'Good Bones' Season 2 Finale: The Little House on Lexington
Mina and Karen take a financial risk on a house in an established historic neighborhood but, with structural issues and zoning restrictions, soon find they may have landed themselves in a historic hot mess.
The season finale of Good Bones finds the ladies restoring a 845-square-foot house in Indy’s historic Fletcher Place neighborhood. Like many homes in the area, the house comes with elements of charm but, though the house is tiny, this particular renovation comes with at least three big challenges.
Number one is getting rid of the mountain of trash left inside the house by former tenants. Number two is dealing with a seriously compromised foundation. Number three is updating the house to make it buyer friendly while, at the same time, meeting the requirements of the city's historic preservation commission – since the house is vintage and located in a designated historic neighborhood.
The purchase price for the house was $65,000, relatively high compared to many of Karen and Mina's other renovations — some of which involve homes that would otherwise be destined for the wrecking ball and are purchased for as little as $5k. This house, though, is in an older and more established neighborhood that’s been zoned historic, so the property values tend to be a little higher and more stable than in some nearby areas. The hope is to complete the renovation for around $125,000 then list the house for $230,000 for a potential profit of around $40,000.
This historic house presents a number of big issues. The demo's going to be massive because we've got tons of trash to get rid of. There are definitely some huge structural issues we'll need to fix. And we'll need to work within guidelines of the historic commission, which could substantially add to our costs.Mina
When Karen and Mina pay an initial visit to the house to assess the scope of the project, they find enough trash inside to create a small land-fill, then end up staring down the barrel of two refrigerators filled with rotting food. Needless to say, the demo phase of the project — involving brother Tad and his entourage — will prove interesting. Then there’s an unexpected plot twist involving Mina’s cell phone. And don’t miss Karen’s novel choice of demo-day headwear.
Adding to the challenge for this project is the rigid set of guidelines that must be followed when restoring a home in a neighborhood within a historic overlay. Materials used in the restoration must match the types used when the house was originally built, placement, size and style of windows and doors must remain intact, and no major modifications or additions to the original structure are permitted.
Renovations of this type can be a labor-of-love and an expensive proposition, but the guidelines help ensure that both the house and the neighborhood as a whole retain their timeless, historic character. Big-budget items for this reno include all new wood siding and replacing the original windows with new wood-framed ones to match the original style.
As they often do, our intrepid house-flippers already have a potential buyer in mind who's excited by the prospect of moving to this neighborhood. The question is whether the renovation will match his personal style and fall within his budget.
Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images
Mina and Karen chat up potential buyer Ryan in hopes that he may turn out to be a brand new homeowner — and become their newest neighbor.
The Good Bones episode titled “Historical Hot Mess” premieres August 29 at 10p|9c.
And with Season 2 drawing to a close, this is the last new Good Bones episode for a while. But fear not, followers of Indy’s favorite “Two Chicks and a Hammer” mother-daughter duo. A third season is in the works and scheduled to air on HGTV in March 2018. And be sure to check back here to see more exclusive photo galleries, videos and Good Bones updates.