If you’re doing fix & flips, 90% of the time you’ll need to do a trash out before you start any updating.
For those not familiar with the term, a trash out is simply the process of removing any junk, debris, possibly even appliances, vehicles, and other trash that needs to be taken out — hence, a “trash out.” (We investors are a clever bunch, eh?) Depending on the scope of the junk removal company, you may even have them remove old cabinetry, cabinets, flooring, lighting fixtures or landscaping debris.
Prices can range throughout the country, but for smaller jobs that don’t require much tear out or multiple trips to the dump, we can expect to pay $200-$300, especially if we use a smaller company. If it’s a more extensive process that requires a dumpster and much more labor, you can expect to see prices up around $1,000. But if you use this trick, you can expect to lower your costs and do good for your community.
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I wrote a blog post quite some time ago about the treasures (or at least useful/brand new items) in people’s homes. A pragmatist by nature, I can’t reason why those items can’t be put to good use for others who might need them. Sure, you could sell some of them, but for the time and effort you’re exerting, the return you’re possibly facing is infinitesimal compared to the profit you’ll be making on your fix & flip.
A better suggestion is to call local charities that need household items and ask them if they can pick them up. If you’re thinking it will delay your trash out, in our experience they can usually come within a day or so and will do all the labor to move/haul away the items. We’ve never had any of them charge for this service other than a cash donation we give for them picking up the leftover goods. In any case, you’ll be reducing the amount of items you would have had to pay to get removed.
If you’ve been around pre-foreclosures/foreclosures for any length of time, the next sentence won’t be a surprise. People in desperate situations don’t make the same decisions a person NOT in duress will choose. Meaning, most people moving out of a home under normal circumstances aren’t leaving behind decent furniture, decor, window treatments, glassware, plate sets, bicycles, tools — the list goes on and on. It simply takes 10 minutes to go through a house and choose what might be of value to someone in a less fortunate position before idly tossing them without a second thought.
As an example, some of the charities we’ve utilized provide the goods to veterans, youths getting sober, and battered women’s shelters. None of the organizations sell the items; they simply provide them to their clientele to help them. Not that it’s ever bad to donate to places like Goodwill, but keep in mind that they will sell the items for profit, and the corporations are making quite a bit of money (after all, their inventory is FREE to them). So why not find local charities that will pass along the household goods for a greater cause?
If you care to, you can take a picture of the truck/logo when the charity arrives and share it across your social networks. It shows your followers you’re busy with investing and taking the time to do even more good in your community. It might even encourage someone else to do the same.
We’re so blessed to be in a field where we can succeed so long as we diligently pursue our endeavors; not many can say the same in this economy — or ever. But you can do a small thing to help others out simply by donating useful items from your trash outs back to your community, where they can be provided for free to those in need.
What do you think? Do you ever donate items in your investments?
Leave your best profitable (and charitable) tips in the comments below!