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Your challenging home renovated into lovely cosiness -- after purchase


shootingstar

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A local banker bought a townhouse in 1994 which he bought for a song. But had to renovate it big time. See below.  Quite honestly, I wouldn't have bought such a place.  He was young in earning money/career.

My lst condo, was occupied by a couple where the guy was a smoker. So there was a slight yellowish tinge on the painted walls..clearly needed wash plus repaint.  That's when I realized what a smoker meant. Ugh.

 

"It had not been cared for at all. The carpets, the wall coverings, the window treatments – everything was probably 20 years outdated. It was full of cat pee. In fact, when we went to tour it, there was cat poop. There were three cats running around and there was cat poop on the rug. The whole thing smelled awful. The walls and ceilings were thick yellow from cigarette smoke. It really was horrible.


"But the minute I saw it, I could start to see the possibilities, and it was by far the best location. ... It was just off the park. It was well within my price point. It just needed a lot of work. But despite that, I instantly started to see the possibilities of what this could become. I started to imagine my furniture there and imagine the things I could start to do with it."

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  • shootingstar changed the title to Your challenging home renovated into lovely cosiness -- after purchase
59 minutes ago, shootingstar said:

A local banker bought a townhouse in 1994 which he bought for a song. But had to renovate it big time. See below.  Quite honestly, I wouldn't have bought such a place.  He was young in earning money/career.

My lst condo, was occupied by a couple where the guy was a smoker. So there was a slight yellowish tinge on the painted walls..clearly needed wash plus repaint.  That's when I realized what a smoker meant. Ugh.

"It had not been cared for at all. The carpets, the wall coverings, the window treatments – everything was probably 20 years outdated. It was full of cat pee. In fact, when we went to tour it, there was cat poop. There were three cats running around and there was cat poop on the rug. The whole thing smelled awful. The walls and ceilings were thick yellow from cigarette smoke. It really was horrible.


"But the minute I saw it, I could start to see the possibilities, and it was by far the best location. ... It was just off the park. It was well within my price point. It just needed a lot of work. But despite that, I instantly started to see the possibilities of what this could become. I started to imagine my furniture there and imagine the things I could start to do with it."

My daughter bought a trashed rental for a song.  They continued to live with SIL parents while they renovated it.  Fortunately we have family in the trades who helped a lot… Anyway they are right side about $200K now… It was the only way they could get a place where they wanted to live.   They didn’t have cat pee issues but dog pee… 

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1 hour ago, ChrisL said:

My daughter bought a trashed rental for a song.  They continued to live with SIL parents while they renovated it.  Fortunately we have family in the trades who helped a lot… Anyway they are right side about $200K now… It was the only way they could get a place where they wanted to live.   They didn’t have cat pee issues but dog pee… 

Gee, animal pee....well I guess you folks have a dog and not that it pees at home, but not totally strange.  I guess.  :blink:  

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They had a program in Baltimore a generation ago where you could buy a rundown property, usually a rowhouse in a not-so-great area, for $1 if you contracted with Baltimore City to invest $10,000, or maybe it was $20,000, in renovating it within so many years (5 or 10).

That program ended and a new $1 program was proposed in 2022 that had so many conditions it was ridiculous and didn't fly.

A not-hardworking cousin of mine's father got him into the program and put up the money and work to renovate the house.

Eventually, the state decided to put a ramp to an expressway where the house was and my cousin made out like a bandit.

He started blowing the money so his wise older sister made him hand over to her what was left when it was still a large sum and she has been giving him several hundred a month out of it to keep him going ok.

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Back when I was doing renovations and new home builds, we had a customer that wanted the cat smell removed from the house. That required removal of all flooring and subfloors and the concrete floor in the basement, they seemingly used for a litter box.  

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Just now, Wilbur said:

Back when I was doing renovations and new home builds, we had a customer that wanted the cat smell removed from the house. That required removal of all flooring and subfloors and the concrete floor in the basement, they seemingly used for a litter box.  

That sadly seems about right for cat pee that is the result of a LOT of neglect (to the cats and the property).

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5 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

Back when I was doing renovations and new home builds, we had a customer that wanted the cat smell removed from the house. That required removal of all flooring and subfloors and the concrete floor in the basement, they seemingly used for a litter box.  

My daughter place has a roughly 6’X6’ transitional landing on the stairs. The carpet was shredded up and it smelled terrible.  When we lifted the carpet, the subfloor was soft & soggy from all the dog pee and the concrete underneath was wet from dripping dog pee.

We pulled the subfloor and replaced it.  Based on marks on the wall we think they put a gate there and the dog basically lived on that landing as there was no pee damage anywhere else.

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1 hour ago, MickinMD said:

They had a program in Baltimore a generation ago where you could buy a rundown property, usually a rowhouse in a not-so-great area, for $1 if you contracted with Baltimore City to invest $10,000, or maybe it was $20,000, in renovating it within so many years (5 or 10).

That program ended and a new $1 program was proposed in 2022 that had so many conditions it was ridiculous and didn't fly.

A not-hardworking cousin of mine's father got him into the program and put up the money and work to renovate the house.

Eventually, the state decided to put a ramp to an expressway where the house was and my cousin made out like a bandit.

He started blowing the money so his wise older sister made him hand over to her what was left when it was still a large sum and she has been giving him several hundred a month out of it to keep him going ok.

That's a very unusual municipal program.  I wonder what exactly the original goal of that program would have been from the municipality's perspective. I can see why it was toasted since govn't money for homeowner renovations becomes less frequent these past few years.  It's just not financially sustainable long-term and alot of administrative work for the govn't body.

Renovations if  recently subsidized by Canadian govn't (any level) has been for energy-savings. Or more efficient water use. Or for occupant disabled accessibility.

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1 hour ago, shootingstar said:

That's a very unusual municipal program.  I wonder what exactly the original goal of that program would have been from the municipality's perspective. I can see why it was toasted since govn't money for homeowner renovations becomes less frequent these past few years.  It's just not financially sustainable long-term and alot of administrative work for the govn't body.

Renovations if  recently subsidized by Canadian govn't (any level) has been for energy-savings. Or more efficient water use. Or for occupant disabled accessibility.

My area isn’t really that old but there are some really cool older (late 1800) Victorian homes in a neighboring city that needed to be relocated for various development projects.  

The homes were offered for $1 but you had to relocate the structure and of course buy the property within the city to move it to.  WOChrisL and I went to an open house recently that was one of these properties and it was really cool and totally creepy… Even if I had the money to burn I wouldn’t have bought the house… 

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32 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

My area isn’t really that old but there are some really cool older (late 1800) Victorian homes in a neighboring city that needed to be relocated for various development projects.  

The homes were offered for $1 but you had to relocate the structure and of course buy the property within the city to move it to.  WOChrisL and I went to an open house recently that was one of these properties and it was really cool and totally creepy… Even if I had the money to burn I wouldn’t have bought the house… 

That would be alot of planning and work to coordinate for renovations for a buyer-owner.  Maybe for a rich contractor-owner it could be an interesting challenge if they had lots of time on their hands.

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The first house I bought was a fixer-upper that I got for $80K in a $110K-$125K neighborhood.

Fixing it up - back before you could find everything to do on YouTube - I bought books and got a lot of help from Home Depot back when a lot of knowledgeable people worked there.

The interior doors were often so scraped up on the insides of rooms it was as if dogs were starved there and scratched and scratched to get out. I went to Home Depot and they had a super sale on 80" high wooden doors.  I asked a worker if they could cut them to 78", which is what I needed, and he said, "No."  As my father and I walked away disappointed, I looked at Dad and said, "I asked him the wrong question," and we went back and I asked, "Can I cut the doors to 78"?" and he said, "Sure."

They were hollow doors, but I basically carefully cut the top interior horizontal interior wood strip off with a band saw, chiseled off the outside wood, and glued it back into the door.

All the floors except kitchen and bath had wall-to-wall carpeting that was in awful shape.  When we trashed it, it revealed mostly excellent maple hardwood floor everywhere.  Dad had experience sanding floors and we rented a sander and did a great job.

We went to Home Depot and asked about a stain.  The guy there said no stain, just put down an expoxy coating and he recommended Behr.  He said that after we put the first coat on, fibers in the wood floor would stand up a little and I'd need to sand it before putting on the 2nd coat. Since I had no experience, he recommended 120 grit paper wrapped around a 6" piece of 2x4 and do it slowly by hand so I wouldn't take the 1st coat off, vacuuming the dust before applying the 2nd coat.  I ended up with an often-complimented hardwood floor, even when I sold it 20 years later.

Little by little, I improved windows, etc. and sold it for a nice profit that I kindly split with my siblings because they each had a kid when I downsized and took sole possession of our late parents house.

Of course, my 2020 house fire's rebuilding resulted in my parents' house now being worth more than what my fixer-upper would be.

 

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All of the houses I have bought needed some TLC. The house I have had for the past thirty years was new when I bought it but the pipes froze and broke over the winter before I bought it. The first thing I had to do when we were moving in was repair all the broken pipes. (I got a deal on the house)

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On 2/6/2024 at 4:12 PM, shootingstar said:

That's a very unusual municipal program.  I wonder what exactly the original goal of that program would have been from the municipality's perspective. I can see why it was toasted since govn't money for homeowner renovations becomes less frequent these past few years.  It's just not financially sustainable long-term and alot of administrative work for the govn't body.

Renovations if  recently subsidized by Canadian govn't (any level) has been for energy-savings. Or more efficient water use. Or for occupant disabled accessibility.

It’s mainly to rejuvenate dilapidated areas to generate tax income and reduce crime. Many of those houses are abandoned or tax delinquent. It’s cheaper than demolition. 

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10 hours ago, groupw said:

It’s mainly to rejuvenate dilapidated areas to generate tax income and reduce crime. Many of those houses are abandoned or tax delinquent. It’s cheaper than demolition. 

This absolutely is not the same thing:  right now in our city is retrofitting some select highrise older and long-vacate office buildings into apartment buildings..supposedly to meet affordable housing needs.  We'll see where this goes in a decade :   if it will remain "affordable".  

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