Special thanks goes out to Anna Jursik who interviewed me for D@MN News! I truly appreciate the support! I studied design at the U of M for four years and many of the skills that I use today came from what I learned there!
The full interview is below with all of the Q&A’s, but follow the link below to check out the article that got published: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/design/designatmn/2014/09/james-judge-interior-design-10.html
What’s your total house count as of today? 25 Flips With 5 More Currently In Progress… To hopefully make it 30 completed flips by the end of 2014! (I’ve worked on about 40-50 residential remodeling projects separate from flipping)
Who do you have on your team? Or do you do it all? I couldn’t do what I do without my team! They all started out as acquaintances but have now become good friends. Freddie is my contractor – He’s an incredible person and shares my passion for making homes the best they can be! The two of us work perfectly in sync… It’s a beautiful thing and so rare to find a contractor that understands a designer! Many times I’m drawing designs all over the wall he’s about to knock out, but it works perfectly and I will be forever grateful for him! Shane is my Realtor and he makes deals happen. We buy and sell through him ensuring the best deal when buying and top dollar when selling too! In addition to both of then, I also have my investors and mentors. Flipping definitely costs money, but I’ve been so fortunate to find investors that believe in my work and trust my vision!
Could you describe a day in the life of a flipper? My days are long! Every day is different and that’s partially what I love about flipping… However, for the sake of the question, most days start with me checking the MLS to see if there are any must have homes that have come on the market (Followed by me sending a panicked e-mail to Shane… Think ‘Black Friday’ but for real estate). This is followed by doing a house tour and visiting each of the project sites to meet with Freddie and check on the progress of the flip… Ranging from pre-demo, to full-demo, to reconstruction, and also the finishing touches. This is always the fun part of my day because it’s where I get to be most creative and make design choices, do elevation drawings, or floor plans when we are reconfiguring a space… The drawings/plans aren’t formal like when I was in Design School at the U of M, but they do the trick and I’m on site everyday to clarify any questions that might develop. After the house tour, I find myself in front of the computer ordering product, picking fixtures, scheduling deliveries, planning installs, and coordinating all outside vendors. After computer time, I’m typically back in the car viewing houses that we might write offers on, picking up samples for a project, or checking-in on houses that are complete and currently for sale to make sure they’re still looking it’s best! I usually end my day on the phone or back on the computer catching up on e-mails, solving any problems that developed during the day and then I blog! Along with instagram’ing and tweet’ing @flippingdiaries
I’m very impressed with your transformations. Where do you find design inspiration? THANKS! I really appreciate that! I love to travel and hotels always seem to inspire me because of the way they make the most of a small space and sometimes use unique materials and textures to bring visual interest. I also love houzz.com. I can sit there for hours with a blank stare on my face and all you hear is ‘click-click-click-click-click…’ as I speed from one photo to the next occasionally adding one to my ideabook.
Did any experiences at the College of Design lead to your current projects? Space planning is one of my best skills and I have the College of Design to thank for it. So much of flipping is making the most of the space you have and a lot of older homes didn’t do that, therefore as a flipper I always work to achieve a better floor plan, more storage, and a space that’s comfortable. For better or for worse – The College of Design also taught me to work well on little sleep and I definitely apply that to all of my current projects!
What’s been your biggest challenge so far? Construction, paperwork, housing market? Time. It’s definitely my biggest challenge because when flipping a house, it’s all about how quick you can get it back on market which means tight schedules and strict deadlines that are sometimes impossible to achieve… But the phrase ‘Time is Money” applies 100% to what I do and it’s challenging to be house hunting, planning, designing, coordinating, scheduling, accounting, staging, and more for multiple houses (currently five at the moment) all at the same time while also looking ahead to future plans/goals and of course trying to have social life too!
Your blog has tons of great tips and photos. How did you decide to start blogging? Who do you hope is reading? I like these questions that lead with such nice things – THANKS! I’ve only been flipping for two and a half years and during that time, I’ve been fortunate to do so many projects. For me, blogging was the best way to share what I do to hopefully inspire others or help them with their projects/flips… And when it comes to blogging, I need to thank my partner Andy – I am not tech savvy and so he was the one that was able to put my concept into action and get it online. Without him… Flipping Diaries might still just be a concept! As for who is reading… It’s been my dream since before the College of Design to someday have a TV show and I think Flipping Diaries is just begging to have a camera crew around. HGTV, Bravo, DIY – Call me!
What are your goals for Flipping Diaries? Where do you see yourself in ten years. From the question above, my goal is to see Flipping Diaries become a TV show or be the foundation for a new concept show that I’ll host. Ten years from now, I see myself still flipping (perhaps in a different market or at a different scale) with a successful television show (hopefully sooner rather than later) and a Flipping Diaries product line at Target catering to the “Style of A Flipper”