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Friday, July 24, 2015

Home Again.

I get asked on a fairly regular basis about flipping houses - David has done it for more than a decade now and although we are not setting the world on fire, we do ok. But it's not as easy as it looks and the reason David makes a profit is because he's able to do most of the work himself. I help - I've been trash detail, I'm not bad at reconfiguring to get the most out of the space - I'm often astonished at how poorly a small house can be laid out and how you can increase the usable space just by moving a few walls. I check every clearance pile I see, you'd be amazed at the things we get at a fraction of the price simply because no one looks - or because it's not perfect. I got a $350 tub for $40 because it had a small - and very fixable crack in the corner. We have to make every dime count so David scours the classifieds for building materials,  we reuse whenever we can, scratches can be buffed, dents can be hidden. And the house itself - finding a foreclosure is easy, finding one that you can fix, will make a profit and the denizens of the neighborhood will not be walking off with the construction materials, not so much. Buying a house never goes smoothly, there's delays, glitches in the title, crazy relatives that are super pissed off about the way the will was read. We bought one house that sat for 3 years, surrounded by relatives who would not take over the payments. Instead they waited for it to go into foreclosure, refused to pay what was left on the mortgage and then got mad when we bought it! They harassed David until he called one of them - she kept hollering about a Dirty Deal, David just told her they'd had every opportunity to buy it and he had nothing to do with any of that, if he hadn't bought someone certainly would have. That shut it down thank goodness. And finding one to buy requires scrolling through house after house on the internet, going out to look,then meeting with RE if it's viable, crawling through moldy, dirty and sometimes rather shaky houses. Some of them flat out stink, the East Stroudburg house was referred to as The Cat Pee House, the one in Bridgeport had such thick nicotine we had to wear masks to spray down the walls with straight Greased Lightening. We've made few mistakes along the way, financial and otherwise, but all in all, it's not a bad way to go. And it is fun buying yet another house, standing in the wreckage imagining what it will look like when it's rehabbed. The neighbors will often give you the history and David finds them often relieved he's there fixing it up, the old eyesore being turned slowly back into a home again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am impressed when anyone can make a profit by selling something they have made. I make and sell crafts and a lot of work goes into organizing, planning, designing and carrying through. I can see the same tasks to flip a house.