My husband, Andrew, and I bought a Triplex earlier this year. This is our first home, so we get to learn how to be homeowners and landlords at the same time. Our intention (or, THE PLAN as I like to call it) is to live in one of the units, as we are currently doing, and eventually move to a single family home and use the triplex as a ‘business.’ Because the house is an income property, people keep telling me how smart I am. Not everyone wants to save up for years to buy a home that other people are probably going to trash, or be a landlord for that matter. Really though, I feel like we just got lucky. Andrew and I were only sort of looking for multi-family homes, and our house just happened to have all the checks on our must list. We also lucked out with really sweet tenants that are quiet-ish and easy to be around.
Here is our must list:
- 2 car garage
- Apartment for us that is about the same size as our previous apartment (about 1500 sq feet)
- Central Air. SERIOUSLY it is expensive to put in an AC system if there are no existing ducts in a house (just ask the bean).
- Place for a garden
- Neighborhood. We looked at several different neighborhoods, and our triplex is located in ‘hood that was our favorite… not to mention it’s close to the fam.
- Older home (pre 1950)
- Bonus: Newer roof
Some things that we wanted but didn’t get:
- Outdoor living space (porch, veranda, deck)
- Washer/Dryer in the units
- Modern Kitchen/bathrooms (our bathroom was in serious need of an overhaul)
- More than one bathroom (at least in our unit)
- Closet space
It’s been challenging as a designer and a homeowner not to go crazy with paint and renovations. I’m trying to reign myself in and only focus on what will add value to the home (for rent or resale purposes), and what I might have to undo when we leave. I have to step away from the paint palettes of purple and pink and teal and really think about what is neutral (because I live with a boy, and because I plan on leaving whatever paint we choose on the walls when we leave) if I don’t want to have to completely repaint everything when THE PLAN is put into action. But we’ve managed to complete a few big projects and many smaller projects that will hopefully only increase the value of our home, if not, they certainly are making me happy.
More on that later.