Wendy and I jumped into 2017 with both feet by working our way into flipping a house with our awesome partners Mike and Ken! It’s been a TON of learning and lots of work. Here are my 3 biggest takeaways thus far. If you’re thinking of flipping a house and doing some sweat equity, these tips will help!
One: HGTV and every flipping show out there is a CROCK! LOL!
First things first; real estate it’s own animal, and although there are houses you can probably get into in a couple of days like they show on tv, generally speaking, acquiring a house is a slower process especially when dealing with distressed and/or vacant properties. We were lucky because Mike and Ken had already done the heavy lifting and let us in later on!
You know on those house flipping shows after the flippers have secured the chosen property on the same day as the offer and then they start demo?! Don’t you just love those scenes where everyone is throwing hammers usually with some kind of rock music playing in the background? The homeowners and host are laughing and its all soooooo wild. It brings out your inner warrior, right!?! And then in the next scene everything is demo’ed!
Um…NOPE!!! You knew that though, right? Us too, but living it is totally different than watching it on TV. For your average DIY-er/ beginning flipper, demo is slow. Your watching out for plumbing and electrical, and sometimes your trying to salvage some materials to reuse later. Charlotte was built in 1873 (crazy right?!). So we had to try and save trim because the house is so old. If we needed to match certain pieces we’d have to get them custom made which gets pricey fast.
Also, there is no fun music other than your chosen Pandora station. But ya know what there is a lot of? Dirt, dust, and debris! If you demo,, wear a heavy duty mask (skip the cheapy ones) and get some heavy work boots. They’ll save your lungs and your feet. We learned very quickly that throwing hammers and kicking through walls makes for good TV but ultimately ends up being a big mess for you to clean up later!
We try to keep our mess neat and walkways clear. Safety first!!!
Two: There are chances to save money but you will pay…
…with your time and/or your body! There is a cost to everything! We saved between $1500 and 2K by tackling the demo ourselves but I was sore and filthy at the end of everyday and Wendy and I both ended up with pretty nasty head colds in the process. I was actually out of commission for a few days. It was no joke!
There was LOTS of dust!!! So there is a trade off, you can pay a company to do it or spend your time and labor to save money.
As someone new in the game, even though I got pretty sick, I’d do it again because I learned so much and will know what to look for in the future. I now have a few tricks of trade under my belt and I can now spot major red flags like nob and tube wiring (big fire hazard), a corroded furnace, and cracks in foundation which can be tens of thousands of dollars to fix. I’d definitely recommend taking on at least some of the demo, especially in the beginning of your flipping journey.
Don’t you love the look?! Ha! PS- I upgraded this mask and still got sick!
Three: Time is of the essence.
Overall, I thought the flipping process would be faster than it has been thus far. I think in many cases it is, but much like our design projects, there will always be hiccups along the way and you must learn to be flexible and expect the unexpected and keep things moving. Demo is just about done and now we’re moving towards starting to put things back together again.
Here’s some progress pics! It’s like a total transformation, but in reverse!
Kitchen at present!
Living Room then…
…and a few action shots LOL!!!
Living the dream LOL!!!
Jack of all trades, Master of EVERYTHING!!! Except catching that hammer 😉
So, if we weren’t going 100 miles per hour, it wouldn’t be us! I wanna fill you in on some design projects we been working on too!!! It’ll be time to revisit the ‘pretty’ again soon! Let us know what you think in the comments below!