My 10 weeks of maternity leave came to an end this week and I’m back educating the youth at Dowling Catholic High School. Instead of me blogging about how finals week went for me, I’m going to pass this blog off to my husband, Eric…
Hello DUG bloggers, Eric here! I am a Realtor for Iowa Realty, and I grew up in the center of the world (aka) Beaverdale. As a result I have always had an affinity towards older homes. I market a large portion of my business to the neighborhoods in the Des Moines North West corridor like Beaverdale, Roosevelt, Cottage Grove, and Waveland. Homes in these neighborhoods always sell at a fast pace; despite the fact that they tend to have small kitchens, bedrooms, closets, and baths. The foundations are older and commonly leak (well… only when it rains) yet these homes still fly off the shelf. One word can describe the demand, character. No amount of space, or modern finish, can pull this type of homeowner away from the mature trees and the aesthetic of a Beaverdale brick or a Waveland bungalow. The commercial districts are always packed and whatever form of micro-culture that these shops are selling, we are always buying.
Because of all of this I have started a business of restoring homes. My focus has been restoring homes in Des Moines North West communities to sell and rent. This business has come in handy for my wife’s newest farming endeavor because the land that we bought has a home on it. I like to look at it like we bought a home with some land, but Jenny keeps reminding me that this is the other way around.
It seems fitting that the home on the Dogpatch Urban Garden plot was one of the old farmhouses for the employees of the Meredith Family Farm (more on the history of the home in another post). It feels, in part, like we are bringing the home back to its roots.
The family we bought the house from lived there for many years. It was their childhood home and their mother could no longer maintain the house so they decided to sell. The condition of the home structurally was just fine but it needed some ascetic updating.
The goal was to get the home renovated and rented within 3 months of purchasing it. Jenny posted information about the home and farm on a few of her social media outlets and was able to connect with an interested family. The kicker was they needed to move into a place by December 15th. This cut my original timeline by half for the restoration. To say that achieving this timeline in the midst of my wife starting the new business, raising our three children, and maintaining my regular workflow was going to be tight is a huge understatement. That said, thanks to an amazing crew, we were able to get the house ready just in time. The couple that has moved in is almost too good to be true. They have a huge passion for what we are doing with the farm and we couldn’t be more excited to have them as tenants.
Check out a few of the before and after photos of the restoration. This home turned out better than expected.