I purchased this 3 unit multi-family property, which I refer to as the #pvdpurplepalace, in the West End of Providence in November of 2018. It was boarded up & there was only one photo listed in mls. I actually showed it to a client. I expected it to be a complete disaster (again, all of the first floor windows were boarded up & the listing said it was being sold "as is" with no further info). But I knew when I walked through the property that I could take it on & that it was a smart buy so I immediately jumped on it (as soon as my client said it wasn't right for her--too much work needed).
The sellers had done a lot of the heavy lifting--new Navien heating systems for each unit (one that turned out to be significantly undersized and that I'd need to replace); updated electric throughout--no knob and tube, new wiring throughout, all new panels & service line; renovated units that were about 60% complete with updated bathrooms and kitchens.
At first look, it seemed like an easy project--some paint, refinish the floors, blah blah blah. Ha! I had on some rose-colored, inexperienced glasses! However, I had all three units rented within four months-- the first floor moved in in January; the second & third floors needed significantly more work & I had them ready by March. Here's an overview of the timeline thus far on this journey.....
First year: end of 2018 & into 2019
Interior paint in every unit plus front & back stairwells as well as a fair amount of skim coating & sanding Refinished hardwood floors in all units--third floor was in especially rough shape
New balcony doors
Storm doors for front doors
New rear doors
Install washer/dryer hook up in each unit
63 windows cleaned (the house had been vacant for 5 years as the sellers slllooowwwlllly made renovations--which they didn't finish--and the first floor windows were boarded up for safety). They were a mess & it would have taken me a decade to do it my self plus it was the end of November & freezing cold.
Pave the driveway: the driveway was concrete ribbon in very poor condition. There was a tree on the side of the driveway that had to be removed that had caused the concrete to buckle. Plus the entire back was concrete & likely once had a garage. It wasn't salvageable & made the most sense to have it dug up & replaced with asphalt. I saved a tiny bit for a yard area but as a rental the parking spots have more value (gross but true). And that tiny bit I saved because of my bleeding heart was a mistake that I still regret because it was just a mud pit after that. Shoulda paved it.
New heating system for the first floor due to being undersized. All the heating systems were newer Navien combo units. Which is great--efficient & cost effective for tenants. Except that the first floor unit kept malfunctioning. Ultimately it had to be replaced.
RISE energy audit: what a great, free!, program! They worked up a contract that totaled about $15k in work & my cost was only $3k. As a balloon-frame house, there was absolutely NO insulation & with such big units I knew the electricity & gas bills would be expensive for tenants.
Landscaping improvements: turned the small mud pit into a gravel pit; removed a front section of "lawn" that was hard to maintain & put down gravel plus a weeping cherry tree which surprisingly is still alive.
Roof replacement: I initially estimated the roof at about 15-18 years old and one layer. But after several major storms the third floor tenants contacted me about a significant leak in their unit. It was coming from the chimney flashing but the roofing company, Liberty Roof, recommended a replacement because a significant number of shingles had been removed. I could have had it repaired but the cost vs the number of years it would have added just didn't make sense. Fortunately my insurance helped me with some of the cost. I also decided that while the roofing company was at it, it was the best opportunity to remove the chimney from the roof line because I knew that eventually I would want to open the wall between the kitchen & the dining room & that was the wall with the chimney. Since the heating systems are vented outside I new it would be possible. I also knew that neither that wall, nor the chimney, was structurally supporting the house. At this time, my third floor tenants moved out, before I secured new tenants, I wanted to move forward with the renovation on the third floor. Fortunately, my second floor tenant, Al, is a skilled carpenter so I hired him to do the finish work & he was willing to live in a construction zone so we renovated both units at the same time. Eventually, I will likely also take that wall down in the first floor unit because it really makes such a difference--so much light & space! I hired a company to do the demo which took them about four days.
Al managed the carpentry work & also installed LVP flooring over the tile which came out great & I know will hold up over the years. I hired a painter to finish--it took about six weeks from start to finish.
After struggling to find a local company that would give me a quote, much less take the job, I hired Zuck Painting out of MA to paint the exterior of the house this November & they did a spectacular job! They did a fair amount of carpentry repair, scraped & sanded quite a bit, & managed 5 colors on the house. Definitely will recommend them to my clients.
Lastly, this year I took advantage of low interest rates & refinanced this property. I bought it for $311k in 2018 & it appraised in May of 2021 for $600k.
The renovations over these past 3 years in total have cost around $80k. The rents are below market rent at $1500, $1400 & $1400 but my tenants are awesome & that's priceless. This video is more for me than for anything else--it will be a good reminder of all there is to learn. So here's a quick montage with some video & hack editing---I'm good at selling houses, not editing videos. The experience of renovating this property has made me a better Realtor---more experienced at understanding the work that is needed for properties, how to work the numbers, what to expect from a timeline, and how much renovations cost (spoiler alert: a lot!). At the end of the day I knew I was buying in an area that would have a great return (on the border of the West Side of PVD) & that with units this large (each unit is identical with 3 bedrooms, double parlor, and massive open kitchen area 1500 sq ft for each). Whether I hold this property for a long time as a rental, convert units into condos down the road, or sell it as a multi (doubtful)--despite the unanticipated costs (which I now know I should have anticipated) the numbers still work.
It's fun to note that in Nov 2019 I purchased a single family home that had to be 100% gutted & so I entered into another renovation journey with many more opportunities to learn & to grow. You can see that project on instagram...I haven't yet finished that video but suppose I'll get to that once the project is completed.
Check out my other videos & subscribe to my channel. And reach out if you have any real estate related questions!
Just steps from all that Hope Village has to offer, check out 93 Lauriston St! This four bedroom Colonial home features charming period details throughout with hardwood floors. The first floor offers a spacious layout with a large living room with a wood burning fireplace and access to a side porch perfect for your morning coffee or afternoon cocktails. The dining room opens to an updated kitchen and also features a bonus office which could also be used as a first floor bedroom, there is also a secret back staircase. The kitchen features custom cabinets with glass panels, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. Additional first floor features include a powder room and a lovely enclosed sun porch leading to the backyard. The second floor features three bedrooms plus an additional fourth bedroom which adjoins the master bedroom--this room could be reimagined as a large walk in closet+master bathroom, a nursery, or an office. The full bathroom features the homes stunning original basket weave tile and soaking tub with an updated custom-tile walk in shower. The full basement has ample storage space and also features a finished area with a bar and open living area ideal for a media room or play space. The backyard is fenced in and offers ample space for entertaining. The garage complete this beautiful home ready for you by the new year! Enjoy all that Hope Village offers: great restaurants, bars, local shops, and wonderful parks--all just steps from your front door!
What a blast to tour around Rhode Island in my super fun car with one of my favorite lender partners, Steve Hawes! Click on the link below for a guide to some of my favorite places & things to do this Fall!
New Listing! This is a great house that Christina Lavarnway is helping me to list! Located in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Providence, this house features a great layout, beautiful hardwood floors on the first level, three good sized bedrooms, a nice yard and a two car garage. In need of some updating, this home has great potential---the kitchen needs updating and the carpet upstairs likely hides beautiful hardwood floors. And I personally would keep the vintage bathroom as is except for an updated vanity!
Roof replaced in 2008; furnace & hot water tank replaced in 2017; house wiring replaced in 2019 to remove all knob & tube. Please click on the links below to see the mls listing, property overview, and sales disclosures. Feel free to reach out with any questions!
Take a look at this gorgeous home! Located on nearly 6 acres, with a tranquil brook passing through, 1B Honey Hill Road is a unique property offering a stunning four bedroom Farm House with a bonus finished attic and an additional office or workshop above the two car garage. The crowning jewel of this home is the post and beam horse barn with paddocks and fenced in field--ideal for boarding and training. Featuring hardwood flooring throughout, a stunning open kitchen and dining layout with a cozy wood burning stove as a focal point, this well maintained property is move in ready! Click on the links below to access additional information.
Nothing to do but move in! There's so much to love about this gorgeous East Side home! Completely rehabbed in 2019 from top to bottom, this four bedroom home has it all: new roof, new heating system & central AC, new kitchen & bathrooms, wiring, plumbing, new windows throughout, refinished hardwood floors. The current owners repainted the interior and exterior, added new doors, built an amazing deck & fire pit area, and added first floor laundry with full bathroom. The spacious kitchen is ideal for entertaining with a stunning island. The connecting dining room is also oversized, the room off of the dining room is ideal for a first floor bedroom or home office. The living room has oversized, unique windows and the room features a gas fireplace, this is the perfect spot for a cozy afternoon with a good book! Three bedrooms upstairs offer ample room for a new or growing family and is complete with a custom renovated full bathroom. The basement is well suited for storage and an integral garage is a major bonus, especially during our colder months. Multiple outdoor entertaining spaces are available for your enjoyment--the charming front porch, the large deck off of the back door complete with twinkly lights and a fire pit in the fenced in yard. This location is especially ideal for those who are commuting to the North or South--easy access to the train station or highways.
Take a look at this gorgeous 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom Colonial home in the desirable Orchard Valley neighborhood. This home has been meticulously cared for and loved, with thoughtful and well designed improvements and updates throughout the years. A delightful porch welcomes you into a warm and inviting open concept living room + dining area which opens onto a 37ft two-tiered deck overlooking the above ground pool. The first floor boasts an updated kitchen with beautiful quartz counters and stainless steel appliances, a lavette, and updated hardwood flooring throughout.
On the second floor, you will find three bedrooms complete with hardwood flooring and two full bathrooms. The primary bedroom is spacious and features a vaulted ceiling, full bathroom, and a walk in closet.
The lower level is spacious and inviting, featuring a walk out to the backyard and a large window for plenty of light. The space is ideal for a home office or media room, there is also ample storage space. The fenced in yard is beautifully landscaped with flowering perennials, raised bed gardens, and berry bushes-- easy to maintain with an in ground sprinkler system. The two-tiered Trek deck with vinyl railing extends your living space and is ideal for entertaining. The above ground pool features a salt water system and has a heater. Central AC, two year old heating system, one car garage with additional storage loft, all in a fantastic neighborhood! This stunning house truly has it all! Click on the links below for information!
16 Conch Rd is now available!
Looking for your Narragansett dream home? Here’s your opportunity to redesign a property with amazing potential! Located just over the bridge on Narragansett’s exclusive Great Island, 16 Conch Rd offers a spectacular location on nearly a quarter acre lot. Featuring 4+ bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms with expansive water views from the second floor, this property is situated on a large lot and has a 4 bedroom ISDS AdvanTex Septic System that was installed in 2010. This property is in need of complete renovation although the structure & major systems are in good condition.
A host of Rhode Island’s top summer fun activities can take place right outside your door-- walk to Salty Brine Beach, Roger Wheeler Beach and Block Island ferries, as well as the local fishing port, shops and restaurants such as George’s of Galilee. Feel like hosting a lobster party? Pick them up straight off the boats & walk back home! Make this your dream home and enjoy all Narragansett has to offer. Click on the links for the full MLS property link, Sales Disclosures, Copy of Septic Permit, & property description. Showings by appointment, call/text Jess Powers for requests!
Check out this stunning second floor condo on a quiet street in prime Edgewood location! This sun-filled unit has so many lovely features: two bedrooms with ample storage space and hardwood flooring, an oversized living room with an abundance of windows framed by an amazing wrap-around porch, plus a dining room with a lovely built-in cabinet. This unit also features two mini-split AC units; an an original, decorative fireplace in the living room; laundry in unit; updated appliances; and additional, private storage in the basement. One of three units in this well-maintained condo association, unit two has two parking spots, one of which is in the garage. The backyard is shared space with plenty of space for an additional gardener! Great location within walking distance to the Edgewood Yacht Club, Pawtuxet Village, and a quick eight minute drive to downtown Providence. List price $259k; condo fees $250 per month
Here's the knitty-gritty lowdown on what happens once we have a fully signed Purchase Agreement. Typically, it will take 30-45 days to close. But know that along the way there can be bumps in the road that cause delays: perhaps something unexpected came up during the inspection, or the appraisal takes longer than expected, or the buyers financing falls through---I'll be here to help you navigate any twists & turns in the road throughout the process!
If the Inspection Contingency is in place, the buyer has up to 10 business days for any & all inspections, renegotiations, or to terminate the contract & get their deposit back. The buyer needs full access to all areas of the house during the inspection--likely 2-3 hours.
The Buyers lender will require an appraisal of the property to determine if the purchase price that has been offered is market value. This will likely be scheduled for around two weeks from today. The appraiser will schedule an appointment with me & I will be there to let them in & I will be there for the duration of their inspection which shouldn't take longer than 15 minutes. The appraiser will need access to all rooms including the attic & basement. The appraiser will be taking pictures of all rooms. It will take 7-10 days or more for the buyer to receive the appraisal report.
Schedule the Smoke Detector Inspection: As required by the lender, the fire marshall will have to inspect the property to make sure that the smoke & carbon detectors are up to current code. I will instruct you on this process & what you need to do.
Buyers satisfaction of the Mortgage Contingency: if the buyer is securing a loan for the property they will need a mortgage. Once the Underwriter for the lender has reviewed all of their financial documents, taxes, employment history & verification of current employment, as well as the Appraisal Report, they will determine whether or not they can approve the Loan. If their application for the loan is approved they will be issued a Mortgage Commitment--this is usually a week and a half to two weeks prior to our target Closing Date. If their loan is denied then the contract will be terminated & we will find another buyer. If the loan is approved the attorneys will work on scheduling the closing.
Info to Submit to the Attorney prior to closing (typically the week of the closing):
The Closing: the actual closing will take place at your Attorney’s office or at the Buyers Attorney's office. You may or may not be there at the same time as the buyers. Your portion of the closing is pretty quick, it will likely only take 20-30 minutes. You should receive the final closing documents to review the day before the closing however, sometimes they’re unable to get you the document to review until the last minute. You should have a good estimate of your Net Proceeds early on in the process--the attorney & I can help you with this. Once the buyer has signed their documents & the updated deed has been recorded the funds will be transferred into your account. Congrats on your closing!!
Wrap up: a day or two after the closing I recommend you call all of your utility providers to let them know that you have sold the house, including your homeowners insurance provider.
Buying or Selling? Here's some useful advice!