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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Other Things

 Back in 2014 through 2016 I wrote a series of posts about “Helen’s House” which was built in 1900 by Leonard Volkenand. We turned it into a short term rental and market it through the AirBnB platform. It has been very successful being so close to the University of Dayton and we offer a unique experience because the house is not your typical Ikea furnished, grey wall, minimalistic AirBnB listing. The link is here. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/13246834?federated_search_id=64134272-c9bd-461a-ab86-a3d0f5843328&source_impression_id=p3_1615434075_9wO3hKBYfMQIfkQ3

So if you need a place to stay while visiting Dayton, Ohio or live here, have family visiting and don’t want to tidy your place. This may be a good choice.

Back in December 2005  we bought an old farm bell. It had been sitting in my basement for 15 years. I finally put it to use last spring. I built this in the back yard.

When I rebuilt the bulk head I was smart enough to equip it for a future electric socket and line out to the yard. So there is an outdoor socket box attached to one of the legs. When we ring the bell, our friends can hear it 4 blocks (1/2 mile) away.

One of the joys of this place has been anticipating future needs years in advance. 

Other than this I got another room in the basement re plastered over winter and spent most of last year renovating my old residence that got trashed several years ago so that I can sell it this year. I will post pictures later this year of that renovation.

And .... I’m running for mayor again. 


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Friday, October 23, 2020

Where have you been Mayor Leitzell?

 Wow. I didn't realize that my roof was done two years ago. It seems like yesterday I was out there risking my neck. Well, I have not been dormant. In fact, I have been fixing up other houses in my neighborhood to sell to new home buyers. Of course that means less work on the Old Crack House but none-the-less, the skills I learned working on this house have paid off because I have become much better at home improvement projects. So I gave up politics for a while. Both local parties don't seem to like independent candidates. However that is changing again. More about that later.

My wife and I bought a foreclosure home in June 2018. It is in my neighborhood about 4 blocks from our house. Here are the "BEFORE" photos that were in the real estate listing.

                                                      Here is the outside front.

Here is the outside back.

The view as you enter the front door.

The living room.

The dining room.

First floor powder room.

The outdated kitchen.

A bedroom.

Another bedroom.

A third bedroom.

Upstairs bathroom.

A painted blue bath tub.

Every room had carpet or carpet tile and all was saturated with cat urine. The previous owner had passed away having some 30 cats in the house. One of our biggest challenges was getting the odor out of the wood floors.

We put a lot of money and sweat equity into the place to produce this end product. 

We removed a wall between the kitchen and dining room. Put tin ceilings in both those rooms. Moved a door and some windows around. Re finished the woodwork. Completely finished the attic. Rebuilt the deck. Rewired the house so it was up to current code. Replaced the furnace and air conditioner. Basically it is a new house with old bones.

The house was listed on Zillow and we had a full price offer in 48 hours. Since it sold last November, several other houses have been fixed up on the same street commanding good prices. So we set a trend and a standard in my neighborhood. I have since been working on my old residence that was destroyed by my last renter. I wrote about it here. The interior is completely re done and I have a friend there on a six month lease while I finish painting the exterior and the garage. The yard needs some TLC as well. I hope to put it up for sale next spring. 

 Meanwhile, at the Old Crack House I have repaired the plaster walls in four of the five rooms in the basement and whitewashed them. Here is a before and after photo of an area beneath a fire place. 

It would seem that I did this back in April this year.


I set up a "Gaming Table" in the basement because my now 17 year old daughter wanted me to run some Dungeons and Dragons games for her and her friends. Here are some photos of the various scenarios I have run for them.

So I’m still a cool dad .....

 I will post about and link to our AirBnB home across the alley in a few days. That has been operating well since June 2016 and my last post had something to do with the mud room. There is history there that is connected to our house. So I will keep you in suspense for a little while.