Here are two little houses that perfectly demonstrate how you can take a rather ordinary home and without too much money turn it into something special. All you need is a little imagination and strong point of view. I would be quite happy in either one—in fact, part of the fun is picking the one you like best.

They’re both about the same age and on the small side. Both are in good neighborhoods. And both show how a remodel doesn’t have to mean gutting the place, putting in ceramic floors and eliminating the charm and character. They’re a little quirky, but in the best way possible.

2431 Prospect St.

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The smaller of the two is located in the up-and-coming Arlington Park neighborhood, just five minutes from downtown. It packs a lot into less than 1000 square feet. The kitchen is new and modern, even a little glamorous, and there’s a delightful sun porch that is currently set up as a dining room. You’ll also find 2 bedrooms and a bath.

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The yard is a little eccentric. In the front there is shell instead of grass. But in the back there is a nice terrace overlooking the garden, where you’ll find several other sitting areas. There are 2 sheds, one of which can be converted to a little studio.

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Priced at $229,900. For more information call Dane Champlin of Florida Home Team at (941) 208-0100.

4404 Groveland Ave.

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This 1949 bungalow has a pecky cypress exterior and is being sold furnished, complete with an array of colorful, funky items that look like they were collected and refurbished over the years. They match the atmosphere of the home perfectly, though I would imagine the potential owners of such a home would want their own collection.

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It’s a little bigger, with a little over 1,600 square feet. Check out the original pine floors and built-ins. The setting is very pretty, with nice vegetation and big trees. The location is south of Bee Ridge off Swift, where there are a bunch of other nice older homes, remnants from the days when Bee Ridge was a little village. The famous Doll family of circus midgets lived nearby.

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Priced at  $239,900. For more information call Susan Kirk of Ascendia Real Estate at (941) 306-4242.

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