I’m trying to get better about documenting the work that I do on buying, renovating, staging, and selling homes in Nashville, TN.  I use so many other, more proficient documenters of work as resources through Pinterest and Instagram and always feel like a bit of a cheater for not contributing at all.. ever.  I bought my first house in Cleveland Park, a transitioning neighborhood about five minutes from Downtown.  It was 2014, right before the real estate market really exploded here, and I was lucky enough to stumble upon and purchase a 1920’s cottage in need of A LOT of work for $80,000.  I spent the next two years on a very tight budget completing one small project at time.

One of the problems with being a public school teacher in the south is that my income doesn’t even come close to meeting the growing cost of living in this booming city.  So, with an overall budget of $3,500, I used lots of scraps, garbage, and repurposed materials to cut costs and listed my dear Amelia in the Spring of 2016.  Now, figuring out how to make something shine without spending any money is my greatest obsession.  She was sold to a cash buyer within a couple of days of being listed and I promised I would never, ever straddle myself with that kind of work and responsibility again.  Welp…

This is my second home and renovation project, Evelyn. She was purchased for $225,000, which was a little higher than I was hoping to spend and subsequently changed the budget for work a little. There were a few things that quickly popped out during the first walk through that would have to be addressed right away and a handful of projects that could wait a minute.

I decided reasonable budgeting would include:

  • Landscaping and exterior $1000
  • Kitchen $1200 + $1250 for a new refrigerator
  • Bonus room/office $1000
  • Bedrooms & living room paint/furniture/decorations $1500

There are always some overages and unexpected expenses, but I really want to stay under $6000 for the entire project.



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