Rehab advice from a Home Inspector / Contractor

2 Replies

Investors please do yourself a favor and talk to and seek guidance on your rehab / remodeling work from experienced and knowledgeable General Contractors or even a Home Inspector with construction background. I've inspected 3 or 4 flips this year where there have been major issues. Most of them fairly common sense design flaws and just basic construction knowledge. Hiring a qualified GC could save you thousands in mistakes by subcontractors who just pretend to know what they are doing. You can't wear all the hats. Find a good expert in residential construction and your homes will fly off the shelf because they were done right. Look to your local Home-Builders association or Home Inspection Association for good contacts. 

Beautiful post Michael.  I kind of feel like the lorax for contractors on here sometimes but it's great to see other people with the same perspective.  I have been through a lot of flips where there just wasn't any craftsmanship.  I have done repairs for other investors due to home inspection things as simple as adding an attic fan, to repairing roof leaks that were obviously there way before the rehab, to ripping out an entire bathroom, and starting from new.  People think as  long as it holds together and works long enough to sell it then its fine.  I think that's awful on so many levels, you are selling somebody a home.  You are presenting this home as freshly remodeled everything new, but if the craftsmanship behind it is poor it makes no difference how new the materials are.  It's just a sad case of the greedy house flipper getting the cheapest labor possible, slapping a house together trying to make a quick buck without thinking about what they are truly doing.

Just as you said a good GC can save you thousands, and I believe you are correct that a house with good craftsmanship will sell much faster.  If I am walking through a house that I am considering purchasing and the paint job is sloppy, the doors rub in the frames, the windows are hard to open, and the trim and drywall aren't properly prepped.  There is no way I'm going to trust any of the plumbing, electrical, or hvac systems.  It simply feels like a cheap slap together house that someone is trying to make a quick buck off of.  I have even talked to realtors who have turned down these listings or highly regretted taking them.   

On the other hand when you walk through a house that was built in the 1970's in a well established neighborhood and you walk inside and it feels brand new and everything is done right that is a product you can take pride in offering and a family can feel safe buying.  I would have to think if you go through the money of making it aesthetically pleasing you also took the time to make sure all systems function properly.

Sorry for the rant I can just relate to this post way too well!  There are plenty of tales on here of these awful contractors that hack this, don't show up for that, or try to change things halfway through a contract.  That tells me that people are not dealing with reputable professional contractors and are dealing with the cheaper handyman type who say "Yeah I could do that!"    

Quick brief story to end it.

I made an offer on a house, lost the house because I was too low (perfectly okay with me).  Ironically, I get a call to put in a bid to do a full house renovation at this house.  I give the investor my number and she laughed at me and said I was $10,000 higher than her other bid.  Once again, no sweat off my back.  It is now about 8 months later and her cut rate handyman is still chipping away at the project he had no business taking on.  It's a 3 bedroom townhouse!!!!!   8 months?!?!?   Just in holding costs your losing money quick.  I can't wait til it's listed I would love to see it....   Long story short professionals cost more and that's because they are professionals.

Value > Price

Thanks for the insight guys. Just what I was looking for.

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