I can't flip a house, but maybe YOU can!
Maybe I’m not being completely accurate there, because I can and have flipped a few houses. The last two, though, didn’t make money for us (and one of those is still imparting static into my life at the moment) and in the post-mortem analysis of the last few years’ worth of projects, we came to the decision that right now we can’t flip houses. It’s still a viable and fraught-with-possibilites exercise for the right person, though - I just realize I have to change my role in the process.
In our early days of flipping, we worked small and fairly quick, and we didn’t borrow our funding from banks that supervised us. We did a decent amount of work ourselves, besides the architectural design and permitting, and the size of the projects kept both the variables and the supervision required at a minimum. The lack of a draw fund and the fees and interest that those impart onto the bottom line, and the lack of a GC role to pay significant funds to, gave us the room to make a profit. For me, though, the tight budgets afforded very few options for creativity, and I found myself working within the shell of a - usually - uninteresting property. I understand that my definition of ‘options for creativity’ and ‘uninteresting property’ are my own, and I have pretty lofty goals for expressing myself in my work - i’m just not all that interested in putting a fresh coat of paint and a set of stock white cabinets into a cute little cape cod house. It’s not my passion, it’s not my wheelhouse, it doesn’t inspire me really at all, EVEN IF it could be financially successful. My best profit came from just such a project, and I could probably had made more money if I hadn’t insisted on custom cabinetry and searched for a month for the perfect granite. So we pushed bigger, taking on more financial risks, borrowing expensive money, and piling supervision responsibilities and time commitments onto my already diverse schedule. At the same time, I needed to be at home frequently, and my real estate client business was expanding. That expansion was likely due to getting my name on listings and projects that I had created by myself in order to drum up further business, so it could be said I shot myself in the foot a bit there. The problem with that is, when you have a bigger flip project, you have to be there. All . The . Time. The crews need to be your crews, decisions need to be made quickly and communicated directly, and YOUR vehicle needs to be the one doing the heavy lifting. I finally got to a point where I realized I can’t be that person right now; my car can’t be that car right now; and devoting myself to one big project at a time means that I can’t devote myself to much else. I’m still the parent-in-charge, too, and when would I write this blog if I’m picking up loads of tile at 7pm on a Friday???
The conclusion I came to after all of this is that what I want and need to be here is the matchmaker. I believe in fixing up forgotten houses, I believe in redevelopment of teardown lots instead of leveling a patch of untouched ground. I believe in salvaging a good structure and sending off to the next round of homeowners, and I love being involved in the whole process. SO, what’s a realtor and an architect without an interest-free cash stash and lots of free time to do? I want to connect builders and investors with their next project. Tell me your budget and your general spread desired, and I’ll sift through the MLS and analyze locations and make sure you don’t have a zoning variance requirement lurking behind the bushes to derail all your hopes and dreams. No need to bother yourself with making sure the finishes are market-ready, I can do that too. I can help you step up the design a notch or two without breaking the bank, but just enough to set you apart from the contractor-grade remodels popping up everywhere. Partner with me and we can each focus on what we are good at, and make some money in the end! #makeflippingfunagain.