September 14, 2010
The Alaska House: Should be finishing up next week. We are supposed to get the septic complete within the next few days then we start on landscaping. On the inside we’ve finished the tile and should be installing the cabinetry this week. So hopefully we’ll have it on the market by next week.
The Drum House: After spending almost 4 weeks screwing around with the local building department we finally got a permit. The contractor doing this project says it will be done in 6 weeks. And I plan to hold him to that. I really don’t want to carry this house though the winter months–so we need to get it done before the end of October.
That’s it for now–I’ll keep the updates coming…
August 5, 2010
Sorry for the lack of updates as of recently. I have been faced with the decision of abandoning this blog or putting some more effort into it. I think I’ve made the decision to put some more effort into this site. As least for now. I will be shooting video’s of both The Drum House and The Alaska House tomorrow.
Here are the updates:
The Alaska House: We have just passed our insulation inspection and we should have it drywalled by the end of the week. Cabinet will go up early next week. The contractor doing this one is moving very quick. Quite impressed and his pricing was great too!
The Drum House: It looks like I’m going to flip this house after all. The buyer who might have purchased it as-is didn’t work out. As I explained before this will be a pretty easy rehab. I have budgeted 65k for the renovation which makes my total investment around 375k. I am going to try and sell this one FSBO. Not sure how that will go given the age issues. I guess we’ll see! The contractor I’m using for this job is very, very efficient. I’m hoping I can get this done in about 4 weeks! So both houses will be finishing up around the same time.
I’ll be posting some videos tomorrow! I’m also planning some site improvements! Stay tuned.
July 8, 2010
So there is quite a bit of news. Beginning with two closing that happened almost two weeks ago.
The Piano House is SOLD and I mean money in the bank sold. So that transaction is done. Then I closed on the purchase of The Alaska House. The new contractor I hired for this project is moving really really fast! I think we’re defiantly on track for finishing that one up by the fall.My agent is already bringing some clients though tomorrow.
I also have another property under contract. Its a nice little house in Lexington. I bought it for $306,000. After I bought it another guy apparently told the owners he would pay $360,000 for the house and even went to the extra step of making a written back-up offer! So if we go off contract for literally a split second then this sale will fall though. If it doesn’t fall though however I think I’ll make 40k without doing any work at all!
Here’s a picture of the new property. Which I’ve decided to name The Drum House. Since when we arrived to look at the house the owner tenant had left a drum set out on the front porch!
In terms of my renovation plan if I can’t wholesale this one I’d probably do a cosmetic update and spend something in the 50k range. Then go for a re-sale for around $450,000. Pretty simple rehab if I need to do it.
That’s it for now.
June 16, 2010
Well, where do I begin. I’ll start with a quick update on The Alaska House: This sale has been SO EASY! I’m still waiting on the septic estimates. The only other issue is there was been an increase in vandalism/robberies in the area where this house is located. Nothing to serious but something to watch out for.
The Piano House: Our closing was supposed to be today BUT: Our buyers apparently got a Bank of America loan online. Somehow the originator ended up being from Cleveland. So our layer drafts up a Quitclaim Deed for the sale and 99.9% of deeds in MA are Quitclaim. So we assumed there wouldn’t be a problem. But apparently the BofA folks from Cleveland said it was there “policy” to get a Warranty Deed which doesn’t even exist in Massachusetts! Both my lawyer and the buyers lawyer were dealing with the BofA legal department on getting this solved. In the end the buyers attorney had to drive 3 hours to New York to pickup some documents! So hopefully we will be able to close tomorrow.
On the brighter side of the news I have my after photos!
Pretty amazing transformation!
May 27, 2010
Unfortunately I had to remove the direct embed for the deposition in my last post. The viewer kept crashing my and my readers computers. If you want to view the deposition just lookup Erica Johnson-Seck Deposition and make sure you get an actual copy of the deposition–if you look her up you also get a bunch other “foreclosure fraud” stuff.
Here’s the update on my two current projects:
The Piano House: Sale is progressing with our closing set for June 15th. Our buyers have sent the final commitment letter as there financing contingency was up today. So far so good with this sale. I just ran the number and it looks like the total profit will be around 55k so pretty good for my first project. Were almost finished with the renovation so I’ll post some “after” photos next week.
The Alaska House: Purchasing is moving along. Nothing like the short sale we experienced at the Piano House. The house is on septic system. Currently it only has a cesspool so we need to install a new system. I have the septic engineers coming out June 2nd to do the soil testing. That will determine how much the system will cost. I just accepted the bid on this project. We are using a different contractor then we used at the Piano House. The contractor from the Piano House did a very good job but this new guy is a bit cheaper so we’ll see how he does.
Meanwhile I have another potential project in the works–probably the biggest one yet. I’ll post more about it once we get the contract finalized.
May 15, 2010
I just happened to come across and very interested deposition made by the Director of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure at IndyMac. If you have the patience to read though all 92 pages its very useful–its even useful to just skim it. It has a lot of information about the banks specific procedures.
May 6, 2010
On April 30th (the day of the tax credit deadline) we got an offer on The Piano House for $605,000! Which is $5,000 OVER our asking price of $599,900. The offer was almost a real estate investors dream offer. It had no inspection contingency and they wanted to sign P&S the day of the offer (so they could get the tax credit). So we signed P&S the day of the offer. All this happened before the renovation were even complete! The folks who bought it are picking the paint colors. They picked some pretty crazy ones so the “after” photos of the house might not look as good as they might. The only real hurdle to get over is the appraisal which is happening next week. I’m not to worried since the buyers are putting $120,000 down!! I’m amazed this all came together but I keep reminding myself it hasn’t closed yet–but so far so good!
Also things are going great in regards to the Alaska House. We got some contractor bids. They came in around $75,000. Which means we’ll end up spending $100,000. At a $352,000 purchase price with 100k in expenses that’s a 452,000 investment and with our sale price looking like its going to be around $575,000 that’s a very nice profit margin–we’ll see if we can keep that!
Also here’s a picture of The Piano House after we painted it. I’ve also included a “before” picture. I’m so glad the green is gone!
April 28, 2010
I thought I should write a post on two creative ways I’ve used to find good general contractors. This is one of the biggest issues investor face. There are a lot of very shady GC out there–and having a bad GC can turn a flip into a flop.
There are many ways homeowners find GC’s. The most common is though friend and also people like architects and Realtors. Investors can use some of these sources. Contractors recommended though friends are often to expensive for investors to use. You can think of contractors as smiler to the properties you purchase. You don’t want the “super polished” design/build contractor who does everything. Nor do you want the shady contractor you met at the hardware store.
Here are two ways I’ve used to find great contractors.
1. When a fixer sells look up the buyer: When a property that needs a lot of work sells chances are the buyer is a contractor. So when a fixer sells always find the name of the buyer thought your local land record website. Then find out if that buyer is a licensed contractor (use your local contractor license search).
2. Other Flippers Contractors: When you notice another flip come on the market. Go to your local building department and pull the flippers permits. You can often find the name of the GC that the flipper used. You can then contact that GC.
Both of these methods have worked very well for me. I hope other investors will find this useful too!
April 22, 2010
WOW! Its been awhile since I’ve posted. Okay so we have tons of progress at The Piano House–I got a video but the stupid camera I got it on couldn’t upload correctly. I WILL get a new video this weekend. The house is about 2 weeks from being complete. All the tile is installed the cabinets are going in tomorrow. We are moving our focus to the exterior. They just stripped all that ugly green paint and we’re re-painting the house a nice light yellow. We also decided to demo and rebuild the steps leading up to the house. We are doing a really nice design with limestone treads. After some searching I found someone who will do both stairs (front door and back door) for $6100! Which is a pretty good price for what he’s doing.
We decided to this the house a few weeks before it’s complete so we can get some exposure before the tax credit expires. We listed it at $599,900. We’ve had a lot of activity even though the house isn’t finished. We also had one lowball offer.
One more bit of news. I already put my next project under contract. I call it The Alaska House. The owner wanted to move the closing because he was supposedly taking a cruse to Alaska! Why would you want to take a cruse to Alaska! Anyway, we got in under contract for $352,000 but it needs a brand new septic system which is an added $20,000. So we effectively got it for $372,000. We still need to have our contractor make us a bid and get a perc test for the septic. So there are a few more hurdles to get over The house is in a nice slightly rural area–its on 2 acres of land! Here’s a picture of the exterior.
As you can see it need a lot of work–I’ll take of pics at the inspection tomorrow!