Featured List

Crack House Love

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I've been holding out on you guys.

Yep, these past several months John and I (but mostly John) have been working behind the scenes on our biggest project to date:

A (former) crack house.

Cue the scary music!

[blood-curdling scream]

Yep, that's our baby! Or was, back when we bought it last November.

Brief back story: the house is a few streets down from ours, and we'd noticed 'For Sale' signs going up and down for over a year. We'd also been talking for a while about investing some of our savings in the neighborhood instead of the market, so finally, out of curiosity, we called on it. Turned out it was going up for auction that very afternoon, so after a hasty tour (yikes) we decided to put a low-ball bid in. And, huzzah! We got it!

Of course, our jubilation was short-lived when we realized we'd just purchased a total dump whose last occupants were forcefully evicted by the DEA. Hm. Yeeeeah.

We decided to leave the house until spring, because I had a book to write by February, and I needed John's help to keep the blogs going while I did. Then we started looking into insurance for the house, and realized we'd have to have it up to inspection standards within three months of closing to qualify for the insurance we needed.

Whoops.

So that's how we embarked on completely renovating a former crack house during the three months I had to also write CW book #2 and keep two blogs running.

It was...interesting.

John made the deadline with literally only hours to spare, and then we spent another month or two on the final finishing details.

But, now we're done! And I HAS PICTURES!!

So sit back, relax, and prepare to be scared wit-less by my 'before' photos. [evil grin]


First, a closer look at the exterior:

That's the front door on the left. (And also John's hand.)

Actually, compared to the inside the exterior wasn't so bad. There were shutters missing, lots of overgrown weeds, and plenty of wood rot on this side (the rest was concrete block), but to me the worst part was the big hump in the front yard, which looked like it had a septic tank under it:

Ok, so it's hard to see here, but trust me: there was a big ugly hump there.
(Fortunately we learned later there was no septic tank, though.)

Here's the other side of the front:


Ready to see the "after"?

Ta-da!

The yard hump is gone, plus all of the overgrown yuckiness. Those are all new bushes, plants, and stone edgers, plus new wood siding around the glass doors, not to mention new doors, windows, lighting, and even grass, which has grown in a lot more since this photo was taken.

Everything is freshly painted, too, although I convinced John to use a similar soft green (just a few shades lighter) because I liked it with the red brick.

Now, to the inside!

This was the large open living area, which has a vaulted ceiling:

The floors were a combination of peeling stick-down tile, bare concrete, dirt, and duct tape.

Facing the opposite direction, looking down the hall:



To the right were glass sliding doors, which led out onto some kind of zombie apocalypse:

Seriously, aren't you expecting to see homicidal brain-munchers pop out of that jungle any second?

You can just see the steps up to the rotting deck out there, too. It was built so that all the rainwater flooded backwards into the house. Nice.

Here's the "After":

New tile, trim, doors, vents, electrical, paint, drywall, texture...um, you get the idea.

Once John and a few handy friends finished ripping out the rotting deck, they found a concrete foundation under it. Trouble was, one corner of the concrete square was completely gone - cut or broken away. So, after a little puzzling, this was our solution:

We made that corner into a plant bed! Not too shabby, right? Then John painted the concrete (which already had several chippy layers of paint on it) and cleared out most of the jungle that was the backyard. Now it's actually a nice place to sit in; no more zombie hidey-holes.


Believe it or not, this was the kitchen:

Those top cabinets were rusty metal, and barely hanging on to the walls. And don't get me started on the giant mirror and bathroom vanity lighting. [shudder] I don't have more photos because this was the first room to get ripped out, but believe me: the whole thing was nasty.

And here's the dramatically different kitchen today:

I begged John to knock that hole in the wall over the sink to open up the room. He had to re-route both plumbing and electrical to do it, but I'm so glad he did; I love the look.

Here's another angle, showing off our Ikea lighting:

In fact, other than the countertops and handles, the whole kitchen is Ikea. We've now installed at least four complete Ikea kitchens, for ourselves and for friends, and we'll probably never use anything else. You just can't beat the price and the quality.

Here's a before view from the dining room:

As you can see, this was taken after the kitchen was ripped out.

Now here's the after:

Oh, and see that door there? It leads outside, and used to look like this:

We also found random bits of drywall that were cut out and propped back in place, we assume as hiding places for nefarious goods. Ah, the former homes of drug dealers...


Who's ready to tackle a bathroom?

Groovy.

Drum roll, please:


And can't forget the shower:


That was fun. Let's do another:

Ew.

Double "Ew".

Muuuch better.

I don't have many before photos of the bedrooms, but they all kind of looked like this:


And the ceilings looked like this:


All the doors had extra locks and bolts on them, too, and were scratched up and filthy. Cheery.


Now all the bedrooms look like this:

Again, it's new everything. So nice and clean!

And finally, there was the garage-turned-mother-in-law-suite. It was a decent room with its own bath and exterior entrance, but...

...it was in about the same shape as the rest of the house.

Plus it had a plumbing leak overhead:

The water had caused the ceiling to fall down, so it was nailed up around the edges.

This bathroom was in the best shape of them all, since it was only about 20 or 30 years old - as opposed to 50 like the others:

Still, due to the plumbing trouble, John had to re-plumb much of the house. So all the bathrooms got torn down to the studs.

And in the end:

Here's the view from the door:

Those sliders lead out to the driveway. As garage conversions go, this one's not too shabby.

And that's our crack house remodel! Hope you enjoyed the tour. John's poured his blood, sweat, and colorful curse words into this thing, and after re-plumbing, rewiring, and in many cases building from the studs up, we can honestly say it's beautiful both inside and out. In fact, the building inspector (not knowing John had done most of the work) told him it was some of the best plumbing, wiring, remodeling, etc. he'd ever seen in a house. You should have seen the grin John couldn't wipe off his face that week. It was adorable.

SO...

...anyone want to buy a house?

:D

Yep, with our unexpected tax bill this year, and all the extra expenses to repair the many surprises, I'm afraid we have to sell our beloved crack house. (Not to mention stop calling it "the crack house." Ha!) Keep your fingers crossed for us, guys; it's not an easy time to sell a house, as I'm sure most of you know. Still, I'm hopeful some family is going to see it and love it as much as we do now.


I'll leave you with my favorite shot: the front door.

I made the magnolia wreath (for only $14!) to go with the big magnolia tree in the yard. Isn't it pretty?

What's that? You want a close-up? Well, if you insist:

Well, [dusting off hands], that's done. Time to turn our attention back to our own house.

Oh, Jooo-ooohn!

Posted by Jen at 2:51 PM Labels:

199 comments:

  1. That's WONDERFUL! And you should totally call it "Epbot House".

    To potential buyers, this house was hand refurbished by the creators of Cake Wrecks and Epbot!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, Jen! You and John did an amazing job! I can imagine all of the hard and disgusting work that went into this. Wow.

    You are both such hard workers - I am thoroughly impressed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dang it Jen, give the man a VACATION!

    Good Job, John. Give yourself many pats on the back and maybe some gellato (I'm a huge fan of gellato)!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That looks AMAZING! What a transformation! John really made a great job. Congrats guys!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks great! Wish I wanted to move to Florida.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice work! You guys do enjoy keeping busy, don'tcha?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! What a beautiful redemption! A job well done ... and I am hoping some sweet little family snatches it up!

    ReplyDelete
  8. That was a fun tour and as good as any HGTV show I've seen! Living in an old house that still needs a lot of love, I can appreciate the work that was done. Too bad you need to sell it- it looks like a great rental property now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It may take a while but I'm sure you can sell it. If I were in the market for a house the phrase "newly remodled" would be a selling point. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow! I'm very, very impressed. You were right. That house was disgusting. But it's beautiful now. I'm sure you'll sell it very quickly. And LOVE the wreath.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You did a wonderful job fixing it up! I bought a fixer-upper a few years back - not from some drug lords but from a legally blind little old lady that had lived there for 60 years. Did I mention she was legally blind? You can just imagine how gross the interior of the house was. The first thing I did was rip out the carpet.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow - that's amazing! You totally should have been on one of those home flip shows. Or if you run out of cakewrecks to write about, you can write a home renno book :)

    vw: hance
    Hance! The zombies approach!

    ReplyDelete
  13. We have been looking at houses in the S. Fl. area and they look ohhh, almost exactly like yours did. It looks amazing now and if you and John are bored, I'd love you guys to come down here and redecorate one for me! Seriously fabulous job and fingers crossed a super awesome family finds it soon!

    ReplyDelete
  14. WOW! What I can't believe MOST is that you guys managed not to spill the beans!! And worked your butts off! If we'd have known, we'd have given you the occasional pass, I mean, c'mon!!

    Love the warm caramelly color throughout. I'm a blue & green girl myself but even I wouldn't repaint that until it needed it.

    Yes, it's a hard time to sell a house, which is why it's important to have the BEST house in the area...and you DO. Amazing amount of work. Wish you guys lived up north, I would absolutely hire you guys! You need a TV show!

    Seriously, wouldn't that have been a great reality show? "Watch John & Jen write 2 blogs, a book, and rehab a house?" Way better than spoiled rich housewives.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm just curious did you do this as a money-making investment property, or as a way to improve your neighborhood. (Not to say that it couldn't be both!)

    ReplyDelete
  16. That looks awesome!

    When my husband and I were looking for our new house we visited one with many similar problems to your "crack house"... things like random fist-sized holes in walls, lots and lots of water damage, burn marks all over the deck etc. So we lovingly dubbed it the "Murder-drug-death-witch house"...

    I'm sure someone took it over with love, (and gutted it) and made it just as beautiful as you guys did!
    Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Holy moly!!!! Amazing job you guys!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a wonderful remodel. My Fiance and I have talked numerous times about moving to Florida. So many reasons to do it, (family, disney world, other random travel opportunities). Unfortunately most houses down their (most likely including yours) are so nice their completely out of our price range.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, what a transformation! Maybe you should rent John out for major renovation projects. But I think he needs a vacation first. From my extensive research (ie, watching HGTV constantly) I think "recently remodeled" and "mother-in-law quarters" are definitely big selling points. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am so very impressed by anyone who can do that much hard-core house remodeling by themselves. It looks absolutely beautiful; congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Beautiful rehaul!

    If only you guys were in Texas, I'd be considering the buy! :(

    ReplyDelete
  22. So, does John have a blog where he talks about all this awesome stuff he does? I would follow the heck out of it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. If I wasn't 19, had credit/a job, and still lived in FL, I would definitely buy the house. You guys did an amazing job remodeling.

    wv:singe
    Florida heat will singe your eyebrows off.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I *love* that you fixed up a piece of your neighborhood! THAT'S the kind of investment that pays off for future generations! I'm living in a former crack neighborhood (no lie, you wouldn't have wanted to drive *near* here 15 years ago), and the same thing is happening here. The very house I'm renting, (which, granted, is in not-so-great condition), is owned by folks who wanted to help bring UP the neighborhood.

    Now... you wanna come do my house? You guys (OK, John) did an *amazing* job!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. A-may-zing! You did a wonderful job to it and I hope that buyers will be able to see that. Good luck with selling it!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow!! ...hmm, emigration to America is hard isn't it? Shucks.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Super super AMAZING transformation. What a sweet house. I can't get over the difference. And I'm SO glad you and John survived the remodel unscathed despite the nefarious history of the house. Your neighbors should throw you a thank-you party!
    If we lived closer we would definitely consider buying. We need a 1-story because (as life has that sense of humor) we bought a 2-story with no downstairs full bath or bedroom, and our 3 year old uses a wheelchair. We and our jobs are on the wrong coast though. Hope you find a buyer soon from your fan base!

    ReplyDelete
  28. @ Deanna - Yes, a bit of both, although we originally intended to keep it and rent it, because we like the idea of having a house nearby for either John's mom or my parents to move into later in life. (If necessary, of course, and if we could convince them!)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow. Just wow. I am SO impressed. I LOVE the colors your chose, especially the siding. I have to be honest--I liked the color it was originally, so I'm glad you didn't change it all that much.

    And I'm sure when you call it the crack house you mean it with love. Or that you got cracking and got that puppy all spiffed up!

    John, when the housing market gets better, you need to start flipping houses for a living! And both of you: you guys are something else!

    WV: Virses. The God of diseases.

    ReplyDelete
  30. If I was moving to your area in FL, I would definitely want to buy that house! You guys did an awesome job...I can tell it was a labor of love! Kudos to the both of you.
    Can I borrow John for the plumbing, electrical, etc when I need him? I'm only a plane ride away in Sunny Southern Cali! LOL
    =)

    ReplyDelete
  31. The House Formerly Known as Crack (House)? You're Cracked if you don't want to own this beautiful house?

    Looks awesome! You guys worked miracles. I'm not in the market for a Floridian House but if I hear of someone who is, I'll be sure to send them to you.

    Good luck with the sale (not that you'll need it)!

    ReplyDelete
  32. @ Sara - me, too! Ha! I'm afraid it's all I can do to get John to write the occasional post for CW, though; with all the "desk work" he has to do for me with these two blogs, he's raring to go do something physical in any and all of the free time he has. I'm just glad for the extra post fodder!

    ReplyDelete
  33. WOW! John sounds like the best husband EVER! And you did a lot of work too I'm sure, Maybe you guys should just take a week off and go to a nice vacation resort thingy?
    I know some cute little family will snatch that old "crack house" right up.
    Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  34. That looks beautiful! If I were in need of a house in Florida, I'd be calling you guys. Kudos to John (and you)--we've been working on our house for over 10 years and still have a ways to go (of course, we're also living in it, and don't have a time deadline other than senility, infirmity or death, so...)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Why do you have to sell? Why not rent it out? All that hard work! The house looks beautiful...

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love love love the kitchen! You guys did a really great job. Good luck with the sale!

    ReplyDelete
  37. You both did an amazing job with the house! It looks great! If it were a little further west, it would be right were we are looking for a house! Thanks for showing pictures of what a great house should look like, after a big remodel!

    ReplyDelete
  38. All that in just a couple of months? Amazing. I hope the flip is quick and profitable.

    ReplyDelete
  39. @SaraJane - Well, we tied up a huge amount of our savings/reserves in the house - more than we expected - and then this year's tax bill depleted us that much further. So, for those reasons, we'd like to get our money back out of it again. If it doesn't sell we'll still survive, of course, but it'd be nice to replenish our accounts, if possible.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Note to self: Check ALL potential hidey-holes for zombies.

    Thanks for the info.

    By the way...great work.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow! That's a *beautiful house*. Looking at the before and after pics is such a cathartic experience.

    ReplyDelete
  42. What an amazing transformation! We're going to be building a house soon - could we borrow John? Oooo, or I could trade you for my husband for a while. He's a pediatrician, which may not be quite as helpful for you as John would be for me, but he cooks amazing Thai food... Just throwing some ideas out there...

    ReplyDelete
  43. That is incredible! I can't believe it is the same house. John has mad skills!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Holy Moly, what a LOT of work!! And it turned out beautifully!! Bravo! I'll be sending any potential Floridians I hear about your way. =)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I personally would have looked at that big bump in the yard and assumed the drug dealers disposed of some bodies! Clearly you're more optimistic than I am if you were only worried about a septic tank. ;)

    And the house turned out great! Congrats to both of you on a job well done!

    ReplyDelete
  46. :sings: aweeessooommmeee!

    captch word is suprie almost surprise!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Dang, is there anything you guys CAN'T do?!?! Excellent job; I love it!
    Oh, yeah, and the house is nice, too. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  48. The difference is incredible!! I'm very impressed! We're moving to Florida soon and are buying a house, but we'll be in Jacksonville, so that wouldn't quite work. :( Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  49. WOW. Way to go Jen!! (I guess mostly John)

    Did John really do all that in three months? It is AMAZING!

    Good luck with selling it! That must have been a hard decision after all that hard work, but I really hope it pays off. The place looks awesome, and I don't doubt you'll be able to sell it soon!

    ReplyDelete
  50. That is absolutely beautiful! Wow, just amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  51. You should totally post the MLS listing once it's on the market. Really nice job!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Okay, that door that leads to the outside? The "before" TERRIFIED me. I'm pretty sure you could lend it to the artistic director for The Walking Dead. He'd love it!

    ReplyDelete
  53. WowWowWow! Very impressive. Love the color palette. Love the clean, simple lines. I can almost smell the cookies baking. Beautiful, beautiful work.

    (I'm dreaming of doing a remodel to a warehouse space soon and I hope it turns out HALF that well)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Looks amazing now! John is a bit of a genius! Although most of the "before" shots are sort of like the scummy student houses I've been living in... Can't wait to have a landlord who cares about their tennants!

    ReplyDelete
  55. You should have lived in that house and sold the house you are living in now. You guys did a GREAT job.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Ok... So, there is a distinct possibility we will be moving to Florida in the near future... We weren't thinking we'd buy right away but if you could send me any details, I would be interested in a little more information :) Feel free to email me at heenybean@gmail.com. This is an incredible transformation and you guys are way more talented than I could ever dream to be! Thanks for the pictures (and the general awesomeness that is EPBOT) :)

    ReplyDelete
  57. This is awesome John (and Jen)! It looks so beautiful. I can't believe someone lived in it in its former condition. It makes me want to shower just thinking about it. That black (?) bathroom tile! That kitchen! That door of bolts! Wow.

    Anyway, it's a lovely little house now, all shiny and clean and move-in ready! It may be a bad time to sell a house, but those are some great things going for it. Considering it snowed here this morning, maybe I should look into a move south! :)

    --kate

    ReplyDelete
  58. It looks AMAZING, guys!
    If you're at all interested in renting, my roommates and I (in Orlando, of course) are looking for a new place come June. We're all culinary students and line cooks...so, you know, food!

    ReplyDelete
  59. So...whenever you're ready to hire John out, we have a bunch of house projects that need doing. I want a kitchen that pretty!

    Seriously, great work, it looks incredible. John should be proud of all the hard work he did. And while it didn't work out the way you had planned, it's awesome that you did something great for your community, too.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Love it! Makes me almost want to move to Florida!

    And John deserves his grin. He did a wonderful job.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Very impressive!! Good work, John. I'd totally live there if, you know, I was in the market for a house in Florida.

    ReplyDelete
  62. You guys are incredible! I wouldn't even know where to start on something like that... I think I would have just burnt it down haha. And what a lovely thing to do for your neighborhood, you should be really proud! The neighbors must adore you.

    I will send out my good thoughts that you will get an awesome buyer for it!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I am in awe of yours and John's remodel skills, and your sheer energy. I love the warm-but-neutral color -- so much better than drab white, especially when looking through an empty house. I do have to say that I had that same orangey-pinkish (bright coral?) tile in a bathroom in government housing in AK, and I actually kinda liked it. Flattering to pasty-white skin in those cold northern winters. (Does that make me lose points on the paint choice compliment?)

    ReplyDelete
  64. I thought those paint colors weren't crazy enough for you guys... Sorry you have to sell it, that is an amazing transformation and should have been on one of those DIY shows.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Fantastically beautiful! I want a crack house now! :) Wish I could move to FL.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I would buy that house, tell EVERYONE who fixed it up and brag that it used to be a crack house! What a great story it would be! Good job, John!

    ReplyDelete
  67. What county are you in? My sis is moving to the Orlando area NOW!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Oh my goodness! It's amazing! And what an amazing gift to your community! I have my fingers crossed it will sell!
    -Camille

    ReplyDelete
  69. We were actually looking for s. Florida...I'll show this to the hubs and see what he thinks :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. Oh my!!!! It is absolutely beautiful!!!!! You did amazing work!!!! Good luck on selling it!! Although it would be nice to rent it and sell in a few years when the market picks up!!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Well done! Wish we were a 10th that 'handy'...Can't believe how fast you two turned that house around. Hope you make a tidy profit when you sell!

    WV: miness "Ssss, I wish that house was miness, Precious..."

    ReplyDelete
  72. That is incredible! You all did an amazing job and deserve a big pat on the back. And a big payoff on this! :)

    It makes me so happy to see people fix up houses. I feel sorry for the rundown dumpy houses.

    ReplyDelete
  73. @ Robyn - we're in Orange county. Feel free to have your sis e-mail me; I can send her the listing!

    ReplyDelete
  74. I was so relieved that you didn't say "instead of a sepetic tank, we found a body"! Lol. Fantastic job on the remodel. John did an amazing job throughout!

    ReplyDelete
  75. I can't believe the difference y'all made in 3 months. Super impressive!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Aww,

    Thanks for the kind words guys. You know, one of the most interesting things about this whole situation is that there really isn't much money making potential in a project like this. We might make a little more than we put into it in the end but you have to couple that with the fact that I spent a huge amount of time on it. If someone else had, say, installed the base molding or the kitchen or the water heater, we would most definitely have ended up losing money on the deal. So, was it worth it? I think so.

    I had fun, I helped raise the property values for our neighbors, and with any luck, a nice family with kids will move in and bring some new life to the neighborhood. So, yes, it was a fantastic investment.

    But next time, I'm making Jen paint the house. (Little known fact- Jen is a professional painter. Probably the best I know.)

    Thanks again,

    john

    ReplyDelete
  77. Absolutely a.maz.ing! I would move in, in a heartbeat if we were looking to move to FL.

    ReplyDelete
  78. My MOH and her fiance are actually looking at buying a house...where and how much? ;D

    ReplyDelete
  79. Very nice! Crack House Remodel sounds like a good reality show for HGTV.

    ReplyDelete
  80. One of the coolest things about living in that house would be that you would be in John and Jen's neighborhood, and could maybe see them once in a while and wave at them...in a non-stalkery way, that is. Maybe bring homemade cookies over while asking for advice about steampunk decor...but in a friendly, not creepy, way. (Yeah, too late, isn't it?)

    In all seriousness, I hope that you entice some wonderful family to the neighborhood and that your neighbors appreciate all you did. Maybe even express that appreciation with cookies.

    ReplyDelete
  81. OH. MY. AWESOME!!!

    I seriously, seriously bow down to you guys--my husband and I would TOTALLY snatch this up if we were moving to Florida! Although then you'd have to deal with a crazy fan pushing a double stroller around your neighborhood shamelessly stalking you...hmmm. Maybe not such a good idea.

    It's GORGEOUS.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Great job guys! It looks wonderful, and having bought our first house; and completely gutting it, last summer, I understand how much work that was! We were racing the clock to get done before school started, so I can't imagine stuffing in things like very popular blogs and book writing! Did you sleep?

    ReplyDelete
  83. I just realized that I should preface all my comments with (not *that* Jen)

    ReplyDelete
  84. Wow, that's amazing! Can you do my house next?

    Tell you what, I'll trade you straight up for my not-a-crack-house-but-needs-some-work :)

    BTW, this house looks like my grandma's old house in Maitland (it's not, but the work done to restore it was nearly as extensive)...

    wv: Your crack house is now very poidi

    Congrats! Good luck selling it!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Wow! I'm speechless and at the point of tears! This is so beautiful. You guys are amazing. AMAZING!

    ReplyDelete
  86. WOW. That is amazing! I'm hoping your sense of accomplishment lasts for a loooong time, and also that some lucky family snaps it up asap. You guys are incredible!

    ReplyDelete
  87. You guys did an amazing job.Do I smell a home improvement remodeling show in the future? Just let Jen do the demoing when there's an Epcot Kings Cake threat.

    I'm very impressed!!

    ReplyDelete
  88. As someone who has renovated houses in the not too distant past, congratulations! It's lovely! Good luck with the sale.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I am so, so impressed with the renovations. Infinite brownie points should be rewarded. It must be really nice to have someone so handy around.

    Actually, you both are incredibly crafty and handy with projects.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Wow! I am impressed!
    Just one question...Did you put a CW coffee table book out when staging?;-)

    ReplyDelete
  91. COngratulations! Wow that's a lot of works! Sooo you know the old "bake some cookies in the oven so the house smells like cookies before the open house" trick, right?If you lived there I'd say use frozen dough so you don't mess up the kitchen, but just bring some over & bake them before the open house. Totally worked for two of my friends. (one whose house smelled like her dogs!)
    Good luck!

    WV : spoking! I'm Spoking the truth!

    ReplyDelete
  92. Wowza! Please send John my way ;) Need some things done!

    ReplyDelete
  93. Just amazing. Congratulations to you both...and what a wonderful thing to do. Sure hope it sells quickly for you.

    The neighbors must ADORE you guys. They must be weeping with joy to have gone from living next to zombieholecracknastyfest to having such a well-cared for home next door now.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Great Job! You should be proud :-)

    ReplyDelete
  95. A-mazing! Is there anything you and John can't do (or tackle)? Wow! Want to come work on MY house? I completely challenged in the homeowner skills department but not a bad cook! We have great whitewater rafting here, too. (hint, hint) I'll throw in sprinkles...uh, make that steampunk stuff?

    ReplyDelete
  96. I'm so impressed. You guys made a home of the crack house. I'm sure someone is going to fall in love with it and buy it right up.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Fantastic job!!! That was truly an amazing before and after walk-thru; I would have thought the only thing left to do to that old creepy house was to burn it down!, but you all made it very lovely. Best of luck selling it, any family would be lucky to live there now :)

    ReplyDelete
  98. Awesome remodel/rebuild John! Betting there are some very happy neighbors too now that the crack house is gone.
    I lived in one we called Hell while building our current house. The crack house was across the street, literally.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Fantastic work John (and Jen too!). Here's wishing you a fast sale for a gorgeous reno! You deserve it!

    ReplyDelete
  100. Totally AWESOME! Mad props! I hope someone who will love it buys it.

    ReplyDelete
  101. 3 months?! You guys did all that in 3 months?!

    I'm practically speechless. It's gorgeous.

    I hope the House Sale Gods are kind to you after doing all that work and you sell your beautiful house quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Oh. My. Goodness! That is absolutely amazing! Great work, you two! I am speechless at how good that house looks!

    ReplyDelete
  103. It looks beautiful! That's so inspiring! Our latest remodel was changing out to dual-flush systems on our toilets...not exactly the same level :D

    Oh, and by 'we' I mean 'he' ;)

    ReplyDelete
  104. You guys did a WONDERFUL job of fixing up the place! Yay, John! I am so sorry you hav to sell it for taxes. Sure you don't want to swap houses and sell your current house? Well, I hope you make lots of money on the deal. Thanks for showing us the pix!

    ReplyDelete
  105. It looks like you used the same color paint we used in our house. We had partially updated when we moved out 10 months ago, and I went back last week to do some more. We had and offer from the second person to look at it. Now to await the inspection on Sunday. Hoping for little things only. May your sale go like my friend's- an offer on the 2nd day it was listed, because the 10 month route sucks (I know, because this is the 2nd time one of our houses has sat that long).

    ReplyDelete
  106. Take heart! Orlando is in the top five cities expected to bounce back with a vengeance in the next few months, which should make y'all the only place in FL you can sell a house these days. Tampa Bay area is not, which is why when we move we have to rent out our house and not sell it yet, ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  107. what kind of tile is that in the living and dining room? Is it cork? I am impressed. Nice work. Also, you should totally pitch the idea of crack house remodel to HGTV.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Aw...I wish I lived in Florida and had enough money to make you a serious offer - I love what you guys did with the place! And I agree, Ikea is the best. Most of our furniture is from Ikea, including our $75 dining room set :).

    ReplyDelete
  109. I would hold onto this house and rent it out! Since no one really wants to right now, renting is SO appealing, plus you can still get your homeowner tax refund every year until the market gets better and you can sell it for a profit!

    I'd rent that house in a second if I didn't live in L.A. It's gorgeous! Great job guys! :D

    ReplyDelete
  110. Oh Jen, it looks wonderful. My husband and I were THIS CLOSE from buying a crack house on auction of our very own. Although we have the appropriate skills, your marriage seemed to have survived the remodelings. We weren't so sure ours would, so we abstained.

    And might I say, that wreath is GORGEOUS! Where did you buy the flowers for it?

    ReplyDelete
  111. Just show potential buyers the "before" pictures, and I'd be surprised if they didn't slap down an offer right then and there!

    ReplyDelete
  112. wonderful job! The house looks amazing! and as another reader said, i would rent it too! it never hurts to own some property cause you never know what life can throw at you.

    ReplyDelete
  113. That is amazing. Incredible that John did it all. Gorgeous.

    Such a shame you can't keep it :(

    ReplyDelete
  114. Wow, Jen, what a great story!

    Here's why:
    1. John did an _Amazing_ job. We've renovated just about every room in our house, but certainly not with that kind of speed, quality, and well, ours didn't start out as a crack house. So much respect!
    2. I love that you and John invested in your neighborhood. That just gives me all kinds of warm and fuzzies. I love people who work hard and give back- the family that moves in is so lucky! Way to pay it forward :)

    Congratulations! I hope you celebrated with Brinner at Cracker Barrel!

    ReplyDelete
  115. What a fantastic job! I am super impressed and love the house...If I lived down there, I'd take it. It's a perfect 'starter' home.

    Just again wow! on the amazing job you did. Good job John and Jen!

    ReplyDelete
  116. PS - Also impressed that you're still married after writing a book while remodeling a house while keeping a home business going TOGETHER. That's probably more impressive than the house, actually.

    ReplyDelete
  117. You should have called DIY network and had them film it! It looks great - congrats John and Jen on a great remodel - good luck with selling.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Wow, that is just incredible!!! I hope it sells quickly!

    ReplyDelete
  119. I love this so much! You and John did a fantastic job! I'm impressed beyond belief.

    You did so well that if I come into some money and buy a house, I would love to hire you and John to remodel.

    A girl can dream right?

    ReplyDelete
  120. FANTASTIC job!!! Wow, I am totally impressed! So, when are you guys going to come up and help my fiance fix the house we're moving into? (jk...mostly).

    Are you really going to sell? Why not rent? Or "rent to own" or something?

    ReplyDelete
  121. GREAT work! I am disgustingly impressed and intimidated. Carry on!

    ReplyDelete
  122. What colour is your exterior paint? (Really, as in how do I buy that colour paint) I need to repaint my house and I like how that colour looks with the brick.

    ReplyDelete
  123. WOW!! awesome job!! A husband who can do all that DIY correctly is worth his weight in gold!

    ReplyDelete
  124. My almost five year old kept saying "eew" and then "new" as we went through the photos.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Wow, wow, wow. Y'all did such an amazing job. I can't believe how handy John is...I wish my husband and I could do these types of things on our own. Of course, that would also require an extreme amount of patience, which we lack! One question: do y'all ever schedule any downtime to just be lazy?

    ReplyDelete
  126. Amazing job. Kind of makes me ashamed at all of the home repairs my house needs (peeling paint, missing upstairs ceiling tiles, stained tiles from past roof leaks that need re-painting or replacing) that I haven't gotten to.

    I'm great with computers (can build you a PC from parts in no time flat or a complex website with no problem) and cooking (can whip up lots of different dishes) but I'm not so good with the home repair stuff.

    Um... Mind if we borrow John to lend a hand? Failing that, how are the schools in Former Crack House's neighborhood? And how far away is it from Disney World? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  127. So cute! I am truly impressed! It looks genuinely non-scary now! You can see how much work you put into it! I'm sure you can sell it-- especially with the adorable wreath on the front door! Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  128. W-O-W, what an excellent flip of that property! I'll cross my fingers that it sells quickly for you.

    That said, um John? I have some rooms that could use remodeling. *engaging grin* Excellent work, both of you!

    ReplyDelete
  129. Fabulous work!! I'm so impressed. I hope it sells quickly!

    ReplyDelete
  130. Beautiful work Jen and John!! I agree with The Empress Nina, and you should call it the "Epbot" house! John is a handyman or a contractor? I forget... I think one of you mentioned it a while ago, but I have a poor memory sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  131. WOW! Jen, you & John are AMAZING! Nice work! I'm so tempted to use the old line "You want to come do our house next?" But I-oops. :)

    ReplyDelete
  132. Beautiful renovation! So sorry that you can't keep it. Maybe you could interest some snowbirds to come and roost in it?

    ReplyDelete
  133. That's absolutely beautiful. I'm in awe of how great it looks in the after pictures. I've seen some houses that were "renovated" after the previous residents were evicted. They were sometimes just cleaned up, repainted, and a few (cheap) new fixtures/flooring slapped up and call it good.

    The no-longer-crack house looks like it was put together with Love. I hope a really terrific family moves in, and bakes awesome cakes in that kitchen, and kids draw cute pictures on the walls (that their mom later makes them wash off) and the house gets filled up with lots of love and laughter.

    wv: carin
    You guys have done a lot of carin' and sharin' and now you've earned some relaxin'!

    ReplyDelete
  134. um, you live in orlando right? Because I have an uncle there who is recently divorced and wants to get a new house. Plus, then when I visit him, I can stalk around the neiborhood looking through windows like a creep trying to get a pic of a steampunk dining room! :D

    ReplyDelete
  135. I am so freaking impressed!! You guys are seriously talented.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Eee! That's absolutely lovely. Seriously, I'm in the market for a place, and I'd totally buy it if you lived in... say, Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  137. I want this house. WANT. It. Too bad I live just about as far from Florida as it's possible to get while still inside the continental US.

    It's beautiful! I can't imagine you'd have too much trouble selling, with how great everything looks. And you could always up the ante a little bit and post a sign in the front yard announcing that it was remodeled by John (the hubby of Jen) from Cake Wrecks! People would surely jump at the chance!

    Best of luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  138. I know this is what everyone else is saying, but AMAZING job! You turned a dump into a palace! And with so much else going on, it's incredible what you were able to accomplish. Well deserved congratulations to you both! I sure hope you soon find a buyer worthy of your talents and work.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Wow, what a nightmare that must have been! All the hard work totally paid off, you guys will have no trouble selling it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  140. Jen and John, I have to thank you for posting these pictures. We are about to try to put our (still lived in) house on the market, and it has seemed like a daunting task to me. I have been having serious anxiety about tackling this challenge, but your crack house gave me hope! Ours is far from a crack house (quite cute, if I do say so myself) so if you can do it, so can we!

    ReplyDelete
  141. You two are to be applauded for undertaking this private renewal project. If more people were willing and able to invest in their own communities like that, we would have better neighborhoods everywhere. Kudos to your efforts - and yes, I know you will make a profit on the house (or I hope so) but that's even more encouragement for what you did.

    ReplyDelete
  142. The house is beautiful! Great job Jen and John. Best of luck for a quick sale :)

    If I lived in fl I wouldn't mind living there myself.

    ReplyDelete
  143. My husband and I have actually been considering moving to Orlando. Mostly because I am a Disney fanatic but also because his company launched out there. Can you update your post to the asking price?

    ReplyDelete
  144. Is there anything you CAN'T DO???? Mega-impressed.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Remember your pronouncement about turning a bad day into a B.A.D.? You just did it for me, so I'm letting you know I 'preciate ya. Great job on the house!

    ReplyDelete
  146. AH-MAZING!

    now if only i had
    1. $$ to buy a house
    2. reason to move to Florida

    great job and good luck with the sell!

    ReplyDelete
  147. That is amazing! I wish we could afford to buy a house right now!!

    ReplyDelete
  148. That place looks gorgeous now! I hope you guys are able to sell it without a problem.
    (I'd love to buy it, if Florida wasn't so far away and in another country lol).

    ReplyDelete
  149. DAAAAANG! I may have to start hatin' on the two of you for being so amazingly talented in both practical and impractical ways.

    Nah. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  150. Wow, you guys did an amazing job! Wish I lived in Florida...I'm in need of a mother-in-law apartment!

    ReplyDelete
  151. WOW. You guys did an AMAZING job. Seriously, if I could afford it, I'd have you come up to MA and give us a hand on our house one day. Would you work for baked goods? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  152. You guys fill me with awe. The amount of work that went into turning the dump into a beautiful home is hard for me to calculate. But I feel that way about most of the great stuff you post here. Makes me feel like a complete slacker--but I so enjoy reading about your wonderful projects that I put up with my personal shame! :)
    I agree with the person who suggested perhaps renting in the meantime. If you can get a nice family in there you could at least start recouping some of your costs. The house looks so great, though, that you might find a buyer faster than you think.
    You guys always make me think of what's possible. Thanks for that.

    ReplyDelete
  153. Jen, that is BEE-U-TEE-FUL! Great job! Thanks for sharing with your loyal Epbot readers!

    ReplyDelete
  154. Hi Jen, as a long-time reader and CPA, I have to say - PLEASE, for the LOVE OF PETE, go talk to your own CPA ***BEFORE*** you sell the house. If you haven't already, of course... depending on how the sale is treated, it can have a big fat scary result on your taxes.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Hi Melody,

    Yeah, we've had lengthy, unpleasant, eye-bleedingly boring discussions about this with our accountant and he's assured us that we'll probably only owe one arm and several toes when all is said and done. Which is, ya know, fantastic.

    :{

    john

    ReplyDelete
  156. wow that is amazing. john did an incredible job and i know there is definitely a family out there who will buy your house. i'm glad to have found your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  157. Good golly, miss molly!! Is there ANYTHING you two tackle that doesn't turn out 7 kinds of awesome??!!?? Wow. Just wow.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Wow. I mean really. WOW! I love what you've done with the place. My parents bought a former "crack house" years ago. The lady had like a zillion cats. Dad practically built it all back from the studs to just get the mold and cat smell out of the house. Lots of work. So I know how much that house probably took you. ... And you did it during your "busy season". lol. I'm impressed.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Wow! You guys did a fantastic job! I want to buy it so I can own House Epbot and go to Disney every day to look for the chick in the yellow boots.

    Not cause I'm a stalker or anything like that. Really.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Amazing job! Congrats and well done for all the hard work and frustrations that must have put you through.

    May I suggest renting? Although I suppose that wouldn't help with the heinous expenses put in on it, but until you sell it (which might take a while in this economy) it might help with your day to day expenses.

    And of course, hint hint, I'm in the market for a house to rent here in Florida...

    ReplyDelete
  161. I was so excited to see the Ikea kitchen! We're heading to Ikea this week to place our order for our (first) Ikea kitchen. We've been planning this for over a year - I take forever to make decisions. I'm so glad to see the brown-ish countertop with the white cabinets. I think that's what we're going with (granite with brown in it) and I was wondering what it would look like. And that was why I was so excited. :) (We're doing a wood floor to match the rest of our 1941 house.)

    I was wondering, did you do Ikea appliances also? With the deal they're doing now we might end up getting a couple of their appliances.

    Best wishes on selling that house! What an awesome remodeling project. I'm sure the neighbors are so thankful!

    ReplyDelete
  162. Amazing job! Find yourself a realtor who knows how to stage a house. S/He'll help you get some IKEA furnishings & accessories to make the house look "lived in" as wanted by local buyers. Such a realtor is worth the commission-which you can probably bargain down anyway. (Really interview several!) It really should not be hard to sell-it looks great, which buyers are looking for-so you should be waaaay ahead of your competition. Just be sure to price it to the market, not to what you "need". Best of luck from someone who's been and done this!

    ReplyDelete
  163. @ Cyndi - good luck with your kitchen! We've never purchased any Ikea appliances; the few we looked at (stove tops, and also sinks) seemed a bit pricey, oddly enough. For this house, we actually found all the appliances in one lot on Craig's List. It saved us a lot of money, and they're in great shape (it's pretty easy to find white appliances these days, since so many folks are upgrading to stainless.)

    ReplyDelete
  164. You guys are amazing---and since we built a house a few years back, I know just how much work went into that place.
    I'd love for your next project to be a house in NOLA--think about it, the old architecture would be perfect for steampunk decor, and Sucre' has TWO locations, perfect for a much deserved break!
    (The old Borders location on St Charles should be up for grabs soon--was once a funeral parlor, is now empty--sounds like the perfect project to me)

    ReplyDelete
  165. Your house looks awesome!! Totally impressed with it, inside and out! Congrats! :)

    ReplyDelete
  166. I want it!! :D Too bad I live/work in Minnesota!

    ReplyDelete
  167. amazing job! the house looks great! does john work construction for a living?

    ReplyDelete
  168. *wants to live in the crack house*

    oh if only I lived in America ;)

    amazing job you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  169. Hope it sells fast and for a good price! The last home we rented was a total dump when we moved in and of course we couldn't do much about it, so it warms my heart to see a similar home given some TLC. We live in Orlando but aren't in a position to buy right now, otherwise I'd be bugging my hubby to buy the Epbot house!

    ReplyDelete
  170. Excellent job.

    There ought to be some kind of consideration from city / county / state government for getting rid of some blight and replacing it with a home in which people actually want to live.

    Taking that on took guts -- I probably would have razed the house and had the lot graded down to bedrock as a first step, then made the previous occupants clean the construction equipment. With their tongues. Not that I hate non-medicinal drugs and purveyors of same, or anything, I just loathe them with the white-hot passion of 1,000 suns.

    Without what you 'guys' did, that place would probably have gone to some fly-by-night 'investor' type who would have sold / rented it to another bunch of zombie-makers, and so forth until it had to be razed -- I've seen it happen in this city.

    John, you could write a blog on renovation. Or not -- I just imagined what *that* comment page would be like: "John, forget what the previous 50 guys said -- if you didn't screw in a frammis bolt BEFORE mounting that fixture, you'll have to bulldoze the whole thing and start again from dirt! I know, because I started building in 1610 (and the people in 1611 keep complaining about the noise)."

    ReplyDelete
  171. here's the problem with reading all of the comments first: everyone said everything I wanted to say (zombies!! had to get that in again, though).

    I'll content myself with this: beautiful work, John!

    Congratulations on still being married, maintaining your wonderful blogs and putting up with us! (Can't wait to buy the new book)

    -Barbara Anne

    ReplyDelete
  172. Unbelievable work!!! So pretty and I would so live there! Great work, John. I think you are amazing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  173. As someone who has remodeled her own home with her husband (2 cats and 3 small children), Kudos!

    Great stuff. I know how much effort is involved and I am so glad your marriage is fabulous enough to withstand all the pressure of blogs, illness, writing another book and crazy folk that feel strongly about King's cake. You two totally deserve brinner at Cracker Barrel.

    Good luck making your money back, the margin is so tight on that but as an investment in your community you have made/done one helluva thing. Way to put your money, love and work where your mouth is. I already liked you two so well. This is just a conformation of how fabulous you are, although I know you know that and don't really need to hear it from me lol.

    Congratulations are in order. I mentally saw your Karma points hit the bonus round just now. :)

    Rock on my friends. So glad you are in the world.

    ~from yet another Jenn
    in Forest Grove, Oregon

    ReplyDelete
  174. Oh, I love it! I just bought an apartment which had to be seriously repainted, and also was in dire need of a new kitchen (although, it was not a former crack apartment, and not nearly as bad as this house), so I can imagine how happy you must be with it because it turned out awesome (as my apartment did, hm, hm!). ^^ And also, a very cool project to just take upon yourself. You're both really cool people!

    ReplyDelete
  175. Wow. You guys did a GREAT job! (I'm sure everyone's already said that, but it's worth repeating.) :D

    ReplyDelete
  176. Wow, that's amazing! Well done John!! (And Jen, nice color choices. :) )

    Love the hole above the sink. Great choice.

    Congratulations. (and sorry, that's a bummer that you have to sell it.)

    ReplyDelete
  177. Great work! I just finished up an apartment renovation for family, and have to agree 100% about the IKEA cabinets. Other than having to carry all materials up 3 floors, it was a great experience and I will never install another kitchen that is not IKEA! Love the house - I have always wanted to move to FL to be closer to family, not to mention the home prices and taxes are so much lower than where I live. Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  178. Oh man, I don't live anywhere near Florida, and am not moving there anytime soon, but if I was I would jump on this like small children on trampolines.

    WV: wompr (noun) a member of the jumping child tribe, so named because of the noise they make when they leap onto beds or water belly first.

    ReplyDelete
  179. It's beautiful!! I love it! My husband and I have been thinking of moving to Florida, and I'm dying to know what the specifics of this house are! It looks perfect, and we're a small little family with kids! What's your asking price? How many bedrooms? Where in Florida? I read through the comments but maybe I missed something. :D My email is kimmiemommie@gmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
  180. @Kim - Hiya! For some reason that e-mail address bounced. If you could e-mail me, I'd be glad to send over a link with more info on the house. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  181. Seriously, wouldn't it have been easier to bulldoze the whole thing and build a new one from scratch?

    I mean, that's an absolutely brilliant job and you should be very proud (and, if you even decide to get rid of your husband, I'll take him), but still...

    ReplyDelete
  182. Wow- you guys did an amazing job fixing that place up!!!! It's gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  183. I maaayy have snooped a bit (doesn't hurt I have connections with MLS access c: ) and found your listing (don't worry, I won't spill the beans), and let me just say:

    It looks amazing, and the price is amazing for someone getting effectively brand new house! I hope you guys are making money on the deal, and I'd be amazed if it sits on the market for long (though unfortunately in the current situation you never know, even with a gem).

    Also the google maps streetview picture absolutely screams drug den. There are like 5 beat-up cars for that one little (though not too little at all, really!) house.


    Ugh, I need to stop looking now, it's making me want to move to Florida and family would kill me + I totally can't afford that constant Disney/Universal tickets surcharge c:

    ReplyDelete
  184. First, I read CW, so how the H*LL did I miss this blog?! Awesomeness!

    also: writing blogs, writing a book,completely gutting & renovating a crack house AND dealing with "life?" you're my new hero.

    I'm going to go lay down now, I'm exhausted just reading about all the work you did! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  185. Beautiful work, John and Jen! I've toyed lately with the thought of moving to Florida. Indiana weather is just too crazy for me sometimes. Plus, I'd love to be closer to Disney. I think it's the perfect place to raise my 18 month old and the little girl that's still "in the oven". I just wish I could convince the hubs to want to move!mes

    ReplyDelete
  186. That is freaking amazing!! Please tell me there's at least one hidden mickey somewhere... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  187. Mona,
    I bet they did find a hidden mickey, just not the disney type. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  188. How about an update? Any luck with a sell?

    wv: Wish I could buy your crack house and move out of PA before *dembr* gets here...

    ~AbbyK

    ReplyDelete
  189. What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man!

    ReplyDelete
  190. Did the house ever sell, Jen?

    ReplyDelete
  191. @ Haiku Joy - Yes, it did! Just a few months after this post, in fact, to a lovely young gal buying her very first home. We even sent her the link to this post so she could see her new home's transformation. (Although we did it AFTER closing, just so the "before" shots wouldn't scare her off. Ha!)

    ReplyDelete
  192. That makes me so happy, Jen. I've always wondered, but I wasn't a regular Epbot reader at the time and I thought maybe you had made a grand announcement which I missed. A search on Epbot didn't turn up anything on the subject, so I'm glad I asked. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  193. Congratulations! This would have been great as a one-time DIY t.v. show.

    ReplyDelete

Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>

Related Posts with Thumbnails