The BEFORE before…



As you know if you read our last post or follow us on Instagram we have been renovating a little house to use as a rental.  The original game plan is to do very short term rental like AirBNB but we’ll have to see how it plays out and shift to long term if we need to.  We’re actually about to round 3rd on the whole project so this is quite overdue but I’ve got to start somewhere, and sometime 🙂

The MORNING this house went on the market I called our agent and asked if we could schedule a showing.  We went to see it during lunch time and were quite surprised to find what was a revolving door of potential buyers already at the property when we pulled up.  I (Katie) look at a house with my heart….I could probably do it blindfolded.  Blake looks at a house with his brain only.  My Dad also joined us as my parents are investing with us and I like to think he falls in between head and heart when it comes to assessing real estate.

There were no pictures associated with the listing so we were prepared for the worst.  When we pulled up to the house this is what we saw.

The house sat between two other houses (one of which is abandoned) and the other which is occupied by a very sweet lady.  Across the street is a new Catholic school.  The abandoned house on the left was torn down the day we went under contract and is now a nice grassy lot.

Upon entering the house we walked straight into this:

All my heart could see was the height of the ceilings!! At the time we thought that was just wallpaper on drywall we would steam off.  It turned out NOT to be drywall but more on that later…

So to me, the living room was doable.  Walking around the house you would go into the kitchen.  At the time of the showing we didn’t know there was a window that had been boarded up behind the massive china cabinet.

My initial thought for the kitchen was that we would just have to put an IKEA kitchen in (that’s not what we did).  The ceilings are low in the back of the house but it’s just the way the roof line goes and I was ok with that.  We definitely HAD to replace the back door to let more light in!

At the time the washing machine was also in the kitchen and we ended up moving it to the laundry room.  From the kitchen you walked into a small back bedroom and on the left there was a bathroom.  I’m going to do a post on the initial floor plan and what we reworked…because previously a renter would have had to walk into the second bedroom to get to the only bathroom.

The bathroom needed A LOT of work.  It’s tiny but the wallpaper and black curtains weren’t helping anything!

The laundry is off the second bedroom and this room was already small but we actually made it SMALLER.

From that bedroom, if you’re walking around in a circle in the house you would enter the first bedroom.  It had a fireplace (which was covered up) so we’ve deemed it the “master”.

The drop ceiling intrigued us because we knew these ceilings should be just as tall as the living room ceilings.  We peeked above them during the showing and saw MORE tiled ceiling above but that’s all we looked at during the tour. Also, all the floor except for the kitchen and bath were carpeted.

I think we were all overwhelmed for different reasons.

  • Me-I was overwhelmed at the other potential buyers swarming the place trying to buy MY house.
  • Blake-He was overwhelmed at the amount of work this old house would need.
  • Dad-Probably overwhelmed at what the heck we were thinking.

The outside was terribly overgrown:

It’s funny…because I saw a lush green garden and my Dad and Blake saw a JUNGLE that would need to be tamed.

I obviously tour houses with rose colored glasses and blinders on.

So the story goes, we closed on the house and started work on September 22nd.  It was a day of the highest highs (we found great bones in the house!) and the lowest lows (that same day we discovered our sweet Finley boy had cancer…he died 3 days later).  We spent a week demoing the project and shedding tears into the mess over our dog.  We’re coming up on 3 months and I’m happy to say the house looks NOTHING like these pictures and our spirits are higher for sure.

Next post I’ll share about demo and finding our new footprint!



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