Real Estate Blog

Curb Appeal: Ohannesian Home near downtown Fresno for sale

One of the last big, Craftsman-style houses of its kind on Divisadero Street, in the Lowell neighborhood, has undergone renovation and is for sale.

The Ohannesian Home, 1225 E. Divisadero St. near downtown Fresno, has had its ups and downs. The 3,782-square-foot historic house was vacant in recent years attracting vandals and the homeless while owners struggled to restore the property.

Holes were punched into the walls and the electrical system was a mess, said Realtor Adriana Martinez of Oro Financial in Fresno.

But Martinez knew the house was a gem in a neighborhood working to revive its old housing stock. Marlo Investments Group, in which Martinez is one of the investors, bought the home early this year and has spent the last three months getting it back into shape. It is listed for $285,000.

“I hope the neighborhood will be brighter” with this renovation, Martinez said.

The two-story white house with red roof, a hybrid Craftsman and bungalow design, was built in 1920 on land bought by Elizabeth Ohannesian who moved her family from their rural west side home to the property where they lived for six years. The Ohannesians were among the first Armenians to settle in Fresno, according to a report from Fresno’s Historic Preservation Commission. The family patriarch, Giragos, died in 1908.

Fast forward to 1983. The owners applied for the house to be included on the Local Register of Historic Resources and wanted to convert it into offices. They abandoned the plans when the rehabilitation costs proved to be too expensive.

Fresno minister L. Dean Chambers and his wife, Gloria, bought and restored the home in 1997. Since 2014, the property has changed hands a handful of times, according to Fresno County public property records.

It’s hard to figure out what’s original in the house and what’s not, but the investment group tried to keep as much of the existing architectural details as it could. Crown molding connects walls to ceilings through the home. Wainscoting decorates the living and dining room walls. A built-in cabinet is in the dining room.

A basement is accessible through a trap door in the kitchen that is partially covered by the center island. The hot water heater and air conditioning unit is located in the basement and there is storage space. A butler’s pantry with sink connects the kitchen to the dining room.

There are four bedrooms on the second floor (one bedroom or office on the first floor), a laundry room and two bathrooms. The master bedroom shares a bathroom with a smaller room.

The third floor is a big open space that can be used as a playroom or man cave. Better yet, it could be mom’s getaway room.

This is the start of series about interesting houses and buildings for sale in the central San Joaquin Valley. Submissions can be emailed to blee@fresnobee.com.

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