Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Before and After!



We had a comment a couple of days ago asking for a "rental rehab" project update...funny you should ask :-)  We finally finished!  We were delayed only due to the holidays and getting the carpet installation scheduled.  It went in this past week, and we have a meeting with tentative renters later this week.

It was interesting to complete the project and then sit down as a family to discuss what came next.  Do we rent it out?  Do we try and put it on the market now?  At first, the kids were all 100% in favor of trying to sell it despite our original plans.  They were leery after all their hard work of putting the home in the hands of renters who might not take good care of it, and finding ourselves having to go in and redo much of what we just finished.  We listened to them, and got a couple of Realtors to give us an idea of the market at the moment, then shared the information with the kids. Then, we all sat down and analyzed the data presented...the Realtor's fees, the months of mortgage payments while it sits empty trying to sell it, capital gains taxes, current estimated market value...and we then looked at the market value 4 years ago which was quite different than it is today, which surprised the kids to see such a wide swing in property value.

In the midst of this process which took place over a few days, a possible tenant fell in our laps...a couple who needs a break and looked at the house already and are quite excited about living in what feels like an almost brand new home.  We had said all along that we would let God lead us in this part of the decision, and taking everything into account it appears that renting right now is the right thing to do, and the approval was unanimous.  So...landlords we will become!

The kids have every right to be extremely proud of themselves, and are glad the hard work is past us now.  They completed their beautiful notebooks of the project and we turned them into our school today...each had written many journal entries, had included photos with captions, created at least 10-12 pages of calculations including project budget/estimates, actual cost versus estimate, square footage calculations, and much more.  There were several pages of new vocabulary terms, safety rules, samples of paint and carpet selections, and just about anything we could think of that documented the learning that occurred.  They spent about 3 hours finishing them up last night, and each was well done.

So....::::Drum roll::::...Here it is!

Before

After
Before



After

After


After




Before
After

Before
After
Before
After
Part of the Crew
This was a huge project, and included re-roofing, painting the entire interior and exterior and enormous fence, drywall repair in several places, new flooring, light electrical and plumbing, a couple tons of gravel, and a lot of elbow grease.  Add in the documentation of learning the kids did in their notebooks and it was quite a project.  Each of the kids spent more than 150 hours on the project...and I think for 9, 12 and 13 year olds with no prior experience they did an outstanding job.  They do feel a sense of accomplishment, and they learned so much throughout the past couple of months.  There is a sense now that they can tackle large, adult tasks and handle them, and that they have learned firsthand the wisdom of repairing things yourself versus paying others to do it for you...and when it is wiser to pay for a professional to do a job.

An understanding of finances was gained in ways that nothing else could have accomplished, and they did better than many adults would have done!  Paint estimates were right on the money, with not a single extra can needed and not a single full extra can left, just enough for touch ups.  Total project cost came in $1700 UNDER budget, thanks in large part to their careful shopping and being willing to tackle most jobs themselves.  All the kids were wide eyed in the initial phases as we were talking about projected expenses being in the thousands, and taking a second out on our own home to allow us to do this together as a family signaled to them just how much trust we were placing in them...a trust that was well earned, but they knew immediately that they needed to take this very seriously, and they sure did.  A better work crew would be very hard to find.

We are hopeful that our prospective tenants will work out and indeed end up moving in soon.  We are also hoping that the house will be a blessing to anyone who lives there, that it will provide them with a real home...not just a house...and that whoever resides there will experience peace and abundance as they live under that brand new roof.  We know the pitfalls to renting, and we hope we don't face too many of them.  But for now we can look upon the project as a job well done, and an extraordinary learning opportunity that might never come along again before adulthood. It built confidence, it built skill, and it built a stronger family unit as we worked together.  We are all taking the risk together as well.  Frankly, I can't think of another group I'd like to sink or swim with!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Cindy! I'm in awe of all of you! How much you've accomplished! How beautiful it all looks! It certainly feels like the hand of God has been in the middle of it, up to and including having prospective tenants already lined up. May it prove to be so! Congratulations to Team LaJoy! God be with you!
Love, blessings, and shalom!
Kaye

Anonymous said...

It will be a blessing to anyone living under its roof. It is peaceful and lovely. It was built with love, prayer, and sweat. The landlords are a gift from God, and the hidden benefit is that it comes with ongoing prayer and love.

Blessings to you and your renters,
Lael

Anonymous said...

WOW - it looks fantastic!!! When can Team LaJoy help Team Vincent???!!! Seriously, you all have done a wonderful job. What a great experience for the kids, from start to finish. Congratulations - you never cease to amaze me!!!
Jill

Anonymous said...

What an amazing project to complete as a family! It looks so fresh and new. I can't believe how much you've accomplished with the house, as well as completing the kids' notebooks. They are learning well how to look ahead, make plans, work hard, and accomplish important goals. And you are so right, working together builds bonds and memories to be shared for a lifetime. Our older daughters have fond memories of helping their dad build hog house additions. We're no longer adding on, but hubby still takes the time to work one on one with each of our younger four. It speaks of trust and confidence and love when parents include kids in "adult" projects.

Nancy in the Midwest

Anonymous said...

It looks great!! What a wonderful job you all did and what a perfect example of life learning skills!!! Look out, I am sending my kid to Auntie Cindy's summer school!!! :-)
Kelly

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! We are also landlords (and renters, ourselves, in another city). It's important to take an emotional step back from the renting process. I found myself heartbroken after my first tenant did not treat my home very nicely. In the end, it is just "things" and they can be fixed or replaced. It's hard to sell in this market. Did you talk to your accountant about renting an income property? Our tax burden is actually higher than what we make on the place right now, but we can't afford to sell it (I'm upside down in my mortgage on the place, like much of the country). I think our annual loss is around $300, but we don't really see it easily, as that loss is seen in our federal and state taxes in April.
Best of luck!

Trisha said...

Looks great! Ya for finding a renter quickly and Ya for some extra income to pay you back after all the improvements.

Karen said...

How in the world did you take down that wallpaper in the kitchen? Your children have the patience of saints!

Hilary Marquis said...

Whoa! You guys did an amazing job! Perhaps you all need to do remodles professionally in the future!

Carrie DeLille said...

Wow-awesome transformation!!