So now we've got a contractor out there rehabbing, and it'll be another big one--looking at 21K, barring any unforeseen major stuff. This contractor actually seems to be working out, at least he moves pretty quickly. Fingers crossed that the work is as good as he claims it will be.
These are the Before Pictures.
The giant prickly pear bed in the front will be gone, as well as the dead tree in the back and all the junk left on the porch. The inside has already been painted--not my colors, but we'll fix that NEXT time he does a job for us. The light tan and white trim is still way better than Pepto Bismol Pink, navy/red, and turquoise blue. I forget what all else is there...traumatic block, I think.
The kitchen will be returned to its small but new self (they'd taken down a wall and made a three bedroom instead of a four, but we're putting bdrm four back in.) The contractor has some cool flooring that is essentially like wood laminate on steroids, but it's glued down so it doesn't have that icky hollow sound when you walk on it.
I'm going up today to pick the exterior trim and siding paint...figure a white and putty gray to go with that odd red/black/white brick. "After" pictures when it's all finished. I have native morning glory seeds to plant along the back fence.
Then it'll be all about starting the refinance and getting tenants in there. I will be SO much more careful with this one, so I don't end up with tenants like we have in house #3. I let initial (read: wrong) impressions sway me, and I didn't do the background checks like I should have.
The trick is to avoid people who will treat the house the way the owners/last residents of this place did. They lived in this house, in this condition, right up until a month or so ago. I can never get over how people can treat a HOME this way--and yes, I've been through dire financial straights, divorce, death, all kinds of depression-causing issues. But a home? Homes are sacred, and should be taken care of. It doesn't cost much to clean bathrooms. Little vinegar & baking soda goes a long way (and can be bought with food stamps--I know this from experience as well). There...I've probably gone and said too much.
Oh well...it'll be SO much better when we've administered some TLC.
Lessons learned...I just keep on learning. :~)