On January 31st we closed on an interesting property in Everett, WA. It was a package deal for two lots, and one lot had a fixer upper house on it while the other lot was vacant. It’s been a few years since we’ve flipped a house, mostly because we got pretty burned out working nights and weekends and building houses at the same time.
This project had a different appeal, which was that we could flip the single family house and get the multi-family zoned lot for free. Sure, we wouldn’t be making much money at all on the flip, but the lot itself is worth $150,000.
Our plan was to fix up the house, sell it and then build a fourplex on the extra lot next door to keep in our personal portfolio. The estimated value of the brand new completed fourplex is around $850,000 and it’s expected to cash flow $1800 per month.
We got off to a great start. We had the house completely demo’d and the trash out completed in a few days. The previous owner had left a good amount of personal items, so we tried to donate as much as we could and the rest we threw into the dumpster. Here are some before photos:
Since my husband does the majority of the work, back at the office we started putting together the design scheme so that everything goes together. One thing I’ve learned about flipping is that you want to make sure you’re sticking with the current trends, and you don’t want to over improve or under improve. You also need to know what is going to be most important to buyers in the price point you’ll be selling.
With this property, we probably could have utilized the existing kitchen cabinets and spent a lot of time painting them and cleaning them up. But that would have taken a significant amount of time, and buyers can tell when cabinets have been repurposed, and if the rest of the house has been updated, the kitchen cabinets would stick out and leave buyers wondering why they weren’t done.
So, we went to a local cabinet supplier, ordered the cabinets during demo week and picked them up a few days later. While the kitchen is not totally done, it looks so much better.
We went with a shaker style maple cabinet with white cloud granite slab. The floors are a gray tone laminate, and they look great with the gray tone granite and the kitchen is warmed up with the cabinets.
Since this house is a 4 bedroom, I made sure we had a lot of counter space and a big pantry in case a larger family purchased the home, I know these details will be appreciated.
The next big eye sore was the living room fireplace. This thing was massive, and had different variations of brown brick. It definitely did not work with our gray tone theme. So, we had a few choices. We could paint it white (which would draw a lot of attention), paint it the same as the wall color which would be boring, or we could try a whitewashing technique. I decided we should try the whitewashing, and if it didn’t look right we could always paint it.
It took awhile to get the hang of it, because we had to dilute the trim paint with water and brush the color in the grout lines and then brush across the brick with a rag.
The skirting around the fireplace looked awful, so it got a coat of black high temperature paint, specifically designed for fireplaces.
While we still have several areas to touch up, but the finished product looks so much better.
Next up were the bathrooms. One was done in a baby blue color, and the other was yellow, and I don’t mean painted in those colors, I mean they were those colors, bathtubs, toilets and all were blue and yellow.
While the house is being worked on, I’ve also been working on the tasks related to getting a building permit for next door. The first step was a survey. The surveyors discovered that the single family house was actually 1.3′ over the property line for our other lot next door, which resulted in us being required to complete a boundary line adjustment, basically reestablishing the property lines so that there is no encroachments. We are currently in this process, and it will take between 30-60 days to complete, which unfortunately will delay the sale of the house.
These things happen, and after investing for the last 10 years I’ve learned to roll with the punches, not sweat the detours and keep moving forward.
I’ll continue to share updates as we get closer, and feel free to post any questions!
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