We had begun looking to purchase our first rental during the renovation on Sunset (see previous posts about our house on Sunset so you can catch up with where we are!).
Criteria we were looking for in a rental was: 1. A single family. 2. Not a major renovation. 3. Something close to home so we could head over after working our 9-5pm. 5. No more than $40,000
We found a HUD owned property, and we submitted an offer that night! We knew we had to move fast. The offer we made was at almost full asking price. There were multiple offers, which turned into a bidding war. The bank came back, asking for highest and best. We really thought we lost it, but somehow we didn’t, picking it up for $35,500!!! We were so excited to be owners of our first rental, but super nervous to now have 2 mortgages!
This house had ducts under the house that had been destroyed from feral cats…the smell was pungent when walking through the house, especially in the crawl space area. We knew immediately that we would have to get a professional to fix that issue ASAP! We closed on a Thursday, went home and gathered up some tools and cleaning supplies and headed over to get to work. Once we arrived we realized two things. We hadn’t called to have the electricity turned on yet, so no lights! AND we also neglected to call the gas company, so no heat either…let me just mention that we closed on this house at the end of February so it was about 40 degrees outside and this house was chilly to say the least on the inside. So (after we had called the power and gas companies) we worked for a few hours just cleaning and getting a plan together, but once the sun went down we had to stop…We just couldn’t see what we were doing or feel our fingertips!
We weren’t scheduled for utility hookups until Monday. Lesson learned. Always call and make sure the utilities will be turned on the day you close on a property! Another side note: We’ve made this mistake multiple times since then! So maybe we still haven’t learned that lesson. As we sit here on a Thursday night, we are closing on another property on Monday and have yet to call the utilities!!
Friday we decided to bring the propane heater so we at least could heat the house up a bit. We again worked during the day and the little heater did a good job keeping the house warm (as long as you used it in the living room)! We decided to paint the trim a bright white and do away with the cream color and change the wall colors. We wanted to do something that would look nice and clean. This house had a nice chair rail that surrounded the entire living room, so we decided on a light gray on the top half and a darker gray on the bottom. Mind you, these ceiling were 11 and 12 feet tall and most of the painting was done by me. Danny and I wanted to try to hire out professionals to help speed the process up, but when the estimate for painting came back at $1600, the job came back to me…
We also figured out on Monday that the furnace was not heating the house very efficiently. We called to have the HVAC system looked at and to our surprise we figured out two issues. One, we had no duct-work attached to the registers and two, we had a colony of cats under the house that had made a mess of the duct-work. The AC guy said he would be able to come by next week and install new duct-work. After we closed off the feline point of entry to the crawl space, had successfully “evicted” the cats and paid out a $700 HVAC bill, we had a working HVAC system with the warning that the system was older and would probably need replaced soon (which ended up needing replaced a year later).
Next week we’ll get further into the before & afters of the rest of the house projects. We really loved the character of this home. The high ceilings and the light from all the windows. We were soon to be off to a great start on our rental journey!
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