Advice on doing a long-distance rehabbing project - Posted by Earl

Posted by michaela on July 17, 2002 at 07:32:11:

think ‘kbc’ - kitchen, bathroom, closets. those i would put emphasis on first. if you have a straight couple, then it’s usually the woman that buys the house and the man does the financing. i know, i know this doesn’t go for everyone, but usually, if the woman loves the house and it’s structually sound and they can afford it, they will buy it. if the woman doesn’t like the house, they won’t buy it, no matter how much the man likes it.
so, keep that in mind. kitchens don’t have to be expensive. if you can, time your next visit with the local rei club’s meeting and ask other investors for contacts on where they buy their kitchens. or call some of the ‘i buy houses’ ads in the philly paper and ask them. then set up some appointments with some of those kitchen designers. usualyy they have a pretty good eye for design, so you may want to casually ask them what else they would do with the house. they also usually have bathroom cabinets, so you can get help with that as well. people love to have walk-in closets, so see, if you can somehow make one or 2.

i don’t know the philadephia market and the style of house, that you have. i’ve done mainly old victorian homes. one of the mistakes i keep seeing investors make, that renovate a home in my neighborhood, they go with the good ol’ ‘everything neutral’ rule and paint walls all the same off-white or taupe or whatever works in the suburbs, and then the house sits. my theory is, people, that look in my neighborhood, are hoping to get a beautiful victorian, that means, they’re looking consciously or subconsciously for drama. high ceilings, hardwood floors, fireplaces, trim. but that also means color, that contrasts the trim. so, if your home is like that, don’t necessarily follow those standard renovation rules to do everything neutral. ‘character’ is very, very important in those old homes. you want people to walk in and say ‘wow’ and know, that they would not find another house like this.
if it was here in atlanta, i’d come by and give you my take.
good luck! sounds like a wonderful project

Advice on doing a long-distance rehabbing project - Posted by Earl

Posted by Earl on July 16, 2002 at 19:59:15:

I’m a REI and a few weeks ago had a death in my family. Since my family knows I’m a REI, they’ve put me in charge of getting the big old house sold back home

(It’s in suburban Philadelphia - far away from me of course) I’ve hardly set foot in this house in 30 years. It’s a very big old house, so the investment here is big.

I’ll go back there periodically to walk through the old house but my time there will still be limited. I’ll be supervising this project long distance.

It was once a beautiful old house in a nice neighborhood that an experienced rehabber would have a field day in. It’s had many shady fly-by-night repairs done by unlicensed people over the years.

So now, I, an REI, am now a motivated seller. What’s the best way to find out what are the most cost-effective repairs to be done before my family puts it on the market for sale? (I’ve never done any rehabbing myself so I’m not knowledgable about this) What type of ‘rehabbing consultant’ would give me the best take on the most cost-effective fix-ups/repairs to do?

I’m thinking about paying a reasonable fee to hire on maybe an appraiser, or a building inspector, or a general contractor (but NOT all of them)- ideally sort of a combination Bob Vila and Martha Stewert who, if I interview him/her carefully, would walk through the house with me and give me the straightest skinny on what are the best repairs to make before we sell (?)

Maybe a suburban Philadelphia REI on this website?

The realtors I’ve talked to aren’t providing enough detail. They see nothing but $ signs in this. My family are misers - so our repair funds will be limited and I must prioritize carefully.

What type of person would you recommend I hire on to do this?

As usual to all you great people, thanks in advance.