What a difference a year makes.
In September 2008, Todd Avant purchased his Shandon home at a foreclosure auction. It was "totally stripped," he said, missing the appliances, the wrought iron railings - even the toilets.
Today the home at 2215 Terrace Way is a showplace - literally.
Avant's home is one of seven open Sunday for the Homes for the Holidays tour in the Shandon and Hollywood Rose Hill neighborhoods. The tour offers a chance to see homes in two of Columbia's established neighborhoods decked out in full holiday finery.
At Avant's home, you'll see an updated 1940s-era Craftsman-style cottage where he has lived since March.
A few years before the home went into foreclosure, it went through a total renovation. The owner ripped off the roof and raised all of the ceilings to 11 feet, with 2 feet of molding in every room. The electrical and plumbing systems were replaced, along with new windows, hardwood floors, ductwork and a pool system. The back of the home had been pushed out and a large family room added.
Avant said Terrace Way, which winds its way off Wheat Street and overlooks Five Points, had always been one of his favorite streets in Columbia. When he saw the house was in foreclosure, he knew he wanted it. He got a quick peek inside (he found an unlocked back door and took a look), before bidding on it.
"I loved the wide-open floor plan," Avant said. "It's perfect for entertaining."
Foreclosure sales can be challenging, with one day of bidding, limited inspections, an "as is" sale and the necessity to close within 21 days. The courtroom was full for the sale, and he found himself there at the end, bidding against one other person who also wanted to use the home as a full-timer residence. The house "flippers" and the investors had dropped out.
"When I got it I was pumped," he said.
Then the work began.
"The house was stripped so bad that I had to pick out just as many things as you would for a new house," Avant said. "I could pick out all the fixtures the granite, the appliances, as opposed to paying for other people's taste. . . . I had to start over and that was great for me. I got to do what I wanted."
He worked with interior designers Nan Sammataro and Cami Hutchinson of In Home Design.
"Todd has beautiful antiques that mix well with the transitional look," Sammataro said. "And he has a talent for picking out art. With such an open floor plan and Todd's love for color we had fun with the lighting and accessories."
The home features a wide open kitchen and family room, with an oversized granite island that holds a six-burner Viking range and seating for five.
"It was a skeleton," when he bought the house, Avant said. "A carpenter was in here for months making custom cabinets."
He added a narrow wrought iron balcony off the family room overlooking the pool, copied from one he saw in downtown Charleston. The backyard, with its pool, lush landscaping and privacy walls, has a Charleston courtyard feel.
He added a full bath in the guest room at the front of the house, giving the home three-bedrooms with three baths. The master suite opens to a screened porch overlooking the pool. There are also open decks and two patio areas with fire pits.
Details include pocket doors, custom built-ins, Silestone countertops, and a steam shower in the master bath. The dining room ceiling is covered in red wall paper. He changed the exterior paint color from a salmon tone to a stone color with blue-gray shutters.
He moved into the home in March.
And now that it's home?
"I love it ten times more than I thought I would," he said.
Actress Jessica Biel lived in the house for a few months in 2008 during the filming of the movie "Nailed." Neighbors said Biel's companion, Justin Timberlake, was a regular visitor.
HOMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
WHEN: 2-6 p.m. Sunday
TICKETS: $15 in advance, available at Piggly Wiggly on Devine and Forest Drive, Britton's, Golf Headquarters, Just the Thing and Yesterday's. $20 day of tour at Wesley United Methodist Church, 2501 Heyward St.
HOMES ON TOUR: 2215 Terrace Way; 200 S. Gregg St.; 247 S. Edisto; 501 Capitol St.; 3031 Duncan St.; 210 S. Saluda; and 1638 Catawba.
MORE INFO: Jenny Galbreth at (803) 253-8480 or simplyshandon.org
SPONSORS: Shandon Neighborhood Council and the Hollywood-Rose Hill Neighborhood Association
BENEFITS: Four Richland 1 neighborhood schools.