Not So Fast!

March 10, 2009 · 4 comments

I came to an important realization today…sometimes trying to finish a flip quickly causes more stress and frustration than taking your time…

First, there’s the issue of the FHA 90 Day Rule, which states that when you purchase a property (like I do), you have to wait at least 90 days to resell that property to a buyer who is using an FHA loan to fund the purchase. Because most of our buyers these days are using FHA loans, I can’t turn around and sell my properties to them for at least 90 days (I can get them under contract, but can’t close on the sale). So, even if I can turn a property around in 2 weeks, I likely still have to wait 10 more weeks to sell it!

Secondly — and most importantly — when you try to rehab too quickly, you end up creating lots of little issues that must be revisited over and over throughout the flip. For example, in my attempt to rehab The Red Garage House very quickly, I had the hardwood floors refinished immediately after the painting was complete and before the lighting had been installed. I did this because my GC (the one who installs the lighting) needed two days off last week, and I figured it would be the perfect time to get my hardwood guy in there for the refinishing.

What I didn’t anticipate was that my GC would need to be moving a ladder around the floors to install the lights, and all the other contractors would need to be walking on the floors for the next week trying to finish up the flip. Had I brought the hardwood guy in later, it would have cost me a couple extra days (scheduling would have been less optimal), but there would have been a lot less stress about having everyone walking on our refinished floors.

There are always going to be difficult scheduling situations (for example, if you install the appliances after the floors are finished, you risk scratching up the floors, but if you install them before the floors are finished, it’s impossible to finish the floors under the appliances), but rushing the process just creates more stress and frustration than is necessary.

In the future, I’m stretching out my rehabs a little bit, even if it means that there are days where the house is sitting empty…in terms of stress levels, better to have too little going on than too much…especially when I can’t sell the house for another 10 weeks anyway!

4 responses to “Not So Fast!”

  1. Mallan says:

    You have to learn as you go which is better than not learning at all. The are over 1,000,000 things you will learn along the way. In fact there are 1,000,007 things

  2. Hakrjak says:

    Probably sage advice.

    Of course in your flips, it sounds like you are flush with cash — So it’s got to be about a 10X less stressfull environment than the one I operate in. haha Seems like every deal, I am “all in” before we get it on the market, and then I’m itching for my golden payday every moment until we get to closing — Second guessing every decision I made, and hoping I got it right.


    – Hakrjak

  3. Sam says:

    It took me three rehabs before I figured this out. It just doesn’t pay to rush a rehab done in 4 or 5 weeks and then watching it sit for a month and a half because an FHA buyer can’t touch it. Now I’ve got my typical rehab scheduled out to 8 weeks, which allows me to work 6-8 hour days instead of 10-12 hours each day. No reason to kill yourself if you’re going to sell the same time anyway.

  4. ezra says:

    Just remember not to cut corners! Watch below…

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