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Local Realtor Ashley Pederson loves her fixed-up house

Story by Josie Musico • Photos by Julie Smith

Maybe you’ve wondered: how do real estate agents select their own homes?

For Ashley Pederson, the perfect dwelling just sort of struck her, full of promise.

Dave and Andy Pederson, left, and Ally Bess and Ashley, right, enjoy some family time in their gorgeously renovated living room.

“I see a lot of homes, and I guess it takes me a while to be attracted to a home, but when I saw this one, I saw a lot of potential,” she said.

In fact, the local Realtor and her husband, Dave, hadn’t been completely sure they were ready to move from their old house.

“We weren’t necessarily looking to buy, but this one came on the market and we liked the area,” Ashley said.

That first viewing was in October 2011. While Ashley shows homes, Dave designs construction projects for a living. The engineer laughed as he recalled his first impression of the house.

“I saw all the work,” he said.

Located on a semi-quiet street in central Jefferson City, the English Tudor-style home has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. It looks great now, but didn’t always.

That first impression brought visions of beautiful home living, but the couple was also realistic – they knew it needed its share of labor. Family members saw the peeling paint, dilapidated doors and windows, and encouraged them to reconsider.

“We walked our parents through, and they all thought we were nuts,” Ashley said. “It was so run-down.”

But something about it convinced them it would be worth the effort.

Ally Bess Pederson and her brother Andy enjoy an afternoon snack in the living room of their home. The large gathering space is complimented with brown leather couches and modern appeal, as well eas historic heirloom pieces of furniture and original light fixtures from the home’s 1936 construction.

Their first night in the newly closed home, they realized the not-properly-sealed windows were more than just an aesthetic issue. Freezing, they slept next to the fireplace.

The next morning was time to get started – but where? The to-do list was extensive.

“There was a ton of projects that we knew we needed to do,” Ashley said.

Dave added, “We knew the kitchen and bathrooms were a priority.”

Dave began refurbishing the windows and doors, then the floors.

“To renovate a house right it takes a willingness and time to research the products and finishes that keep a house consistent with its original architecture,” he said.

The couple found help from a prison vocational program, but had to wait. That meant no interior doors for about nine months. They used a shower curtain to cover the bathroom doorway.

A goal was to keep as many original fixtures as possible from the home’s 1936 construction, but with modern updates.

“We wanted to maintain the character that was part of the house,” Ashley said.

The Pedersons worked together the first few months, but Ashley soon learned she was expecting their first child. Andy, now 5, was followed by Ally Bess, 3. Ashley’s childcare duties left Dave with the bulk of the renovations.

“Really, I’m proud of my husband,” she said.

And Dave never complained. Glancing around his living room, he considers every minute well worth it. He’s glad he chose to renovate rather than replace.

“I was happy we were able to save so much of the house and refurbish it into what I consider a very functional home,” he said. “It took some extra labor to do it right, but that was part of the fun.”

The Pederson Home: Before and After
The Pederson Home: Before and After
(Courtesy of Ashley Pederson) Dave Pederson refurbished the original front door to its former glory.
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