In the past 3 years of flipping I have learned so many tricks of the trade but we all had to start somewhere! Let’s go back to where I initially moved to Phoenix and start at the beginning of my flipping journey!
Initially in Phoenix I helped establish a real estate investment company with a friend that I met in a bar in Berlin, while back packing around Europe. That trip proved to be life changing in more ways than one! The company focused on buying houses and remodeling them into rental properties. In late 2011, you could actually buy a 3 bed, 2 bath home for under $30k – Totally insane! Granted it needed a little lovin’ but it was still a nice house in a decent neighborhood and it became a great rental property along with 60 others over the last three years.
It was the experience I gained from remodeling these rentals that made me realize that I could be doing the same thing on a larger scale. In early 2012, the market started to change and prices started to increase (things were still super cheap) but there was a noticeable difference and our realtor Shane approached us with the idea of flipping. Needless to say I was totally on board! We purchased the first flip in March 2012, a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with a huge diving pool in the backyard.
It was easy to see what the house needed, but it was hard to figure out how to get it all done. With every house there are always four essential items we look at: electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and the roof. They’re expensive to fix and mandatory for every home. If the margins are good enough, all of these problems can be remedied. Fortunately for our first one, only the roof had to be addressed. Phew! On the exterior, we improved the curb appeal through a new roof, enclosing the carport to make it a two-car garage, new exterior paint, adding a window to a bedroom, and performing an extreme pool makeover! Inside, we kept the existing tile flooring but did new baseboards to make it pop. New interior paint throughout, and updated fixtures brought this house to the proper decade. In the kitchen we kept the same cabinets but painted them white and added crown molding to the soffit to create a feeling of height. (It killed me a little bit to remove the rooster wallpaper border, but I think it was for the best…) I removed the pantry to create a better pathway and took a spare cabinet from the shed to make it into an island. Rather then discarding the pantry cabinet, I installed it into the master bathroom to maximize the storage in the space and complement it with a floating vanity on each side. It created the illusion of more space, and provided a sense of luxury. New doors, matching tile in the showers, new carpet in the bedrooms, and upgrades throughout made this house market ready.
The first flip took two months to complete with a whole lot of work from my contractor… and my partner… and my mom (Thanks guys!!). Once listed we had multiple offers! Sounds perfect, right? But it fell in and out of contract three times! Totally unexpected, but with flipping, you need to expect the unexpected.