Greetings BP community,

Since we are jumping into our first real investment property, we’d deeply appreciate any and all advice.  Here’s where we are:

We are under contract to purchase a single family residence in South Tampa

Purchase price: $483,000

Est Rehab: $70,000 (number provided by investment company’s GC.  We are looking for a GC of our own to get an independent quote)

ARV: $710,000 (based on comps in the area)

The upsides: The house was built in 1986 and is owned by the original owner and is in original condition.  Based on photos, virtual walkthrough, and disclosures, the home is in good shape and needs cosmetics all around.  It’s large (2800sqft with attached two-car garage).  The location is a blessing and a curse.  The upside is it is in a highly desirable neighborhood, best schools in the region and central to shops, airport and more.

The cons: It’s located on a two-lane road with moderate rush hour traffic.  There’s a traffic light almost directly in front of the house but only for pedestrians, no cross streets.  It’s in a flood zone (AE).  We’re in the process of getting an elevation certificate.  I have a feeling I’m going to get a ton of “stay away” responses because of the flood issue, but we’ve accepted this as an issue we are willing to deal with and find ways to mitigate the potential downsides.

We intend to live in the home for three years while our daughter finishes high school and we fix the place up.  We will do as much of the work as we can while complying with FL code and inspection requirements.  Once the three years is up, we will evaluate sale/rent options.

We are looking for any advice, lessons learned or tips you all have.


Since we don’t live/know anyone in the area, finding a trustworthy GC has been challenging.  How did you find an out of area GC to work with.

Self help - since we plan on doing as much of the work as we can, any lessons learned on “I’d never do that again” or “best decision ever” on how you did your rehab work.  We plan to work closely with the local code enforcement office to build a relationship hoping it will cut down on redos, missed paperwork, etc.

If anyone has experience with Florida flood zone insurance, issues, etc.

Thanks and we’re looking forward to your advice,