Had I landed my “dream job” in Vermont that I posted about last week (http://thisgingerjustsnapped.weebly.com/blog/ups-downs-flips) my intention was to continue the business, somehow. I wasn’t exactly sure logistically how that would work, and the whole thing might have just disintegrated. Perhaps that’s why God said “no” to the job. I was one of the top 3 candidates, and they went with one of the other 2. To be honest, I’m kind of ticked off at God right now. Not because I didn’t get the job, but because He put me through all that. I was just fine before I saw that posted opening and applied. Then I got all excited. I gave it all I got, and it wasn’t enough. 5 days of my life spent on the effort – 5 days I could have spent on the business. I’m sure He had a purpose for all this I just don’t see, but truthfully I could have done without the whole experience.
No matter, I don’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for myself. There are houses to flip!
I’m still on the radio, Magic 93 and Nash-FM 93.7 here in NEPA. I work most Saturdays doing both a live airshift and pre-recording. Whenever I get done I call my husband to see where he’s at – he will have had Savannah all day, and he usually takes her around to see houses. Yesterday afternoon he was going over to Grove St. in Avoca to finally sign the papers to buy our next flip. I had yet to see the interior, so I headed over with my new Galaxy S-7 Edge’s super camera. And this is what I found on the wall of one of the bedrooms:
The man who sold us the house grew up in it. That was his bedroom. He told me stories of what Avoca was like back in the day when Main St. bustled, and if you got into trouble your parents knew about it before you even got home because the neighbors looked out for one another. Kids used to scramble up the hill to the airport and watch the planes take off and land. Both his parents are gone now, and he doesn’t want the house. It needs a lot of work, but it’s solid, and this kitchen has MUCH potential!
Another similarity to my own home is the closed-off staircase. How did they get the furniture up there? I forgot to ask him.
Reconfiguring the stairs will be a major operation. To make those treads 11 inches we’d have to elongate the whole staircase, possibly adding a landing. We’ll have to meet with our contractor to find out how much more that will cost. If the cost is prohibitive, we may have to file the staircase under "it-is-what-it-is."
Another “it-is-what-it-is” factor is the proximity of the next door neighbor. Like a lot of houses in NEPA’s older neighborhoods, the homes are almost touching one another. And there is absolutely, positively nothing we can do about that! A bargain asking price will cause many buyers to overlook it. We’re lucky it’s only one side. We probably wouldn’t flip a house with close neighbors on either side unless we were prepared to hold it as a rental.
Here’s a walkthrough of the rest of the home:
Real Estate Investment Opportunity!
We’re also looking for some private money to fund this flip. Steve has reached out to several people he has worked with in the past, and we’ll need to make our decision soon – we want to close and start the project ASAP. The last flip we did in Avoca netted our money partner more than 15% on his investment, and he got it all back in 9 months. We don’t expect this one to take quite as long! If you’re interested in JV (joint venturing) with us, please contact Steve at (570) 237-0124, voice or text. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And then we saw a couple other potential flips.
After a discussion of the Grove St. flip over Sabatini’s pizza and beer (love their flights of five different craft beers!) it was still light out, and Steve suggested we drive by two other places. The first one we saw was gorgeous – modern, open plan design, good use of space. The owner lost it to foreclosure. It’s going to need some cosmetic work – the floors need refinishing so they’ll gleam, and the place needs to be scrubbed down and repainted. I’d like to replace the tile in the bathrooms – I really don’t like the pastel colors they picked. I would class the place up and make it modern and high-end – granite in the kitchen, a nicely landscaped little back yard (we’ll need a bush hog to start!)
The only thing that scares me about that place was the proximity to the next door neighbor – a home that appears to be abandoned. They have steps leading down from a walkway to what would be our driveway, and they don’t have a driveway of their own. That makes me think there’s an easement. I don’t want to try to sell a house with a shared driveway.
Steve has a call in to the owner of record next door. Maybe he’d like to sell it? If nothing else, we could get information about the easement if there is one. It’s very hard to get any information from a bank about a foreclosure. Another way to find out would be to go to the courthouse on Monday and look up the property.
Steve made a half-price offer to the bank. Sometimes they actually accept those. Often they do not. When we find out more information I may make another, higher offer, under my name using a different LLC. It’s one of the advantages to not changing my name when I got married – Steve and I can pose as completely different entities, and often we do!
The third house was kind of funny looking – it was obvious a previous owner had added an addition. I don’t like it when additions are obvious! It had a great yard though, and was spaced comfortably apart from its neighbors. We haven’t been able to get inside but there are pictures online. There is work to be done, but it looks fairly cosmetic. Of course we won’t know until we see it with our eyes. It only has one bathroom, though. And electric heat – that’s gotta go! Plus the “driveway” is non-existent – there’s a curb cut, but you end up driving over a lawn. And I scraped the undercarriage of the rental car backing out. Hopefully they won’t notice when I turn it in.
Asking price for this house is $54k in an $80-90k neighborhood. That’s probably not going to happen. It’s the same situation we ran into in that neighborhood in Pittston Township. (http://thisgingerjustsnapped.weebly.com/blog/flipping-nepa)
Maybe a handy homeowner will pick it up, live in it, and fix it up as they go. It’s not going to work as an investment property. It would, however, be a good candidate for my rent-to-own business model, that’s still in the dream stage in my mind. That would require government funding and/or grants, and it’s going to take some time for me to figure out how to work that system. It’s in the plans, though. Someday.
Well, this is exciting! The sting of not getting that great job I applied for is starting to ease as I contemplate our next flip. I can’t wait to start using my design chops again! This excites me the way making great radio used to.