Happy Homes: 100+ Days into Our 6th Investment Property

It’s been 100 plus days since we purchased our 6th investment property, Dudley Court, in Arvada Colorado and we are very close to putting this beautiful home on the market. As a small business owner of a real estate investment company (Happy Homes), it’s easy to get caught up in the grind of the project, not reflect on the progress, as you’re dealing with just getting it done. Hence not writing an update in a few weeks (I wrote a post one week in, then three weeks into the project, then 40 days working on Dudley Court…..and here we are!)

In the past few weeks, as the progress has moved swiftly, I’ve thought about the rolls Mike and I play in our company. I’m the ‘front office’ of the business, dealing with the costs, budget, receipts, bills in as organized fashion as possible. It’s seemingly easier than Mike’s gig, but can be overwhelming if I don’t keep up with it. Mike on the other had deals with the physical act of building (he typically does all the framing and support or structural things needed) putting in the windows, doors, trim, custom cabinetry or craftsmanship, on top of having to manage all of the logistics presented when you’re dealing with sub-contractors. I try to look at what we both bring to the table objectively, not become to attached to how much I do or don’t do, vs. what he brings to the table, as we are both vitally important to making this work. That being said, realistically it can be hard not to feel overwhelmed by your own bubble of responsibilities. Here’s how I think both Mike and I can think….

Me: “I not only have to work a 40+ a week, high stress job, but do most of the grocery shopping, cleaning, all of the cooking, dishes, folding of the laundry and walking the dogs, plus manage our household bills and inventory (aka do we have toothpaste)….then use my after work hours to help at the investment property with demo, mixing cement, cleaning the job site, tile and floor shopping, helping to carry heavy material onto the job, and managing all of Happy Homes finances.”

Mike: “I’m on my feet 8+ hours a day, problem solving the entire project, including not only how to build the best home for someone, but having to solve and decide on things my subs are bringing to me on an hourly basis. I don’t have any helpers we employee, so all skilled carpentry, framing, structural issues are mine to solve and execute. On top of that, I manage the problems that come with sub-contractors moving their timelines, which shift multiple elements when you’re on projects the size of ours, in turn pushing the on market date. Then come home and tend to all of our gardens, whether that’s planting or feeding the food we grow the nutrients needed, on top of mowing the grass and taking care of the yard.”

Sheesh, we are both BOSSES! And after a few shouting matches about stresses both of us were feeling, I had to map it out in my head. In stopping to truly consider what each of us are bringing to the table it allows for appreciation and conversation. Again, when you’re SO in the thick of the items on your to-do, it’s really hard to have perspective.

So, in the past several weeks, we’ve accomplished a lot…..

Old brick patio had to be taken out

We tore up the backyard to replace the sewer main going into the house, then had our amazing landscaper sod & put in sprinklers. He even tore up the cracked cement walkway.

Sewer main replaced, now time for sod
New Brick walkway & sod

Our kitchen layout and cabinets got selected, then we went to select our quartz counter tops. The island counter would be used on the master bathroom sink counter tops as well – super sharp.

The windows got ordered and were supposed to be delivered, but our Breckenridge vacation took place, so we had the company we use hold them while we enjoyed a week up in the mountains with Mike’s family.

When we got back from the mountains, Mike got to work installing them, all 17 of them, and trimming the interior windows out. Up and down the ladder, lots of scraped knuckles and long days. I even helped put in the huge front window, as it was an expansive three-tiered window. It was HEAVY!

We have walls!

After the windows went in, drywall went up, making the space look like an actual house!

Drywall in the garden level!

We selected tile for all of the bathroom floors and shower surrounds. Choosing different floors for each bathroom, but going with a simple and clean subway tile for all of the showers, each space would be unique but have a common element.

Weekend Warriors

Before we headed out for vacation, we needed to lay the hardibacker for the tile that would happen in the bathrooms, so a weekend was spent laying floor and cleaning out buckets.

Laying HardiBacker

While we were in Maine, the tile got installed, so when we got back we didn’t feel as bad for leaving in the middle of a project, as progress on the house was still happening.

Garden Level Floor!

The floor in the garden level also went in, a really beautiful water resistant style that makes the room feel warm, yet modern.

Front door on point

Mike got to work hanging doors, trimming out base boards and building the cabinet unit down in the garden level.

Hanging the doors

There is a brick wall that used to have an old wood-burning stove, which we pulled out of there. Mike used a custom wood top he had from another project to outfit the cabinets and it turned out gorgeous – and functional!

Cabinet Craftsmanship

Landscaping continues, with sprinkler systems and full on sod – the yard is beautiful! The mulch around the edge, along with a new brick patio, along with a new stone border in the front of the house gives it massive curb appeal. Our landscaper isn’t finished yet, but hopefully within the next few days.

The Beautiful Backyard

Our kitchen counters went in last week and the kitchen is looking amazing! We selected a darker quartz for the counter tops and a light marble looking piece for the island and master bathroom vanity. I love it and hopefully someone else will as well!

Kitchen counter tops in!

Mike headed to Wisconsin at the end of last week (horrible timing, but the trip was already booked!) but before he went, he oversaw the exterior paint (of which I had to go get more of while he was away!) and put in a really cool barn door slider in the guest room.

Barn Door Slider
Exterior paint on the brick

The house looks amazing and will be ready to list in the next week! It’s been a ride so far, with a ton of lessons learned both as a business owner, a hustler, and the wife of a contractor. Will definitely be writing a post about the lessons learned for future flips.

Happy House Flipping!

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!