Ever wondered how hard it would be to fix up a house, sell it and make a profit? Like the idea of being your own boss and setting your own hours? Well, I did. So I bought a place in Connecticut, sold it and now I am looking for house number two.
Lots of people are trying their hand at renovation. There are tons of TV shows about it and there are lots of properties in poor condition on the market. But I have heard tons of stories of people who were burned. So if you want to be successful, there are a few things that are essential to the equation.
So What are The 3 Secrets to Success?
The number one key is buying at the right price. If you buy it for $100 and you know it will sell for $200 and it needs $140 to get it up to scratch, you have yourself a deal. So research is key. I also planned on selling the property without an agent. This can save a lot of headaches and you are more likely to get a higher price. So, find out what the property will sell for once it is fixed up and work out how much it’s going to cost to fix it. Sounds simple but you would be amazed at how many contractors had to come and work for me because they tried it and failed dismally.
The next most important factor was buying in the right area. Find the least expensive property in a nice, clean neighborhood. A good school district is a must.
And finally, paying with cash. This was a big factor in winning the bid. There were 4 other bids knocked out of the running because I had cash and could close immediately. There are all kinds of ways to get your house without cash. But that’s another story.
The rest was just a lot of hard work and watching Youtube. I had a professional put a new roof on and a plumber and a little bit of electrical work, but I pretty much did everything from start to finish.
The main reason that people fail when doing this kind of project, is that they spend too much on modernizing without considering the value of the house. Every street has a ceiling which will dictate what buyers will pay no matter how fancy the kitchen or bathroom. If I had replaced the entire kitchen I would have blown most of my profit. Most kitchens can be transformed with a lick of paint and new hardware on the cabinets, a new floor, and new appliances. Especially if the cabinets were made 30-40 years ago. Much better quality than the stuff you find today.
I was pretty bold with the color choice for the outside and I was very lucky to get away with it. Most of the house was an inoffensive off-white/cream inside and I really wanted a strong first impression. Luckily the people who placed offers all loved the boldness. A bit risky but it paid off.
What was the most surprising thing?
How easy this stuff is. It really is. And if you don’t know how to put in a new door frame, go to Youtube and watch a professional do it. Then copy them.
It seems there are a ton of people out there willing to totally rip you off given half the chance. I had quotes for a $5000 roof job, that ranged from $8000-$12000. Know what the price of the job is worth before you hire someone to do anything. Punch the job into HomeAdvisor and find out what it’s worth.
This is the property before I painted it…
Pretty awesome transformation. White trim and 2 coats of Sherwin Williams Super Paint. They have tons of deals so you can always get paint at 30-50% off. Throw up a $10 pair of shutters and you have yourself a little gem.
The counters are just painted using a Giani granite paint kit. You really can’t tell they are not granite until you touch them. Less than $100 v $1500 without labor. The buyer loved the kitchen and they can always upgrade eventually. Buy the appliances in the sales. I saved $200 on each unit.
Living Room Before…
Living Room After…
If you are thinking about doing a renovation, pay attention to the 3 secrets and you will be way ahead of the game. And remember to enjoy yourself.
I just sold my 5 flip and I’m ready to retire and get myself a garden and some chickens. Good Luck everyone.