Thank you to everyone who sent us congratulatory messages on our newest project. This 1949 house is 2 beds/1 bath and all of 924 square feet on half an acre lot. The selling features for me were the hardwoods, gas fireplace, arched doorways, and circular driveway. We're equally excited and nervous about this property since it is a completely new endeavor for us. Historically, Brian and I have purchased houses with the intent to flip as quickly as possible. However, for this little house, we have chosen to hold onto it as a long-term rental investment. In light of this, I thought it may be helpful for people out there who are interested in a buying an investment property to share the reasons why we are choosing to go this route. Full disclosure, we are NOT real estate gurus or financial planners or much of an expert in any of these realms. Through trial and error, we've just realized a few things along the way that I think others may be interested in hearing.
Happy New Year, friends! I hope the holidays were restful and joyful for you and that you are excited about a shiny new year. We've had some changes in our personal life that are bittersweet but also very exciting (hence the silence around here the last few months). After much thought and deliberation, we've decided to move back to Raleigh. It seemed like every weekend we were going back to Raleigh for family, friends, or work, and it became clear over time that a move back was going to be the best long-term plan - at least for the foreseeable future.
I am really excited that we are finally able to pursue a big dream Brian and I have had on the back burner for the past five years: flip a house. Not live in it and fix it, then sell it a few years down the road. I'm talking a bonafide real estate investment, friends. I know I had millions of questions about house flipping when we first broached the subject all of those years ago so I thought it would be fun to take you guys along with us on the journey! I want to share our thought process, property tours, renovation estimates, and design ideas along the way.
We went to the Myrtle House this weekend and made quite a dent in the debris! It is so nice to see some visible changes finally happening. We were able to dump the giant stack of wood paneling Brian took down as well as get rid of the very gross green shag carpet. Most people recommend waiting as long as possible to re-do the floors, but this carpet was holding in so much dust and dirt, it was bad for the air quality in the house. We will wait until the house is almost move-in ready to refinish the floors, but for now, we are pretty excited to see the pretty wood!
I am not 100% sure, but my guess is that these are oak boards (please let me know if you know otherwise!). There are some scratches, but overall, they are in pretty amazing condition. We were super lucky too in the fact that the carpet and vinyl were just laid on top of the wood and not stapled in so we literally were able to just roll it up. There is one spot where there is some water damage and the adhesive is still stuck, but it definitely could have been worse! I think the thickness of the shag and water-resistant elements of the vinyl kept the floors looking as good as they do.
In the bedrooms, there is a wider plank subfloor that is also pretty amazing. I am hoping we can save this (there are a few pieces with termite damage and water damage).
To me, having that gross carpet gone makes SUCH a difference! It is starting to look like a house with hope instead of one that should be condemned. The ceiling tiles are being tackled next weekend, as well as the remaining panels. I can't wait to get the full effect of the tall ceilings with the original beadboard.
Love having these French doors separating the living room and dining room. The original wavy glass and glass knobs are still in tact!
If you follow me on Instagram (@elizabethburnsdesign) you may have seen the green carpet on it's way out. Almost everyone who saw that photo said it looked like sod. If only it was! :)
Now, let's go down memory lane and take a look at how the floor used to look. :)
I love that Brian's Grandmother had floral flooring and drapes in this room. :)
Of course, my camera died after taking two photos, so I apologize for the poor quality phone pics. I will post some more photos of the kitchen this week after we got rid of the vinyl in there.
I have never been a very patient person, so we are going to start the rest of the Sea Spray Condo re-design with the most dramatic transformation!
The only new things we purchased for this room were four dining chairs, three bar stools, gallery wall frames, a hanging frame, and a decorative tray. Everything else was existing and re-purposed. There is not a backsplash above the cabinets, but there was this old grasscloth wallpaper. We debated tiling, but thought it would make the rest of the space look old and dingy. To bring a little color into the kitchen, we ended up painting the wallpaper and I love the texture it brings to the room. Plus, it saved us so much time and money as opposed to tiling.
We painted the legs of the existing dining table to create a more beach cottage look. Such a different look! The table is actually great quality and has sentimental meaning to my mom, so I am glad we could make it work.
Here is my $15 gallery wall. Not my favorite project ever, but it was only $15. I wish I had splurged a little on nicer frames (these are from the Dollar Tree). It serves the purpose, ties in the satin nickel accents in the kitchen, and we won't sweat it if one of the frames gets broken. Maybe we will upgrade down the road. One thing about this project that did work out well was having the photo prints made at Staples. I wanted inexpensive color photos printed, and ended up having color copies made instead of photo prints. The quality is still pretty good and I think when the photo is behind glass, it is hard to tell it is not a photo print. They will only run abour $.40 a copy, as opposed to the $2.50 for a photograph which can add up when making a gallery wall.
It looks SO much bigger and brighter. Never underestimate the power of paint! The majority of the budget was spent on this room, as my parents opted to hire a professional painter to paint the cabinets which I think was a wise decision. He is a commercial painter and even he underestimated the work this job would take. The cabinets are original, super dark faux wood grain, and there are tons of drawers/cabinets. Brian and I were going to tackle this project, but I was worried our paint job would chip with use over time. Since this is a rental, durability is key!
Here is how the budget breaks down:
- Kitchen cabinet painting: $600
- Backsplash paint: $15 - Painted in Valspar Mellow Spring
- Cabinet hardware: $30 (DLawless Hardware)
- Dining chairs: $60 set (Craigslist) - Painted in Valspar Mellow Spring
- Bar stools: $60 set (Craigslist) - Painted in Valspar Secluded Garden
- Gallery wall: $15 (Dollar Tree)
- Kyrlon Looking Glass Spray Paint: $8 (for old window)
- Frame above stove: $7 (HomeGoods)
- Tray on table: $10 (HomeGoods)
While the $805 total is a little hard to swallow, I think it is a decent price for such a transformation. Plus, I can sleep at night knowing a renter isn't dinging the cabinet paint left and right. ;) Have you guys ever tried to paint similar cabinets? How did it go? Any tips of tricks to share?
We *finally* found bar stools last night that will work in the condo. In this hunt, we were up against some specific obstacles.
- I needed three stools, which is kind of hard to find
- I wanted to match the back design of the dining chairs we also bought on Craigslist
- They needed to be counter height
The greatest part is that they were the below the budget at $60 for the set. Score. Not a perfect match to the chairs we have, but close enough!
I painted the above chairs in the Mellow Spring (shown below) and plan on painting the stools to match. We went with this color because it matches the existing couch perfectly and helped to make the space more cohesive. Now it is on to the fun part of accenting with more color! Here are my favorites from Valspar.
Brian and I picked up these fun accessories from HomeGoods to help tie everything in. We are so close!