How Much for Half My Dream House?



Where We Started

My tenant told me today she is looking to move out January 1, 2015. We’ve had a good run, but now it’s time to move on. Tenants come and tenants go. I haven’t  yet heard of someone renting for more than a year or two. I just don’t think it happens very much. Renters move, that just may be my experience, but it seems like the whole point of renting anyway: to move when you want.

I rented my condo for a year as well. Maybe I should have kept it; but that’s hindsight. I forget the bills it paid off and the line of credit is back up anyway. I’m sure there is a pair of shoes in the closet that the  condo sale paid for.


Basement Living Room. Look at that fancy new ceiling.

Unlike the condo; I can’t sell half my basement (albeit if you live in the bigger cities this might be an option). I will be renting again.

Getting renting was grueling. We put in a ceiling, new kitchen, new bathroom, new walls and new floors.

It looked pretty rough when we started, and only got worse as we progressed.

I started as soon as we took possession and didn’t stop until we had a renter. I was down there every night for three months working on one thing or another.

I asked everyone I knew to devote some time to it and I had a lot of help.

I found out why they’re called walnuts when tearing out the kitchen; mice take them into the wall and all that is left is the shell; I would wikipedia that, but if it’s not true I’ll just be very confused.

To be honest, I don’t think I want to rent again, but this is what I bought, this is what I did and this is what I have to do.

Without renting I can’t afford to do as much as I am, certainly not furnish the basement as  I would like. It’s not that tenants are a pain; it’s just that they can be and finding the right one is hard.

On the left are pictures of all the before and it was a lot of before.


Moldy Carpet and an Old Sliding Door


Ceiling Tiles and Concrete Floor


Half-done shower stall


Drop Ceiling and a Piece of furniture I refinished. Notice the blue.


The kitchen before it got cleaned up. All that in the corner is trim that had to go around doors upstairs. Note the floor. Note it for how bad it is.

 Where We Are


Living / Dining Room

And now for the right it is the after. How much is half my dream house worth? I put in a lot. (I would say about $20,000 roughly) and I love this house.

If you need cold, hard facts they are as follows:

Garden-view Apartment for Rent

1500 square feet, 2 bedroom 1 bath for Rent on a 2 acre property minutes outside of Barrie, Ontario


  • 2 bedroom
  • 1 bathroom
  • Side-by-side refrigerator with ice machine
  • Dishwasher
  • private washer and dryer
  • private shed
  • living room/dining room

Ikea Kitchen

So what is all that work worth? I see 2 bedroom rentals in town (Barrie) going for anywhere between $900 and $1300 a month. Once you hit the $1400 mark, you can probably get a house. It might not be a nice house, but you certainly won’t have me above your head.

To me it’s worth three months of blood sweat and tears as I tried to pull it together from what it was (see above) to what it is (page right).

So what’s it worth?

What I want is a gold medal and I know I deserve a medal because I worked really hard to make it happen and everyone should know that and say hey you know I think you worked really hard and here’s a gold medal because you did work so hard.

So what is it worth to you?


Living Room / Dining Room and a new door


New Bathroom


Bedroom 2


Kitchen Again


Me finishing the windowsill in bedroom 1

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