Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Termites...Water...Mold....ohh my.....a word on Inspections.. there will not be any (cool or uncool) photos to go along with this post, well maybe...  Inspections in general send a chill down my spine.  Whether it is with the city/county for building inspections or home inspections when you are selling a house.  They are make or break the sale or budget no matter what kind it is.

A couple of days ago we got the inspection report back on the Springview house; the house we dropped $150k and then accepted an offer $90k lower than that!  Lets just say I may have wanted to vomit after seeing the report, and what the sellers wanted done.  They either wanted everything they asked for fixed....or $20k off the already reduced did I feel slightly responsible for everything on the being the contractor and all.  All I kept thinking was....the offer is going to fall through and we are going to have to try and sell this stupid house again, and I am going to have to fix all the work (mainly being in the crawl space...the horrible bowels of the home).

This brings me to why I was writing this....what was the reason?  Ohhh perfect as you may think a house isn't.  Sometimes it pays to get a PRE-home inspection so you can figure out and fix any glaring defects with the property.  While this may not have saved us any money in the long run...having an inspection report for potential buyers, makes them feel more at ease with the house; and will more than certainly make for an easier and faster closing.

So this brings me to the beginning of the end (without pictures).  Our inspection report came as a surprise to us, it found "moisture" in the crawlspace, termite damage to some of the floor joists, and MOLD!!!  Granted, all of this was unknown to us (and completely fixable), someone should of told us right?!  Well now it doesn't matter.  We countered our counter with $15k off of our contract price and it has been accepted....hallelujah... Springview is closing on April 7th; and this means that we can MAYBE get Porter...will keep y'all updated...all one of you...yes Tyler since you are the only one following it comes down to you.

Moral of the story, while simple and short, get a home inspection as a buyer; and it pays to have one as a seller (as I am finding out).  My experience has never been bad after an inspection...but it is one of those unknowns that always makes me hold my breathe until the final report comes in.....

 Only our fair godmother can keep us safe from inspections!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Traditional vs Modern...or is it Traditional and Modern? Carrara Marble Edition and I went to a tile shop recently to find tiles for the rehab house we have not yet acquired...and I kinda fell in love with carrara marble, as tiles, counters, and especially the basket weave.  After showing houses to my friends Cip and Jackie in search of their first home...we saw a bath with similar cheaper porcelain basket weave.  After seeing the carrara and chinchilla marble I have found my new favorite natural stone.  I am sorry to admit that the only reason I knew what chinchilla marble was, is because I watch Nip/Tuck...but I digress.  So back to the debate. While at the tile shop I saw a display similar to this: 

The sales lady and I got into a slight debate as to whether this was considered modern or being the one saying that it was both...her saying that it was only classic....little did she know.  So I decided that this will be the tile for the half bath...unless she can get me a great price; where as this will be the tile for the master bath as well.  After searching the amazing internet and google I found a picture that is pretty much exactly what I want do do with the half bath.

So is the mix between classic and modern really attainable?  I believe it is...and I think that carrara is where its AT!!  I will soon put up a post of a lot of my tile ideas and what I would like to do in the extra bath and master if I cannot afford to put the carrara in the master.  I think that if you want a timeless look with a modern twist...mix in that has been around since the ancient Romans....they seemed to be pretty classy.

So in honor of this beautiful natural stone I have found quite a few pictures that show how timeless and modern it can be.  It is the perfect way to mix a little old world class with some modern clean lines. Also imagine that beautiful marble paired with a vanity like this (vanities are the furniture of the bathroom and will soon have its own post):

And now for more pictures...b/c its more fun to look at pictures than it is to read:


Soo...when remodeling your kitchen or bath...if budget allows...carrara is the timeless classic that should be considered, if not used.  Remember what sets you apart makes you sell...

Setting off your flip or home.... a Real Estate agent...I get the pleasure of showing many homes, and hearing what wows buyers and what turns them off.  I want my new target market for my flips to be first time home buyers in their 20's (how will I know what they like?) thing that I know I like is tech stuff, modern design, and traditional homes....ok so some may think the other two don't really go together, but we will cover that another day.

So the tech part, being a PC user turned, into everything Mac person (although I still use a 5 year old Dell Inspiron laptop with broken speakers) I own an iPhone.  So every time the new app commercial comes out I have to stop speeding through the DVR, back it up, and watch.  The other day when I saw the app commercial with the Schlage Security Link app, controlling interior lights, I immediately researched and found out you had to pay a monthly subscription for it.....I was saddened....but then I saw another commercial not Mac related that had the same feature....I did more research and found a system that had no monthly fees and you can control the whole home (security system, HVAC, and ALL LIGHTS!!).
So this brings me to the reason for this post.  If you were deciding between two homes...around the same price, and one had the ability to control the home from your iPhone (or  iPod Touch which is included in the sale of the home) which would you choose....hopefully the tech home.  Now down to the price....almost all switches are dimmers, so not only can the light be turned on and off through your smartphone but you can control the brightness...ok price for an entire 1500 sqft home all dimmers, hvac control, and base station come to UNDER $1000!!  Other features are creating lighting scenes and controlling the temperature of your home, even has security camera capabilities (security camera add-on).

So, if you could sell your home a month or two sooner than expected you have actually paid for the system and a little bit extra based on a home worth $200, B/c that is two months less of interest you have to pay...and if you are stuck with the home even after installing, at least you have a cool new gadget to play with while you wait for it to sell!!

So moral for different in a GOOD way to home pays off in the end!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My little jem of a house....

Well like I said I have found the next house to flip...I am taking a much more conservative approach to this one, and have actually gotten to walk through the property since it is not a foreclosure.  Its on Porter, in East Nashville right down from Family Wash.

So here is the little gem...the front at least.  While yes this will need a lot of work, it is partially demoed...and the flipping bug has bitten me again after two years.

Now what is stopping of right now the price is a sticking point.  We are off by a measly $10k....but that equates to new Ikea cabinets, countertops, and professional stainless steel appliances.

A finance professor from college used to always say..."Cash is King."  Granted he was talking about a companies strength is their cash on hand and a positive cash flow, but I feel it applies directly to our current flipping situation.  While we may have the ability to borrow money....we cannot borrow against this house, and the reason this house is being sold, is because the owner doesn't have the cash to fix it up and cannot obtain financing.  Ok bla bla bla right.

In my head I can already see which walls will be taken down, which new ones will be built, where the load bearing LVL's will have to be installed, and which walls will contain the plumbing and hvac stacks....the house has sold in my mind already.  It is a horrible horrible thing, b/c we have come to an impasse with the sellers, and the flipping home of my that as of now....a dream.  To get more of you as excited about this possible flip as I am, I am going to post some pictures of the house, and then later on post what I plan on doing in different rooms and what I feel is "trending" as far as styles and where to add money that you will either see an instant return on investment, or a decreased Days on Market when going to sell your house.  I will also add some awesome ideas and products that are out right now to help your "flip" sell (everyone's home is a flip when they go to sell it, just a really long one depending on how many years or months you have been there).

Here are some exterior pictures:

And now some interior pictures:


And this is the my fine little future flip....stay tuned to what I think it should look like and what I think should be in the house...

Flipping...Past, Present, & Future

So as I hinted to before, flipping homes has been my source of income since the end of 2005.  I got into the rehabbing world at the time of the upturn in real estate prices.  It was when anyone and everyone had the Midas touch for flipping in real estate....add some paint increase the price $15k and call it a day.  Time was even on your side, we would purchase a property; and four months later, after we had gone over budget in both money and time, we were able to increase the listing price by $20k-$40k...just because we had held it longer than we had wanted! 

Ohh the good ole days...they lasted for a while....until IT happened, the mortgage crisis, well while we in Tennessee remained relatively unaffected as far as home prices went, it was taking longer to sell a a whole 60 or 90 days!! We had gotten so used to putting the sign in the yard and getting three offers by the end of the weekend, we had forgotten what the market should really be like.  However, the homes we were flipping seemed to be immune to this new crisis, our two current properties on the market, Gordon Petty and Tinnan, sold without a hitch, with multiple offers and above asking!

So we thought, what could go wrong with real estate? I mean it was a sure thing right?  Well enter the house from hell...Springview.  I did my research as I always did, estimating costs, looking at comparables, searching the title to make sure it would be a smooth purchase on the court house steps...ohh yes that is right at the time we were buying foreclosures sight unseen for straight up cold hard cash. I mean this house was right under 4,000 sqft in Franklin on 10.5 ACRES....something that is extremely hard to come by.  Yes it was a ranch and yes they had previously tried to sell it with no luck...but I mean I could tell from the outside the home needed some work, it could be easily estimated without going inside...or so I thought.  So I show up to the courthouse steps research folder in hand, ready to put my max bid of $500k on the property, (yes cash) all the familiar flipping faces were there, my enemies...we had bid against each other for years now.  The enormous butterflies in my stomach never seemed to go away on bidding days.  So I stood, and I waited as the auctioneer sold the first property of the day.  Next up, 435 Springview Dr. ohh the butterflies were bursting to get out.  The auctioneer says, "the bank has an opening bid of $349,000," ohh wow this is going to be a long auction I thought, since we are going to be in a bidding war.  I threw out my first bid of $350,000.  I looked around expecting a competing bid from my fellow rehabbers....nothing...$350,000 going once...twice....sold to Mr. Neel.  At this point I was FREAKING out....had I missed something that everyone else had seen?  Or, did they just not know the value of the property was in the $750k dollar range?

Well fast forward two years and more than $200k later, and the house has just gone under contract for.....$510,000, yes a loss, the first one of my flipping career.  Yes the $200,000 is an inflated amount set my my parents (IRS if you are reading this I am actually lying that is the exact amount if not less that we put into the house) but still what happened to the estimated $750,000?  What could possibly have happened? Well to all of you thinking of flipping, when flipping in the upper-end of the home market, GARAGES ARE KEY!! Everyone said what a great price the property was at $749k when I had listed the property just no garage, I was down to $599,000 when we got the lowest ball offer of all low ball offers.  Yet...we took it...ready to get out of this sinkhole of a property, and do what....find the next flip!

Well...I have found it....and that is what has prompted me to document its transformation from dilapidated the awesome classic/modern bungalow it always wanted to be....