It's embarrassing how long it's been since I wrote a blog post (I've wondered - is blogging still relevant?). And yet, I'm excited about the closing of my recent project and wanted to share with you. So many people ask me about my flips and I'm here to give you a little inside look at how this one went down.
How I Found This House
It was an email. An email was forwarded to my office from an agent who works at another firm. He had a pocket listing (which means that the listing would not be on the MLS). It looked like it was cosmetically challenged and priced accordingly, so I ventured over to take a look. Some things looked worse in person, and when I crunched the numbers, I decided it wasn't going to work at the price they wanted. But when no one else bit - they asked what price would work? And that's how I found Flip-tee-doo #2.
I was lucky to have the time to do inspections (when you buy from a wholesaler, you have to make a decision in one day and you're buying AS IS - no inspections) and was able to discover electrical, fireplace, mold and roof issues. These are not the fun cosmetic fixes I wanted to engage in - but they needed to be done. My goal is to deliver a finished house that is ready to go for a new buyer. I used my inspection period to obtain bids from contractors as well - so I could tighten up my budget. You need a high tolerance for risk (usually).
The Plan vs. The Real
My plan was to update the kitchen countertops, paint the cabinets (I'm a fan of not just destroying perfectly good cabinetry), replace the bathroom vanities, paint inside and out, update light fixtures, update tiles and reveal the glorious hardwoods hiding under laminate (plus the non-sexy stuff). But the real had me making some changes on the fly.
Case in point: my plan to reveal and refinish what I could clearly see were hardwoods peeking out under the laminate (and why, people, WHY do you cover hardwood floors with cheap laminate?) was going smoothly until I had to leave and got a call from my contractor. Apparently, the hardwoods stopped halfway through the room and became several layers of old vinyl (in the kitchen). Same thing happened in the master bedroom: hardwoods until...particle board?! Yep, there was an addition many moons ago. I did not have the budget to buy, install and refinish all the hardwood - so I came up with a plan B (different flooring). A backsplash tile was too thick compared to a tiny lip on the vanity - so I had to find a new tile locally that day. You have to be flexible.
I have to say, after years of being a project manager, I'm pretty damn good at managing my timeline (and budget). I wanted to fix up this cutie in less than a month - and I did. This happened with lots of advance planning, knowing the best order for work, hiring people who could meet my deadlines and getting lucky. My deadline was self-imposed, so it could have changed and no harm done - but everything flowed smoothly and I really wanted to have the house staged by a woman who was leaving for vacation - so I made it work. Plus, the interest is mega expensive - so every day the house is in my possession costs a lot of moolah.
Wait - how did I buy this house and pay for all the remodeling? Don't you have a money tree in your backyard? But seriously, my goal is to use 100% OPM (other people's money). I use my HELOC for the down payment and remodeling costs - and the rest is a HML (hard money loan). The interest is crazy expensive, but I turn around the project quickly and it's just the cost of doing business (NOTE to people with excess cash - want to earn interest on my next flip??).
So - here's the house.I love how it came out!! I was inspired by the tiles from my trip to Portugal and the breezy colors from my trip to Palm Springs. My style may not mesh with everyone - but I like to think the buyers will enjoy the happy vibe of their new home - with it's distinct Kate Fulford flair.