real estate investing


The Glamorous Life of a Real Estate Investor

Today I painted a kitchen. This house we’re working on. Man, it’s taking forever. Ben has done all kinds of fancy stuff but I don’t know how to do many things so I’ve just been painting. So far, I’ve painted the upstairs, which is a gigantic angular bedroom and bathroom; the laundry room; the walls of the downstairs bathroom (thankfully Ben did the bricks, which I’ll show you soon); and one coat on the kitchen (everything but the laundry room has needed two coats).

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Wet paint looks bad!

Here are a couple “before” pix, which show that my work today did nothing to improve matters. I’m hoping the second coat helps and that I’ll find the motivation to clean the shit out of the trim and beadboard, which will be painted a nice fresh white. The tenants who lived here before we bought this house never cleaned. I don’t even want to tell you about some of the things I had to scrape out from under the upstairs bedroom trim.

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We’re painting the cabinets and giving them new pulls, installing all new appliances and a little islandy-type thing from Ikea, adding some new lighting, and putting in a new sink and counter. We don’t love the floor (it’s faux wood, and I regret to inform you that a previous owner removed all the original wood floors from the back half of the house) but it’s serviceable and will stay for now.

Our hope is that the finished product will be nice but not fancy, so nice but not fancy people can afford to live here with their animals. It’s somewhat boring work, but I kind of feel that providing a decent place for someone to live at a reasonable price is in some small way contributing to society.

Also! You haven’t met our new chickens yet but one of them is already laying! Look at this cute tiny egg!

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Another House!

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And here’s another thing! A while ago, I mentioned wanting to do some kind of creative project. Well, this is it!

We bought this house and are fixing it up so we can rent it out. We originally thought about flipping a house, but the margins are way too tight in Denver right now, especially for people like us with no experience or connections. (“Tight margins” is the fancy real estate investor way of saying prices are too high to count on making much of a profit by flipping.) Being landlords seems to be going pretty well for us so far, so we figured we’d try to (slowly — this is a crazy sellers’ market) expand our Denver real estate empire (Two investment houses does not an empire make but I like to dream!) and have more reliable income from tenants while also enjoying the appreciation we hope will continue as everybody in the world decides to move to Denver.

Fixing up a house is a lot of work and we’re very slow what with having full-time jobs and a kid and all, but I’ll share updates as I have them.