Sunday, September 10, 2006

an Unexpected Romance

It's looking pretty good up there on the 2nd floor.

We're starting to feel like Cinderella down here on the 1st floor with our unfinished wood floors and incomplete pantry. We're even revisiting the idea of moving upstairs and renting out the first floor.

It would solve the noise issue. And there is more room up there. We could have a guest bedroom for Steve's family. I almost cried about it today I felt so overwrought. It's so hard to decide. The main reason we wouldn't is because the 2nd floor will get higher rent and we need the money.

Sconces from Rejuvenation are in and our ceiling fan. Base moldings are done. Picture molding is in.

The chair rail is in in the dining room. If we had planned to live up there, there would be more color believe me.

The granite counter top was installed Saturday. There will be a white tile backsplash with 2 green Motawi tiles for accents.

Now our place is no dump, but can you see why we want to live up there? The light, the space, the fact that we customized everything we could to our liking. Sometimes it's a curse to have such high standards.

I was thinking to myself today as I was hand painting stain on some boards upstairs and doing touchups with an artist's brush, " I didn't mean for this to happen. I spent all summer working on the upstairs apartment. I thought it would just be a summer fling-really. But somewhere along the line, I fell in love with the 2nd floor!!"

I'm doomed.


Patricia W said...

That is so incredibly beautiful!!! I'm speechless...

Greg said...

It is just stunning. I can see why you are having such feelings. The most amazing thing is, it was done so fast.

I say, get a year lease on the place to some people who won't trash it. Pay down some debt and finish your first floor place. After that, tell the 2nd floor tenants they can have the first floor if they want (assuming they are good tenants), but YOU ARE MOVING in to the 2nd floor flat.

Jocelyn said...

Greg- that is great advice and it makes me feel better too! All is not lost. Thanks :)

It is true it happened very fast. We picked the right guys for the job- they are very good with the finish carpentry.

Thanks Patricia :)

NorthSide Muse said...

Everything looks so great, but I'm so fearful that whoever you rent to won't respect the hard work/customizations you put into it...combine that with the noise factor, and I vote for living in the 2nd floor unit.

I would have nightmares of someone making water mark/stains on your beautiful wood shelving, etc.

Make the first floor unit generic, and rent it out.

Allison said...

Finally, someone who understands the concept of your house (and home-improvement) making you cry!!! I think I agree with Greg. We were remarkably lucky with tenants in Jay's old place. I reccommend science graduate students or people with demanding internships - no time to trash the place.

Kristin said...

Greg has a great suggestion there. Either that, or just go ahead and move up there. It's hard to know at first whether a renter is going to be a total beast.

jarek said...

take the 2nd floor...Tenants will not care PERIOD. Take it from someone who owns 4 x 3 flats...I do not think you will loose out too much on the rent. You will regret it once the noise starts...take the 2nd floor!

heather 1912 Bungalow said...

Oh Jocelyn! It is SO beautiful. I think you will regret it if you don't move up there yourselves. Even if you have the best tenets in the world, things will get scratched and dinged. Even if they are careful they won't be as careful as the people who spent all summer lovingly restoring every inch of that beautiful apartment.

Think about someone moving in (and back out) heavy furniture, beds, dressers, etc. All your beautiful woodwork and doors could get scratched, your newly sanded floors scraped and walls dented. I don't know how you could stand it. I'd be sitting down below imaging every little bump was some part of my future home being damaged. The extra money wouldn't be worth the worry/anxiety over what was happening up there.

These choices are always hard to make. Good luck!

Christina said...

I could definitely understand your feelings-it's a beautiful unit! I really can't imagine entrusting tenants with your work. No matter how nice they are, they are renters and won't show the level of care that you would. For us, I talked to the tenants about new floors, suggested felt pads on furniture, etc- and we ended up with ruined floors. Of course, I think this is an extreme and I trust that there are other tenants out there who aren't like that-but really, how would you know? Being a landlord is a scary thing...

I'd look at the numbers too-what is the price differential between the first and second floors? How much more would you get for the 2nd floor?

I think you can still do the plan of renting the second floor-but you have to let go of some of the expectations that any tenant will return it to the condition it is in now.

Laurie said...

I think the real question might be...where can you advertise your place for rent that will yield the type of tenants that you are looking for? Start by removing anything from your list that goes to the "general" public. I know there are tenants out there who would love to live in the beautiful space you have created and WILL NOT trash it. I'm racking my brain trying to think of how you could advertise...perhaps you could advertise in a local home improvement journal or perhaps in a local renovation store...somewhere that you'd find people who maybe love homes but just can't afford one of their own quite yet.