Lithia Springs, GA - SFH - Tim LIndstrom

14 Replies

Just closed on my second Rental property, but my first major rehab.  This one is a 3 bed 1.5 bath with full unfinished basement.  I purchased it for 43.4K and estimate about 30K in rehab to get it rentable.  I am meeting with my contractor Sunday to go over repairs and get an estimated timeline.

This thing needs: New roof, flooring, kitchen gut job, electrical upgrade (currently 100amp, ungrounded), and relocate laundry to basement (currently in a makeshift room built inside the carport), among other minor repairs.  

Will get some "before" pics when I go there Sunday

My contractor thinks he can get the rehab finished in time to put it up for rent in August.  I'm.  Demo started today. 

The makeshift room in the carport is gone.  They ripped out all the old carpeting, and it already smells a lot better.  looks like we can salvage the hardwoods.  The place has hardwoods throughout, except the kitchen.  That has a couple layers of linoleum on top of tile.  He thinks the tile might contain asbestos, and suggests we just rip up the last layer of linoleum, and relay linoleum over it.  I kinda had my heart set on tile.  anyone dealt with remediating Asbestos tile before?

Any advice on handling Bamboo?  

I went by my property today,  and to my surprise,  the back yard is full of bamboo plants (shoots?).  They are sprouting up as far as 20 feet from a bamboo patch at the rear of the property.  I talked to the neighbor,  and he said he cuts the back section of his yard twice a week during the growing season, or the bamboo gets too thick for his mower.  If I don't keep it under control,  it will take over the yard.

Some of the canes are about 4 inches in diameter, and probably 20-30 feet tall.  I'd really love to eliminate the bamboo patch permanently.

That seems to be the consensus.  I found a guy who wants the bamboo,  and will remove it all.  I'm thinking that is my best bet.  then I just need to decide if I will dig out the roots,  or just keep cutting the new shoots until the root system dies out

Bamboo is difficult - good luck with that. 

Asbestos floor tile. Usually 9x9 in size; in fact, if you see 9x9 floor tile, it's probably best to assume it contains asbestos. If the tile is asbestos, the adhesive probably also contained asbestos as well. Depending on condition (look up "friable") and local regulations, you might be permitted to take it up yourself; you would then have to identify a dump site that will allow you to dispose of it, and you will have to follow their rules for disposal. Or you hire an environmental firm to do the job - they will seal the area while working and check air samples afterward, and they handle all disposal too. Tell them over the phone the approximate square footage and they can give you a ballpark price over the phone. 

I haven't been keeping this post/diary updated.  I am not all that impressed with my contractor, and have been battling one issue after another.  If I put everything into one post,  it would be very long and boring,  So I'll break it into separate posts over the next few days.

My contractor and I did the initial walk-through, and settled on 20K to get the house rental ready. This seemed kinda low to me, but he said he has a "solid surface guy" who can get solid surface counters for the same price as laminate.  And he has a source for solid oak cabinets, that are cheaper than Home depots stock cabinets, that we can finish with any paint or stain we want.  He was going to get the tub and tile reglazed in the full bath, to save on having to replace everything.  

I come by the house after he ripped out all the cabinets, and the kitchen flooring.  He said he used to do asbestos inspections, and the tile turned out not to be asbestos.   Now that the cabinets and counter tops are ripped out,  he tells me that his solid surface guy can't get him the countertops for the price he wanted, so we will have to go with laminate (that's what I planned anyway, so I let it go).  The next day, he tells me the cabinets are going to come in pre-finished, because the unfinished ones won't work in my layout.  It took some prodding, but I finally got it out of him that he was ordering stock Home Depot cabinets.  I got upset at this, mainly because he tried to hide the fact that I wasn't going to get the solid oak cabinets he promised.

This is just the beginning of my journey.   till tomorrow...

The full bath:

Turns out glazing the tub and tile cost a lot more than he thought.  he got a quote for over $1500, and he only budgeted $350 for the job.  So now he says it's probably better to replace the tub and tile, since they are so old anyway.  And since that's what I originally planned, I should be happy.  He can tear everything out and redo the bathroom for an additional $3000.  That includes new tile floor, tile surround by tub, new vanity, and sink and replace the dated medicine cabinet with a new mirror.

In the middle of the bathroom redo, he calls me to tell me the sink needs to be re plumbed. Normally a job like would cost $1200, but since he's already in there,  he can do it for $700.

A little history:  The inspector said I have very low water pressure in the sink in the full bath.  it looks like they used a very small diameter pipe to plumb the vanity.  it will probably need to be replaced.  My contractor said the low pressure was because the old faucet was clogged up, and the pipes are fine.  Yet another thing he is backing off of from his original walk through.

Hey Tim... Thanks for sharing your experiences. It helps me consider more things when looking at properties. I am located in Villa Rica (just west of Douglasville). I have been looking around trying to decide which area I should start investing in. Its nice to see someone share their experiences in investing near by. 

I will never buy another house with bamboo on the property.  I still don't know how I'm going to deal with it.  I find that 3 bedroom 1.5 or 2 bath ranches are at the sweet spot around Douglas county.  if you wait long enough, you will find one that needs some fixing up, and can be had for a good price.  This one was listed at 68K, but I got it for 43.4K.  I first offer 48k which was accepted,  then got it down some more after my inspector found the electrical issue (old cloth covered wires, and no grounded outlets).  These 1970's brick ranches are usually pretty solid, and rent from $800-$1200 depending on the neighborhood.  I should be all in for under 75K,  and it should rent for $1000.  Although I may try to flip it for a quick profit.

thanks for the insight Tim. Where are you finding these houses? Mls? Auctions? Hud websites?

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