Rehab two hours away?

10 Replies

Hey all!

We are looking at properties that are about a two hour drive from home. That's where the cash flow is!

So if we need to renovate how do I handle the distance? We are looking at fairly simple renovation a lot of which we can do ourselves. However, how to I let the carpet guy from Lowes into the house when I'm down here? Do I have to drive up, do I need a person locally who can help out, or could I do some sort of lockbox or something?

We will have property management after we renovate, but I was hoping to wait on hiring them until we were ready to go.

What have you done in the past?

Having a rehab 2 hours away it tough.

You might think the reno is simple but many times it ends up not being that way.

If you are doing yourself make sure to get FULL days in and account for traffic getting to the place 2 hours away. Having all your materials is key. If you have to keep going to the store for little parts it can eat up most of your day. Make sure since you are renting out you get it rental ready and not flip ready.

I put lock-boxes on mine and they are typically only 15-30 minutes away.  You can buy lock-boxes online for just a few dollars each.  Or, just hide a key under a rock somewhere.

Have no fear. The keys to success are the same if you had a property on the same street. How do you find a reliable contractor and property manager? One of the best ways is to contact the local REIA. We also have a pretty good network build from the people we coach or have coached.

I may have to look to some further cities for my first deal. I am in Miami and ready to invest into my first rehab, but I have noticed that the spreads are better in the neighboring counties. My only concern is that I don't really know the areas I would be investing into, and don't want to buy a rehab that I then have trouble selling because it's "on the wrong side of the tracks".

I have a recommendation on property management from another Bigger Pockets member who lives in the area. I checked them out on BBB and Yelp and they get glowing reviews, so I feel comfy there.

We haven't found the house yet, but I know we will only want to buy something that needs a cosmetic rehab. We will verify with an inspection. We can do most ourselves by going and camping out a few weekends, or even having DH take a week off work, but there will be a few things we hire out. I will look into the lockbox.

I'm a work from home mom, and have flexibility. So if a drive up for a weekday is necessary, I can do it. I just don't want to if I can avoid it. ;)

Thanks! Any more suggestions are appreciated!

Yup, you can just put a lockbox up to let contractors in if you can't be there, preferably on a side or back door so as not to advertise to thieves that the house is vacant. I'd still try to be there when they show up if at all possible though.

I did a rehab 2 hours away, and I gave trusted contractors keys to get in.  I hired plumbing, drywall, electrical, and carpentry out.  I did do a lot of work myself and driving 2 hours away was no fun.  (In my case I was in a bad situation at the time and I had to do work myself.)  

If you have a trusted general contractor and project manager in the area that will save you travel time.  You can also get contractors (if they are good with technology) to send you pictures or video during rehab.

@Dawn A. was that the deal gone bad with your cousin that you mentioned during your podcast? What did you end up doing with that house?

We REALLY don't want to get into a total gut job for our first.... hopefully we won't have to have a contractor. Just handle it ourselves, and hire out a few specific jobs, like carpet.

From our own homeownership of a 1870's big old victorian, we have become proficient in painting, trimwork, basic kitchen/bath updates, basic tile work, landscaping etc. I can even patch holes in plaster! But I don't want to do to much with electric, plumbing (except changing out fixtures), roofs, or drywall replacement.

We'll see what's out there I guess!

Originally posted by @Edith TenBroek :

@Dawn Anastasi was that the deal gone bad with your cousin that you mentioned during your podcast? What did you end up doing with that house?

That was the very same one.  Good memory and thanks for listening to the podcast!

I rented the house out to a family who stayed about 10 months until the husband got transferred to another city. So they moved.  The next family bought the house on a land contract.  I still have a mortgage on the house but am making a little over $100 more per month from the land contract payment than the mortgage.

that sounds interesting! I'll have to learn about land contracts next. I haven't learned about that one!

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