Jun 17 2009

Stripping Foreclosed Homes

The Star Tribune in Minneapolis recently reported on a historically designated home that has fallen into foreclosure. That is bad enough, but apparently thieves have broken in and pretty much stripped the place of all the cool details that made it historical. This is really sad, and is something that preservation forces should be on watch for happening in other areas. However, this isn’t limited to just historical homes. In many parts of the country, such as Detroit, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, vandels (or the foreclosed owners themselves) are stripping homes of anything of value such as sinks, toilets, light fixtures, cabinets, even furnaces. I remember when I was looking for my first home during that last real estate meltdown in Denver in the late 1980’s, I found some places with the same thing…no cabinets, light fixtures, etc. Pretty sad.

In Suprise, AZ though, they are beginning to prosecute people for this, as reported by Jay Thompson on his blog, The Phoenix Real Estate Guy.

Feb 2 2009

HIstoric Remodel Part 2

This time I have attached a picture of the exterior of the home. It is pretty intact from the original construction 105 years ago, other than I can see where a porch roof used to attach to the home. Hopefully, this week or next I will get time to go down to the assessors office to explore the history of this home, and maybe even find some photographs of when it was built.

There are some things on the interior that are greatly amusing me. I have heard about some of things before, but have not witnessed them myself, not having been involved with a home this old before. First of all, there are many different styles of doors, and many different door heights! There is one door that goes between the bedrooms that I don’t think is even 6 foot tall. I do have to duck through many of the doors. I wonder if we built a new today with mismatched doors, and varying sizes if it would even get through building inspections, much less be able to sell it. Oh well, the charm of older homes.

Jan 27 2009

Historic Remodel

One of my business associates has a rental home he bought a year ago. Last month the tenants unexpectedly moved out, leaving quite a mess. After we got the got the junk cleared out of the house, we decided to fix it up, and rent it out again. This home is part of a larger piece of ground he is looking to develop, and the plan was to demolish this home. Now we are looking to keep it, and rent it out again for awhile, and possibly convert it to a commercial use.

In the interim, my wife has put a tremendous amount of time into cleaning it. We don’t think it was cleaned once in the 10 years or so the tenant was there. Structurally the house is in good condition, but it needs some TLC. The owner tore out the old kitchen floor, and I took on the painting.

In the spirit of sustainability and being green, we are going to attempt a green remodel, on a tight budget. Part of the picture is of course, saving the structure in the first place. For the paint, I selected Olympic paint since it is a low VOC environmentally friendly paint. The floor was purchased off of Craig’s list as a left over piece of sheet flooring.

Over time we will have to replace the wiring, rebuild the back lean too addition that house the kitchen and bath, replace the roofing (structure is fine), replace the heating system, etc. I will keep you posted on the progress. For now, enjoy the picures of us actually working on the place!