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Good Bones: The Orange Street Duplex Conversion

June 01, 2017

Indianapolis local heroes Mina and Karen take a big risk on a boarded-up duplex in the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood — purchased for a mere $4000 — in hopes of transforming it into a single-family home with loads of buyer appeal.

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Wonder Women

Mother-daughter team Karen E Laine (R) and Mina Starsiak Hawk (L) have renovated more than 40 homes in neighborhoods in and around downtown Indianapolis — in many cases saving the homes from the wrecking ball.

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No Fear

Here, at the site of a particularly challenging project in the historic Bates-Hendricks neighborhood, Mina and Karen offer evidence that neither mom nor daughter is afraid of a little dirt.

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The Orange Street Duplex

Mina and Karen purchased this duplex on Orange Street from the city for a mere $4000. The duo often buys distressed homes essentially sight-unseen confident that, with the right kind of vision and dedication, they can breathe new life into practically any house regardless of condition. This one, seen here prior to the start of renovation, put that theory to the test. The boarded up structure, which had long been vacant, came with four bedrooms, two baths and 2300 square feet — along with serious foundation issues, compromised framing, unsafe floor joists, animal infestation, water damage and rot.

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The Orange Street Duplex

One decidedly nonchalant gray cat, possibly a former building occupant, finds a suitable spot to relax and enjoy a pleasant afternoon in an adjacent alley.

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