth is a great area, but sadly, so much of it is in decline. The “good areas” are pretty well known to the locals, and indistinguishable to the casual onlooker!

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