Our 1930’s Stucco Farmhouse Rental Property and Renovation Thoughts

If you have been following along on my insta you will know that we recently bought a new rental property in partnership with our close friends! It is a beautiful historic 1930’s Stucco Farmhouse Triplex (#stuccofarmhouse) with lots of potential. Read below for our renovation thoughts.

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The property is a side-by-side duplex with a cabin in the back and has a really cool history. Here’s what the previous owners shared with our agent (some personal info has been omitted).

In the late 1800’s it was all farmland in the Glen Lake Area. The house across the street was the original farm owner’s house. They later built the duplex [our property] to house their farm workers. It used to be heated by coal which you can see by the chutes on the front of the house. That was later converted to boiler heat, but the original chimney is still there.

The back house was actually the gardener’s house who maintained the gardens, landscaping etc. The seller’s agent who facilitated the sale to me had co-listed with his father who had originally rented the gardener’s house when he was in his 20’s (about 60 years ago).

I hope your buyers enjoy the property as much as we have. People love living in a real farm house…

Looks like it has always been rented to occupants since it was built. It has had a long life with some good bones but needs a lot of work. We are breaking up the renovation into two phases for timing and budgeting purposes.

Phase 1 (summer-fall 2021): exterior focused which includes cleaning up the yard and quick re-landscaping using what’s already there and paint the exterior. Minor work in the interior by ripping up the old carpet and deep cleaning. If you tuned into my Instagram, you’ll know that we were disappointed by our discovery after ripping up the old carpet and quickly came up with plan B which I’ll do a more detailed post on soon.

Phase 2 (spring-summer 2022): interior focused which includes a long term solution for the floors where there was carpet and vinyl, reconfigure the kitchens, remodel the bathroom, paint interior, etc. For the cabin unit, we plan to add a bedroom to the basement and create a nice walkout patio with string lights.

We’d also like to add rooftop patios above the two garages. Imagine railings, planters and string lights for a nice outdoor space for each unit!

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Main back hallway leading outside.

Main back hallway leading outside.

When we did showings for the farmhouse triplex we were surprised with how many people were interested in renting with a short-term lease so it rented out fast! Our plan was to rent out the two units from August to end of March. That leaves us April and May to do Phase 2 with some cushion to go into June. Ideally, we’d like to have it rented out by July 1st.

Heres a peek into Unit 1:

Some Renovation Thoughts: I love the kitchen cabinets and sink but not sure of their condition. We plan to do a wide cased opening between the kitchen and living room to allow sunlight to radiate across the first floor. The wood floors are in decent shape but may need to be refinished and basement is pretty nice already! The bathroom could use an upgrade though.

Here’s a peek into Unit 2:

Some Renovation Thoughts: So much love for the kitchen cabinets. But the carpet had to go and like I mentioned above, it was not what we expected to find! You can watch my IG reel to see our temporary solution which we love, despite a few naysayers. Our long term plan is to replace the vinyl flooring in the kitchen with wood to feather in with the existing wood in the living room. Like the first unit, we plan to do a wide cased opening between the kitchen and living room and will eliminate the awkward dining nook. Which means the living room floor paint will be sanded off to tie into the new wood (wood purists can rejoiced!). The bathroom will get a makeover and we’ll likely refinish the wood floors here, too.

Here’s a peek into the Cabin Unit: these are from the listing since we couldn’t tour it because someone is living there who we’ll continue their lease until end of April.

Some Renovation Thoughts: we plan to add a bedroom to the basement, paint the walls, possibly refinish floors and create a nice walkout patio with string lights.

Did we mention that this farmhouse property has a large wooded backyard???

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We were told the students in the adjacent elementary school created this bonfire area!

That is a lot to tackle right?! Which is why we are so glad to have partners and break out the renovation into two phases on this 1930’s stucco farmhouse. Having rentals you care for is never a “get rich quick” investment. It’s a slow and steady process. It won’t be perfect but we have to pour some love into a property to maintain its life and hope that our tenants will respect it as their own and be proud to call it home.

Keep on following along to my instagram to see how this rental renovation all unfolds!

Sweetest Regards, Patti