Our latest flip was also our fastest. Previous projects we have always worked hard and set a ‘deadline’ of sorts, but it was always flexible. Well, with this house, our deadline was RIGID. We wanted this flipping project completed BEFORE our twins were going to be born…..that gave us less than 100 days. With both of us working full time 5 or 6 days a week and 4 kids 5 and under–this was going to be a tall task to say the least.
Here is a short news story that will give you a glimpse of our busy home life that we juggle with our careers and flipping.
The before of this flip seen in a previous post showed that every square inch of this house needed cosmetic updates. Everything needed paint, all of the floors had to be done, the kitchen and bathroom were disastrous and even slightly intimidating. The ‘to do’ list was going to be lengthy.
In doing our initial walk through, we took pictures of every room so that we could make a detailed list, prioritize that list, as well as call any necessary contractors to get them scheduled. Where we live, the housing market is crazy busy and so some contractors are weeks or even months out for work.
When it comes to flipping houses, time is money. The longer you own a property, the more you rack up in utilities, insurance, and tax expenses. If you did not purchase your house with cash, you will also be paying out interest on your mortgage payment.
So how do you get organized to save time?
With all of our projects, we use our pictures to create four lists. Haul out your legal pad and your favorite pen…off you go!
List #1: Room by Room
- Write the name of each room/area of your house
- In looking at your pictures, make a detailed list of everything that needs to be completed in that room- this way as you complete tasks, you can cross them off your list. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment!
- Always update your list as you think of more items
List #2: Contractors
- Electrician: for this house we knew we needed new electrical service since the house was running on 4 fuses–there was not even a breaker box. The day that we closed on the property, I called immediately to get an estimate and set up a date to start work
- Plumbing: much of the plumbing in this house was too small. The diameter of the pipes were not up to current code–again– I called soon after closing to get an estimate and to schedule a start date
- Flooring: We have refinished floors ourselves in the past, but due to our short time line and the fact that I could not help with any of the sanding, staining, or poly due to pregnancy–we decided to hire this out as well for the main floor. Our floor guy is always very busy and could either start in a week or not for almost 2 months.
- HVAC- We had no HVAC work to be done in this house so this was not needed
- Dumpster Service- we had so much to tear out of this house between flooring and paneling, we would for sure need a dumpster. Depending on what size you need for your project will determine cost.
List #3: Supplies
After you have completed the initial room by room list, you will want to go through that list and create another list of supplies and tools that you will want to bring as well as items that you need to buy. We live near a couple big box hardware stores and one of them offers a percentage off your entire purchase. We will often buy a large chunk of supplies that we need or at least the more expensive items that we can get the most money back from. Once purchased, keep all of your supplies well organized at your project house. There is nothing more frustrating than wasting time looking for things!
List #4: Demo Day
It is easy to get overwhelmed when walking into a house that you are flipping and not know where to start. Staying organized, prioritizing your work, and managing your time is essential to success. If your flip house looks anything like any of ours, you will be getting a dumpster delivered to your flip. Many dumpster companies only allow you to have the dumpster a certain number of days before they will pick it back up. Create a list of what is essential to pull out and get into that dumpster before it is gone. For example, carpet, paneling, plumbing fixtures, plywood, plaster, ceilings/walls etc are all items that you will not be able to put in your regular trash container. Our last dumpster we filled in an hour!
Maybe I am just an little extreme when it comes to organization, but I do not think I would be able to keep my household of 8 with 6 kids under 6, my career, and our flipping business going without it! As you work through your flip, always be updating your list and prioritizing. It is way too easy to turn into a ‘squirrel on crack’ and be working on 25 things at the same time. As you schedule your contractors, those dates will help you prioritize your list as work will most likely need to be completed before your contractors start (pull up linoleum/plywood off floors before floor guy starts). To keep our house moving, I scheduled all the contractors as soon as they were able to start which pushed us to stay on schedule as well.
Do you love to make lists and cross things off?
What are your secrets to staying organized?