Monday, March 14, 2016

Quick update on the condo

Sooo... as you may (or may not) have noticed, I've been a little MIA from the blog lately.

And for good reason.

Actually, here's a sneak picture as to why I haven't been able to post much lately.

Yep.  Chris and I gunna be on the TV.

I can't say what show, or network for that matter, but its a recognizable one.

We're having to keep everything on the "hush hush" for now since they're pretty strict about what I can and cannot post on the blog, but I'll still be able to update y'all on here when I can.

We've been holding on to this secret for a several weeks now but have JUST begun filming.  Today was just meeting everyone and shooting "before" shots, but actual interviews and demo starts tomorrow.

Chris and I are THRILLED to start and to see a first hand behind-the-scenes process of these "home reno" shows.  Actually, I guess its a "in-the-scenes" look.

AHHHH stayed tuned!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ummm do you know where my camera cord is?

So I finally took all the "before" pictures of the condo now that it's finally cleared out, and of course, can't find my camera cord to upload the pics.

Ugh. My struggle is real.

As soon as I track that sucker down, I will post all pics soon! (Just didnt want you to think I was being a dead-beat blogger... aka: me for the past 6 months)

Thanks, and hold on.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Closing... plus a change in the condo price!

Good news!

As of Tuesday, we OWN the condo!!!
But, to back track a little bit, something happening during our appraisal previous to closing: our condo appraised for only $90,000.
(dramic: Duh, Duh, DUH!!!!)

(reminder: we got in a bidding war and were under contract to pay $105,000... thats a difference of $15,000)

So, the good and the bad of an under appraisal:
the Bad:  the bank will only give us a loan for the appraised amount of the property... so we have to come  up with the extra $15,000 out of pocket! YIKES!

the Good: Sometimes, the seller is willing to negotiate.  Split the difference 50/50 or, in very rare cases, drop the price down to the appraised price.

Our realtor told us that the sellers were more than likely going to ask us to split the difference, but we might as well ask to come down to the appraised price and work up from there.

We waited and feared the worst but when we got a call from our realtor, we were SHOCKED to learn the seller AGREED TO THE NEW PRICE!!!

Dude, we just saved $15,000!!! That's like our entire budget for this flip!!!

So, this past Tuesday, we wrote a check for $23k (just being honest about how much money you have to put down, even in a "lower price point" property, and include closing costs), but we are now the proud owners of the ugliest little condo we have ever seen.
Chris and I went by the condo to see how it looked without all the furniture in it and were amazed by all the space.  I am working on actual "before" pictures and should have them ready by Monday.

In parting for the weekend, I'm going to leave you with this awesome little discovery Chris made on Tuesday:  The wallpaper in the bathroom? Yea, it's covering more wallpaper.  Feast your eyes on this
Yes, its foil with Bamboo leaves.... and Chris won't let me keep it.  Hater.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Comparisons: To keep? To rent? To flip?

So, now that you've seen what we're dealing with (as walked through in a post found here), I wanted to let you in on what Chris and I are exactly thinking about this property.

Originally, we were going to find a place (done), fix it up (in the process of), live in it while the house is being redone, then sell it after for a profit.

However, upon finding our little blue-shag-carpeted beauty, I googled the address and found another property also for sale.

Same complex.
Same floor plan.
DIRECTLY next door (we even share a wall).
And was pending for $160k... $55,000 MORE than what we are paying!

I snagged the pictures offline to show you guys a little example of how beautiful our unit can truly be if it turns out ANYTHING like this one:
They did hardwoods throughout... so pretty.

Opened up the kitchen and extended the island into the dining.  Honestly, for the size of these condos (both 1,033sq ft), this is actually a genius idea.  Less furniture, a good place to mingle and eat near the kitchen without being IN the kitchen, and opening the wall gives it even more space.  Well done.

Beautifully redone kitchen and I love their granite choice.

Nice back patio, free of clutter.

View from the kitchen:

Again, that granite! Wow! Am I right?!

Living room:
Bedroom #1:

Bathroom #1:

They just put new granite on the boxes with new hardware and had the flooring run throughout.  I don't know if you really want hardwood in your bathroom though... at least thats what it looks like (personal side note: become friends with neighbor and ask to poke around her property).

Updated shower in Bath #1:


The room is a weird shape (I think Chris and I measured it at 18" long by 11" wide but this is a great use of space.

Master bath:

They removed the door leading into the bathroom.  We're probably not going to follow suit on this only because the bathroom area already is open to the master and there NEEDS to be privacy somewhere.  I have never woken up in the morning longing to see Chris sitting on the toilet while I'm in bed. NEVER.  Doors people. Keep the mystery alive.

And the same awesome storage closets:

So yea... with this selling for $55,000 over what we are paying, Chris and I ran through some options in our head.

1.  Keep the course. Fix it up, stay in it, and then make a nice little profit when we sell.
2. Keep this as a rental.  Its in a great little area of Dallas and really close to shopping with easy access to the freeway.  We could have someone else pay the mortgage AND make about $500-$600 extra a month!
3. Flip it and get it back on the market in a few short months.

After much consideration, we have decided on....

(cut to commercial)
(I'm watching too much HGTV)
We have decided on OPTION #3!!! We're going to flip it!!

We made this choice for a couple of reasons (Im really into making lists today if you haven't been able to notice):

1. The Dallas market is HOT and this area is even hotter.  Might as well capitalize!
2. We loved the idea of renting it out until we needed it, but a down payment on $105,000, not including closing costs, is $21,000... add in expenses to remodel and that is A LOT of money out of pocket that would take a few years to recoup back in rent.  Im a numbers person and rather have money in savings.
3.  Once we sell, we can put our money back in savings (yay), and use the profit to get another property and go from there. (Yes, we are well aware of capital gains tax and will cross that bridge when we get to it.)

We also figured this would be an excellent property to start with since we KNOW what others are selling for in the area and it would give us a chance to get our feet wet without getting in over our heads.   We also want to make sure Chris and I get through it too with our marriage still in tact lol.

ANYWAY, have any of you guys ever had any experience flipping a property?  Any advice?  Is our neighbor's condo not so stinkin' cute?

See ya on Friday!

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Condo walk through

Well, now that we are officially under contract, there are so many decision to make and Im so excited to get started.

I thought I would use this post to really give you a lay of the land... all 1,033sq ft of it.

If you would like to see a video walk through, I took one the first day we came to look at it
If you DON'T want to get sea-sick, or listen to my voice say "Here's a bathroom", I have some pictures here below and can walk through the floor plan with you.
Main living area... you walk in through the door on the left into the living room and open dining area.
Dining room that leads into the galley kitchen... Note the wall to the right of the doorway... that will come into play during a later post :-)
Kitchen... sexy flooring, I know.  Even sexier wall paper and light fixtures.

Washer and dryer in kitchen area... haven't really decided what to do with it or just leave it be... kitchen area also leads out to patio.

Decent sized patio!  Cute to have a little herb garden or something back here.  Gates opens to a covered parking spot.

Turning around...
Back facing the kitchen.  At least there are stainless steel appliances.  According to our inspection, they are all good and in excellent working condition, so we will probably keep those.

Now, back through the dining area, past the living room, into the hallway and the first bedroom.

At least it was well used?   I don't know why everything was drawn to make the room so dark but I can't wait to open them up.

The blue shag continues throughout but its actually decent sized.

A nice wide and deep closet too.

Back down the hallway.

On of the bathrooms on the right.

This bathroom wallpaper is so old, if we waited, it might be in style again.

Good storage behind the door though.

Keep going down the hallway and you'll run into the master.

Sorry for the panoramic shot.  Its not a terribly wide room (maybe 12-13ft?) but very long (20ft+)

The bed area.

And facing from the bed a sitting area and the ensuite master bath.

The sink and vanity need some work.

Also, probably my favorite thing I noticed during our walk-thru?  See those blue pots above the light in the picture above?  Not pots... CUT OUTS of PICTURES of pots... Thats just fantastic.

Separate shower/toilet area.

Can't wait to give it a full gut. Not to mention have Chris serve an eviction notice to the little cockroach friend living in there... yea, there will be NONE of that. YUCK.

Now, here's one of the cool things about the master.  This is ONE of the walk-in closets.

And here's the other.

Yea, this place definitely has TONS of storage, which I think is awesome... Chris and I are even playing around with the idea of turning one of the closets into a laundry room.  I dunno... what do you think?

And with that, we head back to the living room and out.
So there you have it!  When Chris and I did our first walk through, I knew the minute we opened the door that THIS was supposed to be our place.  Its perfect and is the perfect size and condition for a couple of novice flippers such as ourselves. After we saw the property, I nearly started tearing up with tears of joy saying "It's so ugly, I love it".

I plan to take better "before" pictures with my better camera and maybe open up some windows to make it a little brighter, so more to come on that later.

But for right now, please allow this amazing Key and Peele gif to represent Chris and myself... (I'm on the left)


Can't wait.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Finding "The One"

So last we left, we were trying to find a condo to buy and fix up as a place to stay when we redo our house.

Back in December, we had been stalking looking online for a while and had kind of given into the fact that we probably wouldn't find a place until mid-february since we had a lot of travel planned, but I always like to keep a look out, just in case.
Low and behold, on a random day cruising the Redfin app, this little beauty came up as newly listed

Yea.  Pretty right?... ... ... Urban luxury at its finest, ha!... and this was the ONLY PICTURE of the property!

However, a couple of things really stood out...
1. The location
      - Only about 10 minutes from our house, in a great neighborhood with tons of new restaurants, retail, and grocery within walking distance.

2. & 3. The two things I've highlighted in yellow

     - Price: $89,900... we can do that!  Our budget was under $115k so this sounded awesome!
     - "Condo in need of rehab but has lot of potential"... oh, well just come right out and say it then. "Chris, Samm, Im ugly and need your love"... well, ok then condo.

4. No pictures
     - Actually, one photo... of a pool. Nothing inside, so we planned for the worst.  Really, we "hoped" for the worst.  More for us to do and fix up and hopefully have others pass by because they don't want to do the work.

I showed Chris and he was game... (which honestly surprised me a little since, again, there were no pictures of the inside)... Let's go see this gem.

(I'm just going to show you a couple pictures and do a full walk thru with more later)

Oh, dear sweet God, yes.

Blue shag carpeting? Well, alright!
Linoleum flooring? Ceiling fan in the kitchen? Sign me up!
And this is the master bath? Blue carpeting in here too? How could I be so lucky?!?

It was EXACTLY what Chris and I wanted.  The flow and the floor plan of the condo was actually really nice, but it needed new flooring, a MAJOR facelift in the kitchen and baths, and to be de-wallpapered STAT.  We told our realtor we wanted to put in a full price offer.  

We thought we had a pretty good chance at getting it since it had only been on the market ONE day, but the next day we received a call tell us that we were in a bidding war with 4 other offers.


We were given until 5p that night to come back with our strongest offer.  Chris and I did a lot of back and forth and conversing with our realtor. 

Realtor - "I think $95-$96k should do the trick"
Chris - "Maybe a little higher? $101,029 (the last four numbers are our anniversary... awww)
Me - "Whatever. It. Takes."
As you can see, I went with the subtle approach.

Realistically, when Chris and I were talking, I kept telling him to forget the original asking price, and think of what price "we" would think was a deal for this place without going out of our comfort zone.  If we bid $101k and lost out to a $103k bid, I would be pissed.

Our final bid: $105,000

Yes, $15,000 over asking. But we felt we'd still be getting a deal if we saw that property pop up for $105k but had no regrets if we lost to a $106k bid.

And then we waited... and sweated... and went through a lot of Pepto-Bismol and deodorant.  Stress, my friends, stress.

Later, we went to our first movie in a movie theatre in 14 months, Star Wars...  Yes, we have kids and are too poor to afford a babysitter (and here we are trying to buy a condo... ha, oh the irony).  Right before we went in, we got a text from our agent.


Pretty much my exact reaction.

Oh my goodness! We are under contract on a condo!!! AHHHHH!!!

We still had to under go the inspection and appraisal but other than a busted AC unit part (which the seller agreed to pay) we were good to go!

I'll post a full walk through along with a couple more fun details as soon as we actually close on Tuesday, but the journey has started! Once we gut everything, its going to be like a blank slate... I honestly can't wait and am so excited to be detailing our little flip here with y'all. 

Get excited, this is going to be fun!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hahaha... jk...

Oh life... so silly.

For all 5 of you who still actually read this blog, I have a bit of an updated on our housing addition project.
Yep, just as I told y'all that we were putting up a second story, planned for this Spring (as in this year, 2016), Chris and I have decided to put that project on hold... for something even better.

But first, let me backtrack.  We still have plans to do the 2nd story but the more and more we thought about layout, ideas, finishes, etc, all we could see were $$$.  We knew it would be a great opportunity to really make the house EXACTLY how we wanted it, and didn't want to skip out on any features for the sake of saving a buck now, if only to redo it 5 years down the road.  If I'm going to tear the roof off my house and move out for 6-9 months, I want the thing PERFECT! So, a project that we were hoping was going to cost somewhere around the $120K mark, was pushing $150-$200k.  Yikes.

Also, Chris and I are not rich (...I'll pause for you collect yourself after that shocking statement...).

One of the hesitations we had about moving out was spending additional money on rent in addition to paying out mortgage while our house was being redone.  Rent for a house in our area can go for around $3,000 a month (which we do NOT have the budget for) so more than likely we were going to have to move into an apartment or condo.

Since Chris and I had a little saved, enough for a VERY small down payment on a VERY cheap condo, we decided that was the direction we should take.  Especially since we both loath the idea of paying "rent" and never getting it back opposed to a mortgage.

So, that is where I will leave you for now... on the fact that we are were looking.
Very exciting news coming down the pipeline... can't wait to share more about this new little adventure ;-)

P.S.- Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year... man, I've been gone way too long.