Our New Rental!

So I’ve been keeping something from all of you and I’m so excited to finally share!!!!  We are the proud new owners of my mom’s house, it seems surreal to even say it.

Without going into all of the personal details  (There are 4 of us siblings) Ray and I were able to keep it as an investment property, this did not come with a whole lot of emotional ups and downs, lots of stress, and maybe a few small panic attacks on my end.  We were 5 years away from paying off our house so to start all over again was a really hard decision but the numbers just made sense, (hello low-interest rates) so we took a leap of faith and couldn’t be happier with our decision.

I never could have imagined while Ray and I  were working so hard on the house, getting it ready to sell that it would actually become ours. (A huge thank you to my brother for painting the whole interior!)  This has literally been a dream of ours to buy property, fix them up, and sell.  However, living here in California, that really isn’t a reality for us, so we truly feel blessed to have this opportunity.  We have zero intention of selling this house any time soon, as it is a long-term investment, but that extra income from the rent could possibly make our dreams a reality to begin flipping in the future, we shall see.

My parents bought this house in the 90’s, it’s located less than a mile from the beach in a little town called Carlsbad, it was the perfect size for just the 2 of them and my mom’s dog Georgie.  My memories of this home are not childhood memories, they are memories of the last place both my mom and dad were healthy and living life fully.  A place I would bring the kids when they were just babies to go see Grandma and Grandpa a place where I can envision them both able body. And that is how I try to envision them in heaven today, healed and happy, looking down on us and proud.

So here is the before and afters of the house all in one place, if you click on the subtitle it will bring you to the tutorials.  I still have lots of tutorials to put up, in time, I promise!

The Fireplace

We tore down all of the pink marble and Ray updated it with a new tile, a rustic beam, and brought electrical and cable up above the fireplace.

How to Tile a fireplace using ceramic tiles. Step by step tutorial with pictures.

How to Tile a fireplace. Step by step tutorial with pictures.

The French Doors

These doors had shutters on them but were chewed up by our previous renter’s dog so we had to throw them away.  I painted them black for a fresh new look.

Learn how to paint interior French doors black, the easy way. No sanding or priming. These French Doors will add so much character and charm to your home.

I also painted the front door to match and a new light fixture.

How to Tile a fireplace. Step by step tutorial with pictures.

The Stairs

I updated the stairs and railing with a fresh coat of black and white paint and changed out the light fixture

The Kitchen

In The Kitchen, we removed bulkhead lighting, added recessed lighting, painted the kitchen cabinets, and Ray added a backsplash to match the fireplace. Someday we would like to completely remodel the kitchen but for now, it’s perfect for it being a rental.

How to Paint Melamine Cabinets the easy way, no sanding

How to Paint Melamine Cabinets the easy way, no sanding

How to Paint Melamine Cabinets the easy way, no sanding

How to Paint Melamine Cabinets the easy way, no sanding

Dining Room

In the dining room, we simply added a new light fixture and replaced the old baseboards that had water damage.

The Loft

In the loft, we added new carpet and a new ceiling fan.  We don’t have AC since it is by the beach so the house definitely need fans.  The carpet was delayed everywhere for months so I was able to find a remnant piece for half the price, not the color I would have chosen for a rental but I didn’t have much of a choice.




The bathrooms all had the overhead bulk lighting so we had a contractor remove those and run new electrical.  I painted all of the cabinets and walls to give it a fresh new look.  I still need to take some after pictures.  This is also a project that will someday need a full demo, but for now it works.


In both bedrooms, we simply gave it a fresh coat of paint.

The best part is how close to the beach it is!
The day it became our’s I posted it on FB marketplace looking for a renter,  waiting to get torn apart, because for whatever reason people think that’s OK.  I received the exact opposite (well except for 1 person questing the amount and everyone came to my defense).  I interviewed the first person out of a dozen applications and it was the perfect fit. She will take pride in the home and I know will treat it like it’s her own.  We couldn’t be more thrilled to have found the most perfect renter.  Someday I’ll ask If I can share how she decorated it, it’s truly beautiful!

Thank you to everyone who has shared this journey with us without really knowing what the outcome would be.  This has honestly been the most stressful and emotional year of my life, so many things I want to share that will hopefully help others when traveling down this very lonely road.
It was my greatest honor the last few years to make sure my mom had a quality of life, to be her advocate, to keep her alive, to care, and to love her with all of my heart.  And when all of that is gone you question yourself as to what your purpose is, in this exact moment. Other than the obvious, my greatest, joy, my family, I’m working on the rest.
There is not one person that is close to me in my life that hasn’t said Kristin, you need to write a book.  Who knows, someday I just might.  For now, all of the wonderful memories of my mom sit closely near and dear to my heart.

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  1. Wow! It’s beautiful! How much are you renting it? My friend and husband already seriously looking for a place. They are expecting a baby in Oct. if your renter falls thru- can you please text me? 760-420-3071. Thanks! Karen Johnson

    1. Hi Karen, we are renting for $3500, and my current tenant signed a 1 year lease, let me know if you want to reconnect in a year if she doesn’t renew or goes month to month. πŸ™‚

  2. What a wonderful post! When my dad had a stroke they sold their house in California and moved back where they started, and I now was, to Minnesota. Sadly as an only, everything fell on my shoulders and as time went on I became the owner of my moms little house. We were landlords for 20 some years when the time came for us to close that chapter. Like you it wasn’t the place of my childhood memories, it was where i brought my kids and where I said goodbye to my parents. The rent income paid for college for 5 of my 6 kids, and I know that would have pleased my parents. I think the key was getting good renters, we had no horror stories! I wish the same for you.

    1. Thank you Bliss I completely understand what you are saying, being the trustee has been so incredibly stressful for me, unless you have been through it, no one can fully understand. What a blessing to have it help pay for college for the kids, we will be having three kids in college all at the same time. yikes. We have been renting it out for the past 6 years for her while she was in assisted/memory care. And unfortunately, the house was not well cared for by some, it’s so dissapointing. This time around we found the perfect match who takes so much pride in the home and sends me pictures when she finishes decorating, it’s so cute! Just a few more months and I can close her estate, I need closure and turn my focus on my own family and myself which has not happened in a very long time. I always appreciate you stopping by and your understanding, compassion and your kind words, they mean so much! xo

  3. Let me know when the lease is up! I would be interested in the possibility of renting! I currently live in AZ, but want to move back to So Cal and Carlsbad would be ideal!

    1. Thank you Laura, my current tenant is there for at least a year, I can connect with you if she does not resign πŸ™‚

  4. What a great job upgrading your new rental Kristin! I am so glad you found the right renter for a place that is so special to you. My daughter lived in Carlsbad for quite awhile and I just love it there. I have followed your posts as you navigated through everything and I’ve prayed that peace would come to you. It is so incredibly hard to find after focusing so long on ensuring someone’s well being. Especially someone you have loved your entire life. I believe this is the first time I’ve seen you talk of focusing on your own life and that is such a wonderful thing! Peace is right around the corner and I am so happy for you!

    1. Thank you so much Denise! Thank you so much for your prayers during these past months, I had no idea how hard the shift would be. I believe redefining my goals and reimagining life purpose has really helped me along the way. Your words mean more than you know, thank you! xo

  5. Wow Kristin; I”m so excited for you! The changes you’ve made are just perfect for rental potential! I hope at some point you can share how your renter decorated πŸ™‚

  6. Congratulations, Kristin! You did an amazing job updating this space. It is wonderful that you were able to purchase it as a rental property. I understand how difficult this process can be and I hope this brings you peace.

  7. It sounds like you have been through some challenging seasons, Kristin. You are so blessed to be able to take this home, make it beautiful again and provide a home for someone who needs it. Something tells me that your parents would be happy about that. 😊

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