House hacking Frank Lloyd Wright

3 Replies

So it’s not one of Frank’s works, but it’s not everyday that you trip over the personal home of one of his lifelong students either.  I grew up driving by Taliesin every day on my way into school bringing an intense appreciation for architecture.  By happenstance we were looking for our first project and found it on Zillow a few days after it was listed, we’re the type that will run the numbers and if it’s worthwhile or at least looks to be fun we will jump at the opportunity.  I’ve been promising myself to get this going for the past few months in addition to starting Miracle Morning, it’s time to pull the trigger.  It is a a mess, several years of deferred maintenance and a couple handfuls of loose ends tossed in for extra measure.  As we are nearing completion, it is really coming together nicely so this will be a bit of a time lapse.

The specifics are a 3/1 on 10 acres of land for $195k financed with a home style loan package as an appraisal could not be obtained for a 203k. I'm doing the light weight work and restoration details, structural issues and the roof are being handled through a contractor out of the construction loan. A poor use of my time, but the equity payoff should be tremendous on the back end. We're aspiring for the ARV to be around $450k, but I need some houses to sell for the comps to work out, realistically I'm ballparking for $365000. There is a second bathroom roughed out and I just recently received the full blueprints including the specifics for an unbuilt studio/bedroom suite. We're budgeting about $50,000 for renovations not counting a lot of sweat equity or the addition. Stick around while I put this back together.

As soon as we walked through the house it was pretty easy to figure out how the kitchen could be improved. It was the only awkward space in the house, removing the wall separating the hallway, pushing the refrigerator into the closet behind, and moving the range off the end has completely transformed the space to being consistent with the rest of the house.  I’ve had some time recently to build up cabinets in the flavor of the existing units, however tracking down Honduran mahogany plywood is proving to be a challenge.

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