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.
Jefe and I had a tired-looking ranch before we did a major makeover on the exterior.
Here’s the back story. This was the first house Jefe and I bought together.
We’ve owned it about 10 years.
I am a regular reader of your blog and want to get into the house flipping business. I have saved a little over $30,000 for my first project. However, I am having a miserable time finding a good flip house. The prices seem way too high and I’m worried that I don’t have much profit margin.
Can you give me some advice on how to find a good house?
My grandmother was a daisy. When I was getting picked on in elementary school, she
encouraged me to end the problem by planting a brick in the face of my tormentors, yet she fed
every bum who knocked on her door looking for a handout. She butchered her first chicken when
she was six-years old, nursed every major wound received by her adventurous grandson, and
could recite Shakespeare.
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.
1) Paint. If you do the work yourself, you generally will have a couple hundred dollars in paint and a few days labor.
2) New outlets, switches and covers. You can buy an outlet and cover for less than a buck. Switches and covers are even cheaper. This adds to the look of a freshly painted room.
3) New faucets. You don’t have to spend a fortune on high-end fixtures, but simply replacing them with new, clean faucets will help brighten up a bathroom or kitchen.
Jefe and I work with a lot of older couples who are thinking of downsizing, and sometimes with individuals – mostly women – who have lost a spouse. We often discuss their vulnerability – alone and frail.