So, where are we now with Property #1?
All of the demolition has been completed (by Mike and our friend Matt) and some new windows have been installed. So, we are ready to get moving with this renovation!
We have been trying to assemble our contracting team to begin work on the long-awaited renovation. We were … somewhat successful. Like I mentioned in my last post, contractors are difficult to come by.
Our plan has always been to hire a general contractor (GC). That way, we have one point-person that oversees the entire project — from permitting to floor installation. However, we have had trouble finding this very important person. We were working with one GC that strung us along for about five months before telling us that he couldn’t take the job. It looks like his business may have closed, so we hope all is well, but it was quite a disappointed since he had come highly recommended.
We had to change our approach to this project.
If no GC was to be found, our other option is to manage all of the components of the project ourselves. Yikes! That is … a lot. Especially, since we are working to get our business going in all other aspects. Was it out of the question? Of course not. We want the house available to rent as soon as possible, and so we are going to do what we have to do.
Mike has contacted and met with a number of sub-contractors over the past month or so and we are feeling pretty confident that we are on our way to getting this project going. We had a couple of no-shows, which was discouraging. Yes, we have had this property for three years at this point, so it’s not necessarily urgent that it is done right this minute. The reason why we are feeling so much pressure to get it started now is because this will be our test and will answer the question:
Can we really do this?
After all, we have never done a renovation at this point. We had considered managing our own renovations (which would save us a lot of money), but thought we would shadow the general contractor for at least a project or two to see how it’s done. Where is the best place to order supplies? How do you find a plumber? In what order to we do repairs?
We had lots of questions.
Luckily, we have become friends with another local couple that regularly flips houses and so we have been able to pick their brains (which is a gross term, but applicable). One key to this business that we learned early on was the importance of networking. We joined our local meet-up for real estate investors, which is how we met this couple, Emily & Patrick. In exchange for flipping them a contract on a solid off-market deal we found that would be a good flip for them, they would let us shadow the renovation of that property (a townhouse in Milton) to learn the ropes. Sounded great to us! We have met virtually a few couple of times to see their process and it has been invaluable. If you are looking to get into this business, do what we did: find another investor that is doing what you want to do and find a way to bring value to their business in exchange for mentorship.
Here is what Property 1 looks like now:
For reference, here are the plans again:
One of the first things to do is shore-up the foundation. There are some spots where the floor has a noticeable “trampoline effect” and isn’t quite even due to settling over time. We had an engineer evaluate it and it is sound, just … wonky. Here is Mike looking under the house from Bathroom 2 and what it looks like under the house, because I think it’s neat:
Stay tuned for more updates on this property over the next few months! We are excited to get it done! 🙂