'Good Bones' and the Case of the Forgotten New-Build Home
Mina and Karen head back to Woodlawn Ave. to rescue a partially finished new-construction home that was abandoned halfway through completion.
Sometimes you just need to start with a blank slate. Case in point: the new episode of HGTV's Good Bones wherein mother-daughter home renovation gurus Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk get just a little outside their comfort zone — in this case with excellent results.
The duo, who usually specialize in resurrecting practically-beyond-repair vintage homes in Indy's historic neighborhoods, this time take a renovation of a slightly different sort. For this project on Woodlawn Avenue, in the East of State neighborhood near downtown, they purchase a partially finished new-construction house for $45,000.
At first glance, it's a plain, boxy, nondescript home on a narrow lot, with a boring exterior and unfinished framing. But Mina and Karen found that, in its current state, it offered real potential with lots of space to get creative.
We're going to take over this project at the perfect time to do everything right.Mina
The area where the house is located is a transitioning, up-and-coming neighborhood near the popular Fountain Square. The area offers promise, but resale can be tricky, so Mina and Karen have to be judicious in how they budget and in the scope of their undertaking.
Though it didn't come with the storied history that some of their other renos possess, at least this time they didn't have to worry about a crumbling foundation or a failing roof. (Though, as it turns out, plumbing is another story.) That freed them up to concentrate on things like designing a kitchen from scratch and planning an outdoor space for entertaining with a deck and water feature.
The home’s original layout, left as it was by the former contractors, was less than ideal. But with Karen and Mina's help, and some assistance of their contractor, specialists and rag-tag demo crew, they manage to take what had been a chopped-up, awkwardly divided first floor and transform it into a breathable open-concept space that combines living area and kitchen and features high ceilings and beautiful new hardwood flooring.
Upstairs there's room for a spacious master suite, plenty of closets and two guest bedrooms. The decorating theme for the whole house employs contemporary furnishings and a color palette of blues, turquoise, green and coral, creating a fresh, fun feel and evoking a somewhat coastal vibe. It was designed with a particular potential buyer in mind, a young professional who works from home and was eager to move to the inner-city neighborhood.
Not only is this fulfilling because we built a really cool-looking house, but we also have this awesome young professional who's going to move in and love it and give back to the neighborhood... And that's the whole goal. We're rehabilitating a neighborhood, one house at a time.Mina
In the end, after a renovation outlay of around $135,000, Mina and Karen were able to realize a profit on the project of around $40,000 – and chalk up another victory in their incremental mission of revitalizing homes, neighborhoods and communities in their fair city.
The Good Bones episode titled "Abandoned Partially Built Home Gets Rescued" premieres June 6 at 10p|9c. And keep checking back here for more new photo galleries, exclusive video clips and show updates.
Mina and Karen took on a project of a different sort in this home on Woodlawn Avenue. Instead of a vintage home, they purchased a partially finished new-construction house. It offered great potential with lots of space, but the planned layout was less than ideal. What had been laid out as a chopped-up, divided up first floor got transformed into this breathable open-concept space combining living area, dining room and kitchen with high ceilings and beautiful hardwood flooring.
Karen and Mina were able to purchase this house, left unfinished midway through construction, for $45,000. The outside still looked like a construction site, but it had a good foundation, new roof, partial framing. Essentially the house offered an exciting opportunity as a blank slate for Mina and Karen to work with. "We're going to take over this project at the perfect time to do everything right," said Mina.
The house is in the East of State neighborhood, adjacent to the popular Fountain Square area near downtown Indianapolis. It's a transitioning, up-and-coming neighborhood that offers promise, but resale can be tricky. Karen and Mina bolstered the home's curb appeal, giving it a distinctive look with a new covered porch with columns and railing, privacy fence and a neutral gray exterior with green accents and white trim.
The the two-story house is 2300 square feet and was laid out for 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, with the downstairs planned for living spaces and all bedrooms upstairs. A narrow hallway that ran the length of the house on both floors made for a floor plan that Mina and Karen felt was awkward. (Besides, Karen has a general aversion to hallways.)
After an investment of $45,000 for purchase of the house, and renovation costs of $135,000, Karen and Mina were able to sell the Woodlawn house for $230,000, realizing a profit after closing costs and realtor fees of around $40,000.
"Not only is this fulfilling because we built a really cool-looking house," said Mina, "but we also have this awesome young professional who's going to move in and love it and give back to the neighborhood... And that's the whole goal. We're rehabilitating a neighborhood one house at a time, and this is one more awesome house with an awesome homeowner."