There is nothing like a reliable crew to make a flip go smoothly. We have some of the best workers around.
Here are two of them – José and Manny.
Manny says he is the good-looking one, but in case you can’t tell he’s the one on the left.
José and Manny have been working for us for about five years. We were introduced to the boys by our dry waller, Mario.
My granddaughter, Brooklynn, or as I like to call her, the Divine Miss B, lives seven-and-a-half hours away, and I don’t get to see her nearly as often as either of us would like. I’d like to see her more often because she’s about the cutest granddaughter ever, and she would like to see me more often because I spoil her bloody rotten.
We finally have a roof on our latest flip. This is a very good thing, particularly when it’s snowing and 20-degrees.
We are adding an extra floor, so a perfectly good roof had to come off the one-story house so we could put in stronger joists, add to the existing walls, and build new rafters. It’s a major project and we were weeks looking at a roofless house while snow piled up inside.
We poured the footers and built basement walls for our new project last week
As I said earlier, this is venturing into uncharted territory for us as we rarely change the footprint of our flips. Most of the time, it’s too costly and time-consuming. However, this flip was different in that we needed to demolish an old, poorly built porch on the back of the house. Given that the house was less than1,000-square feet, with no basement, we thought it best to add a family room over a basement, which would give us space for all the new mechanicals.
It’s very much the fashion these days to write letters to include in your Christmas cards that update your friends and family on the events in your life over the past year.
With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the events in my personal life from the past year.
Melissa and I bought a new house.
Here’s our newest flip. It is a small, post-World War II house that is a reminder that we have become spoiled with the size of our homes. This house was built on a crawl space and less than 1,000-square feet. It has two bedrooms, a bath, a small living room, dining room and kitchen. The mechanicals are wedged into the kitchen and one-car garage.
Our mission is to convert this to a three-bedroom, two-bath house with a large family room, basement and two-car garage.
Sometimes, we need to get slapped in the face to keep things in perspective.
Jefé and I are sometimes in the business of capitalizing on the misfortune of others. We frequently buy houses that have been foreclosed upon by the banks. It’s a sad fact of this business.
Jefé and I look at a lot of houses where the former resident has died and the house is still full of stuff the kids don’t want, nor do they want to clean it out of the house. It’s decades and decades of accumulated junk.
As we stroll through these houses, I have asked Jefé a hundred times:
- Why did they let it get like this?
- Who lives like this?
- Why did they keep all this crap?
- Why didn’t someone pitch this stuff a long time ago?
If you are going to flip houses, pray that you don’t have a weak gag reflex. If you do, be prepared to wretch because you will undoubtedly run into carcasses and other stimuli that will get the old tummy gurgling.
Here are some of our favorites . . . or, no-so-favorites.
Your flip has got to stand out when your prospective buyers pull up in front of the house.
A National Association of Realtors study found 50 percent of all potential home buyers make their decision not to buy a house before going inside.
Curb appeal is extremely important.