TV producer reversed storyline of dilapidated Maryland bungalow

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As a television and video producer, Janelle Harris excels in the basics of project management, such as setting goals and scope, budgeting, planning and ensuring that everyone is paid and that the equipment arrives on time.

Ms Harris, 42, applied the same skills to leading the just-completed $ 550,000 renovation of a dilapidated three-bedroom, one-bath, 1,200-square-foot bungalow she purchased in Takoma Park, in Maryland, turning it into a 4,000 square foot, five bedroom, four bathroom home.

“You can’t look back, you have to be very solution-oriented and know how to deal with human error,” she says.

His first step was to choose the neighborhood. Takoma Park attracted her because, she says, it’s a politically liberal town with historic homes and is small, quaint, and quiet. She wanted to be within walking distance of the metro and downtown Takoma, a place where she would never have to use a car.

Then, she set her sights on a specific house; a small bungalow that was barricaded after a tree fell on it. He had gone to auction, but the owner, who had grown up there, was able to get him removed from the block. Ms. Harris contacted him directly and convinced him to sell it to her in April 2019. “I explained to him that we were a big family with great values,” she says. He didn’t want to sell to a developer who would install a cookie-cutter home that compromises the neighborhood’s uniqueness or historic aesthetic, she says. The price, $ 385,000, was good, but she knew the house needed a lot of work.


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