ONE major change the house needs is putting me over budget...

18 Replies

OK.  I bought a house to flip... needs updating, all original or one 90's kitchen remodel.  Needs all cosmetic.  no structural issues...  But its a big house and my bids are coming in a BIT over what I wanted.  I am doing all the facelift stuff, new baths, new kitchen, new flooring, paint, fixtures, lighting etc...

It has a 15' square sunken living room DIRECTLY in front of you as you enter the front  door.  It is the one major change the house "needs"  realtors, all the women I have walked through it... all hated it.    But it is my only real large "optional item"

see video


I believe that it is awful and is the only real "I liked that house BUT" item in the property... however... I wont be living there. One of my contractors who flips SFH's and multi's said I am "putting out a fire" before I know its an issue. and that I wont get the $7k back out of it for fixing the floor. So what to do? Fix this issue and hope the extra mile puts me at the top of the realtor's ARV price goal? or leave it and risk showing a turd to people with $75k in other work... and losing my butt.....?

I would rather lose $7,000 on my projected profit and get rid of the house than have it sit on the market for 7 months and carry the costs. I would do everything myself and save 50% of the rehab costs.

I can't stand those sunken living rooms personally. Seems around here there must have been a time when they were "all the rage." Like orange shag carpet I'm glad that is no longer the case. At least carpet is easy to replace. I guess you need to know your market. What happens with other houses with sunken living rooms like your house? 

What is making this cost so much? I see that there needs to be some hvac vents and outlets needing adjusting. Looks like 6" or so that needs to come up. Have you received multiple bids to do this one project, or just one?

the 3 bids I have gotten have all been pretty close... My city is more, California is more... 

There are almost none of these in my area, I have never seen one.  Most houses here are slab on grade...

It sounds like a high ARV area? If so, might be worth buying the bullet and doing it. Maybe try and shave a few grand off other scopes to help offset.

@Carson Wilcox at that level, I would be doing the work. I would be doing what I can to help kee costs down, but I think it needs to be done.

I am not in a place right now to split this job and do any major parts myself. Unfortunately. And the small stuff isn't a huge savings. Plugs and whatnot.

@Carson Wilcox Is it just me or is that floor the same level as that porch outside? I would fix it just for that reason alone. 

Ha. Yup. And the deck is original. I have all the plans. They poured slab in this ONE spot. So dumb.

Recently I bought a house where the ceilings had a plaster finish that I can only describe as looking like lemon meringue pie or stalactites/stalagmites (I forget which is which, but the ones on the ceiling of a cave). I knew this was one of those cosmetic must do’s. The cost of not addressing an issue like this, and yours if you deem it absolutely necessary is far greater in holding costs. Suck it up, bang it out, and reload.

hindsight is 20/20, but why did you buy it if you knew that was an issue or why didn't you buy it cheaper? You make or lose money when you buy, that's so true.

@Brandon Ingegneri yup... this house has cake frosting cielings throughout EXCEPT the kitchen.  This is one of my major $$ items...

@Harrison Liu I did... this isnt BLOWING my budget like oh god, new roof type level... but everything else was slightly more than I thought so I am right on the bubble...

I would get some more bids. I'm not seeing a 7k price tag for something like that either. All you have to do is frame in the floor and put the subfloor down right? If there are vents, the duct can just be extended a bit and how many of those are there? 2? . 

How many outlets do you really need to raise? 4 or 5?  Is that where the costs are? Not enough slack to move them up so they have to run new wiring from the nearest box? 

California or not, that stuff could be done in one day. And the materials can't be much at all. Even if the electrician has to do some new wiring, what is that? 1k for electrician for 4 hours. And 3k for the floor and ductwork?   I don't see how it can be any higher than that.....

I'm assuming you were going to replace the flooring anyway or is new flooring part of that 7k?

Looks like the windows might have to be moved up if you want to keep the same look? Otherwise the windows will be 3-4" off the floor? Maybe lower? Is that what is adding major costs to labor?

The windows we are going to wait and see on.  There are windows in the FR at the same height... city passed it at resale..

Davis prices are ridiculous. I live here. The market's hot enough that anything decent sells immediately. I've done 3 Sac area flips that have worked out pretty well. Good luck w/ the flip.

Needing to make lower floor same level as front making it larger so as not to trip. 

It does not look as bad as you describe. If you hate it make a covered patio out of it with two French doors.

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