Happy Homes: 40 days on Dudley Court

39 days into Happy Homes’s (our real-estate investment company) 6th fix n flip property & we took the weekend off on an impromptu camping trip to go play in the mountains. The first few weeks were spent on window demo and lots of cleanup, and it’s been a productive few weeks, with Mike tackling some big hurdles. Here’s the break down of what we’ve done over the past two weeks….

  • We got the HVAC Bid: $7,800. Mike has had the same guy work on the past several houses we’ve flipped and he’s good. Really fair & trustworthy.

  • Removed the kitchen walls & built a beam system. This required engineering sign off (we used DL engineering who were amazing!) Mike building temp walls, pouring concrete pads to carry the load (I personally mixed 1280 lbs of concert & carried about 6 80lb bags down into the basement). This took us several hours on July 5th, my day off, and it was hard, dirty work. But so glad I was there to help!

  • Had another electrician out. This first bid we got was $17k – wayyyy too high, so Mike contacted someone who is a good friend of a good friend. We’re still waiting, but will most like be a lot lower and will need to get him started.

  • Plumber started work. There’s not a bid here. We trust the guy who’s doing the work (has worked on several other properties & does great work for a fair price).

  • Removed all doors & door frames (9) from the house. I took on this and managed to complete it in about two hours total (between multiple days)

  • Removed the flue work from the wood burning stove & the old furnace and water heater. The wood burning stove flue was attached from the master all the way to the basement, so Mike had to finagle it until it broke loose. The furnace & water heater was more complicated, as they are both located in the crawl space. He ended up cutting that out with a grinding wheel.

  • Sold the washer & dryer. They were like new and we didn’t need them – we got $450 for them. A great deal for them & a bonus for us!

  • Sold the scrap aluminum. Having gut 14 metal windows, we wanted to see if it would be worth it to scrap it for money. So, we ended up getting about $90 from the windows & doors, plus the two ladders left at the property. 100% worth it seeing as we would have had to dump this ourselves.

  • Negotiated & purchased a new stove for $539. A screaming deal for the stove we purchased! Mike saw it as a return at Lowe’s & asked if they’d knock $100 off. And they did! The lesson: the answer is always No if you don’t ask.

  • Bought 8 flush mount light fixtures, faucet hardware for all of the bathrooms, bought the kitchen sink & faucet, and two vanities for the two bedrooms. All of this came to just over $2k – a great deal for really nice finishes.
  • Filled up a third dumpster. The attic is empty and 95% of the shed is cleaned out. That is a huge load off considering how much stuff the previous owners left.
  • Mike patched and laid the subfloor. When we removed the wet bed tile, there wasn’t any, so had to lay new. Some areas got cut when the beam system was built (needed to build supports that would run down into the crawl space).

Quite a bit has been accomplished, much due to the fact that we worked July 4th holiday, taking advantage of the days I had off to help, and working late into the evenings on a few weeknights and Fridays. I don’t consider giving up that time as a sacrifice; I consider it a privilege.  To work towards something I helped create, to sweat and literally bleed for my own company, well that is truly something I am grateful I’m able to contribute to.

Our mountain weekend has been wonderful & Monday greets us full of possibility. Happy week!

Happy Homes: Dudley Court Week 1

It’s been a little over a week since purchasing our 6th investment property, Dudley Court, and so far we’ve accomplished a ton! Taking a look at the last week, I’ve felt proud at the amount I’ve been able to dig into and take care of, especially considering I have a full-time job. But in all honesty, it’s a nice change of pace to be able to get up after 8+ hours on the computer to head to a physically demanding second shift. Nothing cures desk jokey syndrome like demolition!

In past Happy Homes investment projects I’ve not documented much in the way of timelines or blogs, so I thought I’d try to chronicle this property so I can look back in future years to see how things flowed. No two investment properties are alike though, so being able to learn something new from each allows for a more informed project on the next. Unless of course there are major issues, in which case you know what to avoid!

So, here’s a list of the things we’ve done to Dudley Court – and things we’ve discovered along the way!

Week 1

1. All closets are empty. This may seem obvious, we bought a house that someone moved out of. Oh no. These closets were full on hangers, clothes, old computer stuff, toys, you name it, we found it in the closet. First few hours of owning the property were spent emptying the things they left behind.

2. All upstairs carpet & tack strips are removed. Mike was at a bachelor party last weekend (yup, first weekend we owned it, he bounced!) so I spent about 5 hours between Saturday & Sunday (June 8 & 9) to rip out the disgusting carpet. Yes, I carried it out myself!

3. Paint, chemicals & gas cans are gathered for disposal. The sheer amount of items we found that we’re not able to dispose of in a dumpster is baffling. The previous family lived in the house for 39 years and must have painted their home 27 times. From the crawl space, to the garage, shed & worship, boxes upon boxes of paint need to be discarded.

4. All furniture has been removed & put in the dumpster. An entertainment center, old mattress, end tables, plastic dressers, all outta there.

5. Kitchen has been completely demoed. Mike removed all upper & lower cabinets, along with dishwasher, microwave & appliances. I helped clean up the mess and removed backsplash. We’ll keep the fridge and stove (both newer, in great shape) so right now they’re sitting in the living room! We hire a demo crew to demo tile & bathrooms, so the kitchen floor was removed Friday, June 14.

6. Two windows are framed out. This is huge due to the fact that the house is brick, the windows were original and the flanges were hidden. Mike had to frame these bad boys just so in order to get the new windows to fit securely.

7. Had the sewer line scoped. Unfortunately, we’ll need to replace a portion of the pipes, but this is a job Mike will be able to tackle himself, just by renting a machine and rolling up his sleeves.

All in all, we did a lot ourselves up to this point and I feel really good about the work, especially due to the fact that the previous owners left so much junk we had to clear out!

Next steps are completely clearing out the shed, attic & garage (we have a Veteran donation place coming next week), setting up a meeting with the structural engineer (this will be pricey I’m afraid!) to ask about removing the additional walls in the kitchen, to open up the layout, finishing demo (our crew is working this weekend!) and ordering new windows. Lots still to do, but on such a good path!

Happy Weekend – and cheers to all the weekend warriors!

Happy Homes: Our 6th Investment Property

On June 6th, at 9:30am, Mike and I purchased our sixth investment property under our company, Happy Homes. Having lived her for slightly over five years, I feel pretty good about the current track record of our investment portfolio….even though the last project took 23 months. Almost 2 years of building, foundation work, adding 1,000 square feet, trying to sell it ourselves, having no luck so short-term renting it,having renters glitter bomb it, then finally selling.

Most of our properties take a little over 90 days, so the last one was a doozey. So when Mike found this deal, he seized the day, recognizing the amazing opportunity Dudley Court presented.

It was a tri-level, with a corner lot, in a quite street. Close to Old town Arvada, Ralston Creek park, beautiful properties that have been recently flipped in the neighborhood….and the best part is it’s only one mile away from our house!

We purchased the house through a wholesaler, so Mike literally hadn’t spent more than 25 minutes in the house in total, and I had never been inside at all. The way a whole sale deal works is they invite a number of investors and buyers into the house at a certain time, and you have less than 30 minutes to make an offer. You’re then notified if your offer wins – and we offered $10k over ask, so got it!

The sellers are able to leave whatever they want behind when they sell, as part of the allure with selling off-market. So, when we closed on the house, we finally got to head in and see the amount of stuff they left. Having lived there for 39 years, the couple who sold had accumulated quite a bit and it happened to be that they left quite a bit of it behind.

This past weekend, Mike had a bachelor party, so I headed to the house after work on Friday to do some cleanup. Not able to help more than part-time on our investments, due to the fact that I have a full-time day job, I always get excited for the weekends and evenings I am able to lend a hand.

I can’t do the skilled stuff Mike can, so am typically crawling in dumpsters, hauling dirty carpet, tearing out window treatments. You know, the gross stuff.

Over the last few days, spending a little over 5 hours getting after it, I was able to tear up all of the carpet upstairs along with the tack strips, rip up the carpet downstairs in the basement, take several loads from the crawl space into the dumpster, clean out all of the clothes and random things they left in the closets and smash down the dumpster so more would fit.

It was a productive weekend and I couldn’t be more excited about this project and am so looking forward to the transformation!

I’m going to try and blog on a weekly basis about the updates, lessons learned, progress of our sixth investment property. Follow along & feel free to ask me anything about the process!

Happy Flipping!