My log: First 'live-in flip', marketing, and house-hacking

7 Replies

Hi BP Community!

So after purchasing our primary residence a little over a year ago, my wife and I have decided to sell it and purchase a multifamily to 'house-hack' and kick-start our rental portfolio.  But first, in order to sell our primary, there are some renovations that will need to be made, so I've decided to document the process as this will be our first 'live-in flip' as well (and hopefully some other beginners can learn something - or at least you all can be entertained!).

I am also putting together my first direct mail campaign with a partner- but more on that in a later post.  

First, the details on our 'flip':

The house is a 4 bed/2.5 bath 1968 split-level home on 0.5 acres, at the end of a cul de sac, with a privacy-fenced wooded lot, in-ground pool, spa, hardwoods throughout much of the house, and some updates including stainless appliances, in an A neighborhood in South Charlotte.  That's the good.  Here's the bad: the kitchen is hideous! Dated tile counter tops, black and white checkered tile floors, dated upstairs bathrooms - all told the house has SEVEN different types of flooring.  Outside of those things, the rest is minor - fresh paint and updating fixtures, etc.  

A home identical to ours (same builder, same year, identical floor plan, one street over) on 0.25 acres, not at the end of a cul de sac, no pool/spa, and no privacy-fenced wooded lot recently sold (3 months ago) for 270k with an updated kitchen - and our market has only gotten hotter in this neighborhood since.  We purchased ours for 210k off market from my wife's coworker in May 2014.

We are doing interior painting ourselves and knocked out about 50% over the holiday weekend, other improvements that I'm currently getting bids for include:

1. New granite counter tops in kitchen, tile backsplash, new fixtures.

2. New tile flooring in entry/foyer, kitchen, upstairs bathrooms, all to match.

3. Replacement interior trim in a few areas.

4. New vanity counter top in one bathroom (keeping the base, sink, fixtures)

After consulting a Realtor friend (AND investor) whom I trust, conservatively the ARV should be 280k-300k based on other neighborhood comps of 4/2.5's (but no recent comps at the end of a cul de sac with quite as much land).

We would be comfortable putting up to 20k into renovations, but do not anticipate needing that much - I will update once I finish bidding out the work.

I will post some before pics in the next day or so!

Thanks for reading!!

Here are a few pics of the areas we will be renovating - please excuse the mess (and the corgi photobomb!):

Kitchen - replace counter tops, replace flooring, paint & refixture, add tile backsplash.

New tile in the entry to match kitchen and upstairs bathrooms (sorry for the angle!)

Upstairs half bath - new vanity top and flooring to match kitchen and entry.

Outside of home - not sure why my pics keep rotating - sorry for the angle again!

Backyard & and a very GREEN pool.  Pool will be treated and covered this week.

Update - It's been quite a while since I posted on this thread - been very busy!  Something I didn't mention in my intro post is that we also own a restaurant, and have a second restaurant under construction - so that has kept me very busy!  However, restaurant #2 will be complete next week and I have had a little more time lately.

Renovations on the primary residence - our market has only gotten hotter and now based on comps it looks like we should be able to sell around 280-300k without renovating the kitchen or bathrooms (a 3/2 on my street in similar condition is currently under contract at 279k - one less bedroom and less a half bath, not in the cul de sac, and half the lot size).  So we are painting, doing some landscaping, and listing this baby ASAP!

Direct Mail Campaign - I launched my direct mail campaign a couple of weeks ago with the help of @Jerry Puckett .  I have committed to 1000 mailers/month to absentee owners for 6 months and have already started receiving calls.  Most are tire kickers so far, and aren't motivated, but I have a few promising leads that I'm working. So far I've gotten 19 calls and 3 letters - quite a few saying they aren't interested, and to leave them alone - but that comes with the territory!  Coming from a background in sales & recruiting - I have to say I'm really enjoying talking to prospects!

That's it for now - more to come soon!

Quick update on our live in flip project:  Unfortunately we discovered some water damage due to a faulty grout job in the downstairs bathroom surround, so we've had to regrout, replace drywall and trim, and repaint in the downstairs this past week.  We also decided to go ahead and replace the kitchen counter tops and add a tile backsplash after all, and the granite guys will be here on Monday!  We are also adding recessed lighting to the main living area, and those guys will be here in about 30 min - one benefit of owning a restaurant - my commercial electrician is giving us a smoking deal on the recessed lights (we've given them quite a bit of business over these last few months!).

Regarding the direct mail marketing campaign - we are getting close to coming to agreeable terms on a subject-to deal that will add a great SF rental to the portfolio!

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