07.21.2014 / Flip Reflections

If you’re sick of hearing about the flip, I’ll return to my regular, non-flip programming on Wednesday but until then I have more flip stuff to chat about.

I’ve had several of you ask me how flip #3 compares to the previous 2, which my favorite is, and if quitting my salaried 9to5 was worth it, so I figured that we could have a little flip chat today.  If you’re newish here you may not have seen all 3 transformations so take a moment to check them out: #1: Clark, #2: Frankie, #3: Grover.

After completing my 3rd flip house, I’m finally feeling like I’m getting the hang of it!  I know roughly what a kitchen or new windows or a roof or a bathroom will cost me. I know who to call if the wiring is wonky or if the pipes burst.  I’m even getting pretty good on estimating how much time it’ll take to turn around the house.  I know each house will teach me an entirely new lesson, but I feel prepared for whatever gets thrown at me now.

Grover-after-kitchen-dining-1

I had a little trial and error with finding the right contractors through the 3 houses, but I think I finally found some good resources.  I’ve discovered that the best way to find a contractor is by a recommendation from another contractor.  It all started with my plumber- we’ve used him even before flipping, so we knew he would do a good job.  When I was looking for a new electrician for house #2, I used my plumber’s recommendation and was very happy.  When I was looking for a new contractor for house #3, I went with my electrician’s recommendation and was also happy.  I’ve also asked friends and family for recommendation and consulted Angie’s list.  I did find my flooring guy on Angie’s list (and was blown away with the result), but by far, contractors recommending contractors has been the most successful method.  The different specialties work together on a regular basis and quickly learn who does a good job.  I’m so happy that I tapped into that resource and now have some go-to guys to call.

Grover-kitchen-after-4

Ok, so that takes care of the more technical stuff, let’s get a little more personal.

House #1, Clark was my favorite to work on so far- I did most of the work myself and all the firsts were fun.  I had never installed a hardwood floor or tiled or switched out a toilet.  Handy Dad got called pretty much daily as I got stumped or needed guidance.  It wasn’t glamorous (spoiler alert: flipping isn’t glamorous!), but the learning process was the most fun since I had the most to learn.  I am also happy to say that my photography skills have markedly improved since.

Clark-Kitchen-3

Clark was also my favorite curb appeal make-over since it’s the only one that didn’t have vinyl siding and I got to paint it the colors I thought would work best.  Vinyl siding is not my friend.

clark-open

House #2, Frankie was the biggest learning process.  We spent a bit more than we should have to buy the house, and I went over on my reno budget.  Not a ton over, just $2000, but over nonetheless.  We still made money on the house thankfully, but there are several steps we should have done a bit differently.  The really good thing here is that we know where we could’ve done better and won’t take those same paths again.  The less successful paths mainly had to do with my work process and project management, however my biggest take-away was that your personality needs to jive with your contractor’s.  Frankie’s contractor did a decent job, but in spending that much time with someone (and that much trust in someone), you want to make sure they aren’t adding to your anxiety.

frankie-bathroom-after-3

frankie-kitchen-1

House #3, Grover has been the most satisfying by far.  The process was the most tedious (no more painting… please??) but this house had the most personality in the end.  I’m a sucker for character and I’ve tried to insert as much as possible into all my houses- #3 had some of his own to start with and didn’t require me to add as much in.

Grover-dining-kitchen-after-2

On to some details:  My favorite backsplash, and the first backsplash I ever did was Clark’s moss green penny tiles.  They just make me smile.

clark-flower-tray

Favorite tile floor is probably Grover’s retro blue tiles.  I’m not sure if you would consider this a success or not (I do), but most people actually think the floor in Grover’s bathroom are original.

Grover-bath-after-3

I can’t decide on a favorite hard wood floor, though.  Clarks were fantastic because they added so much to the house and they were such a satisfactory project to tackle myself

Clark-LR-2

but on the other hand, Grover’s hard wood floors are original (with the exception of the kitchen) and original always feels a bit more authentic.

Grover-dining-after-1

Favorite kitchen as a whole?  Grover’s hands down.  Although I loved the white cabinets in Clark, Grover’s kitchen just feels the most homey.  I just want to bake there.

Grover-kitchen-after-1

Aside from the fact that I’m starting to figure out how to use my camera, another reason why the pictures just keep getting better is staging.  With Clark, we discussed if staging was worth the price and we decided not to- Frankie drove us to stage since he wasn’t selling, and I couldn’t imagine Grover without it!  Staging may just be my favorite part of the process.

Grover-kitchen-island

Now that we’ve looked at some pretty pictures from each house, let’s get back to the nitty-gritty for just a second.  I quit my corporate 9to5 design job a year and a half ago…. was it all worth it?

YES!

If we sell Grover for what we expect, I’ll be about even income-wise after a year and a half of working for myself.  I haven’t actually taken a salary from the flips yet- we’ve been reinvesting the money back in in hopes that we can go after a bigger fish for the next flip.  Even though I haven’t taken a huge step salary-wise, flipping has allowed me the flexibility to really figure out what I want from my career and to get my own residential design business started (Copper Dot Interiors- I’d love to work with you!).  In the long run, quitting the stable job for the risk will be well worth it!

I’d love to hear what flip was your favorite!  What kitchen do you want to cook in?

 

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07.18.2014 / Grover REVEALED!

There isn’t a whole bunch of instant gratification when flipping a house, but if you can wait almost 5 months oh man, satisfaction city!  Congrats on making it all the way with me!

Week 18, AKA Grover’s Big Day!!!

This might end up being my longest post probably ever, but guys, this house is kinda pretty now.  Just kinda.

Let’s start outside.  Before he was very blah.  The garage door was demanding more attention than the front door and he just looked tired.

grover

It’s amazing what a few small changes can do to curb appeal.

Grover the fliphouse curb appeal via year of serendipity

Aside from the biggies of new roof and windows, the foundation, stairs, garage door, and front door got painted, shrubs got trimmed, flowers got planted, mulch got spread, and the lights and mailbox got upgraded.  Now the front door demands the attention it deserves and the entrance has presence.

Grover the fliphouse curb appeal via year of serendipity

The outside is nice and all, but the inside is where the WOW is.

From the second potential buyers step in the front door, I’m hoping to take their breath away.

Before… dark dark dark and closed in.

grover-before5

grover-before3

Now?

Grover the fliphouse living room after via year of serendipity Grover the fliphouse living room after via year of serendipity

Oh and remember how there used to be a wall?

grover-before6

What wall?

Grover the fliphouse open concept living/dining via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse open concept living/dining via year of serendipity

And who didn’t love the scallops..

grover-before8

Oh right, me.

Grover the fliphouse open concept living/dining/kitchen via year of serendipity

The view from the sofa has changed a tiny bit.  This might be my favorite spot in the entire house.  Ok, tour over.  I’m just going to hang out here.  You don’t need to see the kitchen or the rest of the house.

Grover the fliphouse open concept living/dining/kitchen via year of serendipity

Ohhhh, fine, I guess I’ll show you the rest.

This once sexy dark kitchen with beautiful yellow laminate counters, fake wood-over linoleum floors and a fan to hit your head on was hard to tear out.  And by ‘hard to tear out’ I mean it was a sledge hammer’s dream.

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I’ll just let you take in the difference here.

Grover the fliphouse retro charm ikea kitchen after via year of serendipity

Is it weird that my favorite thing in this room might just be those stools?  (yes, they are almost identical to the ones from Young House Love’s last kitchen)  I scored them for a whopping $35 on craigslist and we’ve bonded.  Their style is PERFECT for this kitchen and adds just the right vintage touch.  Handy dad helped me trim down the legs so they could be counter height instead of bar height and you’d never know.

Grover the fliphouse retro charm ikea kitchen via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse retro charm kitchen stools via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse retro charm kitchen via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse ikea kitchen island via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse retro charm kitchen via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse glass mosaic backsplash via year of serendipity

I’ll admit- I am planning to do another layer of grout to smooth over a bit.  Even though unsanded grout was the right one to use for this size grout line, I’m finding that the first layer always looks a bit rough.  Maybe it’s just my OCD talking, but I need to fix it a bit to be comfortable handing this house over to the next owners

Continuing down the hall, first stop is the bathroom.  This gem was a wow before, but in a bad way.

grover-bath

grover-bathroom-before-2 grover-bathroom-before-4

Now it sports new everything- tub, toilet, vanity, wall tile, floor tile, paneling.

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom with subway tiles via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom via year of serendipity

The 3 bedrooms thankfully just needed lots of paint and floor refinishing.

The back bedroom:

grover-before-br-2

Grover the fliphouse back bedroom staged via year of serendipity Grover the fliphouse back bedroom staged via year of serendipity Grover the fliphouse back bedroom staged via year of serendipity

Master bedroom/largest bedroom:

master before

Grover the fliphouse master bedroom staged via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse master bedroom staged via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse master bedroom staged via year of serendipity

And the smallest bedroom:

grover-before-br1

Grover the fliphouse small bedroom staged via year of serendipity Grover the fliphouse small bedroom staged via year of serendipity

Not that the basement underwent a HUGE transition, but you totally need to see these 2 spaces.

grover-before20

The neon seafoam garage received a new electrical panel, neutral paint, and a new, functioning garage door opener.

Grover the fliphouse garage via year of serendipity

And the weird, creepy, paneled room that looked like it belonged in a bad 70s porno…

grover-before19

Now is totally refreshed and could be the perfect play room, media room, family room, etc.

Grover the fliphouse paneled room via year of serendipity

I still have a few items left on my punch-list to get this house completely done.  I know this post started strong with the fancy areas of the house then moved on to the less exciting, so I’ll leave you with my favorite shot of the new open concept and kitchen.  Isn’t he charming now??

Grover the fliphouse open concept kitchen/dining with retro charm ikea kitchen via year of serendipity

Remember how this is a flip house and I’m selling it now??  Well guess what- it’s listed!!! I didn’t share the MLS listing with you at the top so you didn’t get distracted, but here it is!  Go buy him!  He needs a wonderful family to love and take care of him!

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07.14.2014 / Do the Hustle!

In all my rushing around to get this flip done, I didn’t leave myself time to blog properly this morning.  So, this isn’t a real post, consider this a promise for a make-up post when my head finds its way back onto its body and I can think straight again.  Until then, I’ll leave you with a pretty picture that I’ve been staring at for days.  My own staircase is jealous.  Although it’ll be getting some attention with the completion of this flip, it’ll never be as awesome as this staircase from The Pineapple Housewife featured on Apartment Therapy.  Would you like to drool with me?

pineapple stairs

Happy Monday and have a great week!

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