House Flipping

Flip it!

Do you sit at home watching HGTV or DIY and think I can do that? You see these first time real estate investors laying it all on the line and making big profits. As an experienced flipper I can tell you that choosing the right property and making sure you have a contractor that will stay on budget and can detect any defects before you sign on the dotted line is HUGE! A small mistake in a flip can make or break any profit you had hoped to walk away with. In Huntsville there are some great investment opportunities but the margins are smaller which means the risk is smaller as well but you really have to make sure you do all your research before purchasing.

Five things to make sure you know before you buy.

  1. Unless you are a general contractor spend the money on a good home inspection before you buy. Inspectors are not specialist in any one field but will give you a good overall look at the house and may detect some items you missed in your assessment.
  2.  Hire a professional to do any and all plumbing, electrical, and structural work. This way if any of these items come up during the resale process you have someone to hold accountable and you have that warranty to transfer to the new buyer which is a huge selling feature. Buyers like to know that a licensed professional was involved with any specialty work done to the property. It is well worth this investment to transfer this liability to the professional in the field.
  3. Be prepared for surprises. You have gone through that budget with a fine tooth comb and are sure it will not go a penny over budget. Let me start by promising on your first few investment properties you will go over budget unless you take out a planned improvement to cover a surprise. So make sure you have a little wiggle room in the budget for unexpected costs and make sure you have included at least 4 months of carrying costs and realtor fees. These costs can add up and can take you from + to – real quick.
  4. Keep your personal taste out of it. I know you may love modern or country charm but make sure any investment property is kept generic. A home that is too personalized is hard to sell and limits your audience. So before you make those design and palate choices go out and visit several builder models. Builders do this for a living and know their market so take their lead and keep it clean and simple.
  5. Do not scrimp on curb appeal. It is easy to spend your entire budget on that dream kitchen but the curb appeal is what gets the traffic in the front door. If the home looks dated outside and the yard is in disrepair you are going to lose a large percentage of your potential buyers before they even make n the front door. Many buyers will start their new home search online and then drive around taking an exterior look at homes before contacting a realtor for a tour. You want to make sure your home looks as nice from the road as it does inside.

And remember this is supposed to be fun so relax and have a good time. I love working with investors in identifying potential properties and will work with you through the entire process.

Color palette

Whenever I meet a new client to list their home, interior and exterior paint colors are always a hot topic so I thought I would address it here. You have one opportunity to catch a potential buyer and you can lose that opportunity if the pictures of your home online are not just right or if the drive-by first impression is lacking. Get your personal taste out of your mind and think about a model home. When you go look at a builder’s model home do you see electric blue shutters or orange walls? No and that’s because they research what appeals to buyers and tend to be conservative with color choices. Your exterior siding should be tan, gray, pale yellow, white or cream with accenting trim colors of black, navy, maroon, or dark green. Interior colors must be muted hues and popular choices are tan, pale gray, or cream. Stay away from white because buyers look at that as an expense as they will need to have it painted. If you want color pops stick to dining rooms, office space, and kitchens.

gray interiorpaintedbrick

Gray is taking the place of tan as the trendy interior color palette and grays should be muted and with a bright hue. Not the dreary gray of days past today’s gray is bright and light illuminating. If you have a brick home that looks dated and tired you can opt to paint the brick. Painted brick is a great way to give a dated house new life and appeal to buyers. Paint colors here should be tan, taupe or gray think traditional with trim accents.

If you have more questions about color hues feel free to contact me or if you want to update your home before selling I can come out and advise you which updates will result in a return on your investment.

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Why I should list my house in the winter

Would you like to sell your home but want to wait until spring to list because you have been told that is best time to list. Well, I am going to give you a few reasons why you should list now and why waiting until spring is only going to cost you $$$.

For years Realtors have been telling clients to wait to list their homes in spring saying there are more buyers out looking and that it will be easier to sell when the weather is nice and flowers are blooming. This is simply not the case! While it is a fact more buyers are out house shopping in the spring it is also a fact that all your neighbors or that wonderful house two streets over have been told the same thing you have and they are listing their house in the spring as well. Can you see where this could be a problem? Now all these new buyers that are out looking for a new home suddenly have more houses in your area and price range to pick from and that causes prices to start dropping.

In real estate our prices are driven by inventory (simple supply and demand) and if there are a dozen homes in your area that just listed your home became less valuable to a potential buyer. Believe it or not many serious buyers are out looking to buy a new home over the holidays because they have time off work to dedicate to it and the children are home as well. Winter buyers are serious buyers and can’t you see how if you are one of two listings in your area that a buyer previews then your marketability just increased ten fold and your ability to negotiate an offer has increased as well.

So if you are on the fence about listing during the winter months get off that fence and list your home before your neighbor does and lists for 10k less than you wanted to.TIme is $$ and there is never a better time than today. November was an impressive month in our market and I don’t anticipate December or January to be any different.

Flip it!

Do you sit at home watching HGTV or DIY and think I can do that? You see these first time real estate investors laying it all on the line and making big profits. As an experienced flipper I can tell you that choosing the right property and making sure you have a contractor that will stay on budget and can detect any defects before you sign on the dotted line is HUGE! A small mistake in a flip can make or break any profit you had hoped to walk away with. In Huntsville there are some great investment opportunities but the margins are smaller which means the risk is smaller as well but you really have to make sure you do all your research before purchasing.

Five things to make sure you know before you buy.

  1. Unless you are a general contractor spend the money on a good home inspection before you buy. Inspectors are not specialist in any one field but will give you a good overall look at the house and may detect some items you missed in your assessment.
  2.  Hire a professional to do any and all plumbing, electrical, and structural work. This way if any of these items come up during the resale process you have someone to hold accountable and you have that warranty to transfer to the new buyer which is a huge selling feature. Buyers like to know that a licensed professional was involved with any specialty work done to the property. It is well worth this investment to transfer this liability to the professional in the field.
  3. Be prepared for surprises. You have gone through that budget with a fine tooth comb and are sure it will not go a penny over budget. Let me start by promising on your first few investment properties you will go over budget unless you take out a planned improvement to cover a surprise. So make sure you have a little wiggle room in the budget for unexpected costs and make sure you have included at least 4 months of carrying costs and realtor fees. These costs can add up and can take you from + to – real quick.
  4. Keep your personal taste out of it. I know you may love modern or country charm but make sure any investment property is kept generic. A home that is too personalized is hard to sell and limits your audience. So before you make those design and palate choices go out and visit several builder models. Builders do this for a living and know their market so take their lead and keep it clean and simple.
  5. Do not scrimp on curb appeal. It is easy to spend your entire budget on that dream kitchen but the curb appeal is what gets the traffic in the front door. If the home looks dated outside and the yard is in disrepair you are going to lose a large percentage of your potential buyers before they even make n the front door. Many buyers will start their new home search online and then drive around taking an exterior look at homes before contacting a realtor for a tour. You want to make sure your home looks as nice from the road as it does inside.

And remember this is supposed to be fun so relax and have a good time. I love working with investors in identifying potential properties and will work with you through the entire process.

3 things to do to help sell your home

In today’s competitive housing market there are several things all sellers can do to help the sell their house.

  1. The most important thing is price. Everyday your house is on the market and not priced correctly you are losing potential buyers and your listing is aging. When buyers look for a house they set up specific price ranges to search and maybe you are willing to come down to their range but unless you have your home priced right they will never see it in a search to even consider it an option. You need to make sure your price is driven by actual comparatives – homes that have sold in your neighborhood or area if you are rural. You can price your home however you want and even accept an offer at your full list price but if your house cannot appraise for the sales price you will have to renegotiate with the buyer so they can secure lending.
  2. Curb appeal – This is sometimes overshadowed by interior amenities but making sure your home looks appealing to potential buyers from the street is extremely important. Many buyers look for a new home online and then drive-by before calling their agent to see the interior. So while you may feel that any potential buyer will fall in love with the interior of your home you have to get them through the front door and that is where curb appeal can be the thing that sells your home. So make sure you keep the grass cut, hedges and shrubs trimmed, and sidewalk clean of debris. For an added bonus put a few potted plants on the front porch or a nice welcoming wreath on the front door. Don’t overlook the gutters as overflowing gutters are a sign of homeowner neglect and can turn away buyers.
  3. Clutter – Before listing your home make sure you clean up the clutter. If you need to rent an exterior storage container to do it then make that sacrifice. It is better to have the container in the driveway and a clutter free home than to have your home overfull of contents so potential buyers miss its charm and space. A cluttered home can make buyers feel that the space is small. You want the home to feel spacious and open so buyers can see their items in the home and plan spaces.

Keep these three things in mind before trying to sell your home and know that any one of them can be a deterrent but if you do all three you will have interested buyers and traffic.