We spent a long time working on this house and, although we had it on the market for a while, we took it off for around 6 months and made money on it as a vacation and holiday rental. Here’s the story on that.
Once the last vacation rental customers left, and we retired the Lakeland property from its glamorous life as a movie set and vacation rental. We discovered you can really make some money doing this, so we encourage anyone interested to consider acquiring this beautiful property! You can hang out there some weekends, and rent it out the rest. And big bucks come during spring break and festival times!
We listed the house for $414,000, since we had made lots of upgrades to the property. See the virtual tour here (until it gets taken down). It was on the market for two weeks when we got an offer above the asking price! The prospective buyers wanted some of the furnishings on the house and decks. We agreed, and accepted the offer.
Of course, since this was a house of OURS, there were some snags with the buyers’ credit, but it all got worked out and the sale closed on May 23, 2017. It’s our most profitable sale to date. Carol served as our project manager on the project, while Russell managed the vacation rentals.
Other posts with more photos and story:
- An Offer above Asking Price? Yes!
- For Sale! New Life for Lakeland!
- New Plan for Lakeland
- New Price on Lakeland House!
- Lakeland Is on the Market! Check Out Our Work!
- Lakeland Preview
- Dreaming of the Future (lots of great photos of partial project)
- Things Are Moving (early deck progress, stuff on other houses)
- Lakeland Renovation Update (a slideshow by Russell)
- The Deck at Lakeland (what the deck looked like BEFORE we made it huge)
- Lakeland Is Getting a Two-Story Deck (also about the kitchen window)
- Lakeland Closes (we got the house from nice people)
What We Did:
- Added large two-story deck off the back of the house, and French doors on the second floor to access it
- Completely revamped the master bath to create a Mediterranean dream bath with unique decorator touches and luxury splurges (heated towel rack!)
- Installed a new window in the kitchen, to brighten it up
- Replaced second-floor carpets
- New windows in the front, plus new front door and fixtures
- Repainted interiors to feature neutral, yet style-appropriate colors
- Added window boxes to the front, a fountain, and many landscaping upgrades
- Other small and beautiful style updates all over
See the photos at the end of this page for more.
Sometimes, helping families doesn’t require a lot of work on their house. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of being able to get them out of a bad situation. The Lakeland house is a prime example. The house was in tremendous shape, and the family had even improved it quite a lot—possibly even too much. They were not in any financial trouble.
It’s just that their dream of owning a nice home by the lake had turned into a commuting nightmare. He had to drive almost two hours each way to his job, and her commute came in at a solid forty minutes. Added to that, two middle-aged adults don’t really need a four bedroom, three bath home that tops 3,000 square feet.
They had tried to sell the house once before. But at that time, the lake was at record low levels, and nobody was buying. They didn’t want to face the heartbreak of trying to sell the house and failing again. So they jumped at the prospect of having someone buy the house without question when their sister (in-law)—a long-time friend of the Kendall-Bruns family—told them about us and our ethics. Being able to start life afresh closer to both of their jobs was worth accepting what we could afford to pay since we definitely would go through with the deal.
In addition to hosting many groups for lovely weekends as a vacation rental, the Lakeland house spent a month as a movie set! We hope to get photos from the movie folks when they are ready. They did mess up one or two things, but for the most part left the house in great shape when they were finished.
The house also hosted groups during the SXSW festival in March, 2017. Now, that’s a way to make some money on a rental. The rental business made a small profit, but not a huge one. On the other hand, it enabled us to not incur any expenses over the winter, while we waited to re-list the property this spring (with more updates!). Russell posted great information on the pros and cons of vacation rentals. If you are considering this strategy for a home, be sure to read it!
What could be a formal dining room has been used as an office.