Hey there, The White Tee Way readers! Just completed making our first big investment on the investment property that I wanted to share with you! The property sits on a 50×100 lot, totaling 5,000 sq ft! However, the property is only 1,200 sq ft total, which means we have a MASSIVE backyard and driveway! When I first purchased the property, the driveway came in “as is” condition, which was horrible just looking at it. My real estate agent and my home inspector both suggested that I get at least the driveway redone before an accident happens and a lawsuit comes right after for not maintaining the property. I mean this drive was YUCK! The backyard was oddly structured with a red, ranch style fence that made the backyard feel really small. The grass was oddly planted in a curve that looked like it was done so a car can turn when coming inside without going over the grass. The front was cracking horribly that I’d trip on the driveway sometimes when walking up. Cracks everywhere and there were weeds growing out of the bottom! I mean come on! I already deal with enough weeds on the front lawn (getting that redone soon, I am following my parents lead and they will be helping me redo the front lawn and walkway)! Anyway, the driveway and backyard weren’t the best. I knew I had to make a big investment to improve the driveway and backyard and mission accomplished!
Take a look at these before pictures of the driveway and backyard!!!
Yeah it was pretty bad. Our neighbor to the left that recently moved in (great people!!!), told me that his agent said the owner from like 30 years ago owned his single 25×100 lot and my double lot (two 25×100 lots) and made the driveway shared so both lots had parking (guess the previous owner should have sold everything as a package deal then so we don’t have to worry about shared driveways). Anyway, we own 95% of the driveway, but my neighbor has a legal easement (right of way) to use part of the driveway to get into a single spot in their backyard. My neighbor and I collaborated on this paving project; with them paying their own portion of the driveway on their lot and me paying for the 3,000 sq ft worth of paving done on my lot(s).
*Tip – Always have good relationships with your neighbors, especially if you have to share a driveway!
Take a look at this beauty!!
I decided to get rid of most of the grass but I chose to leave a strip unpaved along the metal fence because it would have looked awkward and it’ll match the back end of the yard with the strip of grass also. My significant other has sensitive allergies and I hate bugs, most of the grass definitely had to go! We got rid of the good ol’ red ranch style fence and now the backyard looks HUGE!!! I mean if this backyard wasn’t on a downhill slope, I would have put a basketball hoop back here and make the whole place a half court! Yes, the red fence was a fun conversation starter with our friends and family. I’ve gotten a lot of ranch jokes and my significant other asked me where are we going to put the horses now after we saw the fence get demolished (haha!)
Talk about a total driveway makeover!!!
Who I Worked With & Cost Of The Project
This project was originally supposed to happen in April, but due to the global pandemic, I decided to push back the project to protect my extra funds in case me or my significant other got sick. I began looking for a contractor for the job in February, right before all the march madness (*ba dum tssss). I got around five different quotes from five different companies around NJ that do asphalt paving. I literally googled asphalt paving and picked the top five to reach out to. However, I went with Affordable Asphalt Paving on this project and they did AMAZING! My original quote for the project was $7,500 which was given to me in February. The same price was still applicable when I contacted the owner again in June. The $7,500 was for the price for 3,000 sq ft. worth of ripping out the old driveway and applying gravel and asphalting on top. Not bad at all! The owner of the business, Sam, was amazing to work with. Out of all the quotes and people I spoke to for the job, he was the only business owner to personally drive out to the site (my house), survey the property, get me an estimate on spot and hand me my contract for me to sign if I decided to work with him. All other four companies just sent me an estimate without even seeing the place! Now that’s how you do business. There were some added costs due to some unstableness in our backyard, nonetheless the final cost came out to $9,105. Which by the way, was STILL the cheapest price out of all the quotes I got for asphalt paving! If you need a team for the job, the people at Affordable Asphalt Paving are the people for you! I will leave their contact information at the bottom.
*Fun Fact – I refinanced my property last month with a new lender. My old lender sent me a check that contained my escrow funds, I overpaid on my refinance so I received a refund check and I received July rent payment on the 1st. Since I refinanced, I don’t have to pay mortgage until August 1st, so which means I used all the extra funds for this project and I only paid $1,605 out of pocket! At least I felt like I only paid $1,605 because the rest of the money came out of nowhere. Talk about good timing…or more like I just got lucky these extra funds came at the right time!
What This Project Does For The Property
By investing in a new driveway, I am adding value to the property. I mean look how it looked like before! Horrible! This is called forced appreciation. Renovating any part of a property will help increase the value of the property and that includes driveways/backyards! This added value will be crucial in the future, especially when I plan on opening a line of credit on the property! It pays to fix up your place, inside and out! This will most likely be the biggest investment we will be making on this project, unless my tenants decide to move out (I hope they don’t, they’re the best!) and me and my significant other decide to move to the 1st unit. If we end up moving to the 1st unit, then we’ll talk more investments on the property in the future, but for now, this is the only large investment (anything over $5,000 in my opinion) we plan on making. But next, landscaping and tree trimming!