There are all kinds of rehabbers. Some are flippers who throw on a coat of paint, carpeting, a slice of granite, and new appliances calling it a remodel. What you left with is the original windows spray painted shut, 30 year old furnaces, and a partially new kitchen. I’ve had to drag buyers seduced by a coat of paint, sparkly granite, and cute staging totally missing the actual condition of the house. I don’t care that someone else bought the house in multiple offers because I won’t get the call on a February night saying that the furnace just died.
A better class of rehabbers takes an old house down to the studs, replaces utilities that made it across the ocean with Columbus, and rebuilds a home that will be safe, secure, and gorgeous for many years to come. It is more time consuming, more costly, gives the consumer a home that both they and the buyer can be proud of.
In the fall of 2017 I got a call from a past client who had a friend in NE who needed to sell the family estate in NE Minneapolis on 6th St. this house belonged to the same family since WWII. A family member was still living there, both she and the house were in rough condition. There was a hole in the roof that drizzled water down the upstairs wall, a dank basement, drafty windows, a 1940s kitchen. I knew who would buy it and give it life again. It took one phone call, a couple of walk through, a little negotiating, and massive divesting of antiques collected over the past 75 years. Those possessions weren’t originally antiques when they were brought home, but they are now.
Progress has been a slower than any of us expected, there were surprises. We found a girl’s high button shoe from the 1900s, I’m guessing that her mother was angry with the girl for losing the shoe, we found it too late. Deteriorated insulation fell out of the ceiling tiles where it had been stuffed, the roof had to be completely replaced, and it took three months of waiting during a harsh winter to get the HVAC installed.
Rehab starts with a vision. Usually it’s a sketch of a plan, and a sequencing of projects. Clean out is the first step, then framing new walls, new windows, electric, and heating goes in before drywall. Hard flooring goes in before cabinetry, cabinets, and trim. Finally, we can paint, install lighting fixtures, counter tops, and carpet at the end. 6th St. is a story of transformation and surprises. The main floor was opened up for bright white kitchen cabinets, quartz counters, a hammered copper farm sink and huge island. High ceilings with open space for a living and dining room, with a full bath and a guest bedroom on the main floor. There are still two bedrooms on the 2nd floor, one has a secret closet. The basement is a miracle. What was a dark and dreary cave now has a 4th bedroom, a second full bath, a family room, and all new utilities.
Coming soon, we’re not done just yet. Grunt work comes before the excitement of decorating. Cabinets are in, but all the lighting, painting, trendy hardware, carpeting are on the way. Expect Instagram worthy pics of a polished farmhouse in NE Minneapolis. Can’t wait.