Sunday, April 20, 2008

What they look like now

This is the exterior - sided with Asphalt shingles. They look bad, but the good news is that they work. So, under these shingles is decent wood siding. I think I can reuse most of it! Yeah!
The whole row is pretty overgrown with trees/weeds. I'll be working on that until my Zoning Variance comes through.

Friday, April 18, 2008

In The Beginning

So, somehow I moved from the country to downtown Raleigh, started restoring old houses and ended up selling my CPA firm to do this full time. I'm having a blast, and making a few bucks.

Eighteen months ago I got a call about a row of six "shotgun houses" for sale just outside of Historic Oakwood in downtown Raleigh. I've always thought they had potential, so I bought them.

The were totally run down and fundamentally ugly from years of neglect and rental to lower income residents. Basically, they are the sore spot in a redeveloping neighborhood. So, I can't resist them.

After a year and a half, I'm finally ready to begin renovating them. Here's what they looked like at the start.

Over the past month, a guy that needs some work has been helping me tear out the interiors. So, now they are almost all gutted down to the studs.

I'm currently getting ready to submit an application for a Zoning Variance Hearing to the City. I've learned that the houses are all about 6' from the street, not the required 20' and some of them don't have the required side yard setbacks either. So, I need a zoning variance to add any livable square footage. This is contrary to what I was told before - if I wasn't adding any "footprint" I didn't need a variance. Ugh!

I plan to add about 350 square feet in the form of a second floor over the back half of the houses. This will require rebuiling some rear walls and lowering the ceiling in the middle room to 8' to make it consistent with the rest of the back part of the house.

The new upstairs will have a bedroom and bathroom, and hopefully a balcony with a City Skyline view. How cool is that???

The new downstairs area will have a living room with cathedral ceilings, a new modern kitchen, bedroom and smal bathroom.

I think these will be very nice when done - not sure what I'll do with them yet, maybe sell a few, maybe keep them all. We'll see how much this project really costs!

more later...