Thursday, January 20, 2011

House Hunting: Duplex

Our first house we really looked at was... interesting.  To say the least.

Here are the stats:
Built: 1931
Style: One story/ Bungalow
Beds/Baths: 3  2/0
Sq Ft: 1400
Garage: 2

The house used to be a duplex and had been passed down through a family.  About 25 years ago, the current owner renovated it to a single family home.  I use that turn 'renovate' loosely.

When you first walk in, you are in what they were using as a dining room

The opened door behind my real estate agent leads down to one of the two basements.
The kitchen was directly off of the dining room.  It was small, but it could probably fit a small table

The incredibly pink bathroom was directly next to the kitchen.  Other then the Pepto Bismol color, it was in really good shape

Directly off of the dining room was the living room-- that had two closets.  I have a feeling that when it was a duplex there was a wall there and those used to be two bedrooms.

Don't be jealous, but that television comes with the house.  Bonus...??

The room on the other side of the living room was the owners master bedroom

It's hard to tell, but see that small rug on the floor?  That is where the door to the second basement is.

The small room off of the bedroom was being used as a den/office/closet

this dude had a thing for shelving. 

Anyone who has ever been house hunting can attest that you find some interesting stuff in other people's houses.  We were in one of the garages checking out the storage, and look what our agent, Kim, stumbled upon.

Nudie pictures.  Lots and lots of nudie pictures.   Hysterical.
Anyway, back to the house tour.  Confused yet?   Yeah, it's a little strange of a layout.  Here is a diagram-- I love diagrams

In a perfect world, this would be a good set up- you have master bedroom that has a door that leads out to a private porch.  The "den" could be turned into a killer walk in closet, and you have a full master bath attached.  Pretty cool, right?

There are two major problems for me
 1.  There is a door to the basement/garage in your bedroom.
 2. You can't get to bedroom #2 without going through the master bedroom.

But then JEGs and I got to thinking: 

What if we turned it back into a duplex?  We could live on one side and rent the other side out?

So we came up with this diagram:

We would reconstruct the wall in the current living room and create two bedrooms.  The den/office would be converted back to a kitchen.  Each side has their own private entrance, a garage and a basement.  The money we made from the rental could be saved and used towards the purchase of our next home.  Also, when we decided to move, we wouldn't have to sell the house-- we could just rent out the other side. Plus, with all these renovations going on, I've got blog material for the next 4 years!

There are, of course, some cons to this idea.  First off, it's going to take a lot of money. Not only build a firewall between the two apartments, but also to put in all new flooring (that carpet was nasty) and also install an entire kitchen on the rental side.  There is also no guarantee that we will have renters for the property.

Also, it will be a sacrifice for space.  Right now we are crammed into 900 sq ft, and this will only give us 700 sq ft.  However, we will have a second bedroom for guests, and a basement for storage.

In high school JEGs worked for a fellow named Mike who owned his own construction/renovation company.  JEGs said he could work magic with a hammer and some nails so we asked him to take a look at the house and give us a ballpark estimate on the cost of repairs.

He took one look at the house and told us to run.  Run far, far, away.

Beyond the simple repairs that we wanted to (new floors, new kitchen, new wall, etc) this house had code violations left and right.  He told us that if the house passed inspection (big IF), we were looking at another 75-90K just to bring it to 2011 code.  He also told us he thought the house was overpriced by at least $100,000.
As much as I wanted to breath some new life into this cottage, JEGs and I decided it was just too much to take on as our first home and we have decided to walk away.

There are plenty more fish in the sea, and we've got our fishin' poles!

Always & Forever,


bethany said...

Hahaha....oh, LB. How could you run away from a garage full of vintage nudie pics? I mean. COME ON. I thought I knew you better than that...

Anyway. Good choice. I, too, feel the call of becoming a remodelista (creative inspiration for years!), but I suppose you've got to know a lemon when you see one. Glad you and JEGS didn't get screwed on this one. :)

Kim said...


JEGs said...

For the record...Im extremely relieved we didnt go forward with this house. The best thing that could happen to that property is for it to fall down or get knocked down to start from scratch. Ugh with a double side of ugh.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

The nudie pictures crack me up. Your agent looks great. That's a very odd layout. Can't wait to see the next house...

Shannon said...

You guys are crazy...that pink bathroom is pretty sweet. And vintage porn? Let's make a deal!