- Status: Listed
- Price: $665,000
Sisters and best friends, Lindsay and Elizabeth, are very different. A book editor with a background in fashion, Lindsay is creative. A real estate professional with a background in finance, Elizabeth is analytical. However, they both enjoy the same “hobby” in their spare time. That is, renovating and rebuilding historic properties in their hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. “On Sundays, we’d rather be picking out kitchen counters and bathroom tiles than having brunch like most normal people,” says Lindsay.
Lindsay’s and Elizabeth’s past projects have involved a variety of different properties. Renovating a foreclosed condominium, their first project, was very much a learning curve. “I feel like I made every mistake possible with that house, but it was really rewarding to make a cute home out of a complete mess,” says Lindsay. A 1920s vintage house, the second, was a gut renovation. “I think it had just two prior owners, so it was really beautiful in that it had a lot of original details, but it was also really dated, since it hadn’t been upgraded in more than fifty years,” says Lindsay. A former tailor shop, the third, was a complete rebuild. “We bought it directly from a husband and a wife who clearly had very strong family values and work ethics, so they brought a special feeling to the building,” says Elizabeth.
While unique, the three properties had one commonality. “When we knew, we knew!” says Elizabeth. “That is our driving force – falling so in love with a property that we’re determined to make it work one way or another.” In addition to determination, the sisters call upon their extraordinary risk tolerance to make their visions into reality. “We always try to have a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C, but sometimes we need a Plan D too! We are always hopeful that we can renovate it and sell it, but if not, we can happily live in it or proudly rent it out,” says Elizabeth.
The sisters have also found encouragement in reassuring “signs.” For example, while clearing debris and leaves in the wooded backyard of their second project, Lindsay and Elizabeth discovered a blank check from the 1900s belonging to the prior owners. “We were so confused by how it got there and how it survived intact,” says Elizabeth. “But we were also comforted in thinking it was a sign that the property was going to be a success.”
That sign proved true because that property was lucrative. Now, the sisters are hoping to make a success of their third project, the former tailor shop rebuilt from the ground up into a home at 121 North Street. Currently for sale, the house has an airy interior and a clean exterior, which were largely influenced by Lindsay’s keen eye for design. “121 North has a very modern, almost Southern California feel on the inside, but fits historic Salem on the outside,” says Elizabeth.
The first floor features a living, dining, and laundry room as well as an open kitchen anchored by a large island and accented with a handmade tile backsplash. The second floor offers two bedrooms with custom Elfa closets, an office space with a cathedral ceiling, and a spa-inspired bathroom complete with a soaking tub and walk-in shower. “The reality is exactly what we envisioned,” says Elizabeth. “I agree,” echoes Lindsay. “I know it will find the right buyer and we will be ready to let go when it does.”