If you're sick of hearing about the flip, I'll return to my regular, non-flip programming on Wednesday but until then I have more flip stuff to chat about. I've had several of you ask me how flip #3 compares to the previous 2, which my favorite is, and if quitting my salaried 9to5 was worth it, so I figured that we could have a little flip chat today. If you're newish here you may not have seen all 3 transformations so take a moment to check them out: #1: Clark, #2: Frankie, #3: Grover.
After completing my 3rd flip house, I'm finally feeling like I'm getting the hang of it! I know roughly what a kitchen or new windows or a roof or a bathroom will cost me. I know who to call if the wiring is wonky or if the pipes burst. I'm even getting pretty good on estimating how much time it'll take to turn around the house. I know each house will teach me an entirely new lesson, but I feel prepared for whatever gets thrown at me now.
I had a little trial and error with finding the right contractors through the 3 houses, but I think I finally found some good resources. I've discovered that the best way to find a contractor is by a recommendation from another contractor. It all started with my plumber- we've used him even before flipping, so we knew he would do a good job. When I was looking for a new electrician for house #2, I used my plumber's recommendation and was very happy. When I was looking for a new contractor for house #3, I went with my electrician's recommendation and was also happy. I've also asked friends and family for recommendation and consulted Angie's list. I did find my flooring guy on Angie's list (and was blown away with the result), but by far, contractors recommending contractors has been the most successful method. The different specialties work together on a regular basis and quickly learn who does a good job. I'm so happy that I tapped into that resource and now have some go-to guys to call.
Ok, so that takes care of the more technical stuff, let's get a little more personal.
House #1, Clark was my favorite to work on so far- I did most of the work myself and all the firsts were fun. I had never installed a hardwood floor or tiled or switched out a toilet. Handy Dad got called pretty much daily as I got stumped or needed guidance. It wasn't glamorous (spoiler alert: flipping isn't glamorous!), but the learning process was the most fun since I had the most to learn. I am also happy to say that my photography skills have markedly improved since.
Clark was also my favorite curb appeal make-over since it's the only one that didn't have vinyl siding and I got to paint it the colors I thought would work best. Vinyl siding is not my friend.
House #2, Frankie was the biggest learning process. We spent a bit more than we should have to buy the house, and I went over on my reno budget. Not a ton over, just $2000, but over nonetheless. We still made money on the house thankfully, but there are several steps we should have done a bit differently. The really good thing here is that we know where we could've done better and won't take those same paths again. The less successful paths mainly had to do with my work process and project management, however my biggest take-away was that your personality needs to jive with your contractor's. Frankie's contractor did a decent job, but in spending that much time with someone (and that much trust in someone), you want to make sure they aren't adding to your anxiety.
House #3, Grover has been the most satisfying by far. The process was the most tedious (no more painting... please??) but this house had the most personality in the end. I'm a sucker for character and I've tried to insert as much as possible into all my houses- #3 had some of his own to start with and didn't require me to add as much in.
On to some details: My favorite backsplash, and the first backsplash I ever did was Clark's moss green penny tiles. They just make me smile.
Favorite tile floor is probably Grover's retro blue tiles. I'm not sure if you would consider this a success or not (I do), but most people actually think the floor in Grover's bathroom are original.
I can't decide on a favorite hard wood floor, though. Clarks were fantastic because they added so much to the house and they were such a satisfactory project to tackle myself
but on the other hand, Grover's hard wood floors are original (with the exception of the kitchen) and original always feels a bit more authentic.
Favorite kitchen as a whole? Grover's hands down. Although I loved the white cabinets in Clark, Grover's kitchen just feels the most homey. I just want to bake there.
Aside from the fact that I'm starting to figure out how to use my camera, another reason why the pictures just keep getting better is staging. With Clark, we discussed if staging was worth the price and we decided not to- Frankie drove us to stage since he wasn't selling, and I couldn't imagine Grover without it! Staging may just be my favorite part of the process.
Now that we've looked at some pretty pictures from each house, let's get back to the nitty-gritty for just a second. I quit my corporate 9to5 design job a year and a half ago.... was it all worth it?
If we sell Grover for what we expect, I'll be about even income-wise after a year and a half of working for myself. I haven't actually taken a salary from the flips yet- we've been reinvesting the money back in in hopes that we can go after a bigger fish for the next flip. Even though I haven't taken a huge step salary-wise, flipping has allowed me the flexibility to really figure out what I want from my career and to get my own residential design business started (Copper Dot Interiors- I'd love to work with you!). In the long run, quitting the stable job for the risk will be well worth it!
I'd love to hear what flip was your favorite! What kitchen do you want to cook in?