Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I flipped a House and You can too

First off let me say that I am a Dave Ramsey fan, so you won't find anything about financing or obtaining financing in this article.   If you want to flip a house with financing, you will need to find an article on obtaining your financing.

First find a house to buy.  Here are some pics of the house I bought.

This is the house six months before I bought it.  Between the time this picture was taken and when I purchased the house, not a single thing was done to the house including mowing the grass.  As a result, when I stood in the front door and took a pic,k this was my view:

Wow those bushes grew.  I walked out onto the front walkway and took another picture.

Then at the end of the driveway, I snapped this lovely photo

I skipped taking pics of the dead bird in the house and the wig on the driveway.  I guess I just figured you got the idea.

This is the side yard.

When you entered the house, it put you into the Great Room which was 3 lovely shades including hurt your eyes yellow, lime green and a beige.  This room was open to the kitchen which was red...very very red.

Did I mention that the dishwasher did not hook up to the drain?  When someone used it, they had to pull the hose and and put it into the sink.

This was the first bedroom.  We called the color poo brown.  What else can I say?

This is the second bedroom.  It was painted peach with sand mixed into the paint...how great is that?

And in the master, which had a gorgeous big walk in closet, there was also a homemade burglar bar on the window.

the master bathroom had a not so gorgeous blue countertop and no floor.

It had good bones though which included a double sink.

and lastly the second bathroom.  It has mold growing on the tub.

Besides these problems, when we turned the water on to the house, we discovered why the house was abandoned.  When the water was turned on, the hot water heater leaked it's contents all over the garage.  For only 4,000 the plumber replaced the hot water heater, bringing it up to code.  That cost didn't include fixing leaks under every sink in the house.  That was extra.

Here is what I got:
For 65,000 I got a 1300 sq ft house with a one car garage, but I had to pay off a second mortgage of 5,000.  So I consider that I paid 70,000 for the house.
The inspection was over 8 pages long but did not include plumbing.   There was not a single room in the house that did not have at least one problem that appeared on the inspection report, plus the hot water heater was shot and there were leaks under every sink.  The tubs also had issues draining, but we figured out that they were just clogged from lack of cleaning.  The house was built around 1995 and from what we could tell, the only maintenance done to anything was the paint, which I would have to redo anyway because of bad color choices.   On my first day I pulled down the filter to the heating system and my worst fears were confirmed.  There was over 20 years of gunk on a furnace filter that should be changed monthly.   I saved your eyes and didn't take a picture of that.

  My original budget was 10,000, but I also knew that the place would need a new roof very soon and that was not included in my original budget.  I hired someone to paint the trim a darker beige than the brick.  He also did a few other quick handyman type jobs in the house for me such as replace the cabinet flooring under every sink in the house.  I decided to paint on my own, and while waiting for contractors every day, I grabbed a roller and painted.

We decided that the original laminate floor in the Great Room was ok, but the fireplace needed a new mantle.  I picked up a second hand mantle at the Habitat for Humanity store and we re-worked it to make it fit.   I also filled in a koi pond that was someone's homemade failed project.  They decided to place it right off the back patio, which was dangerous to anyone who had kids.  Since it was not functional and leaked anyway, it was an easy decision to fill the hole.

The front yard was so overgrown that we had to hire someone for the first mowing.  There was no way we were going to be able to get a mower to cut through 3 feet high grass, but after the first mow, we maintained the grass.  We did have to hire a landscaper to get rid of the bushes in the front.  In the six months the house was empty, they had grown so large that they could not be trimmed back.  The landscaper also got rid of several trees that were either dead or dying and were way too close to the house.

The plumber came and fixed all the plumbing issues and the electrician came and brought the kitchen outlets up to code and worked on some outlets that didn't work.  While he was there, I had him install a ceiling fan in the great room and the master bedroom and replace all the out dated light fixtures in the bathrooms.

I called in a company to clean out the fireplace just assuming that it had never been done before, and my hunch was right.  The chimney sweep confirmed that it did not appear that anyone had ever cleaned out the fireplace and he even found dead bird bones inside it.  Gross.

I chose tile for the bathrooms and the laundry area and made a big mistake.  I hired a guy off of craigslist to install my floors.  He charged $5 a sq foot, which was the going rate in the area.  It was dark when he finished and it was not until the next day that I noticed the floors appear uneven and within a few days, the tiles were breaking.  I tried to phone him back, but he had vanished.   I had to buy all new tile and pay to have the old tile removed then reinstalled.  Lesson learned.  Use angie's list to hire contractors.  Always.

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