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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!

Driveway Surprise

6 Oct

The outdoor transformations keep on coming this year; we now have a new driveway!

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I say it was a surprise because we weren’t planning on getting this done until next year, knowing we would want a nice surface for Kate to play on/ride bikes/use chalk, etc. Ben already had a quote priced out with his normal guy, but then we noticed our neighbor was getting their driveway done. Out of curiosity he walked over there to ask if they would cut us a deal on ours since they already had all the guys and machinery there. When they said yes, and they could do it for less than $2/square foot, we had to pull the trigger. Since they were already there, they started that same afternoon and were 100% finished the next day!

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We love how much tidier the place is without the gravel. And Kate has already gotten to enjoy it, taking rides in her wagon.

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Here are a few before and afters:

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There is a ton of parking space. Here is the before/after view from the garage.

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We love being able to run out to the car or onto the driveway without shoes on now.

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Here is the before/after view toward the street.

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IMG_4933It feels a like a park!

And lastly here is the before/after view toward the house from the street.

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White House No More

4 Aug

The exterior of our house is now gray! Amherst Gray by Benjamin Moore to be exact.

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It is truly amazing what a little bit of paint can do. The siding looks brand new.

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Such a change from when we moved in almost two years ago now.

front-oaks-exterior-beforeDoesn’t even look like the same house does it?

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We were debating whether to paint the exterior this summer, but when we got an amazing deal from one of Ben’s sub-contractors to paint the whole thing, we went for it. One guy sprayed almost the entire house in one day!

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We were a little nervous about painting over the brick, but think it looks so nice and charming now. The copper lantern-style sconces are from Home Depot here.

IMG_4786Ben also hung new black shutters that we got on sale at Home Depot last year for $7/pair.

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The garage door and all the trim went bright white. We also hung a new barn-style light over the garage door. It is this one from Lighting Direct.

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Off to the side of the garage we planted a row of emerald green arborvitaes and the arbor we got married under (which Ben of course built). It creates a nice separation between the pool area and the driveway and rest of the property.
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Here it is from the other side. We also laid some bluestone pavers as a walkway. The grass is slowly filling in.

IMG_4820Ben is in the process of building a big pergola onto the back of the house so I’ll wait to show you the back until that is done. Very exciting things happening!

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