If you have been following along on Instagram for a while, you may remember that we built a house in Holland two years ago! This was our very first rental property! We bought a lot downtown Holland (one of the very last lots downtown!), and built this 4 bed, 2 bath home, and rented it out for two years before selling. We learned SO MUCH through this process, and are immensely thankful that we embarked on this journey.
This picture was taken almost three years ago. I was 23, Ty 27. We had flipped our first property, just diving into real estate investing. I had listened to well over 100 podcasts about long term renting, and was passionately fixated on creating "passive income." A very close friend of ours, and mentor, was also eager to jump into the game of real estate. We teamed up together, took a huge risk, and went for it!
Ty found the lot. Looking back, I'm incredibly amazed at how he not only found one of the VERY last lots downtown, but also negotiated the price down 17%. If that lot were still available today, it would be over double the price. We picked out a house plan, calculated the cost to build, and created a spreadsheet calculating the returns.
The house cash flowed well as a rental and was a solid investment. We did not experience a single day of vacancy! In fact, the tenants moved in the day after we got the occupancy permit; and the new owners moved into the house the very day after the tenant's lease ended.
We had originally planned to rent this house long term. Well, if we have learned ANYTHING in the past five years, it is that plans change! After two years, we decided that we would like to embark on some other projects! The Holland market has appreciated significantly since we built this home, so we knew that if we sold it, we would be able to have the flexibility to invest in other projects. While we love the idea of "passive income," we realized that being landlords was not something we felt passionate about. We find more passion in property development, design, flipping, and other avenues of real estate investing (stay tuned...we will be spilling all the beans soon!).
We sold this home off market to the most LOVELY couple who we connected with on Instagram! We recently stopped in to drop off a house warming gift and discuss their plans for the home. They have plans to add more character by installing shiplap, building a kitchen island, adding built-in shelving, and installing wood beams on the ceiling! They have excellent taste, and it is going to be gorgeous!
Here are a few pictures we took just as we were finishing the home two years ago. Because the home rented so quickly, we never had a chance to properly stage the home for pictures!
When we began this project 3 years ago, we had just moved from our first home (talk about throwback!) and were settling into the EGR condo. I was just discovering my love for minimal interiors and Scandinavian color schemes. Thus, we went with white walls and blonde flooring.
Because this home was built to be a rental, we wanted products that were durable and didn't break the bank. We went with luxury vinyl flooring which is waterproof and easy to maintain. We installed quartz counters to give the kitchen a luxurious feel. We kept our budget in mind when selecting subway tile, but spruced it up by installing it in a vertical offset versus standard, horizontal brick joint.
The vaulted ceilings, huge bedrooms, and "new house smell" made us tempted to move in ourselves (many times!). We are grateful to have sold this home to such a sweet couple. It warms our hearts that someone is appreciating this space, making it theirs (oh, and they have plans for a blue front door, brass hardware, and hydrangeas...my kind of people!)
This house felt like "our baby" in many ways! We grew through being landlords; and are forever changed by the relationship we developed with our business partners, and the mentorship we received throughout the process.
We learned that our goals are changing and evolving, all the while knowing this house played a part in the journey to discovering what we want for our future. It feels quite momentous to be saying goodbye...but we're excited for what is to come!