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Moving, mortgages, and renovations


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Yay interview!

 

So I think we're going to move back to Austin in a year or so. There's a lot of details to figure out first. My husband's grandparents died last year and left a house to my MIL and her brother. Neither of them want it. So we're considering it. The thing is, it was built in 1978 and while decently maintained until roughly 5-7 years ago, everything in it is original to the house (except appliances, roof and HVAC) and also occupied by hoarders. All of the flooring, wallpaper, fixtures, and hardware are straight from '78 and covered with a good half inch of dust. So good news/bad news. It'll be highly unlikely to sell in that neighborhood unless to an investor, so it'll need quite a bit of work to make it livable. Also good news, once updated it'll be worth probably a good $100-150k more than it is now. It's 2050 sq ft on a quarter-acre corner lot. More bad news, Trevor's uncle will likely want all of his half through a sale rather than working with us. We're unlikely to qualify for a decent mortgage since none of our jobs are really transferable to Austin.

 

So now we're thinking of ways to make this work. We have a few things in mind, but are open to any and all ideas.

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The good news is, if anyone is qualified to flip a house, it's Trevor.

 

How are your jobs not transferable? I could see BSA maybe not having a place for you right away, but everyone everywhere needs a handyman.

 

I'd say the first thing you need to do is sit down with you MIL and Trevor's uncle and figure out how all of this is going to go down, and if you even want to do it.

 

Also, if you do move in to flip it for sale, where are you going to go once it's on the market? Stay in Austin? Back to Houston?

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Is the editor new?

 

The good news is, if anyone is qualified to flip a house, it's Trevor.

 

How are your jobs not transferable? I could see BSA maybe not having a place for you right away, but everyone everywhere needs a handyman.

 

I'd say the first thing you need to do is sit down with you MIL and Trevor's uncle and figure out how all of this is going to go down, and if you even want to do it.

 

Also, if you do move in to flip it for sale, where are you going to go once it's on the market? Stay in Austin? Back to Houston?

My department is actually the only one like it in the country. It's privately funded by a donor. Each council runs the same, but is still a separate entity. I might be able to transfer into something else, but all the decent jobs require a 4 year degree.

 

Trevor can definitely handyman anywhere, but it's taken us 5 years to get the business to where it can fully support us at this level. We'd be basically starting from scratch. Right now we do zero marketing and all his business is word-of-mouth. So I'm not sure if a mortgage company would accept that.

 

We'll probably stay in Austin. Now that our siblings are having babies and stuff, we want the boys to be around cousins and family. Plus, Austin is prettier and more aligned to our lifestyle.

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Would they take social media marketing? Hear me out - put Noah on it as a school project. Have him research best social media branding and marketing practices and start a campaign. He's dong it, not you, and it's a useful skill to have.

 

That sucks about you transferring options at the BSA. Also, I'll have to visit you in Austin.

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I split this out because I can see myself talking about this a lot in the coming year~ish. So I wanted to keep it separate. 
 

I'm really trying to find a way to make full-time money, homeschool the kids, make good grades in my own classes, keep my current volunteer and job commitments, and not completely lose my shit. I'm ok with losing a little of my shit, just not all of it. The hope is that I can make enough money in the next 12-14 months to put a small down payment on a small mortgage for half of the value of the house (to go to Trevor's uncle) AND pay a substantial amount for renovations. 

The plus side is that we'll be able to do most of the reno ourselves. Trevor is uniquely qualified for this, and we have several family members willing to step in to provide some extra labor and expertise when needed. There are only a few issues that will require us to hire someone else - namely moving the downstairs powder room from where it is to under the stairs (right now there's a wet bar under the stairs, so some of the plumbing is there, just need to move the toilet's plumbing) and installing a tankless water heater in the attic (which Trevor MIGHT be able to do, we'll just have to see). 

So what can I possibly do that will allow me to feel that I'm not neglecting the children but also make enough money to not make me want to shoot myself?

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Also, this is a bit of what we're working with here. When I said it was straight outta '78, I meant it. My in-laws were also able to trash out probably 85% of what was in this house, so seeing what's left, you can get a good idea of how full of crap this place was. 

The large covered porch is awesome. The insane trellising covered with broken plexiglass is not. But I'd kinda like to keep it somewhat enclosed because mosquitoes. What would you do?

In the last pic, I kinda want to ask if we can keep the table and all 8 chairs. They're solid wood and in great shape. I'd probably refinish them and reupholster the chairs. The China cabinet in the back is also solid (and there's a buffet in there that matches the rest), so maybe I want to keep the entire set to refinish and likely repurpose. And seriously, I'm kinda diggin those hanging lantern things in the dining room. But I'd want them for the outside porch. 

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Ah grandparent houses, we meet again. For those of us early millennials, this is all a familiar sight. I would totally ask for the table.

I wouldn't have taken this on except for Trevor. Get a dumpster because its going to be a lot of stuff to rip out, unless you do it verrryyyy slowly. I would probably start with paint, tearing down wallpaper, and light fixtures. After that, I would go after the flooring. Errr, actually first I would do the popcorn ceiling and do it before you move in. And get Trevor a gas mask or whatever is required for dealing with that. Kitchen and bathrooms last as long as they are functional.

I think you guys will be happier out there than where you are, but you will have to adjust to not working or finding a new job. But you also strike me as the type that can do just about any job and do it well.

In Florida, they do screen rooms because of the bugs. Do you think Trevor could build it himself?

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  • Cerina changed the title to Moving, mortgages, and renovations

Trevor can do pretty much everything. He'll just need extra hands. We're actually talking about completely gutting the entire downstairs down to the studs, ceiling included. It has that wonderful 70s layout where each room is an actual room complete with door/entry. Pretty much everything else for sale in the neighborhood has been redone to be more open concept. Plus, I pretty much hate every light source. I figure it'll take us a week or so for demo and clean-up, then we will have roughly a year to make it liveable again. When my sister and BIL opened their escape room company several years ago, Trevor, my BIL, and BIL's dad built 3 rooms from the ground up in one weekend, so hopefully Trevor can rebuild a few walls if he has many months. Then again, it took him like 3 months to replace the sink & cabinet and floors in the 2nd bath at our old house, so who knows. 

I also really want to redo both upstairs bathrooms, but for now, I think that'll have to wait. 

My basic plan (right now) is loosely as follows:

Phase 1: Demo all flooring (up and down) and downstairs ceiling/sheetrock/paneling.

Phase 2: New downstairs windows and lighting. New ceilings. 

Phase 3: Move bathroom. Rebuild walls to make a bigger utility/mud room in the back. 

Phase 4: Kitchen. 

Phase 5: Flooring. 

Move in. 

Phase 6 - ?: Upstairs paint. Update both full baths. Upstairs windows. Covered porch screens & furniture. Maybe above-ground pool. 

Also, I maybe need to stop watching Property Brothers and Love It or List It. 

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Yeah, that trellis plexi stuff will have to go. UGH. But I'm a freak. I like the weird plaid wallpaper in the bathrooms. I say, rent a roll out dumpster and get rid of as much as you can and then reappraise.  Because there maybe details you can't see under all the extra stuff that will be more cost to repair. Do you know about the foundation, electrical and septic lines? Also Sears siding makes me totally nervous. Oh and tankless water is an easy install but prone to fire if not done right. 

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10 hours ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

Ah grandparent houses, we meet again. For those of us early millennials, this is all a familiar sight.

I absolutely adore it, tbh.

My entire living room set came from my old boss, who had it basically time capsuled in his house from the 70’s. I love it.

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It certainly does create a strange sense of familiarity. We had that beige, orange and brown flowered couch that pretty much everyone had when I was a kid. What I find more horrifying is 90s decor. My parents decorated everything in aqua and pink. *shudder* Then for some reason when I went off to college in 2000, they wallpapered the hallway in this awful beige textured stuff that I'm pretty sure came from my dad's old office in the 80s. Sure enough, when they sold the house in 2005, they had to rip it out and paint the walls white.

Admittedly, everyone is painting their cabinets now and I'm just not brave enough to do it. So my house probably screams 2005 but oh well.

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We’re painting our cabinets... soon. We have the paint but we still need fixtures.

We just replaced the very late 90’s brass fixtures in the living area last week, so we can actually do that now.

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