Things to do before you sell your house

Posted on: November 12, 2011

Categories: Fix, Ideas

Author: pmx

This statement is the truth. Don’t forgot those hidden items!

Screen shot 2011 12 11 at 9.14.22 PM1 Things to do before you sell your house

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How to Fix A House To Sell

Posted on: September 19, 2011

Categories: Fix, How To

Author: TGC

When you’re looking for a house to fix make sure you’re able to fix the house and it’s not a house that is unable to be worked upon. Do a proper inspection on the house and determine how much money could be needed. Don’t be stuck with a crooked house!

gljeh How to Fix A House To Sell

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Fixing Ideas- Inside your House

Posted on: September 10, 2011

Categories: Fix, Ideas

Author: TGC

Add some fun to your house by creating a slide to get to the bottom floor of your house instead of using the stairs. Think of it as a investment as you will be not age by sliding down the stairs everyday.
jq0HQ Fixing Ideas  Inside your House

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House Fixes

Posted on: September 8, 2011

Categories: Fix, Ideas

Author: TGC

housefixes House Fixes

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How to Make Your Room Like a Boss

Posted on: July 8, 2011

Categories: Fix, How To

Author: TGC

Screen shot 2011 08 23 at 4.41.31 PM How to Make Your Room Like a Boss

Screen shot 2011 09 07 at 6.38.21 PM How to Make Your Room Like a Boss


Screen shot 2011 09 07 at 6.34.15 PM How to Make Your Room Like a Boss


Screen shot 2011 09 07 at 6.32.54 PM How to Make Your Room Like a Boss


Screen shot 2011 09 07 at 6.31.37 PM How to Make Your Room Like a Boss

Laundry Basket

Screen shot 2011 09 07 at 6.28.50 PM How to Make Your Room Like a Boss


Screen shot 2011 09 07 at 6.28.20 PM How to Make Your Room Like a Boss

Coat Rack

Screen shot 2011 09 04 at 1.01.58 PM How to Make Your Room Like a Boss

Wine Cellar

Screen shot 2011 09 01 at 10.56.40 PM How to Make Your Room Like a Boss

Bookshelf and Bike Rack

Screen shot 2011 08 31 at 6.09.56 PM How to Make Your Room Like a Boss


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12 Steps To Rehabbing a House

Posted on: July 8, 2011

Categories: Fix, How To

Author: lbuen

300px Worker fixing the roof of building in Royal Palace Cambodia 12 Steps To Rehabbing a House

Rehabbing a House Image via Wikipedia

The Herculean Project of Rehabbing a House

Rehabbing a house can be daunting to someone doing it for the first time. To eliminate the feeling of intimidation, let’s tear down this massive piece of work into several smaller and manageable tasks.

Steps in Rehabbing a House

1. Assess the project and establish the specific jobs that needs to be done with your contractor. Ask your contractor for his ideas, then from there, set your final action plan on how to undertake the renovation project, particularly how to go about specific repairs. It is also in this stage when you decide whether or not to modify the basic layout of the house. To simplify things, have your contractor gather his own rehab team and discuss with them what has been agreed upon. It would be great to work with a reliable and experienced contractor who can give suggestions on how to finish the project faster or how to cut on costs without compromising quality.

2. Set a timetable with your contractor based on what you have discussed, and determine and buy the materials needed for the repairs. This will not just serve as guide on the sequence of tasks to do to finish the project, but is also done as compliance with one of the requirements of your lender.

3. Demolish and dispose everything that you will not be needing to make the property clear of debris and ready for rehab. You can arrange with a garbage collector to haul rubbish. Consider knocking down baths, kitchen, flooring, drop ceilings, paneling and others that could just impede the rehab project.

4. Fix the exterior. For security reasons, rehabbing a house must begin with fixing the exterior. Make the repair of the roof a priority to make sure that the interior of the house does not get wet with rain and other external elements. Also fix windows to protect the property and the materials and equipment it contains from vandalism, burglary and theft. Secure locks of doors leading outside, and consider replacing these locks. While you are at it, you can also have the cladding fixed. A presentable exterior allows you to start marketing the house even if its interior has not been done yet. Neighbors and other passers by will notice the newly-renovated exterior.

5. Fix plumbing, sewer, ventilation and electrical systems. Handling the plumbing job should come before hanging the sheet rock and the painting job to make sure to address leaky pipes that can just ruin the walls. If the HVAC system of the home needs to replaced, have an HVAC crew install a new system including a new central air conditioning system and gas furnace, while a plumber takes care of the pipes. Concurrently, you can also have the electrical system checked and upgraded, if it is the first time for the home to have the central air conditioning. Otherwise, there is not much you need to do with the electrical system.

6. Tackle framing and subfloor problems. Replace rotten wood and walls. Take note, however, that you should already have done tearing down and replacing a certain problematic wall which has plumbing or electric systems prior to addressing these systems in the previous step. This is also a good time to rehab the basement as a finished basement can sell a home.

7. Handle sheet rock or drywall. With all the principal systems done, you can now start with hanging and finishing sheet rock. This can take some time, but it can surely give your old home look like new.

8. Paint the walls. With the drywall completed, painting can be started by applying a coat of primer or a light initial coat of paint on the walls. Before applying two more coats of paint, have a sheet rock crew mend any imperfections first.

9. Install new kitchen and baths. You start this step by installing vinyl floors in the kitchen and baths. Then install the new vanity, toliet, cabinets, cupboards, and others. To make things easier for you and your contractor, you can ask Home Depot or Lowe’s to design the kitchen (depending on your target market). Just provide them with the necessary dimensions.

10. Wind the project up. In contractor’s jargon, this is the “punch out” stage, during which minute details like light fixtures, switch plates and outlets are taken care of. Since this is your first time to work with the contractor and your first rehab project, inspect the almost done job and make a punch list with your contractor. Make sure that you do not miss out any minute but important details.

11. Install the carpet. Carpet installation comes last so that the working crew will not damage the carpet.

12. Clean up the property from rehab debris and landscape the exterior. Cleaning the property is important to make the property more saleable. While others are cleaning up, a landscaping team must also be starting their job, that is, if you decide to include this.

With your first rehab project done, you are now ready to market the property. You can actually have done so even if it has not been completed yet, especially if it is in a hot neighborhood. If not, getting the project done first may be better. Just remember that even after you have a buyer ink the contract already, you may still be required to do some final repairs if these are decided on after inspection and appraisal.

To a newbie rehabber, rehabbing a house is a Herculean task. Hence, splitting up the entire project into several smaller tasks helps you to be systematic and to make the endeavor less-intimidating.

 12 Steps To Rehabbing a House

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How to Manage Property Rehab Costs for Maximum Efficiency and Value

Posted on: June 22, 2011

Categories: Fix, How To, Real Cases

Author: buyfixandprofit

300px Project development stages How to Manage Property Rehab Costs for Maximum Efficiency and Value

Manage Property Rehab Costs Image via Wikipedia

Quick Tips on How to Minimize and Control the Cost of a Rehab Project

Purchase the general construction materials and supplies for your contractors and have it delivered to the job site.  Instead of having your contractors spend their time looking for material, do it yourself if you can.  It’s amazing how long a simple trip to Home Depot can turn into.

Property Rehab Written Scope of Work

Always put the scope of work in writing with enough detail to avoid conflicts and “misunderstandings” during the rehab of the property.  It’ amazing how crystal clear your vision of the finished product is during the walk  through with the contractor and then how any questions come up in the middle of the rehab.  Questions such as, “Oh, you wanted that wall knocked down?” or “You wanted more than two kitchen cabinets?”.  All of a sudden these things are not included in the contractor’s scope as you had originally thought.  Tight control of the rehab project’s costs is needed to maximize your ROI.

Discounts on Bulk Construction Material Purchases

Work with your Home Depots and Menards pro-departments to figure out how much volume of material needs to be purchased to receive discounts of 5 – 15% in some cases.  Try to figure out how to get them to deliver your material for free to your job site.

Oversight of the Rehab Project

The rehab of your home will not happen efficiently without some kind of oversight of the project and its rehab contractors.  I have a very good partner who runs our construction jobs and without his constant oversight, the lunches tend to get longer, breaks occur more often, cigarette runs happen frequently, and cell phone conversations happen more often. Bottom line: you cannot hand any contractor a pile of money and come back a week later and hope something got done.

Pay Contractors On Time

Pay your rehab contractors on time and as agreed upon.  Most subcontractors prefer cash and that’s fine with me; it keeps the cost down.  The guys working on the job don’t care if your hard money draw didn’t come through or is late because of paperwork not being in order.  You may be able to convince them to work a couple more days like that, but soon after that your job (and materials) will come to a halt.  If you don’t have your own reserve funds to rely on, your planning and project management skills have to be perfect.

Security for Vacant Properties

If the rehab is in a rough part of town, spend the extra money upfront to properly secure the property from vandalism and break-ins.  See our article on Security for Vacant Properties for several options on how to protect your rehab project from bleeding money before renovations are even complete.

Utility Repairs

Call the utility companies, gas, electric, and water, the day after you close on your property in order to minimize the down time at the end of your project.  The rehab of a foreclosed home should take no longer than 21 days.  If the utility companies are running behind you may be stuck waiting for them to come out and not able to finish your homes renovation.  This includes waiting for a power line to be run to the house, a new gas meter may need to be installed, the water line to the house from the st

Finally, start executing the your exit or profit strategy before the property rehab is complete.  If the plan is to cash-out refi after repairs are completed, then start arranging the bank inspection and all necessary paperwork soon after closing on the purchase.  Start marketing property to prospective tenants during the property’s rehab phase.   I don’t believe in the school of thought that says you need to wait until the property looks perfect before showing it; be a salesman.

Related articles:

 How to Manage Property Rehab Costs for Maximum Efficiency and Value

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5 Ways Savvy Investors Make Money From Real Estate Investing

Posted on: May 31, 2011

Categories: Buy, Fix, How To Sell, Profit

Author: lbuen

3367543296 1470ef5247 m 5 Ways Savvy Investors Make Money From Real Estate Investing

Make Money from Real Estate Investing Image by AMagill via Flickr

There are numerous opportunities in real estate investing, but you have to have a skilled eye at identifying them. Inexperienced investors pass up on great opportunities because they lack the know-how to spot the gold from the seemingly uninteresting properties. Discussed below are five ways you can profit from real estate.

Retailing – Buy, Fix, and Profit

Retailing, in three words, is buy, fix, profit. Many newbie investors enter the real estate trade using this strategy. I’m sure you already know all about this strategy. You buy handyman specials at great prices, rehab them, and sell them for profit. One costly mistake a handful of fledglings commit is underestimating the cost of repairs. Savvy rehabbers already have a network of contractors and a checklist of repairs to watch out for and their estimated costs. They do not rely on the sellers saying that the repairs do not cost much. If they do not cost much, why don’t they do it themselves? To be on the safe side in retailing, you have to use the higher estimates to cushion you from errors, and then add another 10 percent to serve as contingency fund. Better safe than sorry.

Wholesaling – Find, Assign, and Profit

In this strategy, you look for a property offered at great deals, arrange this property under contract from the seller, then you look for an end buyer or another investor interested in the property and you assign your contract to him for a higher price. You earn from the assignment fee you get from the strategy. Ideally, assignment fees range between $3,000 to $20,000, contingent on the particular deal. If you are assigning the contract to another investor, do not forget to leave room for him or her to make a profit. This is a great strategy for newbie investors because it does not require much capital, thus entails less risk, and is easy to execute. For a more elaborate discussion, refer to our previous post, Kick Start Your Real Estate Investing Business Through the Assignment of Contract.

Subject To Investing – Buy and Sell In Many Ways

There are a number of advantages when buying a property that is subject to existing financing. First, you do not have to obtain a new financing from a bank or anywhere. This means that your credit standing does not count here, and is also not at risk. So if you have a failing score, don’t worry. You do not need to have a substantial amount of money to fund the deal. You can obtain financing for down payment from a private money lender. Through this strategy, you can speed up building your real estate portfolio without the need for your credit or your own money. Also, you do not have to sell the property entirely for cash.

If you know how to attract prospective deals, you get all sorts of deals including sellers who are more interested in relief from debt rather than profit. These are homeowners who are motivated to sell because they are having a hard time paying for mortgage. For this type of deals, experienced investors do not promise anything to homeowners when they take a property subject to. When you buy a property with this type of deal, you can sell it in many ways.

In this strategy, you acquire a property from a seller and allow the seller on title until you get to sell it at some time. With this acquisition, you can dispose and profit from it by selling it all cash, rent it out, or lease/option it to a tenant buyer. If you like, you can make it your personal residence.

Before you acquire and make money from the property though, you have to do your due diligence and ask about its current financing. If you locate a property subject to a fixed rate loan with low interest, you may be in for a good deal. However, if the mortgage is adjustable, you must have a clear exit strategy before you take the property. Find out how much are the monthly payments, ask if they are current, and how much equity is on the property. Get to know the estimated cost of repairs needed for the property. Look at your database of buyers and see if there is anyone interested to buy a property within the area where the property is.

You can delegate the paperwork needed for closing to an attorney. This includes a purchase and sales contract and an authorization to release the lending information. You also need to set insurance on the property and secure title insurance.

Lease Options – Buy, Lease, Get Cash and Cash Flow

An exit strategy for the property you have acquired through Subject To is via Lease to Own, where you get a non refundable deposit which ranges between $ 2,000 to $10,000 depending on the market. Tenant buyers who pay higher down payment tends to pay you till the end. However, beware of tenant buyers who pay little down payment. Since they are not risking anything here, they could afford to just abandon the property and cause you headache. So choose your tenant buyer well.

Lease To Own has several advantages: you receive a non refundable deposit in advance; tenant buyers tend to treat the property as their own so they do not vandalize it; and if they default, you can expel them from the property and you can start looking for another tenant or tenant buyer.

Options – Pay Option Fee, Sell And Profit

In this strategy, you have a seller who agrees to sell the property at a set price for a particular period of time. When you are not able to sell it within the set time, then you lose nothing save for the $10-Option deposit. With this minimal risk, options are great when dealing with upscale properties.

As an illustration, say, a seller who is relocating would like to sell a property that has $850,000.00 in mortgage, and the property is valued at $1,000,000. By just paying the Option deposit, you can option the property for the remaining $750,000 for 90 days. If you can sell it for more than this amount, you get to keep all the proceeds.

Knowing these five great ways of making money in real estate gives you an upper hand in evaluating deals, allows you to pick those with great potential, and protects you from opportunity losses.

 5 Ways Savvy Investors Make Money From Real Estate Investing

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House Fixing Nightmares!

Posted on: May 16, 2011

Categories: Fix, How To, Real Cases

Author: buyfixandprofit

House Fixing at its best in this series of unbelievable home repair projects.

I should have known better when the contractor from Good Ole’ Boy Engineering said, “We can Fix House to meet anyone’s budget! He wasn’t kidding.

house fixing outlet House Fixing Nightmares!


Alternate ceiling fan connections.  Eliminates the need for for those expensive electricians.

House Fixing a water heater connection House Fixing Nightmares!


Here’s what you can do with a little PVC pipe and a lot of couplings!

House Fixing HVAC efficiency House Fixing Nightmares!


The ultimate in supply and return air efficiency!

House Fxing roof flashing House Fixing Nightmares!


Roof flashing not needed.  It must not rain in this part of the country.  Wait till you see the roof leak catch system installed in the attic.

House Fixing support beam joists House Fixing Nightmares!


Save money.  Just use use nail gun nails; they will hold up until you’re out of town.

House Fixing pipe plugs House Fixing Nightmares!


Improvise, adapt, and overcome. They said just plug it.  So I did!

House Fixing pipe insulation House Fixing Nightmares!


Plumbing Tip: When you use insulation as piping, remember to always use extra duct tape!

House Fixing electricians mess House Fixing Nightmares!


I’m not an electrician, but it looks good to me. Good job boys!

House Fixing rusty water heater House Fixing Nightmares!


When it rusts through, just turn it over.  It’s still functional.

House Fixing exhaust louver House Fixing Nightmares!


Undersized exhaust louver? Just use the plumbing vent for additional exhaust air.

House Fixing vents House Fixing Nightmares!

House_Fixing_exhaust vents

If you can do it with one, why not more?

House Fixing house ventilator House Fixing Nightmares!


A less expensive but functional whole house ventilation fan.  My contractor did say he could work with any budget!

House Fixing attic mess1 House Fixing Nightmares!


Your guess is as good as mine.

House Fixing cigar box House Fixing Nightmares!

House_Fixing_electrical cigar box

No need to ground this box.  The cigar box is located under the kitchen cook top.  Fendrich was a cigar company in Indiana where this house was located. Frugality at it’s best.

House Fixing lighted fan House Fixing Nightmares!


The latest trend in lighted ventilators.  Everyone has one.

House Fixing roof leaks House Fixing Nightmares!


Back up system for the roof that has no flashing at its penetrations. Yes, those are actually drain lines attached to catch basins that are catching roof leaks.

House Fixing Frankenstein water heater House Fixing Nightmares!


This truly is the Frankenstein design of gas water heaters.

House Fixing missing support beam House Fixing Nightmares!


Eh, didn’t need that beam anyway.

House Fixing dangerous junction box House Fixing Nightmares!


Space is limited.  Take advantage of unused storage space.

House Fixing designer air plenums House Fixing Nightmares!


The latest in designer outside air plenums.

House Fixing electrical design code House Fixing Nightmares!


Efficient electrical design.  Who needs building codes?

House Fixing dryer exhaust vent House Fixing Nightmares!


Save another hole in the wall.  Yes, go ahead and connect the dryer vent to the water heater flue.

House Fixing j box House Fixing Nightmares!


Dip can j-box, from Good Ole’ Boy Engineering Inc.

House Fixing electrical work House Fixing Nightmares!


It works and costs less.

House Fixing roof penetration House Fixing Nightmares!


When the power company told its crew to run electricity to the house, I’m sure they didn’t mean to just stick all the wires through a hole in the roof!

The definition of value engineering.

House Fixing dangerous wiring House Fixing Nightmares!


WTF is this?

House Fixing multiple junction boxes House Fixing Nightmares!


When you run out of conduit, just use what you have left in the truck.

House Fixing shower outlet House Fixing Nightmares!


Duplex outlet in the shower allows your wife to use her electric shaver in the shower; the toilet paper over the tub is in case she cuts herself!! Not even a GFCI?!!

 House Fixing Nightmares!

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6 Fantastic Tips In Managing Contractors

Posted on: May 7, 2011

Categories: Fix, Ideas

Author: lbuen

5308373368 1eeb29d804 m 6 Fantastic Tips In Managing Contractors

Managing Contractors Image by USACEpublicaffairs via Flickr

The buy-fix-sell or rent out real estate investing strategy often fetches heftier returns than flipping because it entails a lot more work. This includes dealing with contractors who will be renovating your property. The profitability of your investment property partly depends on how the contractors execute their job since you will be spending a considerable sum of money for the project and because the quality of their work will dictate how much asking price or rental you can command from buyers or renters. That is why if you are new in this strategy, it is essential that you establish a good working relationship with some of them so that in your next rehab projects you know who to turn to. Of course, you would want to choose the competent and professional ones, those who are reliable and would not take you for a ride because you are inexperienced. Try to make your rehabbing debut a great one, follow these tips on how to screen the right contractor.

1. Require candidate contractors to fill up application forms.

Some contractors may laugh at this but seeing candidates make the additional effort of filling out an application form will help you measure how intent they are in getting involved in the project. If they do not take your application requirement seriously, it could be an indication of a lack of commitment and that they could be sloppy in their work or fail to show up during work.

2. Ask for references and consult them.

Most likely, contractors bidding for your project may already furnish a list of references for your perusal. Call them and get a glimpse of how contractors deliver their job from their experience by asking specific questions about the quality of the contractor’s work. Be alert on reports about a habit of playing hooky because hiring this kind of contractor can delay the completion of the project and drag profitability down.

3. Stop by one of their project locations.

You can confirm the quality of their work further by visiting one of their project sites. With your own two eyes you can witness the quality of their work and how tidy they are in their work stations. Naturally, you need to secure the permission to make the visit.

4. Put all agreements in writing. Always!

Do not think that the rehab project you have is small-time and asking for written bids is too formal for your case. You or the contractor may forget or misinterpret your verbal agreement so to ensure full understanding of what you have agreed on and avoid any disagreement later, a written document will straighten things out.

5. Opt for contractors with License and insurance.

As the property owner, you cannot pass the buck to someone else should a fire or freaky accident occur. So make sure that the contractor you hire is truly insured and licensed. Verify that they have provided you the correct coverage details and that their insurance is valid on the dates of the project.

6. Pay in full only after the project has been completed and back jobs have been addressed.

Some newbies may fall for this: paying the contractor a substantial amount, after which the contractor does not report to finish the project. Ugh! this can bleed you dry! To protect you from this unfortunate scenario, phase your payments over a number of installments. For example, if they finish half of the job, agree to pay them, say, 25% of their agreed fee. When they finish 3/4th of the job, pay another agreed sum of money, and so on. Of course, you have to release money to buy materials. Do not forget to ask for receipts for their purchases. Expect to receive requests to make advance payments, but if you make an agreement early on that this should not be the case, then you have just saved yourself from the headache of facing a fully paid absentee contractor and an unfinished project. If you do not take this measure, you may end up paying double for the same project and delay renting out or selling the property. This means delayed profit and possibly additional expenses.

These tips do not necessarily imply that contractors lack work ethic because many are great and professional to work with. We offer these tips to help manage expectations and nip potential headaches in the bud before they complicate. By following these measures, you see to it that you start and end your dealings with your contractor on good footing. and that you can hire them again for a new project.

 6 Fantastic Tips In Managing Contractors
pixel 6 Fantastic Tips In Managing Contractors

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