It's my belief, along with the three remaining Shakers, that a space needs not only to be utilitarian, but beautiful, as well. This applies especially to the first room one sees upon entering a dwelling.
Was a serial killer hiding out in my Crooked Cottage the year it stood vacant? Perhaps I'll find body parts next time I dig in the garden, or Buster will come prancing proudly back from the woods to present the neatly severed human arm he's found, just for me.
I was now bent on buying my little house, but getting a traditional mortgage loan would be beyond challenging. No bank was going to touch my dirty artist/singer/adjunct professor hide, with my no job security and shaky income, even though I had good credit and a surprising lack of debt.
"Single occupancy cottage, peaceful setting on dead end street with woods, pets ok", read the Craigslist ad. Then, "Carrick". Carrick? "Rough", my friends told me regarding the South Pittsburgh neighborhood. "Trashy" and "Blighted", said their faces. "Affordable", heard my brain. "Unlimited potential". "Blank canvas".