Realty Check: First Impressions

The front porch of 5941 College Ave.

Image courtesy Jeff Riggins of Hoosier Property Media

While its beginnings were rooted in practicality—a way to escape stifling interiors before air conditioning was widely used—porch entertaining allowed for social interaction with neighbors and provided a leisure activity for the whole family. Modern amenities and hectic schedules have pushed porch sitting out of popular practice, but maybe it’s time for a comeback (there’s even a Porch Sitting Union of America). You can start the morning enjoying your coffee on the porch swing while the street comes to life, or wind down after a long day with some fresh-air therapy. These three local listings have fantastic front porches, just in time to enjoy lazy summer days. As Ray Bradbury said, “Heaven is a house with porch lights.”

Minutes from downtown and renovated from top-to-bottom, this 1900 home features plenty of updates and great outdoor space. With a navy exterior and cedar accents, its on-trend curb appeal is amplified by the open, spacious front porch. It’s a welcoming ambience—potted plants, comfy furniture, and outdoor ceiling fan (great for keeping bugs at bay) all come together to create a space where you want to rest a while. The current owners love spending time on the porch with their children, relaxing and chatting with the neighbors. During the home’s renovation, it was important for the owners to keep some of its Victorian qualities, and they made sure the wraparound porch was preserved.

Inside, 3,700 square feet of living space encompasses four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. The open kitchen allows for casual seating at the island and flows into the formal dining area for additional entertaining space. “We spent the most time in the three years of rehab making sure that this area stood out the most to our guests and met the needs of our family. It is our belief that the kitchen is the heart of a home,” the owners say. Other family-friendly features include a second-floor laundry room and spacious third-floor hangout area. Outside, the possibilities are endless with a large carriage house that comes equipped with its own HVAC and water heater.

Want to buy it?
Address: 2621 Sutherland Ave.
Price: $475,000
Agent: Kathryn Teltow, 765-228-1204, Gallery of Homes Real Estate

Gallery (Images courtesy Dawn Eckhardt):

Head into the heart of Broad Ripple and you’ll find this cheery craftsman that’s just waiting for someone to sip iced tea on its porch swing. The white exterior features blue accents and a unique covered/uncovered porch design. One side offers a pergola for sunshine and warmth on your face, while the other is covered so you can enjoy the tranquility of a summer rain without getting wet. The mix of covered/uncovered also allows more flexibility for your green thumb, as you can fill pots with both sun-loving plants and shade lovers, too. Cafe lights around the pergola add the perfect twinkling touch to the evenings.

Completely renovated by ARHI Building and Remodeling, the house has been redesigned for modern, luxurious living. Any update you can think of was probably done—from removing knob and tube wiring to creating two additional bathrooms (it originally only had one). The home was jacked up to remove a wall, floor joists were taken out, and a recessed beam was installed to allow the addition of French doors that open onto the back deck. New specialty lighting creates a relaxed environment in the evenings. The kitchen was a favorite feature for ARHI owner Keith Payne—he designed it with inspiration Café du Monde in New Orleans. “As one walks through and experiences the kitchen, the detail of the glossy subway tile with varying pencil accents help to convey a French culinary feel and setting,” he says. The home clocks in at 2,400 square feet, with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms and a finished basement that includes dedicated office space. A spacious backyard and two-car garage round out the exterior offerings.

Want to buy it?
Address: 5941 N. College Ave.
Price: $499,000
Agent: Justin Frytz, 203-626-2024, Exp Realty

Gallery (Images courtesy Jeff Riggins of Hoosier Property Media):

Why stop at one front porch when you can have more? This 1900 beauty underwent a period-appropriate exterior restoration that fully embraces the Victorians’ love of outdoor spaces. There are two main-level front porches, a second-floor porch, and a fourth off the back of the house. They include ceiling fans and recessed, dimmable lighting. The front porches enjoy views of the lovely garden that’s brimming with low-maintenance native perennials. It’s rare to find a home downtown with such ample outdoor living options, as the fully fenced backyard helps extend the green space even further. If you’re craving a little more privacy but still want to relax, the second-floor porch can be accessed from two bedrooms.

Inside, the floorplan was reimagined for open-concept, modern living. Ceilings rising 12-and-a-half feet make the rooms feel airy and expansive on the main level. Exposed brick above the fireplace retains a hint of cozy Old World feel. “The gas fireplace in the living room is perfect for romantic evenings on those cold Indiana nights,” the owners say. The entryway with an original staircase conveys the same feeling. With 3,600 square feet of living space, the home offers three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The master suite boasts a marble bathroom—complete with luxurious soaking tub—and a designer walk-in closet. Throughout the house, all the rooms blend contemporary and period design. Ideal for entertaining, the sleek gray kitchen boasts high-end appliances, quartz countertops, and ample storage.

Want to buy it?
Address: 231 E. 11th St.
Price: $639,900
Agent: Kristie Smith, 317-313-3200, Keller Williams

Gallery (Images courtesy Damon Butler, Structured Photography):