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Going, Going Gone! The Rental Cottage and our budget friendly update!

So you may remember a few posts back I gave some of my ideas for our budget friendly rental cottage remodel.  (We have owned and rented this home out for many years and about 3 years ago we did a major overhaul reno on the place, kitchen, roof, driveway, windows, floors..)  However times and designs styles have changed since then ...also the renters left their own mark...and we needed to get the place looking good and ready for the market!  

So after painting EVERYTHING, changing out the bathroom mirrors, adding new fixtures and fans and a deep clean we were finally ready to get the pictures taken and list the property.  Now, before I get into exactly what we did, let me walk you through last night....Our cleaning guy calls and says a realtor had driven by and wanted to show the house that evening and was asking the listing price.  We gave the info and didn't think about it much.  So we pull into the driveway last night and there is a nice couple with their realtor on the front porch waiting out a typical Tampa summer storm.  We give it a few minutes to pass and get out introduce ourselves and they let us know they love the house.  So my husband (who is also a realtor) walks out with them and I stay inside with the girls to start taking some pictures.  Time goes by, I finish and send them over to my husband for the listing and literally as we are driving home the other realtor calls and says we will have a full price offer in about two hours.  Just like that. We get home, my husband gets the offer, we accept and sign and go to bed! WHAT! Did that just happen?! We knew this home would be a easy sale because of it's in demand location (and to be honest we priced the house VERY fair since it isn't our typical remodel) but this was insanity! 2016 has been such a blessed year for us and our house renovating/flipping business.  This is not what we do full time but we enjoy it so much and I love that it's something we literally do as a family.  My older daughter is getting quite the eye for design even adding her own comments and opinions to materials! lol! 

A little something I hadn't fully announced to you all was that we had been approached over the summer by a casting company for a popular network to join a new TV series based around "House Flipping".  At first my husband and I were just stunned and we took part in all the conference calls and skype interviews but when it came down to it he would have to leave behind our main business for around 5-7 months (estimated).   We thought this over like crazy and there was just no way he could put his company on hold that he worked his butt off for, for over the past 15 years to do a TV show.  However it really got us thinking about the possibility of one day this being our full time business.  This will be our fourth sold home in 2016...I don't think that's too shabby! It's always exciting when you find new goals and dreams to work towards as a couple and ever since we got some recognition from the TV network it really gave our confidence a boost! When we bought our first investment home back in 2011 I would have NEVER in one million years thought that one day we would get asked to do a flipping reality show.  We barely had any idea what we were doing! This journey has been truly amazing and really puts some meaning behind my favorite Walt Disney quote "If you can dream it, you can do it!"
Now on to the cottage and it's quick, easy updates! 

I stayed with this original exterior color I chose a couple weeks ago.

Front door color.  (This color didn't actually look like I wanted it to so I probably won't use it again) Still pretty but not enough "pop".

 For the house exterior new paint and new shutters give an instant dose of curb appeal.  I am a strong believer in NEW shutters as well.  Yes, you can paint them but new looks..NEW! They are inexpensive and worth it.  We cleaned out the landscape beds and planted some tropical plants along with fresh mulch.  The house mailbox and exterior lights were already fairly new from the previous remodel so we kept them..other wise those are two quick and easy exterior updates! 

When we originally remodeled this home we tiled the entire house.  Tile is great for renters and its neutral enough to fit everyone's taste.  We were not about to remove all this tile since it was in great shape so we just had it cleaned.  It was also nice that most the house had tile baseboards so we didn't have to mess around with those.  

 This whole living/dining room area had popcorn ceilings so that is where we ended up spending the chunk of the budget! Totally worth it though!  We moved some lighting and gave the table area it's own pendant.  The orb chandy was $99 from World Market.  (PLEASE don't look at the bulb my husband put inside! HA!)

All the house interior walls are painted in VALSPAR Tranquil 

We also painted the french doors back to white, they had been previously painted by renters to brown.

 Now this kitchen is dark.  It sits in the middle of the home and when we renovated years ago I choose a medium wood cabinet and a very neutral granite countertop.  We were not going to remove anything because quite frankly that would have been alot of money that we already spent years prior.  Now the renters had put in a red tile brick backsplash that made the kitchen even darker so I knew I needed to paint that.  I did two coats of white and sealed it with a poly.  In pictures it's not really showing up but in person you can still see all the brick shape and it's an improvement.  If anything it lightens ups the space.  We had the cabinets and appliances professionally cleaned and the granite was still in perfect condition.  

This house is a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath with a large bonus room and laundry room.  This is the laundry room located right off the kitchen. (So sorry for the horrible pics!)

 Now this little bonus room is my favorite! We went ahead and installed white baseboards because there were none and painted the whole room including the exposed brick wall.. It's so charming now isn't it?! This space before was almost like the "junk room" of the house and now it's waiting to be a cozy living space! We also bought new blinds for each room.  When doing a little "mini" remodel new blinds are a must to me.  They just make the house feel cleaner! 

This is the main bathroom.  The vanity we had chosen a few years back along with that tile that wraps around the wall and up the shower (I know..WTH was I thinking?!) Anyways it stayed and I only switched out the mirror in here and obviously painted. 

This is the little half bath off the master.  I also just switched out the mirror and painted in this bathroom.

Master bedroom.

Master closet

 Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3

All in all what we did to this house was "freshen" it up! Would I have made it an entirely different house if we had just bought this? Yes absolutely, but what we wanted was to just get this house looking good for potential buyers.  Lighten & brighten it up! You can move right in and worry about cosmetic upgrades that meet your style afterward.  I think we accomplished that and hopefully over the next two weeks everything goes smoothly and we close next month! 

Thanks for stopping by! 


  1. Recently, I have got my professional real estate agent's license. I took Real Estate Express courses that helped me to get my real estate agents license. If you also want to take this license you should also take their courses.


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