1B1615A2 E167 4E84 B7C9 AC68F552A882 e1508791377664 - On the Road Again! Leaving the Lake House Renovation Behind (for now)

On the Road Again! Leaving the Lake House Renovation Behind (for now)

on the road again
That’s me and my dad. In my dreams. Photo courtesy of my good Flikr friend Susan Frazier.

After a one-month stay at our Lake House renovation project in Fairmont, Minnesota, we’re hitting the road again! We’re on our way to San Diego, California… via Virginia. So, what would have been a straight shot of 1,800 miles will instead be 5,000 miles. What a ride! Yee-haw!

Road trip, RV travel
Our trip to San Diego will take us through Fredericksburg, VA.

It wasn’t easy to leave behind a massive renovation project but my mom wanted to hit the road before the first snowfall (which is forecast for this Friday).

About Our Lake House Renovation

A little bit of background: my parents bought a lake home in southern Minnesota last year. The goal is to have a place to stay near family as needed and then primarily use the house as a vacation rental property.

lake view
This is a view of the lake behind our house. It’s pictures like this that make me wish I could see colors.

My parents purchased the property in July 2016 for $250,000. The list price was $279,000. The house needed a total renovation. Built in 1949, it had had no updates (other than the roof, some windows, paint and carpet).

home renovation
This is our lake home in southern Minnesota. We are doing major renovations including the kitchen and master bedroom and bath.

It is a typical 1950’s ranch style house with lots of small rooms and a long, narrow hallway, almost like the one from The Shining. The selling points were the location on a large lake, a large picture window in the living room overlooking the lake, and 5,000 square feet on a half-acre lot in town.

house renovation, kitchen renovation
This was the small room outside of the kitchen. The brick is plastic.

My parents plan to spend about $125,000 to complete the renovation which includes a new kitchen, dining room, and master bedroom and bath.

home renovation, kitchen renovation
This was the kitchen. More plastic brick and the appliances did not work. We took out the wall.

In-town, upscale lake homes in Fairmont, MN fetch a selling price of around $450,000, so we plan to make a small profit when we do sell the property.

house renovation, kitchen renovation
This was the view from the kitchen into the dining room. We took out this wall too.
house renovation, home renovation
This was the dining room. We are adding windows to capture the lake view from the dining room.

While doing the renovations, we live in the COW (condo on wheels), which is parked next to the house on a temporary gravel driveway.

cow, rv
We park the COW next to the house since we can’t live in the house yet.

During the fall of 2016, my parents had support beams installed to stabilize the basement walls and added central air conditioning, two necessary projects that aren’t sexy and cost a lot of money. They also gutted the property (not the basement) to remove the musty carpeting and sub flooring on the first floor and then tore down the walls in the kitchen and dining room. That was sexy.

house renovation, kitchen renovation
My dad was so happy when the demolition was done and the drywall work began!


After spending Christmas with family in blustery, snowy Minnesota, they hit the road for warmer weather in Texas. I’m happy to say they stopped at the Humane Society in Waco, Texas and that’s where we met! You can read more about me on the About page.

puppy adoption, humane society
My parents adopted me from the Humane Society of Central Texas in Waco, Texas. I was three months old.

Back to Minnesota

When we hit Minnesota in April 2017, Dad immediately jumped into the house renovations.

house renovation, kitchen renovation
I liked watching Dad work on the kitchen renovations.

It was fun to watch Dad put in the cabinets, tile flooring, and silestone countertops over the last few months (he had to take a two-month break while we took a trip to the Pacific Northwest).

home renovation, kitchen renovation
The silestone countertops added a sleek, clean surface to the grey cabinets.
house renovation, kitchen renovation
Dad is putting in all of the floor tile himself.
house renovation, kitchen renovation
The floor tile in the dining room leads into the kitchen.
home renovation, kitchen renovation
The current state of affairs in our lake home kitchen.

On the Hunt for A Bigger COW and Another Investment

Now we’re on our way to see family and friends across the midwest, and the east and west coasts. Along the way, we’ll stop at a few luxury RV dealerships to check out some 45-foot COWs. CoCo needs more space than our current 40-foot cow and mom would really like to have a stack-able washer and dryer. A COW, just for the record, is definitely NOT a good investment.

To ensure our revenue stream continues, we’ll also be looking at a few real estate properties in Tucson, Phoenix, San Diego and other warm towns along the way.

It’s going to be a busy six months! I hope my mom is so busy she’ll forget to do my leash training.

Hey, leave a comment: Tell me about your renovation projects! Or ask questions about ours! But let’s not talk about leash training, okay?







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      1. Great hearing from you Austin! Keep us posted on your winter travels. Tell Mom and Dad hi from me!

Can’t wait to see what you say! Woof!