Michael A. Lumbis remembered last April when he stepped on an old bottle of sunscreen and other trash that covered much of a floor in a deteriorated house at 244 N. Rutland St.
The city’s planning director also recalled the house had old drafty windows, outdated paneling, a newspaper from 1997 on the floor and a concern that an animal might come scurrying out from the garbage. One did — a cat, which startled him.
That century-old house looks totally different now.
On Tuesday, Lumbis and senior planner Jennifer Voss took their first tour of the single-family house since it underwent a total renovation.
“It looks fabulous,” he said.
It was one of five homes that the city sold to developers and contractors to fix up. Before buying them, they had to explain their plans for the properties.
The 4-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath Rutland Street house is the first of five that has been completed.
During the tour, Dave Heinisch — a landlord who has bought, renovated and resold 20 houses in and around Watertown over the past 20 years — showed off the many amenities that he incorporated into the renovation to get exactly what he wanted.
“I want to get that ‘wow,'” he said.
That’s why Heinisch, who owns H20Town24/7properties LLC, installed custom molding in each of the rooms, a quartz kitchen counter, top quality appliances and other features, he said.
Starting in June, his team of contractors put in a lot of work — from top to bottom — into the house.
He’s got it listed at $187,400. Now comes the wait — to see when it will be sold. It’s tough putting a house on the market during the holidays, he said.
“You’d never know how much I put into this house,” he said.
About 20 years ago, Heinisch, a packaging specialist from Long Island, discovered Watertown quite by chance following a fishing trip to Pulaski. He never thought he’d end up owning and redoing so much property from what he said is just “a side job.”
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