Monday, August 3, 2015

Catch ya on the flip side - Urban charm

Once, when I was small and riding through the downtown area looking at all the dilapidated buildings, I told my mom that when I grew up I wanted to buy the run down houses, fix them up, and sell them to poor people.  My mom told me that was already done by a group called Habitat for Humanity.  When I got older and found out more about Habitat I realized that wasn't entirely true but also learned how expensive rehab can be compared to new construction.

Despite this knowledge, that initial career plan still holds a lot of intrigue for me.  I still love to look at real estate listings and dream about the changes I would make to the property.  Of course, this urge isn't helped by all the property flipping and renovation shows HGTV has currently.

With that being said I thought it would be fun and also potentially satiating to chronicle some properties that I come across and the changes that I would make to them here.

First up is a property that is in a somewhat transitional neighborhood.  The area around it has recently gotten some nice retail and restaurant space, the only Whole Foods in our area is within a mile or so of this property.  It is on the smaller side with 978 square feet but we are in an area that has a lot of higher educational facilities making this the perfect starter home for a young couple seeking an urban lifestyle.

{all photos courtesy of Zillow}

The first thing I would do is clean up the front landscaping and add a privacy fence to the rear.  Possibly add some new windows, spray foam insulation, and a tankless water heater for energy efficiency.

Then, in the only bathroom, I would add some drama in the form of a boldly patterned floor, but in black and white to reference the time period of the original house.  Some subway tile in the bath and beadboard wainscoting for the walls, a pedestal sink and some sconces to round things out, get you a nice clean space.

The kitchen would get some herringbone slate floors, white shaker style cabinets, concrete countertops with an apron style sink, an industrial style faucet, stainless steel range hood, some schoolhouse lighting, and a pop of color via some bright penny tile.  Add in some white appliances and you have a great juxtaposition of modern and period.

The rest of the house would get a fresh coat of a soft grayed white and refinished hardwood floors.  And there you have the perfect urban cocoon.

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