It was so fun giving you guys the tour of our first rental! I’m glad you enjoyed seeing some less dramatic and more affordable renovations – sometimes all you need is just a little prettying up, right?
Well, there’s more where that came from – today we’ve got our second rental all ready for you to check out.
This rental came up for sale a week after I had our second baby, and I selflessly volunteered to scope out the condo while Jason watched the kiddos at home. ;) (Can you tell I was dying to get out of the house by myself for a few minutes?)
The condo is a second-story unit in a small condominium complex that is close to the university – it has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, a dining room, kitchen and balcony. The layout is great! The second I saw it I really loved it. (And anyone that’s from East Dallas will probably recognize these condos!)
The only huge negative is that none of the condos are allowed to have laundry inside the actual unit. Womp womp. A washer and dryer shared by 4 units is just at the bottom of the stairs – not ideal, but not horrible. A huge bonus, on the other hand, is that all utilities are included in the monthly HOA dues – heck yeah!
You enter our little unit through this foyer-type area – do you love the receptacle for faux plants? ;)
A large living room is just on the other side of that divider, and it had some seriously hideous and discolored blue carpeting. I think there were 3 or 4 different types of blue carpet throughout the condo.
We had everything painted to within an inch of its life, added a solid top to the plant thingy, upped the brightness factor with recessed lighting, and laid down some hardwoods that we stained a rich walnut color.
Please forgive the yellow-ish cast in all these photos – an architectural photographer I am not!
I know you probably admired the popcorn ceiling in the “before” photos above – but if you look a little closer, it gets even jazzier.
Glitter! Shockingly, this is not our first run-in with bedazzled popcorn.
Yeah, we got rid of that.
Here’s another angle of the living room…
The living room opens up in to the dining room, and that doorway you see below leads to the two bedrooms and bathrooms.
The dining room also got new paint and floors, and a shiny new chandelier.
The back of the condo has the den and the kitchen – you can head straight to the den from the foyer, and to the kitchen from the dining room. I think this extra little den is awesome.
Paint, floors, new ceiling fan…you know the drill.
There’s a large, covered balcony just off the den…(you can see it in the photo below)…
…and a little breakfast bar tops the opening between the kitchen and den. I love that there’s a spot to grab a quick bite to eat or to hang out with someone while they’re whipping up dinner.
The kitchen was just fine, but pretty dated. There was floral wallpaper on the furrdown, curlicue woodwork, a stick-on backsplash, outdated appliances, and cabinets with an orange-y wood finish.
We kept the cabinets, but that’s about it. We painted the existing cabinetry a soft gray (it looks blue in these photos – again, I apologize for my so-so photography skills!), and added a subway tile backsplash with shiny new granite counters.
Here’s a better view of the kitchen:
And now it’s so much brighter! The kitchen feels fresh and clean, which was the goal. The herringbone floors add a little bit of interest and they’re one of my favorite details. It was a bit of a trick to find double ovens that fit that tiny cabinet, and we had to cut the cabinet a bit in the end but it all worked out.
If you head back to the living room, you can access both of the bedrooms and baths through this hallway – sorry, I don’t have an “after” photo of the hallway.
See that trap door in the ceiling? It looks a bit like an attic pull-down, but it turns out that the HVAC is housed up there. I noticed this little yellow note when I toured the unit for the first time (don’t worry, that’s not my man-hand):
The A/C couldn’t be tested during our home inspection because of this issue, but we weren’t too concerned because we had learned that the HOA (through the management company) is in charge of maintaining all of the HVAC systems. Yay!
Or so we thought. In the end, we had a bit of a fight on our hands to get this thing fixed. They told us that they would fix the issue with the condensation line, but that they would have to remove and replace the entire unit in order to do that because the unit was installed with extremely limited access – and that they wouldn’t cover the cost of removing and replacing the unit. We would have to pay for that to the tune of thousands of dollars.
Um, no. That wasn’t going to work.
Luckily, we aren’t the sort of people to take no for an answer, so we made phone calls and persuasive speeches until they finally agreed to pay for it. Whew!
Anyhoo, back to the tour.
There are a few doors off the hallway – the first on the right is a large closet, and then there’s a little jog in the hallway that leads to the guest bathroom and bedroom.
The guest bedroom got the paint/flooring/lighting treatment and turned into a sunny little bedroom.
The guest bathroom can be accessed from the hallway and the guest bedroom. Other than being swathed in wallpaper, it was in pretty great shape. The yellow tile was in perfect condition, and the cabinetry was just fine.
We painted everything and added new lighting, hardware, granite counters and an undermount sink. We reused the existing sheet mirror and had all of the yellow tile and the bathtub reglazed. It turned out awesome!!
We’ve never reglazed tile before (only bathtubs) and I was impressed with how well it turned out. We considered doing a darker color of glazing on the floor for some contrast (they can tint the glaze to match any paint color) but since the grout would also be glazed we didn’t think we’d like the final look. In the end, I’m happy we stuck with white for everything and reglazing the tile was the perfect solution for this rental.
On the left side of the hallway is the master bedroom and bath. Hello again, blue carpet!
This was another easy fix – wood floors, paint and a new fan. It’s amazing how much of a difference those simple changes make!
The master bedroom is a great size and has two walk-in closets, plus a little built-in vanity.
The vanity got the same treatment as the bathrooms – painted cabinets with new hardware, chrome sconces, and a granite counter.
The master bathroom is attached to the master bedroom (yay!) and it’s a great size.
Fresh, clean, and ready for a new renter.
I forgot to tell you the best part about this condo! The complex has a great pool – we used it all last summer to escape the Texas heat, and we’re already looking forward to taking a few dips this summer.
So that wraps up the tour of our second rental! We’ve had really good luck being landlords so far – fingers crossed that luck continues!