Update on the Rental

15 Jul

There has been lots of progress on the rental property over the past three weeks and one major setback. I’ll get to that.

Starting out front, we ripped out all of the overgrown bushes, planted boxwoods and day lilies and laid mulch. The plants are still small but should grow in nicely to cover the foundation.

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The back looks totally different with the bushes ripped out. The yard almost doubled in size. We laid grass seed so it will just be all lawn back here. The neighbor is going to continue his fence so that will be nice too. The garage roof is new as well. It had huge holes in it.

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Moving inside is where our big setback occurred. It broke our hearts (and pocketbook), but we had to replace all of the hardwood floors due to pet odor/stains from the previous owner. We learned from neighbors that the previous owner had 30 cats! We had to replace all of the baseboards throughout the house as well. But it had to be done, and now no smell!

Here are the new red oak floors in the living room and dining room. Ben is finishing up the baseboards in here and then the walls and trim will get painted and floors stained.

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Here is one of the bedrooms with the new baseboards installed. We went with a chunky baseboard to keep with the style of the home.

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In the bathroom we ran the plumbing to add an overhead shower (it was only a bathtub before), installed new chrome fixtures, and tiled the shower with white subway tile, a black rope pencil tile and dark gray grout.

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Upstairs looks totally different! We added new electrical and HVAC, framing, drywall and a primer coat of paint. It’s going to be a really nice space up there.

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This week kitchen cabinets are going in and painting continues. With having to replace the floors and baseboards, our Aug 1 deadline is shot. But we’ve had more than a dozen calls and stop bys from people interested, so we shouldn’t have a problem renting regardless of the school year.

In case you missed the before tour, you can see all the before photos here.

Our New Income Property

23 Jun

We have a brand new project to share— a new fixer upper that we plan to keep and rent out long term. It’s a 1930’s bungalow with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.
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It needs a complete renovation but has good bones and a lot of charm. It’s in a great neighborhood: terrific schools, walking distance to town and train. Another house for rent in the neighborhood received 38 applications, so we’re hoping it will be easy to find some great tenants.

Here is the grand tour of before photos and our plans to bring it back to life!

We don’t plan to do too much to the exterior for now, just clean it up and do some landscaping. We will be ripping out these overgrown bushes, replacing the front door light, mailbox and are having a new screen door made as it’s rotten.
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The side of the house just needs some landscaping. Everything is really overgrown.IMG_6940

We’re ripping out all of the overgrown bushes in the backyard and the garage needs a new roof and garage door. IMG_6941We will be putting a whole new kitchen in, with new cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.
IMG_6942Here is the dining room which will be getting new paint and lighting. There are wood floors throughout the house which will be getting re-finished.

IMG_6954The living room will also see fresh paint and re-finished floors. The fireplace will get a cheap upgrade. We plan to paint the brick white, stain the mantel, remove the paneling and re-tile the hearth.

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IMG_6951Here’s the hallway that leads to the bedrooms and bathroom.
IMG_6956In the bathroom, we will be tiling the shower and adding a shower head since it is only a bathtub right now. We will also be adding a new vanity, medicine cabinet, lighting and toilet. We plan to salvage the vintage floor tile, it’s in pretty good condition and goes perfectly with the house.

IMG_6946The two bedrooms are pretty similar and will be getting fresh paint, ceiling fans and re-finished floors.

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Upstairs will see a big transformation with new carpet, drywall, electric outlets, lighting, paint and HVAC. This will basically double the square footage of the house and can serve as another bedroom, living space or play room.

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IMG_6955Lots of work, but it should be amazing when it is complete. We plan to get it finished and up for rent before the school year begins, so less than two months. I’ll try to share progress as we go!

Cute as a Button 1st Birthday Party

26 Feb

We celebrated Kate’s 1st birthday with a “Cute as a Button” themed party over the weekend. It turned out even better than I had hoped! Here’s a look at the decorations.

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The main feature was the streamer backdrop. At 15+ feet wide, it was a labor of love. To make it, I followed this tutorial and used about 16 rolls of streamers in peach, pink, ivory and seafoam green from PartyPro.com. The doily garland that drapes in front of the streamers is made from two different sized paper doilies that are folded over and glued onto twine.  Hanging on the front of the table is a burlap bunting which we painted “one” on and added pink buttons on the side pieces.

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On the “sweets” table was two bunches of baby’s breath in light blue mason jars, a cardboard “K” decorated with glittery paper, a framed picture of Kate, some books, a candle, homemade pink chocolate-dipped marshmallows, strawberries and pretzels, plates, napkins (from Target), and store bought cupcakes decorated with homemade candy buttons.

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The candy buttons I made using Wilton’s Candy Melt and this button candy mold. Everyone asked if they were real buttons.

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I made a tissue paper tassel garland for her high chair using this tutorial.

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Her smash cake I made using this tutorial. The rose decoration was surprisingly easy, you just make circles!

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I made this button garland by cutting out circles from scrapbook paper and punching out four holes in the middle. Then I strung twine through each of the holes and together.

IMG_5470We made far too many paper buttons, so I stuck them to the fridge, too.

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I also strung up her monthly photos above the fireplace using twine and clothespins.

IMG_5364For Kate’s special birthday outfit I purchased this gold glitter “one” onesie and this peachy-pink tutu and headband, all from Etsy. She looked so adorable.

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You can see the busy board that we made for her in that photo. It has all kinds of fun trinkets on it including a desk bell, a light switch, a door knocker, an LED tap light, a door stop, a door bell, a few different types of locks, and a couple other misc items. So far, the bell is the big draw. I also made her a personalized board book with photos of her family members like this one.

Here’s a closer look at the busy board.

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And lastly, here are the “Cute as a button” invitations that I ordered from Etsy.

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The party was a huge success and I am so sad it’s over. I loved planning and working on everything for my special girl. She’s not going to remember it, but I know I always will.

Home Goals: How We Did & Goals for 2015

10 Jan

2014 was a year of major changes at 12 Oaks, most of which were on the exterior of our home. I shared our goals for the year in this blog post and I’m happy to report we got most of them done! Here’s the checklist on how much we accomplished.

Our 2014 home goals were to:

1) Build deck out back. Done! You can read about the building of the deck here. It has since been stained and a pergola is in progress.

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2) Install retaining wall and landscape back yard. Retaining wall is complete and we did some landscaping. Still lots more to do though.

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3) Replace rotten trim and paint the house. Done! A major game changer. You can read about that here.

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4) Finish addition upstairs (master bathroom and closet). This is about 80% there and should be done by the end of January. I’ll have an update on it soon.

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5) Finish addition downstairs (powder room and laundry room). Done! You can read about both rooms here.

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6) Makeover the office/playroom, including a fireplace re-do. Didn’t get to this. We painted the fireplace but have since decided to cover it up since the room is going to be a playroom and it takes up too much room and is a hazard. This is at the top of our list for 2015 after the master bathroom/closet.

7) Blacktop driveway. Done! So nice. You can read about the driveway here.

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8) Relocate master bedroom. We should be in the new master by the end of the month. Can’t wait!

9) Update living room built-ins. No progress made unfortunately.

10) Build a dining room table from native New Zealand wood. Nope.

11) Build out basement storage. Done! Ben built out new shelving down there. It needs organizing again though….

Overall pretty good considering we were also raising an infant.

For 2015 our goals are to:

  1. Finish master bathroom and closet and move in to our new master.
  2. Build out a playroom, including adding a wall and covering up a fireplace.
  3. Build mudroom cabinets on the opposite side of the new playroom wall.
  4. Renovate the final bathroom upstairs.
  5. Add window boxes to the front of the house.
  6. Landscape back yard.
  7. Finish pergola on the back deck.
  8. Build a fire pit.
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