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When I was shopping for a home a few years back, I went to a lot of open houses. Afterawhile, they all started to look the same - there was nothing special about any of them.
And then I found 2323 Magnolia Street and everything changed. The moment I walked in, I knew I had found my home. The first thing that caught my eye was the custom mural in the entry. And things just got better from there...
There’s the enormous kitchen with top-tier appliances - and I found out that the island was reclaimed from a Brooklyn loft. Having my friends sit at the island while I’m cooking is just the best - the use of space is outstanding. And I’ll be sure to leave you the guidebook for the oven - there are so many settings that it’s almost mind-boggling. The living space speaks for itself - I’ve never lived anywhere that could comfortably accommodate an 11-foot sofa. It’s like having your own screening room! Heading upstairs, the master bedroom is super spacious, as is the large walk-in closet and built-in “bureau.” And even though this is technically a one-bedroom, the extra loft space is perfect as a guest room. I’ve had lots of friends and family stay with me and all of them were very comfortable. Side-note, the loft floor was recycled from an old basketball court - how cool is that?
Checking out the bathrooms, I remember thinking that the previous owner and I had the same mindset. A huge copper tub downstairs and the best-shower-ever upstairs (trust me on this). I use the towel warmer in the winter and it’s so fabulous getting out of the shower to toasty towels. And for anyone who’s been to Japan, you know all about the Toto toilet.
Another thing that struck me about this loft was how light and bright the space is. I love being able to open all the skylights and one of my favorite things is waking up in the middle of the night and seeing the full moon above my head through the skylight. And the roll-up glass garage door is just pure genius. But the best part of the loft - hands down - is the private garden.
When I moved in, the Japanese maples were there, along with a brick pathway but that was it. Given the sleek indoor space, I opted to continue that vibe and had a landscaper design a minimal Japanese-inspired garden. Even though this is an industrial neighborhood, I look outside and see green. It is serene, peaceful. And in the winter months when the trees are bare, seeing them up-lit at night is almost magical. This was what sealed it for me and why I bought this place. And I’m so glad that I did.
As for the neighborhood, West Oakland is the place to be. You are literally next door to Soba Ichi, which is the best (only?!?) place to get soba noodles. And June’s pizza just started a couple of months ago - so delicious. The O2 Artisan’s Aggregate is also next door and there’s always interesting things going on (be sure to stop by and say hi to the chickens).
Mandela Pkwy is just a few blocks from Magnolia and the greenbelt is the perfect place to walk or go running (you’re about a mile from BART). You can stop by Kilovolt Coffee or Milky Way while you’re out in the morning - or if you’re hungry, Pretty Lady has killer breakfast. If it’s after 5pm, head across the street to Ghost Town for a beer. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the neighborhood is super friendly - it’s rare that I pass someone on the street in the morning without getting a “good morning” or a wave. And if you have a dog, you’re in luck because there are so many dogs in our building and in the neighboring area. I should also mention that I feel completely safe living in West Oakland - even when walking my dog at night.
The HOA is well-run, with regular association and board-only meetings (I’ve been the VP for the past year). The building is 100% owner occupied and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know so many of my neighbors. We look out for one another - grabbing mail when someone is out of town, cat-sitting, signing for packages, etc. We even have a little freebie area out in front - I actually inherited my treadmill from one of my neighbors!
So you’re probably wondering why I would sell my place, given how amazing it is... The answer is simple - I have an opportunity to move to Bend and have decided to take it. It’s going to be hard leaving all of this behind - and I’m still a little worried about how I’m going to deal with the snow in the winter - but life is an adventure so I’m off to central Oregon!
I do hope you will enjoy living here as much as I have - with so much to offer, how could you not?