I absolutely LOVE remodeling houses. There’s something about finding a house that has seen its better days and restoring it to it’s glory. Finding the next project isn’t as easy as it sounds. It has to be dated, the seller needs to be motivated, and the price has to be right.
I will say, as crazy as it sounds, that bringing life back into these houses means more to me than the profit. When I tour these older homes, I imagine when they were first built. Children running around in the yard, families eating in the dining room, people cooking in the kitchen, etc. For one reason or another, these houses were let go at some point….and that’s where I come in.
When touring different fixers, I look for the potential to make into a house that buyers will love. If it’s not something that I feel I can restore, I don’t buy. There’s a lot of risk involved in this industry, and the last thing you want to do is waste time, money, and effort into a project I can’t handle. So when I do find a fixer that I can restore and make a few bucks, I go for it.
I usually do an inspection. I prefer to do it before putting in an offer. When sellers offer their homes, some don’t know what’s hidden underneath….but what I find is most won’t reveal what they know. I’ve toured houses where half the house isn’t even permitted, isn’t built on foundation, sewer is damaged and flooded, etc. It kind of makes me wonder why sellers are just not upfront about this stuff. If they’re looking for cash buyers, we should always use an inspector.
This is also a time to have a contractor go in and give an estimate on the project. Or give a rough draft on what I want to do with the house. Do I add square footage? Add a garage? Add a bathroom? This is the time to interview different contractors and see if this is something they can do and compare prices. Not every contractor can do everything. And not every contractor can perform their jobs well.
After the inspection, the seller and I settle on a price we agree to and the sale goes from “pending inspection” to “pending”. So exciting!!
The sale is closed. It’s now getting real on the field. All the talking and planning now has to be put into action. When I had the first wall I’ve ever knocked down to open the space up, it was like a ceremonial occasion. I literally sat down in a chair and watched the wall come down like it was the Berlin Wall being knocked down or something. I watched in amazement of how much difference it made without the wall being there.
As the project strings along, a surprise or two is bound to come up. But it’s something that’s to be expected, which is why we have a contingency budget to cover those surprises.
The house is coming together and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The last few details are key to attracting a buyer, whether it’s a light fixture, sink fixture, wall paint color, or floor choices. The key is to be consistent throughout the house. It drives me crazy when the theme isn’t consistent or too boring in a flipped house. Like when the outside shows traditional but then it’s ultra-modern in the inside.
When I see the furniture being staged inside the house, it’s like Christmas time. It represents a newly updated house that buyers dream of. There’s nothing better for people to see how furniture is arranged in a house so that they can feel welcomed and comfortable.
I get a call from my agent…..someone makes an offer for my house!! It’s a thrilling feeling because that means someone loved your work. When I remodeled houses in the beginning, I doubted myself a little. Will people like it? Will anyone buy it? So when I get that call, I’m thrilled!! All the fears of whether or not I did okay goes away. And when the house closes, I have a huge smile on my face….because a new family is now making new memories in a home that was once uninhabitable.