You may remember our Villa Park casita, where Anita and I lived last year, and which had the most disaster-fraught renovation in history. We rebuilt this little house completely, saving only the shell of the outside (the city required we keep the dimensions and roofline). We even installed a new, real, foundation to replace the three slabs with no rebar and no plumbing it previously had.
We had a hard time renting it out last year, because we were unable to stage it once we moved to the Bobcat Lair, and people being unhappy that it shared the yard with the house in front. But, when we did get a fence and all that, we got some really great renters who were settling in nicely. One of them even got an award at the local elementary school.
Unfortunately, the other renter got a great job promotion that required moving to scenic Bentonville, Arkansas (there are other companies besides Wal-Mart there). We certainly didn’t want to force them to stay, so Carol jumped on getting it rented again.
Why it worked this time
We were motivated, because if we couldn’t get it rented, the renters would have to pay until we did, but if we rented it quickly, their initial deposit would cover that. Carol got to work and made this nice Facebook ad:
Click the link to see it live, I hope.
We all shared it everywhere we possibly could. People lined up to see the space (literally, four families went to see it in 15-minute intervals), and it was rented in just a few days to some other fine folks with no kids and no pets! Hooray!
It worked because the tenants had decorated the casita nicely, which showed how well it “lived.” The current tenants cleaned it up (they were motivated) to perfection, so people just loved the place.
That’s a real lesson to remember: staging truly helps sell or rent houses. I now really wish I’d done a better job the first time.
We sure appreciate Carol’s hard work to get the casita rented so fast! Lee and I won’t even notice a drop in our cash flow. Win!