Update for 10/22/2008

October 22, 2008 · 1 comment

Now that I’m down to rehabbing a single house for the first time in over a month (The Bulge House sale just closed and The Corn House is now on the market), things feel very slow. I’ve decided to use much of the past two days to look at new houses on the market, focus on simplifying and automating some additional business processes, and catching up on some sleep.

Here’s a general update of what’s going on…

Making Offers

We made two offers so far this week:

  1. The first is a very cute house in a great neighborhood. It’s currently a 3/3 with a bonus room (the listing says 3/2, which is weird), and sits on a corner lot with great curb appeal. My main concern about this property is that there is some subtle foundation issues in part of the house (the floor is sunken just a bit) that will have to be looked at and likely addressed. For this reason, I made a very low offer relative to the listing price, and requested 10 days to do my due diligence before locking myself into the purchase. I’m not sure if I’ll get the property or not, but if so, and assuming the foundation issues aren’t too expensive to rectify, this should be a great deal.
  2. The second is more of a long-term investment. The property has severe foundation issues, and may even need to be knocked down and rebuilt from the ground up. I’d be purchasing the property for the value of the land, and would likely just hold it until the market improved, at which point I would decide how to proceed. The neighborhood comps are in the upper $100’s ($170K-195K), and I’m hoping to pick up the property for $25K. If I do get it at this price, I’d likely bring in a structural engineer to assess the issues, and who knows, maybe at that price, a rehab is feasible.

House #1: The Corn House

I’m a little disappointed that we haven’t had much (if any) traffic through The Corn House since it was listed, and this has given my wife and I the motivation to do some of our own marketing. In addition to putting up a Craigslist ad, we’ve decided to hold an open house this coming weekend for our Corn House neighbors and anyone else that might like to stop by.

Apparently, there’s been a lot of buzz in the neighborhood since the renovations started, and everyone is eager to see how the house turned out. One of our neighbors stopped by yesterday to tour the house, and was amazed at the transformation; she practically insisted that we open the house up this weekend for a neighborhood viewing, and given that many of the neighbors have lived in their houses for 20-30 years, a neighborhood open house may help us find a buyer. Of course, we’ll also advertise the open house more widely, as long as we’ll be there.

We also realized that there is no street sign at the top of The Corn House street. This was an oversight of mine, as I don’t think there’s been a sign there the entire time we’ve owned the house. My brother called the County Commissioners office and requested that a new sign be installed; hopefully that will happen in the next week or so.

House #3: The Second Chance House

Things are moving slowing at The Second Chance House this week. My GC had a family emergency earlier in the week, and while the carpenter and HVAC guys are finishing up without any additional oversight, we’re not getting the electrician in until the GC is back to work. In the meantime, I’m focusing on getting the landscaping completed (I found a new landscaper who is fantastic, and who has been able to work within my budget on a couple houses now), and am starting to think about some additional selling features we may add, such as an extra parking area, given there’s no garage at this property.

Also, we’ve been highly considering trying to get the address of this house changed. The house sits on a corner lot, at the intersection of two streets. The designated street name is rather obscure and difficult to pronounce, while the cross-street is a much nicer sounding name. Normally I wouldn’t bother making the effort to change the address to the other cross-street, but in this case, there’s absolutely no reason why the address wasn’t designated on the cross-street when it was built. Not only does the driveway hit the other cross-street (the main criteria for address naming), but the mailbox is on the other cross-street, and the house essentially faces the other cross-street. There’s little room for argument that the address shouldn’t be the other cross-street.

The upside to changing the name is that the other street has a nicer sounding name, and also that it would be difficult for potential buyers to see exactly what I paid for this property (which would likely annoy them given what I’ll be selling it for). The downside to changing the name is that the house would be difficult to find using mapping software (Google Maps, Mapquest, etc) or using a GPS. And finding information on Zillow.com, Trulia.com, or in the tax records would also be difficult. Additionally, the utility departments would have to be notified, the Post Office would have to update their records, and who knows what else would likely come up.

All that said, I think the “pros” outweigh the “cons” for this one, and we’ll likely try to get the address changed before we put it on the market.

House #4: The Yellow Stain House

Closing is scheduled for next Tuesday on The Yellow Stain House, which would put it at just about two weeks past the contract signing date. It’s very nice to have a lender who can close in two weeks, and it will be nice to get started on this property before any additional foundation issues arise. Assuming closing happens on Tuesday, we’re scheduled to have the foundation repair work started on Thursday, and perhaps get demo rolling on the main level at the same time.

One response to “Update for 10/22/2008”

  1. Bilgefisher says:

    Very smart move on the open house. Word of mouth can often times lead to a sale and a happy neighbor. Even if you get one sale in 10 this way, I think the small amount of time dedicated to an open house will pay for itself. This can also be very beneficial, when you start renting homes. It will show your neighbors your not some greedy investor and someone trying to improve a neighborhood.

    I’ll be very curious to see if the open house leads to potential buyers. Good Luck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *