Every homeowner knows that work on a house is never really done. There’s always something that has to change: things break, improvements need to be made, times and styles change, and so on. We rehabbers know it, too.
In the case of the Villa Park main house and casita, changing market forces meant our original rehab exit strategy had to be altered to making the houses into rentals. With that change, we were faced with a dilemma—we’d have two separate tenants and only one backyard. It was fine when Carol and Russell lived in the front house and Sue Ann and I lived in the casita; we’re all friends and enjoyed the spacious yard together, even with the occasional lacrosse ball flying over the back fence from the youth sports field on the other side. It doesn’t really work when two or more strangers have to share a yard.
One of the first things that come to mind when you’re going to have two sets of strangers sharing a space is privacy. Everybody wants to feel as though they have space they can call their own and to determine when and with whom they share that space. Some people need more privacy than others do. Some people are introverted. Some people are extroverted, but don’t necessarily want a wide-open view into what their neighbors are doing all the time. As landlords/rehabbers, we get it. As Hermits, we really get it.