Thorn Cove Rental Abodes

April 20, 2023

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Rental Babies

That’s right, Thorn Cove Abodes (plural people)! I’ve realized {despite Jackson asking me to stop with the dirty old fixer uppers ;), this is sort of becoming a thing: multiple Thorn Cove Abodes. Chip and Jo, I’m coming for ya! I kid, I kid.

This little house is where we first dipped our toes into the rental world. My Dad lives down the road from this home and saw the “for sale by owner” sign go up one day and after him telling me I should check it out almost daily, I finally stopped in to look. It turned out, the house was in great shape, but just stuck in the past.

Our first rental property

Love at First Flip

We took a nice long look around and realized most of the work to be done would be cosmetic. We had a feeling the return on our efforts would be good (and boy, were we right!) A little paint, carpet removal and some elbow grease brought this darling home to life again! This home ended up being wonderful first flip as it didn’t need any major work. We did most of the work ourselves and I LOVED it.

Before in the First of My Thorn Cove Rental Abodes

The house is only a little over 700 square feet, two beds, one bathroom and an open kitchen, living and dining area. Truly the perfect starter house. If you want to see a full tour with commentary from Sevi click here 🙂

The kitchen, while clean, had last been updated decades ago. We thought I would totally replace the cabinetry, but then realized sanding and paint would do wonders. I wanted to add some fun character to an otherwise ordinary home. So the paint I landed on was Pigeon by Farrow and Ball for the cabinets and trim on the entire home. It turned out even better than I imagined!

Lessons Learned Along the Way

Since this was our first rental and full renovation we learned A LOT along the way. Thankfully, Mark comes from a long line of plumbers and my dad is super handy. Between the two of them and my motivation we ripped this thing apart and put it back together in just a few months! My Dad really helped add some custom looking elements- like that curved piece above the range we made from reclaimed wood.

Pro Tip someone else shared with me: when pulling up carpet, cut into strips before pulling up so it’s easier to dispose of.

Hire Out when it feels right! We hired out to have the popcorn ceiling scraped as I didn’t even know where to start (and I am 5’3 sooo lol.) JK, well not really joking, but I can hold my own on a ladder. I highly recommend removing popcorn ceilings if you have them! It totally brings your home out of the past and looks so much better- doesn’t collect dust {Did you even know it did that??}  After watching these guys scrape and scrape, I was really glad we hired them!

One of best tips ever is a little bit of paint totally transforms anything! Many of you already know this, but it seriously is amazing what paint can do! We went with a nice white, Snowbound and of course trim was Pigeon by Farrow and Ball. A sneaky tip paint tip is I had the paint color matched at Sherwin Williams instead of buying Farrow and Ball. Note: be careful where you choose to get color matches as every paint supplier starts with a different base.

I was looking for a paint color that felt very serene and timeless, but also added fun interest to this tiny home.Pigeon is really the perfect chameleon color- a blue/green shade with gray undertones. Snowbound by Sherwin Williams is my favorite white and the one I used in my own home. A very bright white but not too stark and no yellow undertone {ain’t nobody want that.}

Single Bathroom Refresh

There was only one bathroom to do (thankfully!) We decided to update nearly every element of the room and so glad we did. Since there was only one bathroom, it had to look good!

We installed a new vanity, mirror, light fixture, toilet and re-did the floors. The bathroom flooring we used is actually sheet vinyl- it looks SO real and was perfect for our first rental. It cost us less than $80.00 total to update the bathroom floors. We swapped out the vanity to make the most efficient use of space. I love the way it turned out and all those extra drawers.

Flooring Made all the Difference!

We went with engineered hardwoods that I got for an absolute steal at a local discount store. We paid less than $700 total to re-floor a whole house! I mean look at what flooring and paint can do- almost looks like a new build!

Every House Tells a Story

One of the best parts about renovating these older homes is all the fun treasures along the way! I truly believe our homes help tell our stories and this Little House is no exception. One day while walking around this Little House, I stepped onto the sidewalk just in front and found the names “Judy and John” carved into the cement.

I actually purchased this Little House from John’s son. His parents, Judy and John, lived here for years as they aged. Judy ended up passing away and a short while later John passed. Seeing their names made me start thinking about their life together in this sweet home. What was their life together like? Did they lay the cement down? What were some of their silly inside jokes they shared? Their hopes and dreams and family.

I just love finding the pieces of people’s stories along the way! Not only does it make what I do more fun, but more meaningful as well. Home matters. I’m so grateful I get to help create “homes” for people to live in and a little “home” here on the internet for each of you on Thorn Cove Abode.

We’re so thankful we did this Little House and now of course we are doing it again at the Carolina Cottage (although, much scarier)! I’m either crazy or a genius?! 😉

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  1. Anna Padgett says:

    I be got a rental that had gobs of character and many of the jack legged repairs the previous owner made. There was a metal radiator hose running from the wall mount toilet tank to the bowl! We left it that way for a long time until we had a leak at the wax ring. It’s my favorite of my houses and I’ve always repaired or renovated it hoping Joe would like what we’ve done. It was his home and I always want to honor that.

  2. Pamela Edwards says:

    I love that snippet of Judy and John. We need a picture of them, Brittany.
    But we also love your story and the legacy you are leaving in your town.
    Joshua 4:5-6