Thursday, November 29, 2007

Demolition Underway

Well, I think most people think this is the scariest part of the project. I know for a fact that if my Mother-in-law saw the house at this stage she would have a seizure. For this very reason, we are not allowing her to see the house. No way, Jose. She would have nightmares. And then call us about them just to make sure they weren't true. The problem is that what she might consider a nightmare, I call progress.

I am loving this stage. This is not scary, this is exciting. This is where we get to see what we're really in for. Peeling back the layers of what others have put up before us, seeing where someone put some love into their home and where others just threw duct tape up to fix a problem. It's a history lesson, one family or generation at a time and going back 121 years.

I took pictures. I couldn't make it up to the third floor as the debris was too thick in the stairwell, but I managed to climb over the plaster, drywall and lathe to get to the second floor. M, who keeps reminding me and everyone at Home Depot that he is a LEAD CERTIFIED blah blah person, made me even wash my shoes when we left the house. There is a LOT of dust, a lot of it leaded. So no kids on premises, no food, no cigarettes, no dusty little fingers putting dain bramage in this skull, thank you very much.

Anyway, the dumpster is showing up this week. We wanted to put it in the backyard so as not to block the sidewalk and mess with traffic, (and to ensure that anyone with a broken toaster or carpet scraps didn't dump their free garbage in our paid-for dumpster) but there was concern that the backyard would get muddy and they'd have trouble getting it back out, so we're setting it on the street in front of the house. We'll have to be on watch to make sure it doesn't fill up before we actually get the demo debris out of the house into it, but when it arrives, the piles of debris will move their way outside, but until then... it kinda looks like this:

First Floor:


Second Floor:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Credit Where Credit is Due

When this project got going, it had all the earmarks of a potential disaster. First, you have a conservative bank, negotiating with a city bureaucracy, mix in a non-standard loan requirement and a set of riskier rehab loans, and then top it all off with the worst mortgage crisis that this country has seen since the depression.

What do you call it? Fiasco Flambe'?

As a matter of fact, no. Every step of the way, our banker, Mark Koenig and our contacts at the City, Roger, Rhonda, Archie, Tom, and Ashley have managed to be responsive and flexible. I would have bet you dollars to dough nuts that given what problems arose, we'd have failed to put this deal together.

I would have lost that bet.

We are now owners of a rehab project.

It was simply amazing, to my mind. If you have a rehab project that you want to get funded in Covington, call Mark Koenig at Advantage Bank at: 859-363-2820.

I don't think you'll find a nicer, more ethical, more thorough guy. No smoke up your skirt from that guy, and nothing but the straight dope. Advantage Bank, too, is very committed to redevelopment in Covington. They've priced their loans and fees very competitively. They also hold much of their own paper, which at this point is a major advantage given the banking and lending mess.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Get the Lead Out!

We mentioned this concept earlier, but there's another FREE seminar coming up, so we'll reiterate.

Folks, people get hysterical about lead or they totally ignore the serious risks of exposure to deteriorated lead paint. Both things are bad. There's no need to panic and there's also no need to remove every bit of lead paint from your home or building, in my opinion. You do need to address deteriorated surfaces, however, and do proper clean up. You also need to use proper practices when stripping paint and working with windows and doors (for example).

As I was telling a (well-liked) contractor today, I'm not particularly worried about two adults being exposed to a little bit of lead dust. We've likely been exposed to much much worse. What I am worried about is someone bringing lead dust home on their clothes and exposing a young child, or pregnant wife to it...or leaving lead dust in their car or truck for the family to be exposed to every time they ride with him... The effects can be tragic.

So, get educated. It's not a big deal, and it could save you incredible heart ache.

Lead Safe Work Practices Class

Offered on two dates (pick one date or the other; you are not required to take both)

Dates: Saturday 12/1/2007 and Saturday 1/12/2008

Time: 8:45 am to 5 pm

Northern Kentucky Health Department
Lower Level
610 Medical Village Drive
Edgewood, KY 41017

Northern Kentucky Health Department is located at the corner of South Loop and Medical Village Drive Edgewood, Near St. Elizabeth South.

NOTE: Mapquest places our address near but not exactly correct. Just remember it is at the corner of South Loop and Medical Village Drive. Look for the Health Department sign.

Who is the class for?

· Homeowners doing renovation, repainting, or remodeling work where lead-based paint may be encountered

· Building supervisors and landlords

· Contractors undertaking projects with requirements for performing interim controls in Federally assisted and owned properties

· Homeowners and property owners associations

· Community and social service organizations

· Home (or code) inspectors

· Maintenance workers

· State and local municipal agencies

What will be covered?

This class will teach attendees lead-safe work practices and the strategies for implementing them. Many homes built before 1978 contain lead-based paint, so it is important that renovation, remodeling and repair activities use methods that reduce and control dust and debris created during work. Even a small amount of dust can pose a serious health risk to children and families.

Is there a cost involved?

Class is free of charge

Is there a deadline for registration?

Friday 11/30/07 and Friday 1/11/08

To register call Tony Powell at 859.363.2049
or register online HERE

More Here

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Rehab As it Should Be

Last night, we took a perusal of "The Brooklyn Townhomes". This is a set of recently renovated town homes, here in Covington. One block from The Ascent at Roebling.

These are sexy and they honor the history of the buildings. They're also BIG. 3,000 square feet. Big foot prints. Rooms that a man can move around in. Wonderful wood. Also a lot less than high-end housing elsewhere.

Check out the listing here:

The Brooklyn Townhomes

If you're looking for low maintenance, high sex-appeal living, walking distance from Cincinnati, and with a $1,000,000 view from the roof, this is IT.