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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!

04-Dining Area



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 mention that fact that it was the most dirty room that I had ever seen.

To fix this place up, we tore the floor down to the base hardwood, sanded it and laid a few layers of polyurethane to protect it and give it some shine. Liz picked out the paint colors and went to town on almost the entire room by herself. I found a pretty nice door at the ReStore for $35 to replace the hideous accordion door. And, my Dad and I actually built some cupboard doors to fill the open gaps under the counter top. We added some appliances and presto! The kitchen looked great again!



Main Bedroom

The main bedroom was actually pretty easy. We lifted the carpet and discovered some beautiful floors, so we simply shined those up. Beyond that, we just painted and it turned out great! Gotta love those easy rooms!

09-Master Bedroom

main bedroom


The bathroom….was a nightmare. First of all, it started out as pretty much the ugliest bathroom I had ever seen. The gold shower door, the ugly print on the glass, and the pitiful, dirty flooring.

To begin the transformation, Liz and I tore down the shower door, removed the wall paper border, tore up the floor, and removed the sink and toilet….And then we had to figure out what to do with it.

The floor was wood just like the hallway and kitchen, but it was beyond repair. So, we decided to strip it down as best we could and added an updated, padded, laminate flooring. We kept the sink and added new fixtures, installed a new toilet (that actually worked), and we re-trimmed the baseboard. We’re still hunting for a mirror, but once we have that, this room will be 100% complete!



Upper Bedroom #1

Oh the green room…. I don’t think you can get much uglier than this. I mean, look at the carpet…the dirty ceiling…..and the door that even got green paint on it! It was a serious mess.

So here’s what we did:

  • pulled up the carpet
  • pulled up the laminate that was underneath it
  • found wood floors that we sanded and poly’d
  • secured the panel walls with many new nails
  • painted the walls and trim a more muted color
  • installed baseboard trim
  • spray painted the fan white
  • and took a broom to the ceiling!

The room actually turned out pretty great. People now see the features of the multiple closets and the large size of the room instead of the ugly color. 😉

13-Upstairs Bedroom1


Upper Bedroom #3

The third bedroom was actually pretty simple. Underneath the carpet was a beautiful, untouched floor that just need a quick sand. We then painting the walls and trim and called it good! Definitely a huge difference between the photos though!

17-Upstairs Bedroom 2


Next Steps

So what now? It’s time to open the doors to potential renters!

I held an open house on Saturday for two hours and had 8 different people walk through! They all loved the place and took applications. So far we have received one back with the application fee and a down-payment toward the deposit! We still need to do our due diligence to make sure they meet all the criteria, but it’s a great start!

Hopefully we’ll get a new renter moved in over the next month or so, and they’ll pay consistently and live there a long time! Wish us luck! 😉

Money Rental Property


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Nice job! Congratulations.


    • Thanks John! Now it’s time to get a solid renter in there!

  2. Looks great! Did you replace the windows in the green room?? They were beautiful!!!

    • Hi Bobbi! Nope, the cool windows stayed – just looks different because of the sun shining in.

  3. BEAUTIFUL Derek and Liz. You and your parents did a great job. Hopefully you get good renters.

    • Thanks Aunt Marcia! You’ll have to swing by and check it out! Hope you’re doing well!

  4. Looks awesome…. saw your message on Quora

    • Sweet. Thanks for the props!

  5. Excellent work! I’m renovating my little house so I know exactly how much work went into ‘tidying up’ your rental.

    Fingers crossed for a speedy rental agreement.

    • Definitely! We hope to have some renters in there by April or early May. Let’s just hope I don’t have to write a post about evictions in 6 months or so.

    • Thanks Michelle! It was a ton of work, but definitely worth it!

  6. Great job! I’m impressed! Hope you find great tenants. Our renter is in her 10th year at our rental. Hopefully she’ll renew again for her 11th year in May. She was our 2nd renter. We almost had to evict our first, but luckily it didn’t come to that. Congratulations to you guys!

    • Thanks! I hope we find good tenants too. Another great benefit of buying a rental with cash is that there’s no need to rush out and find a tenant to pay the mortgage! We’re going to take our time and find a renter that actually meets our qualifications.

  7. The house looks beautiful Derek! My fiance and I are talking about rental properties, and we are looking to invest after we complete our FINAL move across the country. We would want to do most of the work ourselves, so this will for sure come in handy!

    • Nice! Doing the work ourselves save us SO MUCH MONEY. My brother-in-law saw the before and afters and said something like, “So how much did that cost you guys? $30k?” I stared at him a little puzzled and responded, “We’ve spent about $6,000 or $7,000 for the entire remodel”. He almost spit out his drink! That’s the benefit of DIY!

  8. I’d live there. Looks great! Is that clear shower curtain the only curtain or is it like the inner curtain? That would kinda trippy/cool to have a clear shower curtain. Would reduce claustrophobia.

    • Ha, it’s just an inner curtain Will. The tenants have the option to add one on the outside to personalize it. As an update – it looks like we found our renters and might get them started less than a month from today!

  9. Nice job. Having an attractive rental house really matters. You will attract better tenants. Congrats!

    • Thanks John! In about 5 days, we’ll start collecting those rent checks! In about a year, we’ll be on to the next one. 🙂

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