|Posted by Miykaail on April 17, 2014 at 2:50 AM|
After 25 years on my job I was fortunate enough to get an early retirement buyout and I took it. Not a huge amount but if I invested properly I could suppliment my long awaited retirement. As I live in what is known as "Temple town" in North Philly, and I'd seen investors buying one, two or more two and three story rowhomes, rehab them and rent to students. As always there are risks involved (Project x, Animal house?) and I'd heard the horror stories. However my youngest daughter who was working on her masters degree in finance and working was willing to partner with me in developing a student housing business. At worst if we did'nt get tenants she could live there. So we began. We contacted a realtor after a few weeks driving around North Philly and checking newspaper and realty ads. Eventually we found a nearly 100 year old two story brick rowhome near Diamond St. (student row Broad- 21st st.) I already had someone for heating and air conditioning from repairs at my primary home. I am the general contractor and was referred to a Mr. Jose Mendez Osario, carpenter and liscensed contractor for assistance. The fellow who recommended Mr. Osario to me raved about the quality and professionalism as well as raving about how nice a guy this was. And it turned out to be true.An honest contractor, amazing. The house itself had good bones (structually sound) but the floors were shot and the old oil furnace was from 1986 and only a matter of time before it would fail. Windows were old and leaky so we had a few bids from window companies and signed with Castle Windows. They measured and installed energy efficient windows and gave us a lifetime warranty that could be passed on to the next owner should we sell. Payments are about $160.00 a mo. and won't kick in until about the time we get our students (August). Mr.Osario and his crew work for the gentrfyers who have been scooping up properties up left and right. They work with the occasional little guy(me) and have a particular way of working (more on that later). Demo began and I opted to forego the obligatory dumpster($200.00). Big mistake. I ended spending twice as much doing smaller loads. Plaster, rotted wood, etc we also had to remove a large oil tank, a oil furnace, old metal duct work, copper and left over old knob and tube wiring
( Philly housing stock is very old aluminum wiring and should be upgraded to avoid risk of electrical fire-common in Philly) We had an licensed electrician (KV Electric) handle a new electrical panel and advise on properly rewiring the entire house. Kitchen floors had water damage and had to be replaced. The shed area in the rear of the first floor was an addition popular in the seventies and eighties. Usually it was for storage or a laundry room but we opted for a powder room. At 700square feet on each of the two floors we didn't need a huge amount of money to purchase tile for the entrance , kitchen, powder room, bath and exit to the tiny backyard. We found halfway decent kichen cabinets for $1600.00 in cherry wood and have done the livingroom floor in cherry hardwood , later. I purchased a 36"x36" shower pan for the upstairs bathroom which Mr. Osario built walls for ,tiled and plumbed with pex. we just got two bathroom vanities on sale from Loews with sinks which are now installed. A 90% efficient furnace was installed by my hvac guy who I will never work with again (improper install caused a malfunction later corrected)Security alarms,and lights are up and running and now I have to gotten the place prepped and painted by Mr. Osario (he's good) for $1600.00. I just received metal steel stair stringers from a company called Fast-Stairs.com ($279.00=+ $76.00 S&H 10 $28.00 treads to replace the homemade basement staircase that is also shot. And the drywall is almost all up except where we had to correct a leak in the plumbing coming from the 2nd floor toilet. Also got the washer dryer hook up hooked up along with a sump pump and a dehumidifier. We'll tile the basement where the wash area is and have walled off the rear of the basement (just ductwork and plumbing) and are now walling off the furnace, water heater and electric panel with entry by way of lovouvered bifold doors. To be continued, next time...