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Thread: Michaelskis bought a new place... finally.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Michaelskis bought a new place... finally.

    Well, the GF and I close on Thursday of this week on my new condo in Grand Rapids. We are buying it “as is” and will be spending every moment of free time to update, renovate, and remodel our new place. As time goes on I will be updating this thread with pictures of the progress.


    Welcome to Hillmount

    Front door and to the 5th floor

    This is my front door. The closet to the right and the wall to the left will be removed.

    This will be the living room. The developer used the unit as furniture storage while they set up the model units. The 10 foot windows have a north view of Grand Rapids.

    The kitchen is very tiny. All the interior kitchen walls will be removed and an island will be installed to open the place up.

    This sink is so old and has been here for so long that it might not want to leave.

    The stove, well, yea... let’s just say that they will all get upgraded to stainless steel.

    This is the one bedroom. The 10 foot windows give an amazing view of the Heritage Hill Historic Distirct.

    (This is the view that I was talking about)

    The bathroom is scary. It will be gutted and replaced... I might call a retro furnishing store to see of they want the tile.

    Who came up with this color?

    Oh and the basement has a fitness center.

    (Photos kept at flickr so I don’t use up space on here)
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    wow - that's great - congratulations!

    but free advice: don't spend more on renovations than what it's worth!

  3. #3
    Actually, I like the Miami dolphins orange and light blue, circa 1985 dolphins.....what's the square footage on that thing? Aren't there restrictions on construction/modification in a condo??
    You can get some real nice fixtures (faucets, towel racks, TP holders, etc.) for great prices off ebay.
    Looks like you'll be able to easily "flip" that house when the time comes to move out. Good for you.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    congratulations!

  5. #5
         
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    How great!!! Congratulations, welcome to the joys (and expense) of homeownership

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Congrats to you and she!!!

    I love the exterior style of the building. I like that watered-down Bauhaus Modernism.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian
    wow - that's great - congratulations!

    but free advice: don't spend more on renovations than what it's worth!
    We talked with an appraiser and the amount that I am going to spend in renovations (plus price of condo) will be 10K to 20K less than anticipated finished value.

    Nice thing is I found out that a unit (1200sqft 2 bedroom *two units combined into 1) on the 6 floor is appraised at $800,000 and down the hall someone will have a unit (3 units combined for a total of 2000 sqft) finished is expected to be just over the million dollar mark!

    I like my little 680sq unit that finished will cost me tremendously less. (as in total I am spending less than $95,000 for everything!)

    Now I can just walk 10 minutes to Van Andel Arena to meet up with Decatur Hawk to watch the Red Wings AAA team (Grand Rapids Griffins)
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  8. #8
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Definitely recommend ebay for bathroom stuff... A friend of ours got sinks that normally ran in the $500 range for $180. I can give you a link to the ebay retailer if you are interested.


    Sounds like you got an awesome deal! If nothing else it might make for a good flipper!

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  9. #9
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    holy moley Michael - that's great about the value! nice job -

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Congrats, looks like fun fun fun... I like doing work on my house, well I like it when its done and I can enjoy it. For some reason things are always more gratifying when I do the job myself. Just put in a decent sized Koi pond and waterfall this past week, now working on flag stone patio surrounding the area and then a pergola or trellis. The flagstone patio has been a chore digging out...

    This time of year its nice to do the inside stuff with warming temps.

    There must be a decent market for the condos if the top is pushing 1 mil. or over. I wouldn't think you could go too wrong putting a little in it to bring up the amenities... On a simple square footage comparision you'd be ok I'd think. But the demands for size do change things. I'm not familar one bit with real estate in that part of the country but sounds like you got a decent investment...

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Nice, my man, nice.

    Remember that when you work on the plumbing to always use STANdard fittings. I assume that you want a good deadbolt lock. I recommend STANley hardware parts. Your location sounds nice. I have always liked Grand Rapids, MichiSTAN. Nice community.

    Now.....you have a lot of work to do.....don't be STANding around. Get busy.

    Oh.....btw.....while working put on some Dixie Chicks. I underSTAN that their new CD is STANfastic.



    How Can You STANd The Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Congrats Michaelskis! Looks like a promising place to call home sweet home!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Congrats.

    I kind of like the old bathroom. You can't find stuff like that anymore.

    THe kitchen on the otherhand, you're right! those appliances are huge for the space. You may be better served with leaving it galley style as opposed to trying to Island it. If you don't Island it right you will lose space in the kitchen or the adjacent area. As someone who lives in an 850 sq ft house for several years now, I know space is precious.

    Is that the only closet by the front door (the one you propose to remove?). A coat closet is especially handy in Michigan, you can keep your boots on a rubber mat, and coats hidden away.

    Finally it looks like the windows are still steel casement. If so, don't skimp on the window treatments as if you do your place will be ice cold all winter, no matter how high you turn up the heat!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  14. #14
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    I dig the bathroom... well, not necessarily the exact fixtures, but the tile is cool. Unless you are really good with tile, it just takes a long time. And if you paid someone else to do that same job, it would cost at least $3,000 around here. So I would just concentrate on doing something cool with the floors and the rest of the fixtures if it were my house.

    But that's just based on what we had the hardest time doing in our renovation, and what ended up being the most expensive per square foot. Upgrading the kitchen would be cool, especially if you knock out the wall and put in a bar type island between the kitchen and the living room... as long as you don't end up crowding the rest of the living room.

    Looks like a cool place though... lots of potential. But I agree with some of the others that you shouldn't put too much into the condo when renovating. Seems like you have a lot big ticket things you want to do, when it may not need that much and you'll get a better return on your investment.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    The bathroom is giving me flashbacks of the very first apartment I ever rented....it was built in 1959 and had the same type of tiling job in the same color scheme except I had a pink tub, toilet, and sink!
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  16. #16
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Congratulations! Looks like some fun challenges ahead of you! Beautiful colour in the bathroom, you'll defintely have to keep those tiles

  17. #17
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    As for selling the tiles - good luck getting them off the wall in decent shape...

    Congrats, though.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Looks like a "challenge"! How do you renovate a kitchen you can barely turn around in? From what you paid, it sounds like a great investment, though. But you gotta wonder who thought up that tile scheme in the bathroom; I don't mind old tile like that, but the contrasting blue stuff is icky.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    To answer a few questions, any proposed work needs to get approved by the building maintenance person, who is also employed by the developer. I spoke with him on Saturday and he informed me what I can, and can not do.

    Because the kitchen is so small, the interior walls for the kitchen will be removed and will extend along the wall into the dining room area. Additionally, an island with overhangs will be installed to create a place to eat while maintaining an open floor plan. We will be getting stainless steel appliances, including a dishwasher, refrigerator, gas range and a microwave/ range hood combination. The cabinets will be a dark stained cherry (Click Here) with a simple box design and thin stainless steel hardware to match the Frigidaire logo on the appliances.

    The bathroom is also very small, so we will be getting wall cabinets and a vanity base cabinet. The sink and the tub will be replaced. The GF will paint it a lavender color with grayish tile floor and a sandstone tile in the tub shower area.

    Every room other than the bathroom will have Japanese Cherry Laminate hard wood floors with 1 inch white base molding. All the interior doors (including the bi-fold doors for closets) will be a white 6 panel door. *right now they are flat metal doors.

    I have done a few renovation projects and with the help of a licensed contractor who works with me, we have worked out a sweat equity agreement for his assistance on this project
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  20. #20
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Congratulations, Mskis!! I'm so happy for you!



    So where does Bambi want the trapeze installed?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    COngratulations, condo living dowtown, im jealous!

    But that is a major commute to Portage is it not, or has Stan changed venues to furniture city?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Merrilat.. Michigan Company, part of the Masco empire, gets DetroitPlanner's seal of approval!

    Frigidaire? How about whirlpool? They employ more folks in SW Michigan than any other appliance maker!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  23. #23
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    awwwwww....puppies.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  24. #24
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Nice digs, Counterpart!
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Well, the GF and I close on Thursday of this week on my new condo in Grand Rapids.
    Awesome city with a ton to do!!!!! I am amazed with the huge amount of investment occuring in Grand Rapids. I thought the MAP conference in the fall of 2004 was the best ever. It really opened my eyes up the the massive changes going on in the city. The neighborhood is a GREAT LOCATION. I am jealous of the close proximity to the Heritage Hill Historic District and downtown!

    Enjoy this new venture. I am going to have to come check this place out the next time I hit the west side of the state!

    I hope it isn't too hot the day you move in!

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