House 'Before' Overviews

Our Newest Flip: Flip #4

Flipping and Family

We won’t lie….flipping houses is HARD work!! When we purchased flip #4 we had 4 kids who were 5 and under with twins on the way. (Since then, our twins were born and we now have 6 children under 6 years of age). You might think that this is what we ‘do for work’, but in fact it is not. We both have full time jobs that occupy us 40 hours per week. Renovating houses is our supplemental income that will allow us  to send all 6 of our children through Christian school.

We do lead a busy life, but we are raising our children to know the value of hard work as well as what can be accomplished if we all work together. Our oldest daughter (at 5 years of age) will tell you, “Mommy and Daddy make houses pretty for nice families to live in and to pay for my pretty school.”

Our kids do grow a bit restless when we are in the ‘thick of a flip’ because we put in ALOT of time to get the project done faster. They do not always come with us….especially in the ‘demo phase’, but we like to include them when we can. It is always our priority that we be home in the evening for a later supper and to tuck them in.

We have been flipping houses for less than 2 years and have 4 completed. Not too shabby for a busy family of now 8.

Walking Through a Potential Flip

If walking through fixers is new to you, I would recommend going with an experienced realtor or flipper. It can be difficult to see the potential in a home. Many buyers get hung up on things like paint, curtains, shag carpet, paneling, crazy light fixtures, or even the current resident’s furniture/decor.

These items mentioned are purely cosmetic ‘issues’. They are not costly at all, but require many hours of elbow grease!

Walking through the basement can reveal many exciting things as well as costly things. When you get to the point of walking in the basement, if you have a good realtor, he/she will be leading the way with a flashlight in hand. 🙂 Some things that we always check are structure, if there is any evidence of water, condition of load bearing walls/beams, age of furnace and water heater, electrical panel and for any evidence of mold. My realtor happens to be allergic to mold, so she is a great indicator/gauge of mold when walking through older basements.

Flip #4: aka ‘Birthday House’

If you read the last post, ‘Birthday House’, you know that my husband had asked for another project house for his birthday. For us, this would be a short time frame to renovate a house being that I was due with twins May 27th, but we were determined to get it done before they were born. We knew the owner of the home because the house was right next door to our very first flip. So we already knew the neighborhood and all the neighbors surrounding the house. Ironically, when we did that house, I was pregnant then as well. So to the neighbors, I did not look any different than I had less than two years prior. LOL.

In talking to the owner’s son, things fell into place and I was able to close right on Tim’s birthday and put the key in the envelope of his birthday card.

So What Did We Buy?

This house was in need of a lot of updating. The dear lady that lived there had called that house her home for 65 years. It was last updated at some point in the 70’s so much of it’s potential was covered with shag carpet, layers upon layers of wall paper, paneling, and celery green and golden yellow paint.

Here are the ‘before pictures’ of where this flip started:

The Kitchen:

The kitchen felt very dark–from the cabinets to the fake beams and paisley linoleum. The brightest part of the kitchen was the orange countertops and the railroad like light in the eat in area. The appliances were old and the wallpaper had to go. There was a closet used as a pantry, but it was not divided off from the bedroom closet. You could literally walk from the kitchen, through the pantry, into the bedroom closet, and into the master bedroom. I guess that could be efficient in the morning when getting ready for work–you could get up, get dressed, and walk through the pantry for a granola bar on your way out the door. 🙂

The kitchen and eat in dining room was going to require almost the most work.

Dining Room and Living Room

The dining and living room was covered in dark green carpet, had golden yellow walls, brown crown molding and felt dark with the shades and curtains closed over all the windows. The great thing was, it was a HUGE room that we could make into a separate living and dining room that would be light and bright with all the windows that were there!

Master Bedroom

This is the bedroom that has the large walk in AND walk through closet that leads to the pantry to the kitchen! We think this was possibly the original kitchen to the house before it was moved to its current location. The kitchen shown about was added on to the home in the 60’s. Lots of cosmetics to take care of in this room–from lighting to wall paper to flooring–but that is just elbow grease. 🙂

Bedroom #2

It is hard to tell from the picture, but this room had green carpet, celery green paint (on the walls and trim), and again just felt dark. Again– just needed lots of elbow grease!

The Bathroom

The bathroom quite possibly was going to require even more work than the kitchen. Everything had to go (the paneling, linoleum, ceiling, cabinets, fixtures, and ‘built in’ on the shower wall.  We also needed to create a shower despite the window that was there. This was going to be a nightmare!

Stairwell and Upstairs

The upstairs contained a desk area, one bedroom, and a cute hallway out to a flat roof deck. It was completely full of shag, light brown painted trim, orange desktop, and paneling galore! We had no idea what we would find once we started peeling off and pulling up all the layers!


What do you think? Can you see the potential?

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