To Plat or not to Plat...

1 Reply

I find myself reading BP posts till 1 or 2 am and finally decided to sign up and fly with the flock that has rekindled my flipping fire.

My x and I were General Contractors building spec and custom homes. After the big D all was divided and I sold 7 of my 8 properties to stay on top my debts. I took a full time job, went to college for my associates, Marine Electrician and flipped houses, all at the same time to support my children. I loved flipping and then the economy tanked. I was stuck with two properties not ready to rent or sell. It took years to recover being caught with no savings and nothing sellable. I didn't want to turn my back on my debts so I became a landlord. I've learned a lot of lessons that I can share at another time. The market is finally sparking in my area allowing the flipping to flow.

I need to figure out how to change my current property status to my desired cash flow status. As of today I own a duplex that I built in 98, two single family rentals, my home and three lots. Money is still tight, any movement and the juggling status quo will change from oranges to flipping knives. One wrong move and the show is over.

The duplex is a money maker, when rented, so it will stay in my portfolio. One vacant rental I want to sell to gain a chunk of cash but may not be enough after taxes as it won't be a 1031 tax exchange. One lot to sell because it's out of my area. Another vacant rental I want to ??? This property ties in with two lots and my home which leads to my question...

Plat or not to Plat?

These four lots together (my home, 2 lots & rental) equal 2.5 acres with UR zoning of 9 homes per acre. Sewer is not close enough to pepper my property with 22 homes but can be short platted with boundary line adjustments. 16 homes max provided all the soil logs test good. This however is not cheap! Hence the Question. In this economy is it financially worth the expense?.. Surveys, soil logs, BLA, Short platting all this money to be spent and there is no guarantee that the county will approve it.

Penciling the numbers for these four properties with the BLA and platting, I find four different Options:

1) Sell as is no plat 2) Upgrade or 3) Tear down the two houses and sell the lots or 4) Build all new homes.

Q) Which option would you choose?

A) Everyone at my regular job can only see option #1. Everyone with BP sees the Bigger Picture, we buy from option #1 sellers!

Of course I want to maximize the income but the cost/risk to get there is the question that must be factored in with the economy and current debts.

Grateful to be out of the stuck economic mud and finally able to consider moving properties again. If now is the time to juggle the knives I want to do it standing on firm ground with my eyes wide open vs a high wire tragedy.

Your platting thoughts, hints and tips are greatly appreciated.



@Lisa Miller

I would be very skeptical if you could get 16 septic systems on 2.5 acres.

If your area is like Vancouver WA.. Same weather basically they are really tough on septics.

Best of luck sounds like you know what your doing