From Rental to Reno

Well, hello! It's been forever since I've posted on this blog.  We've had a very busy summer around here. In the beginning of June my whole family went on a Disney Cruise to the Caribbean for my mom's 60th birthday! The boys had a blast, particularly our 3 year old, who was on the hunt for Mickey the whole time! The first night we got in line to take a picture with Minnie, and he asked her "Do you know where Mickey is?" Of course she didn't respond. He wasn't really into taking a picture with her. Our 1 year old was the champion of the ship in the Jack Jack (from "The Incredibles") Diaper Dash! That was pretty exciting. He was a mini celebrity the rest of the trip. People recognized him everywhere!

We've also been busy picking strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries! We've visited the Zoo, the Children's Museum, and of course both of families cottages near Lake Michigan. But most of my time alone has been spent renovating our rental home to get it sold!

On most nights, my husband would come home from work, we'd eat dinner, and I would take off for 5 hours or so, working on a shoestring budget. It was a lot of fun at first, since I don't typically get hours by myself to work on home projects, but towards the end it got quite tedious, and nothing seemed to go right. But it's done, and I think it looks a heck of a lot better than where it started! Let's just hope someone else thinks so, too... and SOON!

My husband bought this house in 2004, right before the market crashed, as a starter home (aka a bachelor pad). I lived in this house for about 6 months, before we started look for a new home.  Before we even closed on our new house, we had renters ready to move in. The captain for the Grand Rapids Griffins actually... just had to throw that in there. :) Thus it began it's new life as a rental house, for the next 5 years. This was all fine and dandy, until we let the last renters choose and paint several rooms in the house. If we ever decide to dabble in the income property market again, I will be choosing colors and doing the painting myself. Covering a good-sized red living room was time consuming, but I also had to prime and paint the trim white again, too, since it was also painted red.

Most of the work in this house consisted of painting... every single room - ceiling, trim and walls. I even primed the floor in one of the bedrooms. Now believe me when I say, I love to paint! Our entry way is on it's 3rd color in less than 5 years. But even I got a little tired of it towards the end.

I ended up choosing one nice neutral color that I hope buyers can envision building on - Wheat Bread by Behr. I like it so much I'm considering it for somewhere in our house. The half bathroom or upstairs hallway perhaps? The trim and ceilings got a fresh coat of white paint throughout. In the kitchen I added some inexpensive lattice strips to the existing cabinets to give them a Shaker style, as well as brightened them up with a few coats of white paint and new hardware. We had new vinyl flooring installed in the bathroom and laundry room, and one of the bedrooms and the walk in closet in the laundry room got new carpet.

For FHA purposes, the exterior had to be scraped and repainted as well. Because of the gray tones in the roof, I debated between a dark gray with yellow doors, or a light gray with blue doors. In the end the light gray with blue doors won out. Although, maybe a little more contrast would have been nice. I chose Amazing Gray by Sherwin Williams for the siding, which coincidentally looks a lot like Wheat Bread, oops! For the doors, I went with Bunglehouse Blue by Sherwin Williams. I love when I find new colors I can see using again. The trim is a basic bright white.

I'll let the before and afters speak for themselves. I know it's not design worthy, but it's a heck of a lot better than where it was a month ago! 

There are two other bedrooms and the laundry room I didn't show, because they're very similar shots, nothing too exciting. Thanks for taking a peek! I hope to be back to a normal once a week post now.

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