New Blog Address

I have decided to create a new blog which will include more information to meet my clients needs! Please click the link to be taken directly to the new blog: http://realestatebymorganmalcolm.com/

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Patience is a Virtue…

The challenge right now is not the flipping of a house but finding a house to flip. I have a lot of investors that are getting frustrated because they can not find anything to redo. The problem is that there are few viable flips and an increasing number of investors bidding on these properties. This causes the prices to get driven up and make it so the house is no longer a good flip. So what should investors do? Be patient!

I am seeing a lot of investors getting frustrated and buying a property that is either over priced or not a good flip just so they have something to do. Then when they try to sell the house and make a profit they get even more frustrated because they realize they have chosen a bad property. I always tell my investors to know what your bottom line is when bidding on a property and do not over bid!

Having said that there are some ways to get creative when finding a property to flip. In this industry knowledge is everything. Talk to your neighbors or the neighbors at your fix up houses. See if anyone is considering selling there house and see if you can make a bid before they put it on the market. The best deals that my investors have gotten were from sellers that came to me directly because we either asked if they would sell to us or they knew we flipped houses.

3938 Tejon BeforeOur most current project is 3938 Tejon St. Denver, CO. This house is next door to a flip that we had been working on. During our flip we learned that the neighbor wanted to sell their house and it was definitely in need to be renovated so it got our attention. But this is where patience comes into play. When a house is not on the market it can take a long time for the seller to finally be ready to sell. This took 6-7 months of constant back and forth figuring out the sale of this property. There were may times where we did not think this deal would go through but we kept pushing forward and we finally bought the house.

Now the fun starts… check back soon to see before pictures and the plans to fix this house.

Have a creative way you found a house to flip?  Post a comment telling me about it!

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Ready For Sale

Now for Sale!

$425,000

3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

2234 total sq ft

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Before and After Pictures

Front of House - Before

Front of House - After

Garage - Before

Garage - After

Side of House - Before

Side of House - After

Front Stairs - Before

Front Stairs - After

Back Yard - Before

Back Yard - After

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Creating a Blank Slate

One of the hardest parts about renovating a house is picturing what it will look like when its done. After you have laid out each room and framed in the walls it can still be difficult to see what the end product will look like. Great renovators have the ability to see what isn’t there. Here is a picture of the framing for the main room/living room/family room looking into the kitchen from the front door.

Framing - looking from front of house to the back

Here is the same room with dry wall added to the framing. Notice how different the house looks with dry wall added.

Dry Wall - looking from front of house to the back

While framing it is important to keep in mind that natural light will not be able to pass through the walls once they are finished. The placement of windows and lights are very important and you might not realize there is an issue with lighting until after the dry wall is up. This could mean the you will have to tear down some of your new dry wall to reposition a light which will cost you extra time and money.

It is also important to keep room sizes in mind when framing. Rooms appear much larger when there are no walls so rely on measurements. A descent sized room should be around 12 x 12 ft. and the master should be larger.

Master Bedroom with framing

Master Bedroom Dry Walled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its also important to think about how each element will come together. Since the stair case had to be removed it left a blank space in the main room. This space is deceiving since it will be dry walled and stairs added. If you cant picture what the finished room will look like have the stairs at least framed to give you an idea what the space will look like. With everything in place the entire look of the room has changed.

Framed wall - removed stair case

Dry wall and Stairs

Until next time, happy renovating!

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Before and After Pictures

Before - Front of House

After - Front of House

Before - Back of House

After - Back of House

Before - Looking in from front door

After - Looking in from the front door

Before - Out side of garage

Almost completed garage

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Having Fun While you Work….

Renovating houses can be very stressful, especially if you are still new to the business.  There is a lot of money involved and time limits make things feel overwhelming at times.  The thing to keep in mind is that you can work and have fun while doing it.

A lot of people get into renovating houses because they truly love real estate and have a talent for seeing potential in houses that others have given up on.

One way to keep things fun is to add a few (none permanent) touches that speak to you.  It could be in the landscaping or the staging in the house… anything that says ‘you were here’.

At all of our houses you can see our unique rock features.  This is a fun way to add personality to the house and help people identify that its one of our renovations.


 

We also like to keep as much of the original word work, hinges, door knobs etc. that were in the house when we purchased it.  Usually these features have been painted over many times through out the years.  It is a labor intensive process to restore the hard wear and wood work but it gives the house great character.

 

 

Renovating houses can get overwhelming at times so its good to focus on the parts that you enjoy to remind you why you do this.

Until next time happy renovating!

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Appearances are Everything

The most important thing you can do when renovating a house is give it good curb appeal. You want to make sure that people will want to see inside the house to view all the work you have done.

This house needed paint, landscaping and cement. The house was painted a neutral color with accents to make it stand out. The garage was painted to match and was also give some accents to tie it to the house.

New cement was poured for the driveway. We also poured new cement on the walk way next to the house. We also created a path from the house to the garage and from the street to the front house. New cement is a great way to update the look of the house but it can be expensive. The city notified us that we were required to fix the side walk next to the house. If the city had not required it we would not have fixed the side walk because it cost a few extra thousand dollars to do.

Finally, we added a new fence around the entire house. There are two entry gates, one to the front door and one to the back yard. The fence is 6 ft tall around the back yard and four ft. tall in the front. The state will only allow certain heights for fences so check before you put one up.

Until next time happy renovating!

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Expect the Unexpected….

Anyone who renovates houses knows that things don’t always go as planned. The best renovators are able to evaluate issues and solve them quickly.

Apartment/Back Yard

Our original plan for Franklin was to re-do the inside of the main house, keep the additional “apartment” and add a garage. But the state found out about the apartment on the property and notified us that it does not meet the standards for housing requirements and we would not be allowed to keep the structure as is.

This was disappointing because it would have helped for resale but we moved on to returning the structure to a garage with a kitchen and bathroom (since they were already there and had been renovated by the previous owner). Again, the state come to us and said that this would not be allowed. They did not want anything that could easily be changed back into a living space so everything needed to be removed.

We removed everything from the garage and it is now an oversized garage. We removed the brick which closed in the original garage doors to add new garage doors.

A lot of house flipping is problem solving and expecting the unexpected. Making the best of each situation is all you can do. Luckily for us we had not put any money into the renovation of this apartment which ultimately had to be destroyed.

Until next time, happy renovating!

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What to do First?

With a house that is this distressed it is hard to decide what to do first. Since the house had been in a fire recently, we had a structural engineer check the structure of the house. Luckily there was no structural damage.

Since the structure was secure we moved on to eliminating debris. Most houses that we renovate have a lot of debris that comes with the house. It is important to remove everything that does not need to be in the house so that you can see exactly what the house looks like.

After removing debris we can start to see the house. The next step is to decide what layout we want for the house. This house has a good layout and does not require a lot of removing, moving or adding walls or rooms. Due to fire damage we remove the front stair case but will be adding a new one in the same place.

The only major change we decide to make is adding a front balcony. This will serve two purposes. First the master bedroom now has a balcony with down town views. This will help for resale. Also, the balcony will help with curb appeal. This house is a solid brick square with no details to soften it. Adding the balcony will help break up the front of the house and make it look more inviting.

Next time we will talk more about creating good curb appeal. So until next time happy renovating!

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