House #2: Almost “After” Pics

September 8, 2008 · 6 comments

I was hoping to post the AFTER pictures of The Bulge House today, but a lot has happened over the past 48 hours (both good and bad), and it appears the house isn’t completely “after” just yet…

Here are the almost after pics…

And here are the before pics, to refresh your memory…

There are still a number of little things (like landscaping cleanup, etc) that still need to be done, but these should give a decent idea of the cosmetic changes we made. And here is a before & after picture of the front of the house:

The Bulge House

Now, for what has happened in the past 48 hours:

  • After seeing how nice this house turned out, and given the other competition in the neighborhood, we’ve decided to put this house up for sale without renting it (more on that below). We spoke with our real estate agent, and while she said that this neighborhood didn’t have much transaction volume (in other words, we could expect it to take several months to sell), the comps indicate that we could potentially get more than we had previously had thought, and it’s worth the risk of not being able to sell it to potentially make a quick profit. We hope to list the house at the end of the week, though there are still some issues (more on that below, as well).
  • My “tenant” for this house and I have come to an agreement that he will not rent this house, as he and his girlfriend would rather settle down somewhere and not have to be displaced again in a month or three if/when this house sells. So, they will be renting an apartment for a couple months, and we will scout out a house that we will decide to rent to them and not put it on the market until they are ready to move. It will still require them to move in a couple months (only if they want to), but at least after the next move, they’ll have a semi-permanent place. And who knows, they may find something they want to buy in the meantime, and make their next move a long-term one.
  • Given that we’re going to list this place for sale without renters, we decided to increase the Scope of Work just a bit to make the property a bit more attractive to buyers. For example, there is a carport, but only grass leading from the driveway to it; we are going to put down gravel to allow cars to easily utilize that second parking spot. Additionally, we’re replacing the ugly 20-year-old vinyl floor in the kitchen, and doing some additional landscaping. Lastly, my wife is very unhappy with the “white” paint color I picked for the kitchen and baths (she says it makes the cabinets look worn), so we’ll throw yet another layer of paint in the kitchen. (I’ve spent over $1000 in paint this month!!!)
  • We’ve also run into a couple snags in the rehab that are putting our budget and schedule at risk. There is a plumbing problem from the laundry room that has caused great frustration; at this point, we’re just going to call in a plumber to reroute the line where we think there is a major blockage (even the industrial snake couldn’t get through it). There were also several minor plumbing issues that required some new plumbing under the kitchen sink and a toilet to be replaced. And when we pulled up the old vinyl floor in the kitchen, we found a bunch of mildew and a thin moisture barrier that was glued to the plywood sub-floor; instead of wasting time tackling this ourselves, we’re going to get a flooring guy in this week to finish that job.

Once I get all the details wrapped up (hopefully by Wednesday), and get my agent and house-stager in their to do their thing, I’ll post an update on budget and final rehab numbers. Because I didn’t have an original budget for selling the house (just a high-level estimate), it’s impossible to say whether I was on-budget on this one or not; but given the budget for renting the house, we are only about $1-2K over that, so I’m very, very happy with our ability to stay on budget on this one. As for schedule, the goal was to get it in rental shape by the end of this past weekend, and other than the lingering plumbing issue — which would mean no use of the washing machine — everything was ready for my tenants.

So, here is my final “punch list” for getting this thing in sale shape this week:

– Fix the plumbing issue
– Replace the kitchen floor
– New paint in kitchen
– Additional landscaping
– Gravel along the driveway/carport

6 responses to “House #2: Almost “After” Pics”

  1. Sonya says:

    Nice work JScott! I’m proud of you 😉 – – – jeesh. I sound like a mother. lol.

  2. Kristeen says:

    Great progress J. can’t wait until you have your first sale!

  3. Bruce says:

    Nice job. Did you change out the interior doors with new ones or did you paint the old ones white?

  4. J Scott says:

    No new doors or windows in this one.

    This was actually a relatively minor cosmetic rehab (paint, landscaping, new kitchen flooring, new light fixtures/fans, new door knobs/hardware, and new bathroom and kitchen hardware).

    Most of the changes in this house were the major systems — new roof, new A/C, new furnace, new hot water heater, new driveway, and all new appliances.

  5. Ben Voorhis says:

    You are my role model and some day I want to jump in to this. We have just paid off our debts (73K) and our now saving money very rapidly to get in to this business. Do you have a post on exactly how you search for properties and evalutate them. I know you said you put in a lot of bids, so do you physically view these properties or just low ball a bunch of offers? Do you also try to buy primarily wholesale, short sales, foreclosures and do you find any good deals on the MLS, or is that something new investors should avoid? Thanks for all you do, this is a great blog!

  6. J Scott says:

    Hi Ben,

    I have an entire book coming out on this topic in the next couple weeks…stay tuned!

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