We’re landlords…kind of.

July 22, 2008 at 12:46 am 20 comments

Some of you already know about this, to others it will be a surprise—we bought a duplex!

I’ve read some of Amy’s scary posts on owning properties, but feel that our situation is truly different for a number of reasons:

1. It’s next door to our current house.
2. It’s half a mile from our large church, and many people are looking to rent in this neighborhood to be close to the church.
3. We’re going to be living in it.

That’s right, sometime in the early fall we will be moving next door! It really was a cool opportunity for us. Basically here’s the deal: We live in a house that is about 1400 square feet. Not bad for our needs. However, the layout is just not going to work for the long term.

We have three bedrooms, but one of them is on the first floor. Not that that’s a bad thing, but we live in a pretty urban area, where it would not be sensible for anyone to live on the first floor except the parents. However, the room is pretty small and would make it difficult for us to have even a dresser in there if we had a bed. And it might mean we’d have to go down to a full-size bed, which we could do, but going down a size would be really hard. (I am not a snuggler.)

Honestly, I love my current house so much. I’ve said repeatedly, “If there we some way to make three bedrooms on the second floor, I’d stay here the rest of my life.”

Anyway, we found out the duplex next door was being foreclosed on, and it’s a very nice place. It has some aesthetic things to take care of, but nothing major. The previous owners put new siding on last summer, had all the trim painted, got new furnaces for both units, had a new fence put up, had concrete sidewalks poured, and all new windows put in throughout.

Here’s our plan: There’s a really huge third floor that is currently unfinished. We will move into the second floor apartment and finish the third floor with three bedrooms (all on one level-yes!) and a bathroom. Plus on our main level we’ll have a guest bedroom. And then we’ll have the first-floor unit to rent!

It’s going to be a crazy time of transition, but we’re really excited for it. This was basically the only way we could get more house for our family (which we pray will grow through the years) without making a bigger mortgage payment (which would cost too much).

I look forward to updating you on our life changes.

The current tenants leave at the beginning of August. Can’t wait to show it to you!


Entry filed under: Family, Home.

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20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rachel  |  July 22, 2008 at 6:11 am

    This is SO cool!! What a perfect step, and right next door? Talk about God looking out for you guys and the timing being right.

    Keep us updated on how it all pans out… and the new drama of being landlords and house flippers!!

  • 2. Heather  |  July 22, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Our current home is like your current home….one bedroom downstairs and two up. At this point our boys share the HUGE second bedroom and we figure we can get another one in there with them (Lord Willing).

    About being landlords….we also own a duplex. My only piece of advice (which I left on your husbands blog) is get a background check, unless you know the people from church, work, etc. We learned this the hard way. You can do them on line for about $20 and the renter pays for the background check.

    Have fun!

    You know it’s in times of transition that God seems to pile on tons of transition! So will be looking forward to all the new things that come your way!


  • 3. nicole wilson  |  July 22, 2008 at 7:24 am

    super fun! i’m sure the projects will go nicely.
    thinking of you today, molly…

  • 4. Tara  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:14 am

    We actually sleep on a full (going on 2 years now). And I’m a snuggler, unless I’m trying to sleep. I don’t recommend it. Pretty much confining and we fight over the covers all night long. SO romantic! 🙂

  • 5. Crystal  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:24 am

    This sounds so exciting. We have two bedrooms with a bit of expanding room upstairs for growing our family (if God sees fit). It was the best way for us to get a house at all that we could afford.

    And I definitely feel you on the full size bed. I am definitely not a snuggler.

  • 6. Kelly @ Love Well  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:29 am

    How fun! I look forward to the posts detailing your progress!

    Congratulations! And thanks be to God for opening these doors for you. How good He is!

  • 7. Megan  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:45 am

    what a cool opportunity! all the details work out so well! being landlords is…interesting…but, if it’s where you’re being led, no doubt good things will come because of it!

    and, we’re full size people! you just can’t turn away free stuff right after you get married 🙂 i’m no snuggler, but we make it work!

  • 8. Leslie  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:46 am

    That does sound exciting!!! I hope you plan to share pictures! 🙂

  • 9. Ben Mordecai  |  July 22, 2008 at 9:37 am

    I love you guys! Best wishes for your family!

  • 10. MrsMK  |  July 22, 2008 at 10:03 am

    How exciting! I loved the photos on 22 Words of your current house, and the lovely view! Can’t wait to see photos of your new place!

  • 11. Elizabeth Esther  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:48 am

    So cool, Molly!

    So, you’re a non-snuggler, too? I’m married to one of those myself.

  • 12. anne  |  July 22, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I don’t think we could EVER downsize from a King. We love it, and we do end up on one side together but it is so large and cozy…no way would either of us give it up.
    Congrats on the Duplex! It will be a fun adventure…we’ll be praying for you as you make the transition and deal with tenants. CRAZY!
    I know this is nosey, but I for one would LOVE to see pics of your current place. I love seeing peoples abodes. If not, that’s cool still, I’ll still love ya. 🙂
    Hope your week is goingwell!

  • 13. thefoolsgold  |  July 22, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Crystal and I are really excited for you!!!

  • 14. stacey  |  July 22, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I wish you much luck on your new venture. Being a landlord was NOT for me.

  • 15. Tami@ourhouse  |  July 22, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Congrats to you. We recently (accidentally, really) became landlords (the house in my blog photo is our house which is now our rental), and we are just hoping that first month’s rent comes in! 🙂

    It’s neat to see you excited. Great news. It will be fun to keep up with your family as you make this transition.

    Thanks for writing about it!

  • 16. Chris  |  July 23, 2008 at 4:27 am

    How exciting for you:)

  • 17. Amy Scott  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:37 am

    I saw your ping and had to check out your new venture. Congratulations (sort of, wink)! Sounds like you’re on the right track with many things.

    It’s not my style to give unsolicitated advice, but I’ll leave you a standing offer to ask for it in the case of renting to Christians while honoring the command to not bring our case before unbelievers, which could prove problematic if there is a dispute or they decide to squat for 10 years rent free.

    Have fun! 🙂

  • 18. robyn  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:50 am

    such a cool idea! Ben and I have often thought of buying a cottage with a guest cottage to rent out. We were going to make our garage into an apartment but the zoning forbid it.

    oh well!

  • 19. shawnda  |  July 23, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    It’s fun to hear all the details! Crazy what the previous owners did to the house last summer…..to lose it : ( But great for ya’ll!

    So, what happens to the house you are in now??

  • 20. Dorothy  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Great! Feel free to call if you need cleaning/painting/general manual labor help. I have a whole team here in our womens prayer group that would love to be a part of your new adventure. Hugs – d


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