The Garage (Apartment)- Part 1

>> 7.02.2012

I'm sure that I mentioned this at one point many months ago, but one of the main selling features of our new house was actually the converted garage apartment that sits in the backyard. Due to lot size and zoning restrictions in our city, it's not possible to just convert any garage into an apartment so we were really lucky to come across this space. We were already becoming landlords with our first house, so why not add on another liability, right?!

 Photo taken before we moved in.

According to the Craigslist people who come to our house to buy things, we should be able to get up to $700/ month in rent for this *tiny* space because detached studios are hot stuff in Austin, especially in central neighborhoods. Here's an idea of how the apartment sits on the lot:


We're realistically hoping to get somewhere in the neighborhood of $650/ month with utilities and laundry included.

In the rough sketch above, you can see that the laundry room for our house is actually attached to the back of the apartment, with the door opening out to the driveway side. Here's a before shot:

One day we hope to do an addition to the main house to add a laundry room, master suite, and bonus space. Of course, this is all relevant to the garage apartment because renting it out should help pay for the addition.

Knowing that the rent from the apartment would be pure profit (unlike the other rental, we would already have to pay the mortgage, insurance, taxes, etc), it's really quite crazy that we've let it sit there vacant until now! Well, I did think it was crazy until I realized all of the little things that needed changes...

This is the living space. When you walked in, a musty smell would hit you almost instantly (foreshadowing...). A giant tear in the sheet vinyl floors (bottom left corner) meant that they had to go (besides the fact that they were sheet vinyl).

The paint had seen better days (probably back in the 1950's when this place was built) as you can see by the yellowing in the back right corner.

The kitchen area had a crazy upper cabinet that you couldn't even fit a plate into, a leaky faucet, and a non-GSDI outlet. Based on age, we realized that all of the outlets probably had to be updated.


Finally, the tiny bathroom area... it was in need of a paint job, toilet seat, and working faucet.

Unlike our last house, we would have to update this space with the mindset of a landlord. As amazing as this space could be with a reworked kitchen layout, built in storage, and a bedroom partition, we needed to focus on actually turning a profit (and sometime soon!).

Up next: prep, paint, and problems

3 comments:

doodlebugmom July 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM  

Looks like some pretty basic cosmetic fixed and it will be really cute. The only big expense should be the electrician. Have fun!

Mrs. Chic July 2, 2012 at 3:58 PM  

So much potential, looking forward to seeing how you update the apt. with your landlord thinking cap on :)

Sara @ Russet Street Reno July 2, 2012 at 4:39 PM  

Oh man, I don't think I could share laundry! I leave stuff in the dryer for days and days...ha

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