Carol took a lot of “after” photos of the Parkwood house, so I thought it would be fun to do a before and after post! Enjoy the transformation. We will have more professional ones later, but this is fun!
Carol and Ray report that the Parkwood renovation is just about DONE. And the house is truly transformed from a a junk-filled horror to a lovely family home. We’re really proud of the work that our team has done on this project.
Unfortunately, it’s been raining like crazy the last few days, which makes it hard to get good pictures. It’s very squishy out at Parkwood, as it is everywhere in this vicinity. In fact, Lee and Mandi are hesitating to drive in to the Cameron office, since the Walker’s Creek bridge on our road is almost to flood stage, as is our ranch house driveway dam.
Lucky for us, Ray made it to Parkwood night before last and he has shared a few of the photos he took, so we can at least give you a sneak preview of the kitchen and family room all cleaned up and pretty. We can’t wait for photos in the daylight!
Carol will be staging this week (assuming she can get there) so the house can go on the market this weekend. We still need bathroom mirrors and a few little touches.
Of course, if you are in the area and are interested in buying this 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house before it goes on the market, just call Carol at 512-807-8777, and talk price/make an offer!
We think this house, with its new roof, new energy-eficient windows, new kitchen and baths, new floors and HUGE back yard, all in a spot that’s easy for commuting, will sell FAST!
We’re looking forward to the first sunny day of 2019. Stay warm and dry friends, and dream of easy remodeling jobs!
Last time we talked about how important location can be for a vacation rental property, both from a proximity to the owner viewpoint, and from a proximity to relevant areas of interest. Today I’ll share some ideas for making the properties enjoyable by the tenants, and still easy on the owners.
People seem to like houses with a theme. At least I do. And one thing that drew me to Casa Santa Fe was its southwestern US decor. And let me tell you, these folks were consistent when they decorated this space. I can’t count the Navajo-style blankets in the space, and on top of that there are a lot of tile surfaces (also easy to clean!), southwestern art, and things that look like animal skins.
The rustic furnishings are quite sturdy, which leads to low maintenance, vital for profit and convenience for the property owners. The open shelving in the kitchen displays even more southwestern decor, plus makes it easy for renter to find the plates and glasses. Smart.
The beds look great with lots of pillows and blankets that match the theme and are sturdy as well.
The decorator went all out in the bedrooms, too. The one where Anita is staying has the cutest collection of tiny cowboy boots in it, while my bedroom has lovely blankets stored on the wall (and a creepy dude painting). The big bedroom where our kids will go has crosses, including a cool tin one that lights up.
None of the things they chose were expensive or precious, so they don’t have to worry about renters messing up antiques or anything. The rugs are from India, not Indians, and the posters are cool to look at, but not really old.
One of my favorite rustic things is in, of all things, the toilet room. They use a barn-door with great character to hide the closet with all the cleaning supplies. Not having a door that swings open maximizes the use of all available space. Easy for the maid service, attractive for renters, which are both very important factors in a holiday rental.
Also in the bathroom, don’t laugh at me, but I loved the shower control. It doesn’t have H and C for hot and cold; instead it has a sun and a snowflake. That is sweet. And not biased toward English speakers.
There is a stackable washer and dryer, which makes clean-up easy (and is convenient for guests that stay a while, like us). And all the sheets, blankets, and towels are dark gray. That makes them less likely to get all stained up, but also looks good with the decor. I’m keeping THAT trick in mind, for sure.
The dishes are brightly colored but do not all match. That makes dealing with breakage a lot easier. They can just get more colorful items in with similar shapes and sizes and they are good to go. Same with the glassware. Cheerful, but not all the same. I really like this, because I’ve been at places where everything matched, and there was obviously some stuff mssing.
With the dishes and such, I was thinking that all white would be another option, or for a mid-century house, mixed cheerful patterns from that era (easy to find in thrift shops), and for older houses like ours, mixed old-fashioned china, perhaps all with flowers, or all with some other theme.
My brain just keeps going and going as I think of more and more ideas. Lee’s started a list.
Getting closer and closer to the finish line with Parkwood doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple of mis-steps here and there. But overall, it’s still going well.
No matter how good you are at making color choices, sometimes they don’t look as good on a wall as on a paint chip. Carol found that out with the front entryway. The dark gray paint, combined with the dark rocks, makes the long walkway to the door look rather cave-like, and the lovely shade of turquoise does not pop when it’s way in the shadows like that.
So, the plan is to paint the entry the lighter gray of the trim and find another door color (I vote for coral, to go with the limestone, but actually, I don’t have a vote on this one!). We’re looking forward to seeing the new choices and to seeing the home completely painted.
The kitchen, though, has worked out really well. The backsplash is in, and Ray chose a classic white subway tile. It makes the kitchen bright and neutral, ready for whatever accents a new homeowner would like to add. The floors add the touch of warmth the room needs. All that’s left are the knobs on the cabinets, and those went in yesterday after Carol visited.
We are all excited that the skylights are going in today. Woo! And wood stain has been chosen.
This is what makes rehabbing sad houses so satisfying. When we see where this house has gotten to, knowing how it looked before, it seems like magic. However, it’s just a lot of good planning and hard work. In this case, also many dumpsters.
We hope you are enjoying your own projects, not stressing over holidays, and enjoying magical transformations wherever you find them.
Sue Ann has mentioned a couple of times that my husband, Russell, and I have been moving frequently since we moved out of the main Villa Park house. I hear some of you are curious as to what exactly we’re doing with our vagabond ways, so I’m here to fill you in!
When Sierra moved off to college, we decided to downsize. We had just finished a “homestead flip,” where we bought a house, fixed it up, and sold it for a good profit. The next house we found didn’t work out (Kerrville Folkways), and we were looking to try something new and fun and to learn more about the greater Austin, Texas area.
We ended up signing with an innovative company called Showcase Properties of Austin (also known as Dream Home Manager), which specializes in helping sell high-end properties in this area for clients who are having trouble selling them because no one is currently living there. According to them:
“It is a fact that vacant listings look & show better when they are staged and at Showcase Properties, we are passionate about assisting you in doing just that with our no cost solution. Statistics show that a finely staged and manicured home sells 70-80% faster and for 13% more money than an equivalent vacant home.”
That’s where we come in! The company finds qualified people (they call them Home Managers) who will rent the homes at a substantial discount, stage them with their own furnishings, and keep the house ready to show at an hour’s notice. With my background in home decorating and real estate, I was confident we had the ideal kind of furnishings to help sell a house, so I knew we were the perfect candidates for this job! And since Russell and I have spent our married lives moving around for the military and his work, we are comfortable pulling up stakes and starting again. Russ says he likes it because, “It makes you weed out your crap!” We’ve become very good at not holding onto stuff.
You can see how this works out well for home sellers, too. The property is rented and someone else helps with the utilities, plus you don’t have to keep checking to keep the house show-ready.
When a house sells, we get 30 days’ notice, look through the available Showcase Properties homes, and find a new place to live! After the initial move-in when we we started out, they pay for movers to switch houses.