Hello, Good Bones fans and out-of-state investors! The latest episode of Indy’s favorite home-renovation show focuses on a place that a Brooklyn woman buys to operate as a short-term rental. My first reaction is that it doesn’t sound like the Two Chicks and a Hammer mission of saving neighborhoods, but it’s better than letting the house rot.
“Money Pit Mishaps” starts with Mina Hawk, her kids, and her mother doing yoga with pigs and goats at Traders Point Creamery, a dairy farm within the city limits. If you visit Indy on a Good Bones pilgrimage, you have to go for brunch, if not pig yoga.
Mina is going to have to stretch her budget at this week’s reno. She spends $145,000 on a dilapidated house and an adjoining empty lot. The garage straddles the property line, so it has to come down. So does a janky addition, and Mina will rebuild both. The garage will include an apartment on the second floor. These are pricey changes that add up to $360,000 in renovations. Along with $72,500 (half the purchase price, subtracting the value of the other lot), that’s $432,500 all-in. Mina plans to sell it for $460,000 for a relatively low $27,500 profit. And that’s before anything goes wrong.
And things do. The wraparound porch has to be rebuilt, but that’s nothing compared to Mina’s framers up and quitting. We don’t learn why, but they made sure to do a bad job and waste $5,000 on unnecessary fireproof siding first.
Mina swaps out concrete siding for vinyl to recoup some money. Inside, the rental situation calls for luxe but durable finishes, like butcher-block counters, dark blue cabinets that will hide dirt and stains, vinyl flooring, and backsplash tile up the ceiling for easy cleaning. Mina and Cory build a laundry chute from upstairs straight down to the laundry room, and each end is hidden with a hamper. You can toss clothes in a hamper upstairs, they go through a hole in the floor, and they land in a basket hidden inside a cabinet below. It seems like a waste for renters—who does laundry at an Airbnb? But it’s really for the cleaners. And for Cory to tell a story about getting stuck in a laundry chute as a kid.
Karen and Austin try to make a clock from pieces of a broken arcade game they found during demo, but the resin Karen poured over the parts sets all wrong. She ends up buying the homeowner a wall clock instead, and the lesson is that sometimes things just don’t work out as planned. The metaphor extends to the whole house, as repairs soared $50,000 over budget and Mina lost $12,500 on this project. She should make it up when she builds a new house on the lot next door. Meanwhile, here’s hoping the landlord has better fortune, and that no one tries to go down the laundry chute.