3rd BRRRR property under the knife! West Passyunk (Phila, PA)

22 Replies

Hi all, 

Well, after wrapping up this beauty (https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/522/topics/56...), I bought the house next door.. literally.  I was going to take a break, but after the family contacted me a month after my other place was rented and they needed to sell, I got the place off market, under retail value, and the rest is history. 


Exact same layout, etc as my other place (3 beds, this has 1.5 baths), needs full cosmetic updates including roof and some additional exterior work, but she'll turn out great.  Thankfully most of the windows are new and boiler, washer/dryer and some other mechanics are in good shape.  Basement is good height and partially finished, so I'm going to spend a little more money to finish that up and make it a nice, usable space.  Here's some teaser pix:


Front of house:  Yes, I'm saving the front original metal bay window! Power wash, bondo/metal work, and paint.. will be good as new

Kitchen: Old vs. current state --> gutted, with all new cabinetry. Blue shaker bottom, white shaker uppers, SS appliance package.. will look great

LR/DR: Out with the old.. in with the soon to be refinished original hardwood floors! Yup.. hardwoods throughout the home!

I'll try to post updates bi weekly; In the past week, the following has been done: 

--New roof installed just before closing

--Light demo completed to reveal hardwood flooring throughout the home, gut kitchen, remove bathroom fixtures, remove trash throughout home and backyard.

In the next two weeks we have new framing in kitchen to be done, start some electrical updates, get the half bath and basement back together (those are the easiest) then do drywall patch and painting and refinish floors. 

Goal is to have this done by December. I know realistically it's a deadzone for rental season then so I budgeted extra time/money that I may not rent this realistically until early 2019.  Still got the home at a great deal, it's worth the wait! 

Well I've been busy and I'm a bit behind with updates for those following along.

Electrical/framing is done, bathroom renovation should wrap up end of this week along with Drywall install/patching.

Next week is painting followed by kitchen re-assembly and other minor details.  Had to do some exterior cement work so rest of the exterior will be buttoned up in 2 weeks.

After all that, refinish hardwood floors, do trim and touchup paint and get it rented.  I posted it up, had some inquiries, fingers crossed I can get it rented in early 2019.

This home marks my 3rd renovation for 2018.. it's been a busy year doing REI on the side of a FT W-2 job!

PS - forgot to grab some pix; at this rate I'll have final images available by end of December.

Looking forward to more pictures @Mike B.

What are the numbers like on this one?

@Sam B. so far looking at:

Purchase Price + closing costs + financing fees= $129K

Rehab (estimate, but pretty solid on numbers) = $45K

Even with minor overage, I'll be right around $175K. ARV is in the $240-250K range. I own the one next door and it's the same layout, etc.. appraised for $250K a few months ago. If market stays strong I should be able to hit the same numbers again.

@Mike B.   Well that's a home run as far as I'm concerned!  Great numbers.

Here's some teaser pictures: 

Kitchen Design (YES.. blue shaker bottoms + white shaker tops; SS appliances.. the works)

This is what the original HDWD floors (pine) will look like when refinished

Shower tiled (pending grout):

@Mike B.   blue shaker bottoms, that's bold.  Can't wait to see them installed.

Thanks @Sam B. - everyone in my area is doing all white shaker kitchens (and I do mean everyone.. including me as I've done this for 3 other properties).  This property has some unique features so I decided to turn it up a notch and do something different with cabinet colors and other finishes.  There have been other properties in the area that do this on occasion and when they do, they go under contract very quickly.  I am however keeping this as a rental, but my hope is that the area appreciates more in a few years and if/when I need/want to sell, I can do so quickly.  Fingers crossed of course.  

In terms of renters - what I've found in my area is that higher class tenants who aren't ready to buy, want a super-nice place and are willing to spend more to have unique features like this. The cabinet color is a gamble I know, but I feel it will pay off 

Well it wouldn't be a renovation without running into more issues.  When we finally cleaned up some trash/debris and my hardwood floor guy (who I've used a lot and is excellent) closely looked at the floor, he determined it was FUBARd and recommended laying a new one.  Instead of wood (which would have easily been $6K installed, I opted for Water-resistant 12mm Laminate which luckily I found on sale, and in stock near by, so that is going in soon (see pix for details).  So schedule is pushed back 2 weeks also thanks to the holidays, but it is what it is.  Stucco is getting finished off this weekend in rear of house.  Kitchen cabinets are in (and appliances, not pictured). Countertop arrives next week as well.  Will post more updates when I get a chance; likely in the new year. 

Front got pressure washed; need to patch holes and paint the bay window

Kitchen cabinets going in (lighting isn't the best, so yes the colors look off)

New Flooring I purchased (picture from Lumber Liquidators website; just to give you an idea of the look.. Icelandic Oak, 12mm Water resistant Laminate). 

Hi Mike, I'm a new investor in the Philly area I was quite happy to come across your posts. I would love to pick your brain if you would share your insight.

I'd love to see some pics of what you decided to do with that odd bathroom upstairs. Tub without a shower and a separate shower, correct? I'm assuming the shower pics shown above were of that separate shower. It turned out really nice. Love the shower floor. It shows well.

@Adonna Pruette - will try and post new photos soon so stay tuned.

What we did though was new tile on the wall, sprayed the tub white, did LVP flooring and installed a white shaker style double vanity. Came out great and will be listing this for rent soon.

Stay tuned for photo updates (wish we could do this via our apps)

Updated photos!  Having trouble with orientation, unsure what the issue is.  Sorry!

Originally posted by @Mike B. :

Updated photos!  Having trouble with orientation, unsure what the issue is.  Sorry!

 Looks great!

Also to clarify the bathroom setup.. the tub is for taking a bath.. there's no shower head.. only handheld sprayer (like you would soak in the tub and use the sprayer just to rinse off).  Then we have the separate shower, which we were also able to raise the ceiling height in there, put in a recessed light and a nice shower door is on the way so it'll feel like a 'spa retreat' as to say

As a newbie it's great to see this project from start to finish. The budget costs are very helpful as well. Being in Philly, would love to know how you work through/navigate a BRRR through what seems like more tenant friendly laws.

Another update: 

Had great luck lately (Sarcasm) and found a pump on the boiler was shot, so for a 1/3 of the price I could fix it, but no guarantees on the remaining lifespan, so I had to bite the bullet and install a new boiler. Thankfully I've used the same HVAC guys on multiple properties now so they did me a solid and installed at cost as a 'thank you' for my past projects and multiple referrals I've sent their way.  So now a new boiler is installed and we're wrapping up the final "punch list" items.  I'll get final pix and post up in the coming week or so, but it came out great. 

@Mike B. It does look good and you can't beat that area!

FINALLY DONE and I can post a great update. The last few weeks have been crazy. Unexpected surprises, blood sweat and beers and at the final unexpected hour... great tentants saw it a few days ago and signed a February 1st lease!! $1500/month!  I’m happy To finally take a long awaited break and kick back a little. Enjoy the pix. Refinance will be in May. I’ll likely post a final thread in a separate forum since this renovation is now completed. 

Congratulations on another successful property!!! Looks amazing!

Picture of the outside painted. Still waiting on concrete guy to come back and touch up steps but you get the picture :-)

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here