Monday, April 19, 2010

The Landlord

He asked, Ready to marry into all my debt?"

I said I was.

So is the question my future husband asked me days before our wedding.

Andi's quite the businessman if you hadn't already gathered. By the time we met, he already owned two houses (one in Duluth; one in Eagan) and bought a third shortly after we started living together (the house we live in now). Among the many hats my husband wears: Landlord. In what sometimes feels like a revolving door, Andi balances renters' requests, property updates and occasionally, finding new tenants for our three properties.

I told you here about our duplex in St. Paul. The upstairs half is for rent beginning June 1 so I thought I'd give you a little tour -- who knows, maybe you know someone who'd be an amazing neighbor for us!

The upstairs duplex apartment has a floor plan almost identical to ours, with a few charming differences. When we moved into the house three years ago, Andi and I debated which space we liked better - there's advantages to both but ultimately, we decided the downstairs would be easier with our dog. The upstairs includes a living room, sun room and dining room similar to ours.

(living room / sun room)

The upstairs dining room is beautiful with an original built-in buffet that seperates the dining room and kitchen. I think the buffet adds such a glamourous feel to the space and wish our lower level had one as beautiful.

(dining room)

The upstairs apartment features the original kitchen cabinets, butcher block countertops and farm sink. Which I love - while they're not new stainless steel or granite countertops, the original pieces add so much character to the space. It's been interesting to see what each renter has done with the space - some have made it really cute with a bistro table in the kitchen or a small prep table.


The first renter we had here added a Williams Sonoma pot rack (which we bought from them when they moved out). Adds a nice, modern feature to this kitchen as well.

(kitchen / pot rack)

Ok, onto the bathroom! Through a small hallway is the bath which, again, is a near replica of ours downstairs. The bathroom was updated in 2007 just before we moved in. It features the same travertine floor tiles and the same glass-block window style in the shower. Only difference here is the yellowish coloring vs. our grayish/green stone. Which one do you like better? I do like how bright and airy this bathroom always looks ... although, I love how much dirt our dark tiles hide. Definitely easier on me! :)


Now onto the bedrooms. There's two bedrooms in the upper apartment - same as our layout downstairs - and they're also fairly small. Here's the spare bedroom our current renters have designated. They use it as an office / guest bedroom.

(guest bedroom)

The second bedroom across the hallway is also small. The one huge benefit here though - a walk-in closet (!) that's attached to this room. (It's basically the space above the downstairs enclosed porch so that's why they have this space and we don't). 

(master bedroom / walk-in closet)


The walk-in closet is a big benefit to the upstairs apartment. How many houses built in 1917 do you know that have this awesome feature?! Desperately wish we had space like this in our place.

Onto the outside. The upstairs apartment has its own patio just off the kitchen. Here's the sweeping view of the backyard / alley.

(patio view)
One day last summer Andi and I were having cocktails with the girls (old renters) upstairs. We were up in their apartment and were so amazed at all you could see from their place. See = right into our neighbor's windows, into their backyards and all activity across the neighborhood. It was AWESOME! The girls started telling us stories about the neighbors (things they'd see, things they heard) including our immediate neighbor to the left being somewhat of a "entertainer" during the afternoon. We of course, had never seen any of this activity because we're a) at work during the day (the girls upstairs were both in college) and b) we can't see over our backyard fence. It was all very interesting .... I'm not sure how much was really going on next door ... but sure interesting to hear about!

We really enjoy having renters upstairs and have been very lucky in finding quality, respectful people to live next to us. As I said in my last post - we're looking for renters once again! Our current tenants bought their first house and are moving out at the end of May. So let us know if you know anyone looking - invite them to come take a tour and see our upstairs apartment in the flesh!

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