How it all started
After helping friends and investors purchase run down homes and rehabilitate them to their former beauty, I have to admit I was a little jealous. I love being an agent but I sometimes miss the creative side of design. Well, there is really nothing more to do than in jump right in and see if I can swim. Fortunately, I have an friend and co-agent (Sarah Foley) who was willing to take as much risk as I as well as a significant other (Susie Van de Riet) eager to landscape a yard other than our own.
Where to begin?
There are just so many beautiful homes across the city that have fallen into disrepair, it was hard to decide which property was the right one. The criteria we used was price (we would have to pick it up at a discount to properly rehabilitate it), location (you never want to be the nicest house on the street), and structure (no foundation issues!).
After scouring South City (it would have to be close to our office to cut down on driving time), Sarah discovered a great duplex in Southampton that came on the market. The price was right (foreclosure), the location was great (Southampton rocks!), and the structure was sound. Perfect! All that was left to do was buy it and fortunately we know a few agents.
The Master Plan
While we had already decided on what we wanted the finished product to look like, we still needed to cement the plans on paper. Two things that are essential for this are a general (but not average) contractor and someone to draw up the plans for permits. Finding a qualified contractor was easy as Sarah and I have both worked with Scott Vogel (Grand Home Solutions). After a few meetings and some give and take on design, we had our design plans.
You must Destroy before you can Rebuild!
After getting approval from the city on the plans, it was time to start gutting the property. Let me first say that the property could have easily been used as a duplex and rented out but neither one of us wants to be a landlord and we could have easily pulled off the amateur rehabber’s special (paint, new bath & kitchen, and back on the market) but neither Sarah nor I were interested in putting out an inferior product (if you are going to do something, do it right).
After 2 Months:
Talk about opening a can of worms! The demolition revealed more work than we originally anticipated but that is the way it goes. When analyzing your costs for rehabilitation, double whatever you think it will be and then add some on top of that. At this point in the project, the kitchen and baths are out and drywall and taping have begun. The most noticeable improvement thus far has been the renovation of the back deck.
After 4 Months
Amazing how much a property can change! The walls are primed, kitchen installed, bathrooms almost finished & front landscaping installed (all native Missouri plants). At this point, we are probably 3-4 weeks away from completion.
Well, it has been quite a journey on this “little” project and I can’t believe how well the house has turned out. The last coats of paint have been up, the house has been staged, and the photos have been taken. All that is left is to present to the world and hope for multiple high offers (that really would be nice 🙂 After all is said and done, there are certainly a few things I would have done differently but we all survived without killing each other. We bought a foreclosed & run down duplex and transformed it into a luxurious single family home. We added something to the neighborhood and I have to say that feels pretty good.
So, take a look at the pics below & let me know what you think.
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