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A Lynn Ranch Dream Home in the Making

It was Friday so I set out on the broker's open circuit. I was excited to see one of the homes on my list, and I'm happy to report that it did not disappoint.

8 hours later, I caught myself still thinking about the home. It's a good day when I have a connection to a property, but it's a perfect day when I meet someone else who is intentional about how she lives in her home, fully appreciates the home and celebrates it daily. I felt her connection to her home, and it inspired me.

I was excited to see a one-story home in Lynn Ranch. Many of you know, I'm shopping for land so our family can build a made-just-for-us abode, but I'd never pass up an opportunity to look at a home in Lynn Ranch. It's one of my favorite neighborhoods in Thousand Oaks because every property is so unique on its big lot. Many homes are zoned for horses and have fabulous, mini fruit orchards, gardens and more. I think time just runs just a little slower in Lynn Ranch, and that is always a draw for me.

When touring the home, I took a quick peek in the garage, and I caught the owners in there prepping for their upcoming garage sale. We got a good chuckle about it, but it broke the ice so I could learn all about the home, and its history.

They built this California ranch home for their family of four in 1976. Coincidentally, they have two boys like me. Theirs are grown now, but I could easily see my boys running through this house to the expansive backyard. Their 42 years of pride is evident in every corner. The home is sturdy, clean as a whistle, and ready to offer a new family the opportunity to have indoor/outdoor living on their mini-ranch and fruit orchard.

Since this ranch-style home did check many of the boxes on my must-have list, I'll walk you through the home through my eyes, as if I were the buyer.

Just from the property photos, I noticed the exterior architecture was simple, which to me, screams "blank canvas". This is why it was number one on my list. I love a project. Always have. Always will.

I'd want to update the exterior, but which way to go? There isn't a wrong way with this home. It literally could take on any architectural style easily from Spanish-inspired to mid-century or farmhouse to modern ranch. Oh so many choices, but today I saw the route to modern ranch and got excited!

The home sits above street level, and after a quick walk up the driveway, guests are welcomed under the overhang protecting the front door from the summer heat. While I appreciate that subtle Spanish-ranch influence it has now, I would want to open up that exterior overhang to bring more natural light into the interior. I haven't decided if I would do a wood door with sidelights, (Dutch Doors are always a fun surprise) or do the whole door surround in black steel frame windows. (Rehme Steel's photo gallery never disappoints on a day when I need a little extra design love.) Both can be equally amazing in different ways, but they could both rock this modern ranch. This example below by TRG Architects is a great jumping off point. Look at that front entrance. This entry can be that stunning with a few changes. I'd change the style of the roof, replace the garage door and plant a tree in front and add lots of landscape lighting.

Thousand Oaks Homes for Sale

Let's head inside. This house has two living spaces with vaulted ceilings. A vaulted ceiling is another must-have for me. When chatting with the owners, I found out she wanted a sun room, and by golly, her husband and boys built her one! I'm a big fan of bringing the outdoors in, and this room does just that. Standing in the sunroom I just got the feeling that I wanted to cook there. I wanted to peer outside and watch my boys picking the oranges from the trees in the back so we can make fresh squeezed orange juice.

I wouldn't hesitate to switch switch the location of the kitchen and place it in the current sunroom. I'm not sure if you've read my blog about the house I plan to build our next home, but my kitchen will have a vaulted ceiling. This kitchen could become my dream kitchen. New Rehme Steel pop-out windows, white ceiling, big island, double doors to the outside. What more could I ask for! This sun room can become that. And yes, the black wood stove should stay. Wouldn't it be fun to build a kitchen around that?

I talked of watching my boys pick oranges in the summer time, but could you imagine a foggy fall morning sitting alone with your coffee, fire going in the stove, staring out the windows and watching the fog burn off? That sounds like some quality alone time in the kitchen of my dreams if you ask me.

Kitchen by Rufty Homes

Thousand Oaks Homes for Sale

Yes, it's crazy and not necessary at all to enjoy this home, but sometimes you want what you want.

I spend so much time in the kitchen, my kitchen needs to be a place where I can feel organized and inspired, but also a tranquil place. I am always drawn to a white kitchen so yes, I see a lot of white. It's a ranch so I also need some warn wood. This will allow the outdoors to shine.

The landscape outside now is pristine. You see the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into this space. I have to admit. You need to walk it. The photographs just don't do it justice.

Now, I see it as an opportunity to expand on what these owners have started. I'd keep the orange, lemon and grapefruit trees. They are going strong, and the owner commented they have more fruit than they can give away. I'd never get rid of that, but I would add an avocado tree. It's a must-have on my list!

I'd also like to see some native flowering plants, perhaps a climbing jasmine, big groups of California Poppies, veggies and lavender and rosemary, of course. I'd be silly not to consult a landscape designer. I usually love to design my own spaces, but I know my limits. I do know that overall I'd want a mix of restrained to wild landscape. If I want this terraced backyard to really come to life, I need an expert.

The goal is to look out the kitchen window to see breathtaking landscape that calls everyone outside. It should consist of paths and purposeful seating areas. I'd love to carve out a pool somewhere up there because we are swimmers. I can't imagine my boys growing up without a pool. Is is possible here? Perhaps, below the barn at the top of the property. The pathway up to the pool could be a wonderful journey where swimmers are encourage to stop and smell a flower or pick a grapefruit. So, about that barn...

My family and I always talk about the barn we'll have in our future. The boys decided we have to attract an owl to live there permanently. I'm game. And when I say "barn", it will only be a barn on the exterior because it's really a garage for my husband. This house has a structure at the top of the backyard, and the owner informed me it was built by the same barn-builder who constructed the neighbor's barn. This one is more of a carport at this time, but the footings are there for anyone who wants to enclose it. Could it be part garage and part pool house? I say WHY NOT!

This house has so much to offer, and if you're house hunting in Thousand Oaks, I'd love to take you through it. (Give me a reason to go back!) It's one that you need to experience in person. It truly is a special place.

The home is listed at $995,000. Without the sunroom square-footage (approx. 500 SF), the home is just under 2,000 SF. The lot is about a half-acre. I do believe the home, the grounds and the lifestyle in this Lynn Ranch home is well worth that price. To see the full listing for the home, click here.

You could move right into this special property, or let's talk! With a few extra bucks upfront or remodeling projects over time, this house can transform into whatever you want it to be.

Watch for my next blog to learn about the other open house I toured and the owner who made a lasting impression on me.

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