How It Is Going-A Progress Update on Cottage West

While we wait for the contractors to finish, we are making enormous progress on the front fence that will eventually encompass the entire front of our three properties. This is the view looking northeast. Cottage East is out of camera range on the far right.

I am really getting excited. I can’t help it, and I wanted to share it all with you!

As the contractor’s work on Cottage West nears the finish line, I know that our work has yet to begin. And I am hoping (fingers crossed) that we can get it all done by the end of July.

The view from the living room into the old dining room/new kitchen. We had the spray foam done two weeks ago.

What’s Left

The contractors are putting the finishing touches on the electrical outlets, and another team is currently putting in drywall.

When everyone is done and cleared out, then our jobs take center stage.

A view from the back of the house, back bedroom looking north into the hallway (bathroom on right) and into the front bedroom beyond.

We need to:

  • Install a tile floor in the bathroom
  • Prime the ceilings and walls
  • Paint the ceilings and walls
  • Install the toilet, sink and bathtub back in the bathroom
  • Install the cabinets, stove and refrigerator into the kitchen
  • Install the washer and dryer in the utility room
  • Fix a part of the ceiling and install paneling in the back porch
  • Layout the furniture, rugs and wall art
  • Add utensils, dishware, and all of the sundry things folks need in a rental/Airbnb
  • Refinish the front door
  • Hang curtains
  • Take photos and begin advertising on Airbnb and get as many reviews (and reservations) as possible

Special Pricing

I will be offering special pricing, with deeply discounted nightly rates for a limited amount of time, in order to fill the calendar and also garner the most possible reviews on Airbnb. I aim to qualify for Super-Host status as soon as possible!

The bathroom in progress…

If you have family or friends who need a comfortable, safe place to stay, I hope you will recommend Cottage West to them. I’ll have more information on how to reserve it on Airbnb once we have finished the work and taken pictures.

I may also offer some “free” nights’ stay to a handful of folks in exchange for honest reviews. More on that soon.

The Almighty Budget

I live and die by two things: my Google calendar, which I rely on to keep track of my cleanings, my family’s busy schedule, and events, and the almighty budget, which is continually in a state of flux, updated as things change in our lives.

The front living room looking at the shared wall of the front bedroom. We only made two changes to the layout of the house. One of them was changing the kitchen into a utility room and combining the kitchen and dining into a slightly bigger room, and the other was removing the doorway from the front bedroom to the living room. You can see the remains of the doorway in this picture. Both bedrooms are small, so having two doors going into the bedroom didn’t make sense. Now it is simply accessed off of the central hallway.

The almighty budget is what I turn to when I want to specifically track how long a debt will last, what our average monthly and yearly payoff rate is, and how to maximize that payoff to make sure we are doing everything we need to do to get out of debt as quickly as possible.

The budget tells me that, if we maintain the rate of debt reduction we are currently doing, we will be debt free, as in mortgage, loan, everything, in ten years.

It also tells me that by mid-2022, we will have saved enough along the way that Cottage East repairs will be completely covered. Not just that, but I built in a six month delay into any potential profits from Cottage East, just as I have for Cottage West.

I don’t expect Cottage West to begin producing any income at all until at least January of 2020. This means that any funds I do make are gravy on top. For Cottage East, with a finish date of mid-2022, I don’t anticipate any income until January of 2023.

I cannot stress enough how important a budget is. It assesses spending, clarifies areas you need to reduce expenses on, and creates a plan of action. In fact, one of the reasons we are able to do as much as we are in the future is because I slashed our food budget in half.

I realized we were spending around $1,200 per month on dining out and groceries. We are both on a weight loss regimen, so we aren’t consuming the amount of food we were and food was being made, only partially consumed, and then going bad and having to be thrown away. So I cut us down to $600 per month in groceries/dining out, and so far, so good. Far less eating out, and we are doing just fine on the reduced budget.

The future is looking bright!

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