Ryan and I like projects. Not just your “let’s repaint our bedroom” projects but more like, “if we take down this wall and build a built in bookshelf the room will be awesome” type projects. It all started when we were house hunting for our first house. We have champagne taste on a beer budget. Everything we looked at that was outrageous in cost we always said, “what? We can so do that.” And so we did. Our last house was a 3 bedroom, 1 bath cape cod. We turned it into a 2 bathroom house by the time we left in two years and made a significant profit on our house when we sold. Enough to pay off my student loans. So it should be no surprise that for our next house we wanted another project.
After months and months of searching we found this gem. An elderly couple who had lived in the house for over 30 years. Not much had been done in terms of updating, which is exactly what we like to see. Untouched and ready for the Slicer’s to bring it into the modern era.
Please also note the amount of wallpaper. EVERY. SINGLE. WALL was covered. If it looks like a wall is just painted, make no mistake that it is truly wallpaper. Some rooms even had a matching border. Most of the wallpaper came off with no issues but the master bedroom and bathroom put up a major fight. After using several types of wallpaper remover, I came up with my own concoction that worked like magic. Non-toxic too!We have 3 bathrooms on the first floor and they all have their very own personality with color. Peach, pink and blue. However, if you notice the tile is not awful. White, square tiles can easily be incorporated into a new modern update and that’s exactly what we planned to do. Replacing sinks, vanities and toilets are no big deal. Tearing out tile? No thanks.Are you thinking, “what in the world are they thinking buying this house?!” yet? We ourselves had that thought a few times through out the reno process. But oh my, when a room finally comes together after weeks of hard work it’s like Clark Griswold in his front yard ready to turn christmas lights on for the first time. Magic.
Are you interested in buying a fixer upper? Here are some things to look for in your potential
Absolutely the first thing you have to consider. What is the current housing market in the area you’re looking? Are they mostly starter homes or a mix of both. You can pour your heart and soul into a home but not see the return because the location and the home you’re trying to sell don’t match. If you’re the only 2 story on a street of ranches that could be a potential trap. More than likely you could already be the most expensive house on the street and recent sales don’t support what you are hoping to get when you sell.
2. What’s already been done?
Has the current home owner already completed or attempted to complete some home renovations? If so, be careful. Ryan is a total perfectionist. I’ve literally seen him drywall a ceiling and the next day rip it out because it wasn’t perfect. Not everyone treats home renovations this way and will cut corners that you can’t see. This is why with both of our homes we purchased houses that hadn’t been touched. Ugly doesn’t bother us. In fact, it excites us.
3. Think about who your buyer is
When purchasing a home take in to consideration who is going to buy it from you. I love Carrera Marble, who doesn’t. However, we don’t live in an area where that is an expectation in a kitchen or bathroom. Would be a pleasant surprise? Absolutely, but it’s totally not necessary and I know we wouldn’t see the return. We would out price ourselves out of the neighborhood. Do not go into renovations updating to your taste, update to your potential buyers taste. This is much easier said than done but it’s true. Ryan and I have a mix of modern and traditional taste. He’s much more modern than me but we know if we put a completely modern kitchen in this home it won’t appeal to 90% of our potential buyers.
4. What is unique to the area
This is huge! Does the house have anything that not a lot of homes in the area have? Our ranch has not 1 but 2, WOOD BURNING fireplaces. Holla! We also have a 4 car, tandem garage. It’s enormous. Those are two major positives when it comes to re-selling our home. We also have a master bathroom and a screened in porch. To the contrary, if you know for the area having 2 bathrooms is standard and you only have 1 you will have to put in a bathroom before selling to be competitive. That’s a major cost not to mention time.
5. Cost of renovation/Potential profit
This is pretty obvious but you certainly don’t want to break even or worse lose money on your flip. Think about the house totally renovated, what would it sell for? What is the house currently being listed at? Factor all of this information together to see if you’re ok with the potential profit. If it’s too little than try giving an offer you feel is more reasonable or just move on.
Every Tuesday I will reveal a new room/project that we have completed. This house in no way shape or form looks like it does in these pictures. It’s so much fun to look back and see what we have accomplished. It will be a lot of fun to see it on the return when we sell too ;-)