It was our starter home and has so many memories for us since we lived there for almost 12 years through the births of all our babies, first steps, first words (I’m getting teary!). Tuscan was 6 when we moved away and we drove by the other day to check on the place and he said that he LOVED living there and has so many good memories of playing manhunt, trick or treating, running around with his friends, and just being a little baby doll (my words, not his!). I’m so glad we kept it! It brings in fairly good cash flow per month and we refinanced a few years ago with a 15 year mortgage since we knew we’d still get some cash flow with a 15 year so in about 10 years, this puppy will be paid off! So, that’s our first rental.
With this second rental that we just bought in March, the plan was to rent out the basement and to have our “home office” in the top two levels. I was looking for something that was close to our current law office because we plan on keeping a professional office there to meet clients since we don’t want them in the “working office” and we didn’t want to travel a lot between offices. Further, I wanted a fixer upper- that was a must because I wanted an undervalued property and you can’t find those with properties that are in tip top condition.
I posted on Biggerpockets.com (a real estate website that I highly recommend) on how I purchased the place and the podcast host, Joe Fairless, of The Best Real Estate Advice Ever read the posts and asked if he could interview me for his show, so if you want to find out the nitty gritty on how I found, negotiated, and purchased the property, you can find that here. *I’m a star! (not really)*
Enough shameless publicity… To make the numbers work for this property I had to fix up and rent out the basement so getting that area ready was top on the list. There’s a good sized bedroom, a laundry room, a full sized bathroom, and a living room with a fireplace that goes out into the fenced backyard so there’s a lot of room in the apartment.
The first step was curb appeal since the front yard was a weedy mess and I didn’t want people scared off before stepping foot inside. So I spent a couple days digging, planting, sweating, and getting really dirty. I loved it though!
This is what the left side of the yard USED to look like:
And now it looks like this!
And now it looks like this:
So with the curb appeal taken care of, it was time to move inside. The biggest eyesore in the basement was definitely the bathroom, so that had to be practically gutted.
And, it now looks like this:
Much more modern and clean looking!
There’s so much that went into the overhaul, that I’ll leave the details for another post. In short, it went from ugly to swank for not a lot of cash.
I also painted the entire basement to include the fireplace (yea, it looks so much better!) and the ceilings (yuck!).
Basement living room before:
And last but not least, basement bedroom before:
It’s a terrible picture I know, but here’s what it now looks like with lighter paint:
As I was remodeling, I showed it to a couple people and the second person took it even though the bathroom was completely ripped out and such a mess! I had all the finishes laid out though so that he could imagine what it would look like. The only hard part was that he needed to move in a week and a half so I had to work sometimes until midnight to get it ready. Honestly, it felt like one of those house flipping shows where I’m under the gun, working hard, WILL IT BE READY IN TIME!!! It was… because I’m awesome and had no other choice. 🙂
So the renter’s moved in and now I’ve moved on to fixing up the upstairs. More on that to come!
I LOVED the experience of buying this house, fixing it up, and being a landlord so my goal is to buy another this year in September and to keep buying a couple a year for the foreseeable future (if my husband doesn’t divorce me over it…). I’ve been reading a lot on the subject as well as listening to podcasts and just overall researching how and where to buy real estate and I’m excited to buy the next one!