This Week’s Head Ache

There are bound to be hiccups during the home redevelopment process.  Sub-contractors quit, wood flooring is too thin to be sanded and refinished one more time and lumber for decking disappears – unfortunately all of these things have recently occurred and we have worked through them and kept going.  This week one of the head aches we have struggled with the most is trying to find a way to reuse the clawfoot tub for The Genessee Project.  As Kansas City’s environmentally friendly home redevelopment company we aim to repurpose what’s existing instead of buy new whenever possible.

The tub was left in the house by the previous homeowner but had never been installed.  Screenshot (15)Seeing as it goes with the character of this century old victorian property, we opted to reintegrate it into the hall bathroom.  With naive optimism we assumed finding hardware and installing plumbing would be as easy as a Sunday afternoon soak…  Select a tub faucet, handle, shower faucet done – right?  Let’s just say, after hours of searching, conversing about and re-searching faucet options – we still don’t feel like we have determined how this bathroom will take shape.

Vintage-clawfoot-bathtubIn place of continuing to shop for faucets that don’t exist, I turned to a google search for “clawfoot tub images.”  This will help give me some direction for what to look for, I thought.  It didn’t take me long to find almost exactly the tub we have in the house with the same three holes and where they are positioned.  Enlarging the image showed it was attached to an article link entitled “Why You Shouldn’t Install A Clawfoot Tub.”

Oh the irony…  If we hadn’t already invested so much time and been so stubborn about making it work – it may have ended up out in the yard as a planter.  I’m making this declaration heard:  We will be conquering the clawfoot and this bathroom will be a masterpiece!

tub planter

Consistent Distractions

We take our job very seriously.  We have invested a lot of time and energy into learning our trade and understanding the business.  Naturally we love the design aspect, shopping, checking out properties, educating about creating a healthier earth and watching  home transform.  And it’s critical we understand the systems to doing things the right way and avoid unnecessary risk.  When it boils down to it, it’s crazy fun.

Life as a real estate investor means we live on the fly, how we spend our days often gets made up as we go.  The best scheduled plans can quickly get detoured when a potential deal needs to be accessed because offers are made quickly.  Part of the excitement of the business is the unpredictability and it can also be a source of frustration.  At times we have found ourselves distracted by the excitement and wasting time on the wrong tasks.

Because of the tendency to chase shiny things, we have begun to emphasize improving our systems to implement tasks and routines with flexibility.  This allows us to keep focused on structure while still allowing for unplanned events.  We time block when to work on marketing, communications, renovation tasks, analyzing deals, education and networking meetings.  We keep each other accountable for sticking to assigned tasks and staying focused.  Our business is more productive because of this method.

Keeping in mind the necessity of avoiding distractions, I stood in our construction zone making a mental note of all of the duties which would need to be worked on over the next few days.  Tile on the kitchen floor to be repaired, trim around the windows, installing appliances, paint etc.  I placed a phone call to the contractor to go over what I was seeing when outside the window I spotted a flash of white.  Grateful to have the major part of my conversation completed, my focus wavered from his words to narrow in on the bright spot across the street.  I darted to the window like a labrador retriever and there it was, a small furry ghost on the tree, the neighborhood albino squirrel.  Okay, so we are not perfect.  We can’t time block everything and may still chase ‘shiny things’ on occasion.

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Not the actual squirrel, you would stop to look too wouldn’t you?

Have you considered real estate?

With so many HGTV and DIY shows making flipping look easy, many people have the idea real estate investing is simple and fun.  Choosing design plans, shopping for features and creating something beautiful out of what once was ugly – yes some parts are pretty cool.

In general, the thought doesn’t actually motivate most individuals into action to buy a house and begin construction.  This, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.  Real estate is not as simple as it looks when trimmed into a 30 minute episode.  Unfortunately not all construction goes as planned, surprises can be hidden behind walls, permits can be stalled, and any number of things can go very, very wrong.  Experts who have invested in essential education, have systems for staying on time and on budget, and utilize a network of other seasoned investors can overcome these home nightmare obstacles without faltering.  For the beginner without knowledge about the process, these same obstacles can drive them to bankruptcy.

Okay I know this post started out scary, I promise there is an upside.

If you are a person who has an interest in real estate and realize you lack the time, energy or education necessary to take on a project there is still a way you can be involved and make money.  Redevelopment companies like, EcoLiving Property, grow business by building relationships with lenders who can fund the purchase and construction of a project.  The lender is given a first or second mortgage position to secure their legal interest, meaning the lender acts as the bank owning the property and collecting the interest.  Except you can earn double or more what a bank charges for interest on their mortgages.  The best part is, unlike your money in the bank or in the stock market, your investment is secured with the property and insured – no matter what could go wrong, you can’t lose money.

You may be wondering why wouldn’t we just get a mortgage loan from a bank, especially since the interest is cheaper.  The way our business works, we need to be able to purchase houses quickly and banks – to put it kindly – operate at their own pace.  Additionally, since the houses we purchase are distressed properties well below market value, banks cannot loan on properties without functioning kitchens and bathrooms.  Besides, we figure in the cost of paying our investor to our flips and we value their part in our business.

To review how the process works:

  1. EcoLiving Property finds an extremely undervalued property and presents you with the project.
  2. We borrow the funds from you to purchase and renovate the property.
  3. EcoLiving Property utilizes systems to complete an eco-friendly renovation staying on time and on budget.
  4. We list and sell the property.
  5. At the closing you’ll receive your principle plus interest payment.
  6. You can continue to invest in future projects and continue earning.

If this sounds like a more foolproof way to get involved in real estate investing, you’re correct!  However, we will not make money for just anyone.  We want to build investor relationships with those who have the same passion for our mission.  Our homes aren’t your typical flips, we aim to create green, energy efficient and clean home environments and hope you share this vision as well.   If you’re interested in hearing more, I’d love an opportunity to answer your questions.  Please give us a call.