Our next door neighbors to the east (not our landlords, which live next door to the west) were evicted a couple months ago because the owner of the house wanted to renovate and sell it. The place was more than a bit of a dump.

Over the course of the past few weeks, renovations have been taking place. It started out slowly, and I really didn’t expect much, but I have to admit I’m impressed with what’s been done to the place. The tenants had let the front lawn die from lack of water, and one of the first things the owner did was reseed it. It’s a lush green carpet now. It ought to be; it’s been watered once a day. They removed a dead tree that was between our two houses, and ripped out the unsightly eye-level box hedge that had enclosed the front porch. They repainted the exterior from a dreary peach to a bright white with dark gray trim and a red (of course) front door. I think it’s a little too white, but it looks a hell of a lot better than it did.

Until a couple days ago, I didn’t really have much idea of what had been going on inside. I knew that at least the kitchen and bathroom were being totally renovated (something that made me insanely jealous since our landlords have chosen to keep those rooms stuck in 1948 in our house, the year the place was built) because I saw them hauling cabinets and fixtures out the front, but I hadn’t seen what had been put in their place since until only a few days ago the old blinds had been kept in the windows and I couldn’t even walk over and peek!

About a week ago work picked up considerably both inside and out, led by two cute boys who I couldn’t determine were partners or partners. They bickered a lot and always arrived in a single vehicle so in my perverted mind I’m going with the latter. In any case, the place was starting to look good.

The other day I came home early before heading for an eye exam, and a new face was next door peering out the front window. As I got out of my car he came out and introduced himself. He was the real estate agent who was getting ready to put the property on the market. More curious than ever what had been done to the house (as well as the layout of the house itself), I asked if I could take a look inside.

Though it’s smaller than the place we’re renting (it’s a 2/1 versus our 3/1), it’s so much more fresh and modern after the renovation. Ben doesn’t like that there are no real uppers in the kitchen, but it’s obvious from the colors and choice of materials the owner has been watching the same home flipping shows we have…

living room
kitchen/breakfast nook

The back yard hasn’t been touched. The yard, like ours, is huge, but unlike ours, totally barren…except for an outbuilding/workshop, it’s just a sea of dirt. Not even a tree. I’m sure it’s going to be marketed as “a bare slate.”

The agent said he’s looking to put it on the market for $214K. Seems a bit high for the neighborhood, the size of the house, and the fact that the back yard is unfinished, but hey…more power to him if he can get it. I only wish our place looked as good.

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