I'm proud -- first rehab

50 Replies

Tenants moved out of our first investment house in DFW, which we're selling for a few reasons. The left it dirty and battered. We wanted to turn it over as quickly as we could to reduce holding costs, yet we both have demanding full-time jobs (teacher and mortgage industry) and two little kids (5 and 2).

Despite that, we managed to turn the house over in eight days using our lunch breaks, afternoons, and one weekend to coordinate the project. We are exhausted, but I am so pleasantly surprised by how well we worked together on an intense, stressful project like this. I feel like it bodes well for our futures in RE investment.

Here's what the house looked like on May 1:

And here is what it looks like now, after granite, flooring, paint (walls, trim, ceilings, garage), appliances, light fixtures, and dozens of other small-to-medium fixes.

Edit: Hat tip to @jscott -- I had no idea what color to put on the walls, but I remember reading he uses SW Realist Beige in all his flips, so we used that, too.

Wow - very nice transition for 8 days!

Good job!

Was the stove too far gone to clean?

@Michael Seeker Thanks!

@Stephen Masek We actually replaced all the old white appliances with new stainless steel ones (except the fridge). The old ones are fine; we'll either sell them, or maybe put them to use in another rental house (which we don't own yet, because we are just starting out)!

Did you have contractors do the work and how much was the rehab?

We used subcontractors and a handyman I found on Craigslist. I did a lot of research beforehand, and while not all of these were the cheapest quotes, they were carefully chosen. I am anxious to figure out how to get "investor rates" on subs!

Anyway, this is the rough breakdown:

$2,500 for flooring (carpet at $1.20 sf installed, vinyl plank at $2) -- I was told on BP not to use vinyl plank because it would look cheap, but I chose to use it for several reasons that I can go into if you would like, and I'm really happy with the choice. The installers took out the old carpet, leveled and fixed the subfloor, then glued down the planks, and it looks AMAZING. No one would know it's not laminate -- until they spill water on it and it's not ruined. The carpet was by far the best rate I could find on FHA-compliant carpet.

$2,700 for granite -- I could have gotten builder-grade granite and kept the old top-mount sink for $2,200, but decided on exotic granite and a new under-mount sink.

$3,000 for painting -- the foundation is under a lifetime warranty, but the tenants didn't bother to water it, so it had to be adjusted and the walls and ceilings had cracks. Fixing them was the most expensive part of the painting.

$500 for handyman -- this was an insanely good deal.

$2,200 for appliances, fixtures and supplies at Home Depot/Lowes

$100 for electrician (2 hours)

$80 for professional cleaners (2 hours)

$600 to rent/buy staging furniture

We did a lot of the cleaning ourselves, and purchased all our own supplies except the paint and flooring.

@Jordan Thibodeau It's not exactly a flip -- we lived here for 6 years (I wish it had looked half this nice back then) then we rented it out for 3 years (our reluctant introduction to landlording/RE investment). We want to focus on other investment properties now, and it's a great time to sell in Dallas, so we decided to rehab it and put it on the market.

Jessica,

Happy Mother's Day! You should be SO proud of yourself and your family. This looks awesome! Great job and good luck to you in your future endeavors!

Val

@Jessica G. Great job on the updates and the photos as well. Did you take them or have that done? Curious as to what edits were done...

Nice work.

Looks like y'all have done dozens of these, Jessica!

Originally posted by @Jessica G. :

$3,000 for painting -- the foundation is under a lifetime warranty, but the tenants didn't bother to water it, so it had to be adjusted and the walls and ceilings had cracks. Fixing them was the most expensive part of the painting.

??? Maybe I'm missing something. What kind of foundation has to be watered?

@Val Porter Awww, thank you! Getting this finished was a great Mother's Day gift.

Sam J. The "after" photos were taken by a professional real estate photo company here in DFW. That almost-HDR effect is really popular here right now. Pro photos are so cheap ($100 for 25), it doesn't make sense not to get them.

@Jon Klaus THANKS Jon!! That's such high praise coming from you! I am really pleased it turned out so well.

Side note: I'm definitely learning that anyone who thinks real estate investing is "easy money" is waaaaay off base. On the other hand, I already want to do more. Flipping wasn't in our original conservative buy-and-hold plan, but I'm wondering if it might not be something to try.

Looks awesome! It us amazing that you could get it all done in such a short period of time! Great job!

If you don't mind me asking... About how much did you have saved up when you initially purchased this home? Some people say "get out there, do a deal, get your hands dirty and learn along the way" , while others say "If you don't have at least six months cash saved up, don't even think about real estate investing."

Happy Mothers Day and you first real estate experience looks great nice quick remodel...

@Sylvia B. In Texas the ground bulges or cracks depending on moisture or lack there of. This cracks and moves foundations. So keeping clay wet helps keep foundations stable. Tom

That looks great! 8 day turn over is amazing! That's some pro stuff right there! Its fun working through a project with the spouse and seeing success.

That is something to be proud of! Congrats!

Originally posted by @Tom Keith:
@Sylvia B. In Texas the ground bulges or cracks depending on moisture or lack there of. This cracks and moves foundations. So keeping clay wet helps keep foundations stable. Tom

Well, whoda thought?

Originally posted by @Sylvia B. :
Originally posted by @Tom Keith:
@Sylvia B. In Texas the ground bulges or cracks depending on moisture or lack there of. This cracks and moves foundations. So keeping clay wet helps keep foundations stable. Tom

Well, whoda thought?

It's a huge issue in Dallas-Ft Worth. There are numerous multi-million dollar foundation companies here.

That looks amazing!

What a fantastic job! Looks like you spent your money really well. Would you mind sharing who you used for your photographer?

I'm also interested in the advice against the laminate wood flooring and the reasons you chose to move forward with it. What is the ARV price point on the house? It's obviously not in the luxury class that would require the real stuff, were folks suggesting the engineered wood or something else all together? The laminates I've seen lately have me pretty much sold. Wide plank with hand scraped look is the bee's knees.

@Jessica G. Wow! Great job! Vinyl Plank is really under-rated amongst "rehabbers" but depending upon the property and location, it's a very viable alternative to manufactured wood floors!

Out of curiosity, where is the house and what do you plan to list it for?

Thank you everyone! I truly appreciate the positive feedback. It was a truly taxing project, and it makes me feel so good to get validation that the hard work turned out well.

@Patrick Jacques We bought this house when we were in our 20s, not even married yet, and totally broke. My parents gave us the down payment as a wedding present. We bought in 2006, and one year later, the value had tanked and we were trapped. That said, I don't know if six months of reserves is really necessary to begin investing -- if it were, hardly anyone would ever get started. There are ways to get started without a huge amount of risk. Knowing what I know now, I wish I'd gotten started earlier.

@Drey Taylor The photography company is Shoot2Sell, the most popular one in Dallas right now. They are booked over a week out right now.

I was advised to use laminate, not vinyl plank, because the vinyl would look cheap. I decided to go against this advice and I'm glad. The vinyl plank looks great, won't separate when the foundation inevitably flexes, won't puff up when somone spills water on it, won't scratch as easily, looks great, AND was slightly less expensive than laminate.

@Dan Shoemaker I am hearing that vinyl plank is getting used in more and more expensive homes all the time. I think it's a great product and I don't think I would use laminate again. Peel-and-stick vinyl doesn't look great, especially on a subfloor that hasn't been properly leveled, but professionally installed glue-down vinyl looks amazing.


@Shawn Thom

@Eddie T.

@Rolanda Eldridge

@Sandy Uhlmann

@Isaac Palmquist

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

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

Start here