The word REMODELED can mean many things. Some investors slap on a coat of paint and add some new appliances. Very few will take a property down to the studs, replace all utilities, and reconfigure the floor plan. I’d like to tell you the story of how it really happens, not the HGTV version that wraps it all up in 20 minutes after a quick trip to Ikea.
A few weeks ago I sold a 1904 one and a half story in NE Minneapolis for a family who owned it since WWII, over 70 years. The owner was ill, and couldn’t take care of it. The home was in rough shape with a leaky roof, water drizzling down the walls from the second level, too much of the past piled in every room, and one tiny original bathroom. People get overwhelmed when their health fades, and small repairs become massive challenges. The Truth in Housing report was not pretty.
I brought in an investor who would be a good fit for the project. We did a walk through with the seller, the investor was a little hesitant. This wasn’t an easy fix. There’s a bedroom on the main floor, the other was converted to a 2nd staircase, 2 sort of bedrooms on the 2nd level, the basement is unfinished, lots of wood rot. We did before and after comps, ran numbers back and forth for different scenarios, and he said “Let’s make an offer.” The sellers accepted, and we gave them time to divest of the antiques, collections, and belongings accrued over 70 years.
The next part is what they usually gloss over on TV, but it’s the most important. Planning. Without a tight plan, a little wiggle for the unexpected, you have chaos. When I walk through a home with an investor, they usually make notes on a napkin. They already have a rough drawing in their head of what it will look like, what needs to be done, and how much it should cost. Then, they will go back to the office, consult with a partner or contractor, make actual drawings with exact measurements, and estimate a timeline before they even get to an offer.
Fall and winter are a great time to buy because they can take the winter to prepare for the spring market.
Once an accepted offer is in place, they’ll order materials and schedule crew to start the day after closing. There is usually a dumpster in front of the home by sundown on the day of closing. Demo starts the next morning, the dumpster fills quickly. Exterior work has to be done before cold weather sets in. I know, it always looks like fun on HGTV, but you have to know which load are bearing, where the electric and plumbing lines are or you will have a cold, wet, dark mess. You could easily make it worse, rather than better.
The house on 6th St has been demoed, and is already framed for its new layout. That stunning fridge you see will soon be replaced with all new appliances, a big breakfast island, a dining nook where the original stairs had been, and a boot bench by the back door. There’s a new staircase to the basement, the original led to Harry Potter’s dark cave. There’ll also be a sparkling new full bath on the main floor, another on the 2nd level.
We’re already planning on an early spring market open house, but we have a long way to go. Right now the plumbers are working overtime to have everything in place before it freezes. I’ll show updates once a week so you can see how it progresses, and what a timeline really looks like. Stay tuned to see how a real rehab is done. Coming soon………………