Things I’m Thankful for: Hidden Hardwood Floors

I got a little antsy this morning and snuck over to House #3, as I wanted to measure dimensions of various walls and windows and investigate the possible salvageable hardwood floors in the existing bedroom.

That involved shifting all of the crap out of the bedroom, which turned into a bit of a treasure hunting expedition. Well, treasure in a very relative sense. There was some unused sheetrock leaning against one wall which I obviously knew about, but not the fifty pounds or so of brand new finish nails, or literally 50 new tubes of caulk in the closet. The old original wooden front door from the 1930s was also hidden back there, which I could get a couple hundred bucks for at a local architectural salvage place (although I’ll probably just keep it for future use somewhere).

I finally got everything out of the bedroom and prepared to do battle with the old linoleum on the floor, assuming it’d be difficult to remove. Umm, not so much, as it was basically just lying loose on the floor except at the edges, and even those spots pulled up easily. It took me all of ninety seconds to get the old linoleum up and uncover what was underneath.

Hidden Hardwood FloorsHidden Hardwood FloorsHidden Hardwood FloorsHidden Hardwood Floors

Hidden Hardwood Floors

Since those floors are only in the bedroom, I’m leaning towards keeping that room the same dimensions in my new floorplan and working with what’s there. Here’s the current floorplan I’m leaning towards, courtesy of the cool free tool at straightforward, as we’re talking about a shell of a 504 sq. ft. house, with only the bedroom currently framed in. I waffled on the addition on the back, as it obviously complicates things and bloats the budget, but the more I think about the more I think it’s a good idea. It’ll get the square footage up to about 625 sq. ft. and let me market it as a 2-1 (albeit a slightly odd second bedroom, as those are French doors leading to it, so not your standard bedroom).

Really simple and basic, though, all the way around. Some things definitely aren’t optimal (walking in the front door and immediately greeted by a wall and bedroom to your left, the wasted space in the corner right outside the bathroom, etc.) but it ain’t the Taj Mahal. And doesn’t have to be, as I’m just shooting for a basic little functional house.

Still working on numbers, but it’s looking feasible as far as repair costs of about $17,500, which would put me at about $28,000 as far as total costs in it (including closing costs and all that fun stuff). With the ridiculously low property taxes (the property is appraised at just under $5,000 by the county), it should cash flow about $250/month, if I can rent it for $450/month. That should be pretty much a slam dunk (even with the less than desirable neighborhood), as you can barely rent a 1 bedroom apartment here for that, much less a 2-1 house.

Which isn’t bad at all, and what’s got my interest more than a little piqued about this project and others like it. This isn’t the sort of rehab many investors would touch as there’s not a huge amount of upside potential as far as resale value, but man, these things can cash flow nicely if you can find a structurally decent run down or abandoned properties like this, appraised by the county for almost nothing. Property taxes (in Texas at least) can be a silent killer when it comes to rentals, especially with new construction, but you can dodge a lot of that if you’re working on a very old, unloved house like House #3.

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