Acquiring the Property
This property was found at auction. It’s selling points were a rentable house with a classroom building in the back. It was zoned commercial so we can do what we want now and in the future. The property has lots of potential. What was especially attractive was the separate building in the back that can be used as our classroom.
Since the classroom has no bathroom, we decided to keep the downstairs back bedroom and attached bath as our office space. We installed an interior door which separated the office from the rental house, and an exterior door to the office.
Assessing the project work
Interior was in good shape. Since the decision was to rent the house, we did minimal work. Kitchen cabinets stayed but the counter top was replaced. We did refinished the hardwood floors, painted walls and ceilings, and installed new light fixtures. We left the bathroom as is, just a new toilet and vanity.
The overall project included a new furnace and restalling the existing steam radiators. The furnace supplies heat and hot water. We ditched the hot water heater. The house needed a new oil tank, a new water pump in the well, and a sump pump. Putting in the wall for two bedrooms, meant no heat in one of them. Hence an electric baseboard heater too.
We had no electricity. Several weeks passed before we got things straightened out with National Grid. No electricity meant no water, no heat, no power to work. With a power generator running, work got under way. We replaced wndows, built new steps, installed a wall to transform a large bedroom into two smaller ones. Now one of the bedrooms doesn’t have heat, no radiator. So we install electric baseboard heat just in that room.
There were still unknowns like the septic system. With no water, we had no idea about the plumbing and the septic. Luckily the pipes were fine. We had the septic pumped shortly after the tenants moved in. Some things were left for later such as scraping and painting the side deck and the front door. We haven’t started on the classroom building but we hope to soon.
Working the Plan
HO Insurance was an issue. We had two requirements put on us by the HO insurance company; a new roof and tenants. Both were doable but would take time. While Renee coordinated the efforts to make the interior a livable space, I did tenant interviews to find a suitable tenant. These efforts went on simultaneously.
The day before the deadline when the Insurance Co would cancel our insurance, the roof was finished and the tenant lease was signed. The insurance was reinstated. Of course Renee wasn’t worried. There are plenty of insurance companies who would insure us. Ann was relieved not to have loss the insurance in the first place.