dpp ’10 :: Mariah’s Apartment

by flowers on December 21, 2010 · 7 comments

Mariah's Apartment

When we bought our (first) home four years ago we very intentionally chose a house with an income apartment. Our big picture intention was to create a life that would encourage financial stability and some flexibility. We knew that an income apartment would help pay the mortgage as we settled into a new life and started new businesses.

We found a house that was within our price range and in a great location. We took out a loan and just like that we were homeowners. We were also instant landlords because the house came with a tenant named Mariah.

After we bought the house we didn’t move for almost nine months and it was a little bit tricky managing the place from six hours away. Luckily we had Mariah and she was always so helpful! She collected any mail we received, helped us find local contractors when needed, paid the rent with impeccable timing and was all around pleasant.

She signed the lease for two more years and watched Koala grow from baby to little boy. We watched her meet someone and fall in love. We patted her dog and shopped at her yard sales. She was a part of our lives until this past summer when she moved to go back to school.

After she left we had one month to get some work done before my in-laws moved in for the fall. Stone tiled the kitchen and bathroom floors, refinished the hardwood floors and I hunted for decent second hand furniture.

My in-laws moved in and my artistically inclined mother-in-law helped me choose colors and my father-in-law painted every ceiling, wall and cabinet in the place. They left and we hung blinds, replaced needed fixtures and sewed curtains.

Our first “guests” arrive the day after Christmas and will be staying for eight days to visit family. As I made the bed and fluffed their pillows I realized I was in a dream fulfilled. We had shopped for a home with an apartment we could turn into a guest house because we wanted friends and family to be able to visit and stay. We envisioned running an eclectic guest house for the many travelers who make their way through Ithaca as a way to supplement income. It was a vision we held over four years ago and many hours of work, time and intention later we are are finally here.

We call it Mariah’s Apartment (because it always was) and we’re open for business!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

renee @ FIMBY December 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I loved this Hillary. Everything about it. Damien and I have a similar rental suite and the intention in the future of having guest space for short term or long term paid/unpaid accommodations. Maybe someday we can come stay for a night or two?

You sure were blessed with a great tenant. We’ve had a few challenging situations with tenants.


flowers December 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm

That would be so great to host your family!

We really were lucky with tenants so far. It helps that we live at the bottom of Cornell so it’s pretty easy to find responsible graduate students and visiting professors, but I know things can get sticky.


Amber December 21, 2010 at 11:50 pm

This sounds so lovely. To Mariah’s Apartment!


flowers December 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm



Kate December 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I can’t believe this is the first I’ve heard of Mariah! What a beautiful apt you have there!

I have dreams of buying the house next door and using it as a guest house for visiting family and friends. Maybe someday your family will stay there!

Love you!


flowers December 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I remember you saying this Kate! I extra love you ;-)


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