Are you looking for bungalow renovation ideas? Do you want to find prime examples of fixer upper bungalow renovations, and how they can increase your long term wealth? Our first house was a 1980s rundown bungalow in Williamsburg ON. It was owned by the bank and we bought it without even seeing it first. It needed a fair bit of work, but the structure was sound and we knew we could flip the house within a couple years. We bought this house in November 2007, moved into it together in May 2008 after we got married, and spent the next two and a half years renovating it. We sold it after a few years and made a very decent profit. Keep reading to find out more about our run down bungalow renovation! Or find out more about us and our real estate investing journey.
BEFORE and after
This fixer upper bungalow was in pretty rough shape when we bought it. But it was a great price, and as a newly married couple it was all we could afford. We never even saw the house before be bought it, but my father-in-law was our real estate agent and we totally trusted him with this house.
Please note: When we renovated this house I didn’t know I’d be starting a blog! I don’t have very many pictures, and the ones I took are not very good. But the lessons learned are still relevant despite the lack of pictures.
The previous owner had dogs and there was a big ugly fence in the front yard. We took the fence down pretty soon after we got possession. The exterior of the house was pretty bad. There was no deck and the patio doors were boarded up. The shed was in very bad shape and a total eyesore.
Entering the front door was the living room to the right and the dining room straight ahead.
The living room was complete with water damaged laminate flooring, lace curtains, and bullet holes in the wall. We eventually took down that stub wall, replaced the front window, and replaced the laminate flooring with hardwood. In the dining room we replaced the patio door and took down the tile that was on the wall.
The kitchen was around the corner from the dining area. The cupboards really weren’t too bad, but everything was so dirty and dark. The house even came with bonus dishes in the dishwasher.
The biggest renovation project we did in our first house was the kitchen. There used to be a granny suite in the basement and the kitchen cabinets there were fairly new and quite nice, and they fit the configuration of the upstairs kitchen almost perfectly.
This was the kitchen the day we moved in. Overall, not too bad, but we felt the black cabinets were dark and outdated, and the tile looked dirty with that dark grout.
Here are a few pictures during the gutting stage. We got a lot of help with the kitchen from Tony’s brothers and father.
And here is the kitchen after starting to put it back together. These were the cabinets that were in the basement when we moved in. Tony had to build a few cabinets including the large pantry beside the fridge.
And we moved the sink from the corner where it was originally to the peninsula closer to the dining area. Tony did all the plumbing work himself.
In the dining area we took out the drywall with the white tile on it and Tony redid the drywall. We also replaced the patio door with the help of my parents.
Tony made the countertop with a wood edge and laminate top. We installed the tiled backsplash together using square tumbled travertine tiles in a brick pattern. We were able to keep the existing tile floor. Here are a few pictures of the final result – not too bad for our first kitchen makeover!
The upstairs bathroom was one of the nicest rooms in the house, other than the gold plastic mirror and light fixture. And the vanity was chewed by the dogs so we did replace that eventually.
This was the smallest bedroom. I think this was where the dogs slept, because that carpet was pretty nasty.
The second bedroom really wasn’t too bad other than the paint colour and lack of trim.
The master bedroom was painted two shades of orange and there was a hole in the wall where a tv had been. That fireplace was kind of nice, but after it almost caught fire one day we decided it was safer to remove it.
Off the kitchen was the stairs to the basement. The carpet was dirty, and there was pink striped wallpaper on the walls. This wallpaper was so hard to remove that we ended up just tearing out the drywall and installing new drywall. We took up the carpet and Tony tiled the stairs.
The basement bedroom was quite large. We eventually moved a wall to make the bedroom smaller and the family room bigger. The bottom 4 feet of drywall was missing in the whole basement. We think the previous owner had a flood and took the insurance money rather than fixing the drywall.
The basement living area used to have a granny suite. There was a complete kitchen with pretty nice cabinets. We used these cabinets upstairs in the kitchen renovation.
The basement bathroom was also the laundry room. It was nice to have two working toilets in the house, however there was not much privacy.
During this run down bungalow renovation, Tony drywalled everything in the basement and I removed the wallpaper border and painted. Half of the basement had tile floor, and the other half was bare concrete. My brother was living with us at the time, and he and Tony smashed out all the tile.
I don’t have great pictures of the end result, but these give somewhat of an idea.
Lessons Learned from a run down bungalow renovation
As ugly and rough as the house looked, it was a solid house and the price was one that we could afford at that point in our lives. This was a great starter home and we learned so much about home renovation. We learned a lot about home renovations and how to do things ourselves. If you are just starting out in real estate investing, a live in flip is a great way to increase your long term equity. Our first house was our best investment – we spent about $10,000 over two and a half years, and when we sold if we profited close to $60k. After living through this run down bungalow renovation for two and a half years, we moved to a brand new raised bungalow on a two acre lot in Winchester, Ontario.
For more of our house tours check out these links:
- 2nd house: New raised bungalow
- Flip house
- Third House: Outdated slit-level
- Fourth house: Owner builder bungalow
- Rental Property
- Cabin in the woods