Rehabs, Inspections, Rehabs

July 2, 2009 · 4 comments

Renovations are well underway on both The Mini House and The Sunglasses House, and I’m happy to report that a week in, both projects are still on-schedule and on-budget.

We actually had an interesting experience today over at The Sunglasses House…a county code enforcement inspector (the same inspector we had for The Second Chance House, coincidentally) was apparently driving by the property and noticed the big 30-yard dumpster in the driveway that we were using for demo. He pulled into the driveway right as our GC was pulling up, and they had a chance to speak. The inspector wanted to verify that our GC was licensed and that we had all our permits for the rehab.

Of course, as I’ve explained before, we only hire licensed and insured contractors, and we pull permits whenever necessary, so this wasn’t a big deal. In this case, we were missing one permit, so my GC needs to head down to the permit office tomorrow or Monday; but, had we been stupid and tried to cut corners by using unlicensed contractors or by not pulling permits, today’s experience could easily have derailed the project and thrown us over-schedule and over budget.

So, for all you house flippers out there, consider this a reminder — always use licensed and insured contractors, and always pull permits when your municipality requires it.

I showed up a few minutes later and had a chance to chat with the inspector (which is good, as he’ll probably be the one doing the inspections on this house throughout the rehab). Before he left, the inspector asked if we had any other properties we were working on. I told him about The Mini House, and he apparently headed down there next to check that one out. That one is a basic paint and carpet renovation, so we didn’t pull any permits, and according our contractors down there, he stopped in, looked around for about 2 minutes and left.

When I got down to The Mini House a while later, I was quite pleased with the progress. The interior paint was completed, all exterior work was done, and the fixtures and vinyl flooring were set to go in. We expect the house to be pretty much complete tomorrow, with just a few detailed saved for next week. Specifically, next week we’ll be getting the carpets cleaned, putting in the appliances, and getting a new garage door.

We expect to have this one on the market next weekend. Time to go order the staging furniture and another alarm system, as the other two sets are currently being used…

4 responses to “Rehabs, Inspections, Rehabs”

  1. Lisa Garcia says:

    J Scott,

    Just stumbled upon your blog as I have been contemplating starting up my own rei business. Great blog with tons of good info! Quick question, where do you store all your staging furniture? Do you rent a storage unit or just have a massive house with lots of empty rooms? 🙂 Hopefully you haven’t already addressed this question elsewhere on your blog……thanks.

    Lisa G.

  2. J Scott says:

    Hi Lisa,

    We’ve been pretty lucky that we always seem to have just enough furniture to fit into the houses we have open. We currently have two full sets and a half-set of furniture, and they always seem to be being used. That said, we have some extra storage space in our basement (of our personal house), and can use that if necessary.

    Sometimes we’ll let a house sit without furniture for a week or two if we think that furniture will be ready to move from another house in the near future, and we will occasionally move furniture out of a house before closing (but after we have a contract), if we really need it; of course, there’s a risk of doing that if the contract falls through, but we’ve been lucky so far.

    Also, while we haven’t had to do it yet, we’re not against renting storage space for furniture or to keep materials in inventory. We’ve found that the discounts we can get by buying materials in bulk (see my article on getting discounts at Home Depot), will more than cover the cost of renting a storage space, and also cuts down on the need to keep running back and forth to the hardware store.

  3. Lisa Garcia says:

    Thanks for the info!

  4. V says:

    Greetings! Love the blog and out of interest of your product and bought your business plans. They are good and similar to mine (except I buy REOs exclusively – lots of inventory these days).

    I am writing because your interactions with inspectors are interesting to me, in that they are very different from my experiences in Chicago. What you’ve heard about the Chicago inspectors are true – they can be very corrupt. However, these days there have been a lot of busts (Federal indictments all around) so they are less corruptible. I have always played by the rules and have always got permits, which is one of the most difficult tasks I have ever partaken. Sounds great in Atlanta that your contractor can just run to the Buildings Dept and pick up a permit. Here we have to wait at Zoning at 6 am (line starts developing around 5), and then have to get into Buildings Dept where we then have to work with underpaid unhappy Project Managers that recently saw their friends goto jail. I a glad that these are the Buildings Dept ppl that are good and didn’t goto jail, but geez louise, make our permit system more like Atlanta!

    Love the blog, keep up the great work.

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