Watch as I shop for, fix up/ renovate, and move into my very first real estate purchase – a $240,000 Duplex in College Station, Tx!
The (muahhaha) master plan for this property is to #househack it (renting out a unit or portion of your primary residence to decrease or eliminate your personal housing costs) and eventually rent out both sides to make a monthly income off the property.
In 2020 (I purchased the home in May), I was able to lower my personal housing costs to just $150 per month out of my $1,700 mortgage. I was renting out Unit A for $1050 to a housing authority tenant (therefor less than market rent, but guaranteed payment), and part of Unit B to my boyfriend Jacob for $500 per month.
See the details on why I charge my BF rent:
See the full Duplex Diaries playlist here (Very bingeable, warning!)
Check out the details on how that works (Including all the numbers!) (The TLDR version!)
My $150/ month house
And see this Duplex Q&A blog post on all the details! (Including what Dave Ramsey would think!)
House shop with me
Check out the area I’m buying in and see what you can get for my money in the Bryan/ College Station, Texas area, a mid-size Texas city (about halfway between Austin and Houston!)
A few notes, EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas, so “mid-size” here means about 200,000 people between the two cities (which run right next to each other), with about 70,000 of those residents being college students at Texas A&M University (where I work!)
Once I found a house that I considered a really good deal and would also be a good investment, I signed the papers and got the keys! (okay, so actually it’s much more complicated than that but that’s a video I haven’t made yet and your real estate agent/ loan manager will help you!)
My first house tour (the day I bought it!)
Immediately after getting the keys and filming this video, I started the WORK.
From getting boogers off the walls and cleaning to starting repairs, here’s the process of starting the renovations!
First days cleaning/ repairs/ reno my first house
There was a decent amount of work to be done prior to move in and I, a lifelong renter until this point had to learn completely from scratch along the way!
It happens in every home purchase… but some things immediately went wrong. Also some things that were contracted to be fixed, were not. Also my renters weren’t even aware that the house had sold! (according to them.)
Let’s get a peek into my rental unit and fix some immediate issues.
Fixing up my first RENTER’s Unit
Re-addressing the side I would be moving into (in just a few months!), I had to address painting pre-work, prepping for demo of the floors, changing out lighting and fixing damage!
Learn to DIY… die (or more likely pay out the wazoo for it to be fixed professionally!)
DIY Fixing up my $230k Texas House!
I wasn’t certain until I was in the place if I would be ripping out the mismatched tile floors or not… but I very quickly decided it was necessary!
Follow me as I check out the cost options, floor options of luxury vinyl plank, debating whether to hire stuff out or do it myself and any regrets I had!
Total Floor RENO: Tile to Luxury Vinyl Plank and cost breakdown!
This next video was filmed over 3 months between getting the keys and moving in. I painted the ENTIRE HOUSE. It was a crazy amount of work and I wasn’t full prepared for what I was getting into. I was painting until the night before moving and I never did Jacob’s bathroom!
However I did save thousands by doing it myself and I’m thrilled with how it turned out!
Painting my ENTIRE HOUSE!
The backyard of this place… has some issues. Specifically areas where grass won’t grow, where water pools and I STILL need to figure out exactly how to fix it. Which also means that all the backyard work I did in this video was pretty much for nothing. At least I got a workout?
I also had to purchase some appliances, specifically a washer/dryer and refrigerator. But we also bought a pull out couch for guests… which weighed what felt like a billion pounds.
Big Purchases, backyard makeover and FREAKING OUT
Almost entirely in fast forward, pack up my old apartment and move in/ unpack with me! This was done almost entirely across just two days as I was painting until the very last minute.
MOVE IN WITH ME! + Speed Pack/ Unpack with me
Figuring out how to use and store everything in a new home can be difficult, which is why I generally try to unpack as fast as possible and get all the boxes out. It took me a few months to make it feel really like home, though TBH, there are still a few areas where I’m still slowly working on things.
Take off your shoes and come on in to my fully furnished and lived in tour!
Tour my furnished first home!
That is all for now, but more is always happening as a landlord!
I’ll be reviving this series when my tenants move out and I do some repairs to the other side!
Check out my next plans for my life and money!
Would you ever consider buying rental property or house hacking? I gotta admit, I love the passive income!