Jefé and I were recently looking at a potential flip in a neighborhood where we had flipped a house a few years ago. It was a great flip. We bought it at auction after the previous owner went into foreclosure.
After a few months work, we took the pig of the neighborhood and converted it to a showplace.
The house we were looking at was across the street and a few doors down from the old flip. From there, we could see it was a mess. The grass was high and it appeared that the landscaping hadn’t been touched since the day they bought it. In fact, it looked like the couple that bought it were busy allowing it to fall into its previous stage of disrepair.
One of the neighbors saw Jefé and I looking around the potential flip, remembered us, and walked over to chat. But, all he really wanted to do was gripe about the current condition of the old flip. He was furious.
“That dang house is cursed,” he said. “Everyone who moves in there trashes it up and it’s our property values that suffer.” He pointed to me, then Jefé, and said, “This must scald your cookies something royal after all the time and effort you put into dressing that place up.”
I looked at him and shrugged. “No, not really.”
“Why not?” asked.
“Because it’s not our house,” Jefé said. “They bought it; they can do whatever they want with it.”
He was baffled by our response. We are not creating artwork for the ages. We’re fixing up houses to make money. Once we sell them, they can trash them if they want. It’s their choice.
Over the years, Jefé and I have driven past many of the houses that we’ve flipped. In some cases, they look spectacular. In others, they’ve been trashed. We are very proud of our houses when we put them on the market, but once they’re gone, they’re gone.
We actually look at as an opportunity. If they trash it, we might be able to buy it back cheap and flip it again.