Monday, January 17, 2011

The Finish Line is in Sight

It looks like the house project is wrapping up.  I am meeting the workers tomorrow to have the floors refinished, and to test the living room to see if we need to carpet or if those floors can be refinished as well.  You see, when Ray came over to give me a quote, he discovered that the spots on the floor in the living room are actually "pet stains" aka dog pee. 
Being a cat person, I'm sure you can understand my joy to find that a big smelly dog with no bladder control has ruined my hardwoods.  Apparently, the acid in animal urine soaks through 2/3 of the depth of the wood making it impossible to sand out.  The only way it can be fixed is to replace the boards where the stains are which is super expensive.  Ray used to own a fair amount of rental properties and told me the best financial option would be to carpet that room.  He promised to at least try to sand those areas to see if he is wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.  Steve and I went ahead and picked out some carpet so if Ray comes back with bad news, I can just call the carpet company and they can install the next day. 

After the floors are done, I will have a big cleaning job and then we are ready for our tenants.  Yes, we found tenants! We have been talking to them for a few weeks, but I didn't want to say anything about them and jinx it.  They turned in the application, and barring being a serial killers or chronically being evicted, a couple and their 2 kids will be the perfect family for our little house.  Here's the best part though, the tenant's uncle owns an A/C company and he installed A/C's for him for 11 years.  When we told him the A/C situation and that we were going to put in new window units for the time being he said he could sell us the units at cost and install them for a month's rent.  DEAL! 

Everything else at the house (including an unexpected roof leak) has been fixed and ready to go.  I even finished the flower beds.  Check out my work and oooh and aaah as though you've never seen anything like it before:
(I just realized I took this before the grass was mowed.  It looks nicer now.)

It looks like this first rental project has been a success.  We definitely hit a few bumps in the road and learned a lot from this project.  Here are the top 5 things I learned:

1.  We were a little ambitious.  Next time we will find a house that doesn't need quite so much work.  With all of the foreclosures happening, there are some great houses out there at great prices.
2.  Always go with the middle quote.  Typically the most expensive is ripping you off or will do a much nicer job than is necessary for a small rental, and the cheapest guy is Marco and his sidekick Polo.
3.  Dale is a God-send....and my new BFF.
4.  I need to learn more Spanish.
5.  The people at Home Depot are the best.

This just in!  Special Announcement!  Ray just called to confirm tomorrow and said they are going to try to bleach the pet stains to see what happens.  Fingers Crossed!!!!

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