One of the most difficult things about buying homes to rehab is falling in love the with character and charm of an older home and have a deal not work out. As business women it is imperative to make business decisions, make them without emotions and make choices only in regards to the numbers. Unfortunately for us, we not only chose real estate redevelopment for our business because of the viability of our investments but for the love of houses.
We swoon for great architectural bones, we are giddy with colorful patterns and rich textures, we ooh and aah like new mothers for built-in cabinets, glass door knobs and detailed crown molding. We don’t turn our nose up at puzzling layouts, moldy odors, and layers of outdated wallpaper. We seize the opportunity to explore our own creativity, make it functional and develop a home. We have passion in this process so it’s not exactly ‘non-emotional.’
This week we had to make the difficult decision to let go of a house we had under contract. The house itself was in an ugly state and in desperate need of love and attention. We saw through the years of wear and neglect, the sagging roof, cracked stucco, over-sized fireplace and outdated lighting. We knew the combination of our design plans to update with eco-friendly products and energy-efficient materials would bring new life to this home. We knew a future homeowner would be able to enter into a warm inviting space where they could truly appreciate the original features we could highlight. We were enthusiastic about this project and desperately wanted to fulfill the vision we had for this house with infinite potential.
In the end, we recognized the numbers didn’t make sense. No amount of love for the original wood floors would cover the cost of a brand new HVAC system, the charm of the glass doorknobs was not financial compensation for replacing the front porch and the character of the neighborhood would not pay for replacing the kitchen and bathrooms. In redeveloping properties there are daily lessons and this single one we return to more than all the rest: The Key Is Patience.
There will be more homes with these features, this one was not meant for us, the numbers have to make sense. We love our business and we have to show our business love by following the numbers first.