The Rental House is Complete! Before and After…

Liz and I (and my Mom and Dad) have busted our butts over the last few months to transform a foreclosed house into an attractive, livable rental house. Take a look at the results below!

Dining Room

On day one, we pulled up the carpet expecting to see beautiful hardwood floors. What we actually found was an outline of hardwood, with “softwood” in the middle, and a couple of plywood boards that were covering holes in the floor…. Not great.

We hired a floor guy to patch in the holes and then we just sanded and poly’d everything else, hoping it would turn out okay. I think it looks fantastic!

Kitchen

The kitchen was an absolute disaster. It was painted multiple colors, was missing almost all the cupboard doors, and the floor was stacked with different types of laminate flooring and plywood. Not to . . . → Read More: The Rental House is Complete! Before and After…

Rental House Renovation #6: We’re Getting There!

Sanding floors, applying polyurethane, buying appliances, and installing trim….this has been my life for the past couple weeks! In my last update, I was proudly showing off my nicely sanded floors (that took me two solid weekends to complete!). Thank goodness I can finally move beyond that step. Sanding really sucked, but I have to say that it was still worth it to save $4,000.

Applying the Polyurethane

The next step (since we weren’t staining the floors) was to apply the polyurethane. This really wasn’t overly complicated, but it did take a while since we had 1,200 square feet to go over, and the dry wood made it tough to slide just right.

I took a picture of my poly job in action. As you can tell, we went with an amber tone so that the floor wouldn’t look completely raw after we were done. I really like the . . . → Read More: Rental House Renovation #6: We’re Getting There!

Saving $4,000 by Refinishing the Rental Floors Myself

The hardwood floors in this rental house are everywhere: the living room, dining room, hallway, main bedroom, the stairwell, the two upstairs bedrooms, and even the kitchen! Most of these beautiful old floors were hidden under ugly carpet and were just begging to be refinished.

The big question then became….Who was going to refinish them?

Saving $4,000 by Refinishing the Floors Myself

Well based on the title, it’s pretty obvious that I decided to throw away the $4,000 quote that I got from my floor guy and opted to tackle these hardwood floors myself.

Weekend #1

The sanding began last weekend. I rented a heavy duty drum sander from my local equipment rental shop and started in the upstairs bedroom (in case I seriously messed them up – at least it wouldn’t be plainly visible to everyone this way). That bedroom had been stained and varnished so many times, . . . → Read More: Saving $4,000 by Refinishing the Rental Floors Myself

Watching Paint Dry….Rental House Update #4

Holy paint, Batman! Who would have thought a house could suck up so many cans of this colored liquid? I’ve never done so much painting in my life, and we’re still not done!

(See all of our Rental House projects here)

Rental House Update #4

I initially wanted this project done by Christmas – well that has obviously come and gone. The new, more realistic time-frame is to have everything done by the end of February and to have a renter in the house by the end of March. Before I get too far ahead of myself again though, let’s take a look at everything we’ve done in the last few weeks (since the last update).

1) New Glass in the Windows

I’m not sure I ever mentioned it, but Fannie Mae had a very strange way of “replacing” cracked windows (I wish I took a picture of it…you can . . . → Read More: Watching Paint Dry….Rental House Update #4

Pros and Cons of Paying Off The Mortgage Early

pros and cons of paying off the mortgage early

The following post comes from Will who writes at Growing the Green. We share similar views on personal finance as a whole, especially when it comes to decisions about debt. I invited him to post after reading some of his views on paying off the mortgage and how different factors play into making a decision on whether to pay down mortgage debt or to pursue other investments. Enjoy!

Pros and Cons of Paying Off the Mortgage Early

A continuing discussion in personal finance is whether or not to pay off your mortgage early. Let’s take a look at some of the big discussion points and offer some insight.

Why you should pay it off early

1) Improved Cash flow

Paying off the mortgage puts you in a very powerful position. It frees up cash to make other investments that build wealth while also allowing you to live on less money . . . → Read More: Pros and Cons of Paying Off The Mortgage Early

The Rental House Rebuild – Update #3

Bought a Rental House with Cash

Whew! This house rebuild is starting to tire us out! We’ve officially been working on rebuilding this house for just over a month now, and we’re pretty happy with the progress we’ve made so far (ha, but it sure would be nice to be done!!! …maybe in another month or so).

In the last update (see Rental House Rebuild – Update #2), the plumbing was completed, the furnace was fixed, the deck was power washed, the basement “grow room” was torn down, the bathroom was prepped for painting, and the entire main floor was primed. That was a ton of work, but progress must keep moving forward! Let’s see what we got finished in the last two weeks.

The Rental House Rebuild – Update #3

After writing down a list of all the things we tackled in the last 2 weeks, I’m pretty impressed with what we got done again! . . . → Read More: The Rental House Rebuild – Update #3

The Rental House Rebuild – Update #2

Bought a Rental House with Cash

Liz and I bought our new investment property almost 3 weeks ago now. While we aren’t necessarily working on it 24/7 (we are actually still trying to have a life at the same time – you know, before all the baby screaming begins), we are still making some pretty solid progress.

In the last update (after Week 1), we had basically tore up all the carpet in the living room, dining room, and bedroom, and then removed the laminate tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. It was the majority of the tear-down that needed to happen on the main floor.

The Rental House Rebuild – Weeks #2 and #3

In weeks #2 and #3, we focused on seven different areas of the house:

painting the bathroom the kitchen the basement grow room plumbing the furnace the deck

It sounds like a lot, but much of it felt more like project . . . → Read More: The Rental House Rebuild – Update #2

Tearing Apart Our Rental – Beginning Stages of DIY

It’s a super exciting time for Liz and I. We closed on our rental property on Monday and have been tearing apart the rental ever since. Unfortunately, much of the beginning stages of the demo has left us a bit disappointed….

Day 1 – Tearing Out the Living Room Carpet and Kitchen Laminate Tile

The Living and Dining Room

On the day of the closing, I decided to start tearing into the living and dining room immediately. I knew there were hardwood floors underneath (because I tore up a small corner of the carpet when we first looked at it), but I didn’t know the full condition of the floors and I was excited to see them.

Well, I tore back the first corner and…wommp wommm….not what I was expecting. The entire floor wasn’t hardwood! It had a different, cheaper version of wood in the middle. I had seen this . . . → Read More: Tearing Apart Our Rental – Beginning Stages of DIY

Another House Opportunity? Really? What Should We Do?

Liz and I are incredibly close to buying our very first investment property (excited!!). It’s a foreclosed home and is in need of some repair, but with only $9,000 (or so) and a little elbow grease, we could have instant equity of about $20,000 in the home once it’s all fixed up! While it would be nice to put a quick $20k in our pockets, this actually isn’t the plan with this house. Ideally, we’d like to find a solid renter that’s willing (and able) to pay $1,000 a month for their stay. Since we’re paying for the property with cash, nearly all of the rent is pure profit.

The Original Plan(s)

Before Liz and I got pregnant like a couple of jackrabbits, the ORIGINAL plan was to:

buy an investment property fix it up rent it out save up buy another investment house have a baby

Then the original . . . → Read More: Another House Opportunity? Really? What Should We Do?

Our House Offer Was Accepted! Let the Rental Games Begin!

Bought a Rental House with Cash

Have you ever thought about getting into the rental game? Personally, I’ve been enamored with the idea since I was 16 years old. And now, 14 years later, it looks like I’ll finally be throwing my hat into the passive income rental ring! YIPPEE! Watch out Monopoly man, you may be getting dethroned! Now where did I put my monocle…?

Leading Up to the Purchase

So how did Liz and I find our investment property? Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. Prior to this property, we scoured the entire area (for the entire summer) for anything that was for sale under $95,000. We walked through about 10 properties – four of those we simply walked away (for various reasons), and the other six we were outbid on by typically more than $10,000. We wanted to find an absolute deal, not pay retail price for a home.

There was one . . . → Read More: Our House Offer Was Accepted! Let the Rental Games Begin!