Archive for the ‘Rehabs’ Category

YEAH!!! Pensacola Update…we fired our contractor!

Friday, April 13th, 2007

OK you guys…you’re not going to believe this…after over 3 months, we finally found our contractor to fire him! He wasn’t returning calls, some of his numbers we had were disconnected, we called at numbers he had given us and people lied and told us they didn’t know who he was…the challenge was, until we officially “fired” him and had him sign off on a lien waiver, if we did any other work to the house we could have ended up having to pay him too if he claimed that HE had done the work and never been paid. So the house has just been sitting there for 3 months untouched.

At one point, he had pointed out to Tim the house he was moving to, so Tim knew how to get there, but didn’t know the address. This morning Tim showed up at his door at 8am with a lien waiver in hand (remember this is 6 hours away from where we live) and HE WAS HOME!

We have the lien waiver in hand, and Tim is meeting with a replacement contractor this afternoon to get the work finished (I won’t mention that this is the same one that was ORIGINALLY supposed to do the work when we first bought the property, strung us along for 60 days, then said “oh, I’m too busy to do the job right now” which led us to find the 2nd guy that was so awful!), I guess I also shouldn’t mention that the one that is supposedly going to finish the job now is Tim’s Uncle!!! But I am going to mention it to you because the lesson is: Don’t Hire Family!

We also are listing the property today with a flat-fee broker to get it back in MLS and work on getting it sold, although our “no banks needed” sign is still getting a ton of calls, just the property was too rough for the people that were looking at it.

We’ll keep you updated!

Update on Houses: Dogs vs. Real Estate

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Well, November and December were very slow for us, we had very few calls on our houses for sale, and even fewer showings…(could have been because we were traveling so much!)

But on January 1st, someone flipped the buyer switch and we have been getting TONS of calls. We got our Pine Hills house under contract and the appraisal is today, so that will probably close next week. The call volume on that house has been CRAZY!

Musing Thought: 4 rott/pitt bull mix dogs next door chained to trees/bark alot when anybody walks on side or back of house/scares buyers away…put up privacy fence on that side for $900 and get an offer the same week…coincidence? Or fence?

No, seriously…we have had challenges selling houses in the past with dogs next door, so when you are analyzing properties, keep that in mind. A new investor recently showed me a house she was wholesaling, and it was in an OK neighborhood, except to get to this particular house, you had to drive down a little dirt path between 2 houses, then at the end you took a sharp right, go past the house with the pitt bull chained up and the 2 cars without tires up on jacks then you get to the house for sale. She couldn’t understand why I wasn’t real excited about the house…can you figure it out?

Anyways…no contracts on the others yet, but getting activity. I non-renewed one of my tenants and am in the middle of rehabbing it for sale, and then another one of my tenants disappeared on us, so we are rehabbing that one to re-rent it…so we are keeping pretty busy right now.

I’ll keep you posted on progress!

Update on Real Estate Stuff

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Hey all!  Is anyone else tired of hearing about all the doom and gloom in the media about the real estate market?  Some areas are having a challenge, but that’s the time when REAL investors make great money.  This is the market we’ve been waiting for!

Updates on houses:

My lease-option tenant is supposed to be closing next week.  That will be a nice check!  Especially since I called the person that holds the private 2nd on it and asked “do you want to be paid off?  or would you like to move it to another property and keep collecting payments?”  their answer was keep collecting payments, so this gives me more working capital for the next one!

My house in Apopka is also supposed to be closing next week, and everyone (realtor and mortgage broker) are assuring me that everything is going smoothly, although I have my doubts, cross your fingers for me!  (I only bought that one in July, so we’re right at 4 months)

Our contractor in Pensacola seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth and hasn’t returned any calls in a week!  We may have an itsy-bitsy challenge there!  He was supposed to have been done last Monday and wasn’t…I’ll keep you posted.

They’re laying sod at my Valencia house tomorrow…it’s going to look sweet!

Bye for now!

Did I interrupt a date?

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

Remember the roach house photos last week? Well, this is the same house…we had some other guests staying in our property that were not welcome, so we “offed” them, Soprano’s style!


Remember the photo from Sept. 13th of the backyard with the “barn” shed all overgrown? Look at it now! (gave you the before picture too!)

Took over a new property…German Cockroaches!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

We just got posession of a house we bought a few weeks ago (this was the one with the $3,000 hold-back if they weren’t out in time!) and I went to look at it, since I had never seen it before. Overall it looked like a pretty basic rehab, paint/flooring/new countertop/major landscaping/de-smell (oh, I wish I could upload the smell to this page to share with you!) and as I was walking around, I opened the front door and hundreds of German Cockroaches came running out of the door jamb! So I immediately called my trusty pest control guy who came right over to start treatment, because the German kind are really hard to get rid of and it will take 3-4 treatments. While he was there, he noticed some termite damage on the room addition, but he can’t get to the outside to inspect because it is too overgrown, so he will have to check later after the yard is cleaned DSC02411.JPGGerman CockroachesDSC02417.JPG They are supposed to be starting the yard cleanup today. I attached a few photos for you: overgrown yard (notice the electric meter has been pulled), cockroaches, and the medallion that was sunk in the concrete at the carport (just thought it was neat!)

How I just made $3,000 from a clause in a contract!

Monday, September 4th, 2006

I’ve always had a pretty hard-fast rule that I would not let the seller stay in the property after closing, but earlier this year, we found a good way to let them stay (just for a few weeks to pack, not long term!) but still protect yourself.  We now use a “Post-Occupancy” addendum which basically has the title company hold some of their proceeds in escrow and if they are not out by a certain date, that money gets released to me (this only works if the seller is getting money from the sale).  So here’s the one that just happened:

We closed on a house August 15th that 2 sisters were living in.  We held back $3,000 in escrow at the title company and wrote up a lease and an agreement that if they were not out by August 31st then $100 per day would be our “rent” and would be taken out of their escrow money.  It also said that if they were not out by Sunday, September 3rd (yesterday) that the whole $3,000 would be released to me and they would be holdover tenants and we would have full powers to evict.  There was also a clause that said if the place was not cleaned out and broom swept (no junk, no furniture, no food in fridge, etc.) that the actual cleaning costs to hire someone would come out of the escrow money also. (That part I learned on a deal a few months ago…I used to just put a flat $500 if it wasn’t cleaned out, but one of my recent deals cost me $1,200 to clean out ((dumpster rental was $500 alone!)) so his $500 didn’t go very far, although it’s better than zero which is what most investors put in contracts!).

Anyways, back to the $3,000…I just drove by the property and they’re still there!!!  My partner on this deal, Pat, said he spoke with them on Friday and they knew they only had the weekend, they were almost done, and they would call him to set up a walk through.  So, looks like we just upped our profit $3,000 (less a few days holding costs and whatever it costs to get them out).

I’ll keep you posted!

Oh, by the way, one of the guys giving us a bid on the Pensacola house went by on Friday and I guess some neighborhood kids broke in and vandalized the place, I don’t know how bad yet, I guess broke some of the toilets, knocked holes in the drywall…just goes to show how a vacant house carries risks…get them rehabbed and sold asap!

And the other Pensacola house I had an offer countered on last week…we revised our offer significantly downward and I guess it has been rejected…oh well!  Tim didn’t like the numbers on that one anyway.

Keep makin’ offers!


Broken Window!

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

Tim went to show Country Club today to a potential buyer and the front kitchen windowBroken Window was busted out…probably just neighborhood kids, but that shows that vacant properties attract vandalism! Anyways…the couple liked the house, so now we just need to get the mortgage done for them…cross your fingers!

Update on the tile job at Thompson…he has called already 3 times today, I guess the job is done, and to quote him “I really NEED the check today” so now one of us needs to drive 30 minutes to go check out the work…as opposed to next time we are in the area like we are used to. Live and learn!

That’s a day in the life of…(but it’s only 2pm, so we’ll see!)

What’s $200 worth to you?

Monday, August 21st, 2006

I have 4 rehabs going right now, and one more that I am waiting on the sellers to move out in 9 days, then I’ll have 5 going. I needed bad tile ripped up and new tile laid at the one on Thompson Rd, so I called my normal flooring company and they quoted me $4 a foot, for a total invoice of about $1,800. My handyman’s assistant’s boyfriend had just gone into the tile installation biz for himself after 10 years of working for someone else, so we decided to give him a shot and save a few hundred dollars. He gave me a shopping list to go to Lowe’s and buy tile and thinset (would have been included in the other bid) so it took an hour there getting someone to bring the tile to our truck, which sank to the axels when they loaded the pallet (I thought Tim was going to die!) then we drove to the house (30 minutes from us) and the tile guy had already left, so we had to unload 42 boxes of tile ourselves, but we were on our way to a meeting, so we went to the meeting sweaty! Then he calls and asks for an advance…I usually only pay when the job is done, but he had torn out all the tile already, and he said he needed money for the dump fees (and money for supplies, but I had already bought everything…go figure!). So, I gave him $300.

Today (8/21) he calls and asks where the grout is…he never told me he needed grout (there’s another trip to Lowe’s and a 30 minute drive and another receipt), I thought that was included in the bid (it’s included with my normal tile company) and now he is asking for money to go to the dump (which is what I thought the first $300 was covering), and now he says he needs money to cover fixing what the handyman had messed up on the backer board for the tile counter top (no, we don’t usually do tile, but laminate comes in 12 foot lengths, and this is a 12.5 foot run of counter, and no, that was not in our original figures on the repairs).

So, anyways, to sum up…to save $200, I have now spent almost 2 hours at Lowe’s and 2 round-trips to the house (30 minutes each way) is another 2 hours, and add up all the nickels and dimes he’s adding…and, I haven’t even seen the quality of his work yet!
Next time I’ll have my regular tile guy do the work, he measures, delivers, does all the work, and sends me a bill when it’s all over…my 4 hours of time could have been spent more efficiently somewhere else (like making offers!).

Lesson Learned: If you have good tradesman…let them do the work, don’t try to save a few bucks, it will backfire on you most of the time.