Puyallup Herald

Historic Puyallup home a ‘dream come true’ for ‘House Hunters’ couple

When it came time to buy a new house, Jim and Kimberly Parrish of Puyallup made a decision to apply to be on HGTV’s “House Hunters” — and were selected.

On Friday, their episode of “House Hunters” aired, showing them visiting downtown place, such as Anthem Coffee. They then chose their forever home in the heart of Puyallup.

“We’ve always just felt this tie to downtown Puyallup,” Kimberly said.

Jim, 47, and Kimberly, 48, have been married for 10 years and have two daughters. Kimberly graduated from Rogers High School in 1988, while Jim went to school in Oregon. Kimberly works as a nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital and Jim is a sales manager for Hunter Industries.

For 14 years, they lived out of a 2-acre farmhouse that belonged to the Picha family.

They knew they wanted to downsize their property when it came time to move, but had different ideas of what kind of house they wanted.

“We couldn’t decide if we wanted brand new or something in the middle,” Kimberly said.

“Their whole house hunt, over time, was kind of interesting because they weren’t agreeing on what they wanted to see,” said Kristina Keller, co-owner and co-founder of Keller Williams Puget Sound of Federal Way.

Keller is also Kimberly’s sister. Keller and her son, Nick, who is also a Keller Williams realtor, showed the houses to Jim and Kimberly during the six-day filming for “House Hunters.” They’d narrowed their search down to three possible houses — two in Puyallup and one in Tacoma.

“(The filming) was amazing. It was so much fun. It brought us so much closer as a family and it made our house hunt just so personal,” Kimberly said.

After filming, Kristina Keller said the producers would be interested in filming more “House Hunters” episodes in the Puyallup area.

In their final decision, the Parrishs chose a historic house at 818 W. Pioneer. Built in 1905, it has three floors with five bedrooms and three baths. The Parrish family — unrelated to Jim and Kimberly Parrish — owned it for 61 years. John Parrish was a former mayor of Puyallup in the 1990s. His wife, Ann, was the last resident of the house and died recently at age 92. The house was listed for sale at around $539,000. Jim and Kimberly Parrish bought it for $519,000.

“My husband and I walked in and we were standing here and were like, ‘Yup, this is the house we’re gonna buy,’  ” Kimberly said.

The sidewalks and accessibility to downtown won over Jim.

“Neither Kim nor I have ever grown up in a place with sidewalks or a place we could walk to — a store, a restaurant, a park,” Jim said.

For Kimberly, it was the house’s style and vintage woodwork.

“I’ve known of this house since I was little, just driving through the area — oh my gosh, that house is so cool,” Kimberly said. “I think everyone just has this fascination because it’s so unique. There’s not a lot down here like this.”

Growing up, Kimberly’s mother always took her antique shopping, and her love for anything vintage developed. She began collecting antiques at age 15. Jim also collects antique vehicles and motorcycles.

There were other gems the couple discovered looking through the house, too. There are several hidden rooms, and there used to be an elevator shaft and a coal room.

“I feel like a house detective. Every layer we peel off we find something new,” Kimberly said.

But with the house came much-needed renovations.

“I love fixing things and making something that’s ugly beautiful but there’s a big process that goes into that,” Jim added.

The former owners of the house often threw parties, and Kimberly said the house has a great atmosphere for that. They’re thinking about hosting another party once the house is completely finished, which they hope will be by the summer.

“I want the community to be a part of this house,” she said.

Right now, they’re hiring contractors to work on the bottom floor and the third floor before moving to the second floor. They expect to spend about $150,000-$200,000 on renovations, but know it will be worth it in the end.

“I love making things better. I love putting my personality into things. This is my dream come true,” Kimberly said.

Allison Needles: 253-597-8507, @herald_allison