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.
Jefé and I are off on another adventure.
Frankly, it’s about time.
We’ve been spinning our wheels for the past couple of months trying to sell two houses. One was a long-time rental that caused us some heartburn because it needed a lot of work to get into selling condition. The other, which is in contract and scheduled to close soon, is a great house, but we just had trouble getting it sold. That happens sometimes
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.
When you are doing your first flips and trying to get a business started, it is not unusual to do
everything yourself. Jefé and I did everything from the basement to the attic, design work
However, when you’re doing design work, sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. In other words, there might be clever ways of doing a remodel that you hadn’t even considered.
When you flip a house, you will most likely have one of two types of neighbors. One will see the value in your work. They will understand that a rising tide raises
One will see the value in your work. They will understand that a rising tide raises all ships. In other words, as you increase the value of your flip property, the value of their property increases. Everybody wins. These neighbors will bring you lemonade and cookies and gush over your work.
And then . . .
This is one of my favorite Winston Churchill quotes.
Success is stumbling from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
If you’re flipping houses, it’s important not to lose that enthusiasm, because one of these
days you’re going to have a house that just won’t sell.
Here are five to-dos before launching into that first flip. These will make your purchase easier
and enhance your chances of turning a nice profit.
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?
Jefé has an odd sense of humor.
He knows I am terrified of poison ivy. I would readily admit to kidnapping the Lindbergh baby if someone threatened me with a poison ivy leaf.
For that reason, Jefé always makes sure I’m the one in charge of weed control at our flips. He thinks it’s funny to watch me squirm.
It’s only fair, really, because being a plumber he’s the one who always gets stuck slithering through wet crawl spaces. Of course, he isn’t as afraid of spiders as I am poison ivy, so I might be getting the short end of the stick.
With that said, it gives me great pleasure to announce the winners of the inaugural Fliposaurus Gold Seal of Excellence awards.
Jefe and I are do-it- yourselfers. In our early flips, we did everything on the houses.
However, as we have more houses in the pipeline, we farm out more of the work. It’s not a
question of whether we want to do the work; it’s all about time management. Having good
contractors helps us get the houses on the market faster.
One area where a good contractor can help is lawn maintenance. Curb appeal is critical is the
sale of a house. According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors, 50 percent of
all potential home buyers make the decision not to buy a house before going inside.