Sunday, September 23, 2012

so you buy a fixer-upper

I need one of those meme generators for the following photos; maybe you can just imagine it.

What people think you do when you buy investment properties:
{followed by a light lunch at Salvatore's across the street}
It isn't glamorous and it isn't easy and it most certainly isn't like BH&G TV. 
First of all you quake in your boots with the $ signs attached, even if you get great deals.
Then you crab at each other because the whole process is so stinkin' stressful.
Next, you drive up to your new income generator  paycheck sucker and let me assure you that the thrill of the great deal feels quite different when the keys are in your own trembling fingers.
This is one of the two houses that my land shark hubby just acquired.

I forgot to take pictures of the other house (I will) but this one is more fun because it's just so shockingly awful.  I can't wait to get the after pictures.  Well, really I just can't wait for the after.
So at this point you've already assembled a massive list of what needs to happen to make the place inhabitable, but the fine tuning and arranging of this list begins to sound like an adult version of 
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
First of all we need to roof,
and then we need to side, 
the porches need to be torn off and rebuilt, but that actually needs to happen before the siding.
The windows can be ordered,
and then the doors.
Oh, no, the doors before the siding.
If we do doors before the siding, though, let's convert from 32" to 36" doorways.
After that the electrical guys can come get this ancient wiring up to code and 200 amp service, but that's after we do our own trenching
after we rent a trencher
but before we tear up the back sidewalk. . .
did I mention gutters?
That's just the outside.
Are you tired yet? No?  Good, come have a look at this lovely kitchen.
Please do plug your nostrils.
Who puts carpet in kitchens?  Why?  I will never understand that one.
While I was saying "we'll haul the stove out"  I flipped the burner on and lo and behold it worked, and so did the other three.  So did the oven.  The lights even work.  The photo doesn't do justice to the absolute filth of it. . .  as I cleaned it this week, I convinced myself that I was making $100 an hour since keeping the stove would save us the cost of buying one.
Later, only half joking,  I told Daniel that I didn't want to know how much meth I cleaned off the stove.  He laughed and informed me that meth isn't cooked on stoves, rather in plastic bottles and crock pots.  There, you've always wanted to know that, right? 
Here's a little sample of one of the bedrooms:

There is even a little customized hiding spot in the floor. {need a sarcasm font}

So although this room really isn't that bad,  nothing can be done to it until the roof is repaired and then the ceiling.  That's why the flow chart lists are so important. . . at this point it's totally pointless to even sweep the floor.
Here's a peek at the living room through the front hallway.  You can see into the awful kitchen from here, too. 
How about that light hanging from a cord?  It literally fell out of the ceiling, hanging by the proverbial thread.  Er, wire. 
I am actually doing a lot of grey in this house,  a little bored with my standard beige Cottonwood color, so the grey wall color will sort of stay.  In a way.  Not really, though.  It will be magnificently cleaner and a Benjamin Moore-ish grey, not filthy and dingy and Wal-Mart mis-tint grey.
You prioritize and crunch numbers and order supplies and work your tail off and show houses to endless streams of people and run background checks and mow and in between one of us works his real job and the other of us works her real job.
You forget to eat dinner and you worry that you're living life out of balance. 
You thrill with the joy of making beauty and order out of chaos and with the financial benefit that comes from hard work.
Then after the exhaustion of working every spare minute all week you give yourself a little mental break and  enjoy a Saturday with the kids
plan a wedding shower
clean like a crazy lady to be sure that your own house never becomes like the one you've been slaving at all week
make pies for the weekend + Daniel & the guys at Station #2.
Just a tiny little peek into the fixer-upper side of life.


  1. I'm so excited for you guys! I wish I had half the nerve and patience you have :) I can't wait to see after pics (I have fallen in love with gray lately-too bad all the flooring in my house is beige). Oh and your pies look AMAZING!

  2. Post the after-pics. No doubt it will be a great place and a real income producer when you are done with it!! Miss you and the WPBC crew.

  3. Wow you are ambitious... but the house has potential- can't wait to see the after pics! Good Luck!

  4. I must admit this just looks like to much fun. Hard work- yes! But so rewarding! Someday I dream of projects like this! Props to you!