Buying a cheap repo home in Maine to fix and flip.
What about the resale? What needs to be considered and never forgotten? Like every other real estate market on the globe, no two behave carbon copy. No matter where you look, there are local customs of what features bring more or less in the resale of any home. In any property market, there are areas worth improving and others to leave alone when flipping a home.
This blog post focuses on what to do, what to avoid for repairs or updates when buying a cheap repo home in Maine to fix and flip.
The sluggish Maine economy in sparsely populated rural areas means "easy does it" on pouring money into the Handy Man Special property. What you do in the Fix This Old Home house resale bracket on a twenty, thirty and forty thousand dollar four walls, roof, floor.
The right approach to tackling the property is so different than the treatment a high end residential market listing would demand.
No granite counter tops please. Nope. Not quartz either. Price it to sell, keep it red hot affordable with the best pricing below the rest of the pack.
Never put in an inground pool expecting it to increase the value of your low cost Maine home you want to resell quickly. Too many lakes nearby and unless you plan to play hockey on that rink size outdoor pool, the diving board and deep end only get so many months of use.
In the low end single family residential house sale corner of the market, the most important element is your price. What does the sticker on window or tag hanging off the newly improved house for sale read? You hope to roll up your sleeves, fill up the dumpster, paint inside and out, landscape, repair broken glass or leaks in the plumbing or roof. Then push the place back out onto the open real estate market to not linger or eat up more resources waiting for a buyer.
MOOERS REALTY has blogged before about the steps to sell your home quicker, with less hassles.
When a home in Maine becomes a repossession, an REO or bank owned property, more than the house payments and property taxes were neglected. Lack of maintenance shows along with added wear and tear from too many renters over using the place. It is so plain to see but how to delicately and surgically do enough but not too much. That has to be never forgotten as one by one the items in the job jar to do list are fished out of the repo house container.
The lack of heat or attention, the vandalism, the heavy rain, snow, winds all take their toll as years can go by before the foreclosure is complete. Before the empty house without a skipper drifts along with no one home and finally the title is clean and the foreclosure is put on the real estate market.
The repo house in Maine you plan to flip is cheaply priced to move it out "as is where is" for a reason. Someone is dumping it for cheap cheap cheap for a reason. Not considered worth the ROI to fix it up and get it sold. Loose ends, areas of neglect that often keep the property from being eligible for secondary mortgage market financing still need someone to address them. Most buyers lack the expertise and power tools, the motivation. Or just don't possess the funds needed to overcome the financing underwriting property standard obstacles a bank lender wants to see corrected.
More home buyers require a bank behind them for lending help and a payment booklet. The higher the house price, the more likely bank moirtgages are needed because cash buyers thin out fast in rural Maine the taller the price tag.
So what's the short list of what to do that brings back the largest return for the fix and flip this cheap repo home in Maine?
Clean out the debris inside and around the home you want to resell as soon as possible. Fill in the driveway potholes, remove the overgrown vegetation and any dangerous tree limbs crowding around the home. Wash the windows, replace the broken or missing glass. Add new steps with railings. Install the GFI electrical outlets near water lines in the kitchens, baths and laundries.
In the repo house to buy cheap and turn around to fix and flip, you have to get rid of the smells. The ones usually from pets, a smoker or just dirty tenant or home owner. The odors usually trapped in carpets or in the walls, leaching into the underlayment of your sub floors. Or from garbage left in hot glass porches, cold damp cellars or piled high in garage bays used like a dumpster. Some agents or brokers argue if I can smell it, I can't sell it. Flipping houses involves lots of house work, inside and out froim the neglect. That's why the price is so low folks.
Don't open that refrigerator please. Something growing in there you don't want to see or smell. The old harvest gold electric stove that only one burner works... sometimes. Mosey those two kitchen appliances right out of the building. Throw them unto the scrap metal recycling pile that will welcome them in no charge. To avoid the tipping fee tonage of what you have to swamp out of the cheap repo home in Maine you fix and flip.
Take along the dead water heaters in the cellar littering it like a graveyard too.
See all the room you gain in that dark, dingy basement that you add new light bulbs to the empty sockets to make the area bright and less scary.
Open those cellar windows for fresh air and to remove the dampness of the shut up repo home needing your TLC attention.
Spread the love around the cheap repo home to more than just kitchen and bath areas too.
Those two regions can eat up the biggest chuck of your home improvement funds. Make sure not to put all the repair money into just one area of the cheap repo home. Hit the low spots around the entire house with frugal use of what you have for renovation monies. Stage the place carefully with highly creative but low cost furnishings if you have the knack. Don't bother if you don't.
We look for practical, we are frugal and more tight fisted with our hard earned dollars in Maine. The roof, heating system, what about a garage for winter vehicle storage... those are more important than the color scheme or latest gadget to ooh and wow.
Sometimes there is a hardwood floor in decent shape under the rugging in the cheap repo home in Maine. Or maybe it is worth refinishing which in my area costs three dollars a square foot. And that includes besides the floor sanding, also the bleaching, the five coats of polyurethane in whatever finish you think looks best. In the flipping houses exercise, what to do and not over do it. That's the ROI million dollar question of will the market reward this expense. You always improve for the market, not your personal tastes.
Paint. Nothing transforms a place other than a good thorough cleaning than fresh paint to dress up the cheap repo home in Maine.
Does the home paint color help or hurt the resale? You bet it does so look around. What is the local preference for house colors? Don't be a color wheel dare devil and pick some MOPAR exotic glow in the dark shade of paint. Easy does it and keep it Switzerland neutral. The light grays and blues and yellows, greens have replacd the eggshell white for what to apply. Instead of one color straight through just because you got a deal from Mardens, have a little vareity but in the subtle paint shades. There is your favorite color and then the ones the market rewards on a resale for this fix, flip, look for another repossession.
If what the room or exterior was painted before was pleasant, not eye wincing or stomach unsettling, match the tint to reduce the painting time.
So it won't require two coats to mask the original color.
Avoid more time, more paint, more expense. And in your small rural Maine housing market, the resale margain is small. Do a good job painting and take your time, know what you are doing. Maybe your seven year old is helpful and a heck of a worker like Dad and Mom. But not the best person to crack the gallon of paint and turn loose with a paint brush while you are up on the porch roof. Reshingling or hunting down what is the cause of the leak that created the ugly black mold.
Your profit is in your expenses so ride herd on what you pour back into the hungry reposession property that is starving for attention.
But don't do what some think can to swindle or fool a buyer. That's not good business, not the golden rule to live by applied. With I have heard called applying "Texas sunshine". Or adding lipstick to a pig of a property is the wrong approach. Buyers, banks, home buyers... everyone is smarter than that to fall for the trap.
This is the age of full property disclosure and you don't want to cover up major issues with contact paper and joint compound or paneling over any issue. Find a buyer aware of the remaining issues and that is ready and skilled to take them on after the sale. Not call an attorney and send you the memo "see you in court" and let's have a man or woman wearing a black robe decide what's gonna happen for liquidated damages.
Fix the broken kitchen drawer that needs adjustment or new slide slides. Update the hardware if 1950's, 1960's if dated. Replace the broken or missing door knobs in the repo house. The property that may look like Stephen King just made a horror movie in it.
Mowing the grass. Hauling away the trash. And new ceiling light fixtures are small potatoes to buy to wire nut them into place. Lowes and Home Depot give you a discount the more you buy and even offer them in lighting fixture multiples for little money. Some existing ones only need new glass coverings to replace what is missing in the home ridden hard and put away wet.
The repo home bathroom eerie glow or flickering flourescent lights create the morgue look.
No home buyer wants to be seen making a face checking their hair in the bathroom mirror during the walk through. They worry about sagging ceiling tiles, the stains from before the roof was replaced but that make them think it still leaks. Seal in the stain, paint that ceiling to make it clean and bright.
Torn wall paper needs to be peeled and paint or new paper added. Hopefully a roll of extra matching wallpaper or maybe even the same shade of paint was found in what was left behind for house litter. What's that? Too late, it got the heave ho in the roll in dumpster filled to the brim? Next fix and flip this house you will be on the look out for anything that needs to stick around for the home improvement projects.
Besides what you do for home repairs and updates, the marketing of the fix and flip the property better be red hot.
Full throttle and far reaching. The time of day for imagery and video collection depends on the right weather. The narrative pointing out the features of the property and location needs to be sharp. Helpful, friendly and "talking" to the person in the audience. The ones who are a perfect candidate for the new and improved home for sale priced to sell. That was just listed and is going to fit someone out there like a glove or glass slipper.
The home buyers, they need to hear your message and realize, hey, he's talking to me. Trying to help me.
Not selling me but matching me to what I need and can afford today! Each ad written is not the same nor does it sound like all the other house blurps. Every property is different and the write ups, the images shot, the plat map and floor plans posted should reflect the subtle and obvious differences. To help the real estate buyer in the audience at any time of day, in any location, on a slew of device types to check out the property listing. That's attractive and affordable and as luck would have it, available with a quick occupancy today!
The buyer for the fix, flip and sell this Maine home is not just local. After the staging work in the flipping houses is ready for show time, light it up online. The marketing exposure for the largest audience possible better reach out of town, state, even country to get to the real estate closing quick and easy.
Looking for a cheap repo house in Maine to buy, fix up, flip?
Or already own one and searching for the real estate professional to guide the renovations pulled out of the job jar. Need a forty year Maine real estate veteran too kick the marketing into gear for proven results? MOOERS REALTY is here to serve you buying, selling, trading any type of real estate property listing.
Whether a repo fix and flip project home or just land, something in tip top shape or on the waterfront, maybe a business listing. MOOERS REALTY is ready when you are so reach out.Let's talk to come up with a sound Maine real estate plan to solve your property puzzle!