If you caught our podcast yesterday, you already know the whys, hows, and wheres of this story. The price was right (we even got them down 30K), the location is awesome (close to the park, shops, and a few blocks from the beach), and we didn’t feel like we could ever afford this much house in such a great spot if we waited much longer. This small town only has so many affordable fixer-uppers available before everything gets renovated and we get priced out (we paid $220K for this, which breaks down to $110K per side – which is cheaper than the pink one!).

But there’s lots more of the story in the podcast (you can listen in the player below) including how it took us a few weeks to come around to its charm and how we’re making this all work financially (spoiler: we were able to pay off our mortgage here in Richmond – and we share specifics about exactly how we did that).

This is another historic fixer-upper in the quaint Chesapeake Bay-side town of Cape Charles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. We talked more about why we’ve fallen hard for Cape Charles back when weshared our pink house purchase last year (and I’ll be calling it the “pink house” in this post for clarity’s sake). Not only is the duplex in the same town as our pink house, it’s actually on the same street – just two doors down!

Yep, our two houses are separated by just one home (the one that was featured on HGTV). This street was a big part of why we bought the pink house thanks to its proximity to the shops/park/beach, so location was also a HUGE reason that we were attracted to the duplex.

We’ve always known the pink house wouldn’t be our last big project, but I can’t say we were expecting to dive into another one quite this quickly. But over the months of working on our pink house, we noticed how limited the inventory was for houses in Cape Charles that fit our price range. So the good location and price of this duplex accelerated our plans a little bit – and despite our initial aversions to this house, we just couldn’t fight that feeling anymore. We wanted the dang duplex. Badly.

Beyond just the excitement of another project, the duplex made a lot of practical sense too:

  • It creates additional vacation rental opportunities. We won’t use this ourselves, so it creates two spaces dedicated solely for renting to others – great for times when we plan to stay at the pink house, but still want to earn rental income.
  • It accommodates larger groups or pink house overflow. Our pink house is 3 bedrooms (4 if you count the bunk room) but all together, we’re hoping to create 6 bedrooms in the duplex. So groups that can’t squeeze into ol’ pinkie could rent both sides of the duplex instead. We also may use it when our own extended family or friends want to vacation with us, which is pretty handy since it’s so close.
  • Renovating a duplex can be more efficient. Although we have double the kitchens and baths to redo (oh the tiling! THE TILING!!), many of the big tasks – like replacing the roof/siding, foundation fixes, or landscape updates  – are a lot more cost effective and time efficient because we can do them all at once, whereas it may have taken us a few years to fix up two separate houses.

Plus, having already established our go-to contractors in Cape Charles and worked out some of the kinks of the process while doing the pink house, this project seems a LOT less daunting than our first go ’round.


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