Something is finally happening with the Hopkins house. Unfortunately it is costing me a ton in legal fees. I’m so glad that there will be some sort of resolution soon. This investment has been a complete nightmare. I will be writing more on my blog to update everyone and besides..its been a loooong time since I’ve written on this property. For now, I will speak with my lawyer before I start putting too much information in print.
For now.. Happy Investing friends!
posted in Complete Rehabs, Hopkins Project |
The never ending battle between contractor and real estate investor continues. No matter how many times you seem to use a contractor there will almost always be a time when the contractor wants to be paid and the investor is not satisfied. Well..that’s the nice way of putting it. More than likely, it’s that the contractor wants money before he/she finishes the job.
I will never understand why it’s so hard to find a tradesman that just wants to do the job the way it was agreed upon and THEN ask for the check.
Yes, Yes I know… there are those investors that don’t pay on time (if ever), and the contractor has to look out for himself… Really? So asking for money early somehow protects him against being ripped off? I’m guessing asking to be paid prior to finishing, won’t help very much. What are we to think is the real reason they want to be paid early? Here is a “short” list of reasons:
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posted in Complete Rehabs, Real Estate Investing, contractors |
The Old E Baltimore project is now moving forward. I hope to have this thing rented by mid December. Considering my recent health, I decided to bring in a contractor “friend” to finish the project. Notice the quotes… One would think that today’s prices would be much lower, but by the looks of his quote, maybe he’s still back in 2005. Needless to say, I will be working those numbers down tonight directly in the reply. No need to rework the contract until we come to an agreement. Most of the electrical is completed and the electric company installed the meter and brought power lines to the house. Plumbing needs completion along with a long list of repairs that I will break down in another post. Most of the repairs will be required for Section 8 approval.
Still no word on the Hopkins area project. I assume they want me to go broke paying legal fees and mortgage payments but I will finish it and rent before I allow that to happen.
posted in Complete Rehabs, Hopkins Project, Old E Baltimore Project |
Unfortunately I have not been able to post in a while due to health issues. I’m still not exactly sure what is going on. I have been through many tests, to no avail but I’m still here… there’s a plus.
Quite a bit has occurred since I last posted concerning the Hopkins Project and also the E. Baltimore project so hopefully sometime soon I can update you all on the full details. While I have a few seconds before my head gets too crazy I’ll give you some updates.
The Hopkins Area Project
The city has made me a ridiculously low offer for the house…as if you expected better. Obviously my attorney is now involved and it’s going to end up in court I assume. The offer is less than what I paid to for the house in the beginning believe it or not. Not to mention all the money I’ve poured into this house. If you are new here and you want to read more about how the city can try and take your property and not even pay you fair market value, follow the link. Throw in the fact the this house is being rehabbed but they are trying to use a codemnation loophole. Talk about abuse of power and stepping on the little people.
Old East Baltimore Project
Since my health issues started around the same day I closed, I have not been able to do much on this one. However, recently I have started working here. The plumber is roughing in new gas lines and fixing minor plumbing issues left from the previous contractor. The electrician is working on a new service. Permits are pulled and things are going somewhat smoothly. Believe it or not the city is gotten themselves involved with this one as well. Coincidence? I think not. This one is not even in a redevelopment zone that the city nor Hopkins have any documented interest in. The drama continues. I’m wondering if this whole real estate business is even worth it, at least not in Baltimore anyway.
posted in Complete Rehabs, Hopkins Project, Old E Baltimore Project, Real Estate Investing |
Like lead based paint, many older homes have asbestos. Asbestos was used as an insulator and mostly found wrapped around duct-work, plumbing lines and other pipes, floor tile, attics, roofing, etc. If exposed and inhaled over a long period of time, it can severely damage human lungs. Asbestos can also cause other problems such as warts, plaques, and asbestosis. Although it has been banned in many other countries, the Unites States still allows its use in new construction.
Asbestos should be handled and removed by professionals. It can be encapsulated so that the tiny fibers will not escape into the air. It should not be vacuumed as the fibers are too small for the vacuum. The EPA website is a good resource on what to do when you think you have exposed this material. There you can find a local asbestos mitigation service.
posted in Complete Rehabs, House Flipping, Tips |
Real estate tax sales are another avenue to acquire investment property. They can require some research and comfort with having your hard earned dollars unavailable to you for a period of up to two years in some cases. The good news is that the rules usually require the original owner to pay the lien holder interest if they are able to redeem the property. In some areas the interest can be up to 24%!! That’s what I call a great savings account. In fact many investors use them for just that.
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posted in Complete Rehabs, Property Acquisition, Real Estate Investing |
The best way to save a few bucks on your house flips is to do some of the work yourself. Of course most of us are not qualified which is why we pay people in the first place. One area that does not require special skills is demolition. You might think to yourself “This is a no brainer”, but be careful. There can be a few hidden problems with demolition. Besides the obvious back breaking work of slinging a sledge hammer and rolling out the trash to the dumpster, there are also potential hazards.
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posted in Complete Rehabs, House Flipping |
Did you know your utility company gives discounts and rebates for your flip? Depending on your project and whether or not you are holding or flipping, this can mean considerable savings for you or your tenant. The discounts are normally available when you buy energy saving appliances, install additional insulation, replace old air conditioners, space heaters, install double pane windows, and many others upgrades.
The return comes in the form of cash vs. a loan, and can cover anywhere from 50 to even 100 percent of the cost of the qualifying upgrade. You will need to check with your local utility company to find out more information. In some cases you need to apply before the work is performed. The utility company may want to inspect the work before final approval.
posted in Complete Rehabs, Financing, House Flipping, Utilities |
I’ve waited as long as possible and the Hopkins Biotech area project is back in rehab mode. The HVAC work has begun and should be ready for rough in soon. I still have not received anything from the city. As far as I’m concerned there is no reason to assume I ever will. I realized a long time ago that I cannot trust anything that I am told or even given in writing from the development corporation that is responsible for the area project.
I feel a lot better moving forward again anyway. Each day that my property sits, I loose money and it’s sat for most of the last 10 months. I can no longer afford to keep paying out and not getting anything back so I am forced to move forward. If they decide that they are going to acquire it, they should pay fair market value based on the renovations and COMPS for rehabbed properties in the area. I am prepared to fight tooth and nail for anything less.
I will be showing fewer pictures but I promise to show some shots after major phases of the project are completed. I should be starting the Old East Baltimore Project soon. Once that happens, I plan to focus my blog on that project from start to finish.
posted in Complete Rehabs, Hopkins Project, House Flipping |
Kitchen cabinets come in various shapes, sizes, colors and most importantly for this post…prices. Too many choices are not always good when it comes to making a final decision. House flipping on a small budget allows you to narrow down the choices quite a bit. I prefer solid wood cabinets in my house flips and luckily there are many choices. Hard woods such as oak, maple, cherry and ash tend to be a little more popular and therefore a little more expensive. Also the availability of hard wood continues to decline which also adds to the price.
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posted in Budget, Complete Rehabs, House Flipping |