We purchased “The Party House” and got started working on demo in February of this year. Even when we stripped it of it’s dance floor, 8 track shelf, castle-like entrance and bar; the name remained and the ‘fun’ of the party continued. We had quite a few hurdles to overcome working on this property and felt triumphant to get it to a state we are proud of. Beyond the success of a beautiful transformation and quick sale, we also had another priceless event to make this flip even more memorable.
The property is a ranch style house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs plus a full basement with an additional bathroom and two rooms which could be used as bedrooms. It was a massive project to take on with some major obstacles not typical of every redevelopment project. We wanted to keep some of the features the last owner had spent so much time and energy to personalize the home and add some of our own re-purposed materials. One of the biggest challenges was managing how to change the not so functional spiral staircase into something unique to fit the character of the home. Now the house is clean, warm and ready for the next owners to tailor to suit their needs.
After a rush of showings and a few offers within the first 48 hours on the market, our realtor called to say she had been contacted by one of the people who used to live in the house. I was put in touch with Liz, the daughter of the former owners, who expressed her gratitude for someone buying and fixing up the home she loved so dearly. We agreed to meet and show them how the house looks now. Liz and her niece Jessica, who was also raised in the home, came to walk though last weekend. It was an emotional trip down memory lane for them to see the changes and to appreciate seeing the house “brought back to life,” as Liz put it.
Liz recalled when her family moved from across the street in the 70’s and how important this neighborhood was to introduce both her and her sister to their husbands. She remembered carrying bricks between the houses to construct the patio, how her dad put a giant freezer in the storage area and then built walls around it, and the hours spent on the pool table and entertaining in the basement. She talked about where the original stairway to the basement was and how her dad “got a wild hair” to put in the spiral staircase in the middle of the entryway. And she is looking forward to bringing home whiskey barrels from the bar as her own memento, as she remembered her dad’s dedication to making wine that everyone said tasted awful. Jessica also had fond memories of the home and especially the bedroom in the corner where her name remained on the wall when we bought the house. We had been calling the pink room “Jessica’s Room” all along. She reported unfortunate memories of taking a few tumbles down the stairs when she was young. And remembered dancing with her cousins on the dance floor and mimicking a champagne celebration by shaking up sprite, loving the sound and feeling of shoes sticking on the wooden floor.
It was extra validation of a job done well to hear from people who lived in and loved this home. They adored the improvements of opening up the main level living area, adding a laundry room upstairs and brightening up the basement with a sliding glass door and removal of dark paneling. They appreciated the original touches remaining in the house which blend in now with the fresh space. Liz stated she believed her mother, who wasn’t able to keep the home and has since passed, would be so pleased to see what has become of her home. It was an honor to have Liz and Jessica visit, hear their stories and to have them feel so happy about the effort we put into this renovation. The business of flipping houses can be profitable and it’s the impact on people’s lives which is truly priceless.
With a decrease in inventory and an increase in sales price, Kansas City is currently in a hot seller’s market. According to the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors there are 27% less homes listed for sale in the Kansas City then there were just three months ago. And the median house price reflects the greater demand by increasing 6.7% in the same time period. If you are hoping to buy this spring, you have a lot of competition.
On the opposite side, this is great news if you are considering putting your house on the market. You may have heard some extraordinary stories of people who list their home, have dozens of showings and multiple offers within days. Ordinarily we would think this kind of house would be in a prime location and listed below market value to gain this kind of response. However, this situation is occurring all over the metro and in every different price point. The offers have been flooding in for home owners over asking price, no contingencies, with high earnest money checks and all kinds of additional bonuses to get contracts to stand out above others.
If you want to get in on the real estate action, now is the prime time to sell. There is some up front work to consider as buyers love clean, updated homes with great curb appeal. However, being a sellers market means buyers are willing to put money into some updating and landscaping just to get themselves to the closing table with a home. It still would be unreasonable to think you could sell a house at a premium if it needs a complete overhaul or major repairs.
But what if your house needs updating or big repair and you still are interested in taking advantage of the current market? It may seem overwhelming to replace a roof, repair foundation, install new carpeting or update bathrooms or a kitchen. We may be able to help, we won’t ask you to clean, we won’t expect you to declutter for showings, and we won’t ask you to make any updates or repairs. We make fair market cash offers, pay closing costs and close on your timeline. And as license real estate agents, we may recommend it would be to your benefit to list your property in the traditional way to maximize your profit and can refer a great agent to serve you. Reach out to us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or (913)333-9643. We would be happy to answer your questions and help you with real estate solutions.
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.