Wanted: Home Owner

Excuse me while I briefly interrupt the new Donaghey story to introduce you to what I hope will be the next project in line for a storybook makeover.
This classic craftsman is currently a duplex sitting on Oliver Street in Old Town Conway.  My hope is to convert the structure into a single family home, in fact, the story and design are already solidified in my head- and boy is it a doozy.  Unfortunately, my ideas cost money… too much money to do this project as speculative. Now I know the responsible thing to do is to adjust the plan down to a reasonable design that would work for the comps in the area BUT guys, once I envisioned the full out version for this home, I can’t go back; I just can’t. This house DESERVES my best. I can’t compromise less.
PLUS, don’t you agree our Old Town deserves OUR (as in all of our) best?!?! I mean, where else in Conway do you see such an eclectic group of homes? No two homes (or at least very few) look alike; each has its own personality and unique character.  I have always believed that our historic district has just as much potential as the Heights in Little Rock if people were just willing to invest in the area. And guess what?!? It’s happening! Over the last 2 years the amount of renovations occurring in Old Town has exploded- just drive thru the historic district and count the number of dumpsters sitting outside homes to see what I’m talking about. I truly believe it’s the most up and coming area in our city.
But back to Oliver Street…
Rory knows I can’t (won’t) scale back the design in my head to a blah level that will land us at a price point that is deemed appropriate for the area by appraisers; therefore, his solution is that we do a simple fix and keep it as a duplex to add to our rental portfolio. I’ll give it to him, it’s a solid, reasonable, financially prudent idea. Problem is, what do I do with the story floating around in my head!?!? It NEEEEDS to get out and it can NOT be modified to a duplex, trust me on this one.
So, I have proposed that once again we search for a prerenovation buyer. Someone who understands the end price might not (probably won’t) appraise but who sees the value in a unique one of a kind home. Then, IF no one steps up to join our story, I will accept Rory’s plan to keep her as a rental. Deja vu? I know. I know! It sounds similiar to what I proposed for the Caldwell Manor before I figured out a way to get Rory to go forward without a buyer. But boy did I learn my lesson on that one! I don’t EVER want the weight of one of my schemes on my shoulders again. Either Rory and I are in agreeance or we don’t do it. And this is a plan we can both agree on.
Now when I say it will be above appraised value, I’m not talking anything too crazy. I’m talking around $130 a square foot which is comparable to new construction homes in our area (or a bargain if compared to homes in Hendrix Village or 30 miles south of us, I’m just saying…). Which makes sense because this home will essentially be brand new.  We are stripping her down to the exterior studs (think episode of Good Bones) and rebuilding from the foundation up. When we are done she will be the newest historic home in the area.  So even if it doesn’t appraise today I think within a couple of years it will be considered a great value.
So what do you get for around $200k (hopefully less) with this Storybook renovation? Let me walk you thru the highlights:
  • A little over 1500 sq feet of well-utilized space.  Each square foot has been carefully planned to maximize the function of the space. Plus with nearly 11 foot ceilings the place will feel much larger than it really is. 
  • 3 bedrooms and 2 baths including ample closet space and a nice size master bath that includes both a walk in shower and a beautifully refinished clawfoot tub.
  • One of my favorite Kitchens yet! Or anyway, if it turns out how I have it envisioned in my head, it has the potential to take the top spot. I’m dying to try out some ideas that would tell the story of this home perfectly!!
  • Open floor plan. Kitchen, dining, and living room all open for optimal entertaining space. 
  • Large Laundry/Pantry.
(This picture has nothing to do with the future laundry/pantry I just wanted you to see the footprints on the ceiling… what in the world?!?!) 
  • On the outside, the historic windows are getting refurbished and rearranged for the new floorplan and all new Hardie siding will be going up along with a beautiful 8′ door. 
  • And of course, all the non-fun stuff will happen too: new electric, new plumbing (including sewer line), new HVAC, new roof, and brand new foundation- I’m talking every board replaced and new footings poured where needed.
It’s going to be great!
I realize showing the before pictures might not be the most effective way to entice a buyer but gosh they sure do add great shock value to the ol’ blog.😉   
You know I don’t normally like to divulge what the end product will look like because I LIVE for a dramatic post renovation reveal but I feel like it is asking a lot to expect someone to commit to such a lofty renovation with blind faith so I have decided to make an exception.  Using my state of the art design software that rivals that of Joanna Gains and the Property Brothers I sketched up what the exterior will look like when finished:
In all seriousness, because EVERY old wall is being removed and the entire floor plan is being rearranged I have hired a real-life professional draftsman to draw up my floorplan into an official computerized house plan. (I can’t wait to see my framer’s face when I show him real blueprints instead of just painters tape on the floor where I want new walls.) This new floorplan will be available to review with all potential buyers. Of course, if left up to me, the design details and finishes would be kept a secret to the homeowner until the renovation is complete and is unveiled in a dramatic reveal….but ultimately the level of involvement will be left up to the new homeowner.
We are hoping to finish Donaghey up before our boys are out for Spring Break. That means we should be ready to start this Oliver renovation by the first week of April. That gives us a little over 1 month to find a buyer willing to go on this journey with us, otherwise, it will be forced to continue its life as a duplex! So please spread the word. 
If you would like more information about this project give me a call at (501) 472-3310 or Rory at (501) 472-8787.
WARNING: The current state of the home requires a MAJOR imagination and an EXTREME amount of trust and faith in the Storybook team. It is quite terrifying at the moment. But I assure you we are not scared and truly believe this home can be rebuilt to stand strong for at least another 100 years.

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