So we finally got through plan check from the city (huge relief since our Falcon project in Mission Hills got stuck in the bureaucratic spin cycle because of a little plant called Artemisia californicaor better known as coastal sage brush which I will now just refer to as an expensive weed. This expensive weed was found on the cities property next to ours on the hillside and because no one at the city could seem to agree on how to move forward.
The options they were giving us were not acceptable especially since we were not even touching anything within a 100 feet of this little frigging plant. The only exterior work we were doing on the back of the property (where the hillside is) is some work on the decks which are already existing.
This has definitely been an interesting project and quite the learning process. On every project you learn something and some times those lessons cost more than others.
I am not sure what I could have done different on this project. We were able to get a great deal on this buying it at $305,000 when the average price in the area is above $700,000, but that price came with strings attached.
Here are some things that we have come up against.
As some of you may or may not remember the reason this property was so cheap is the city put a lien against the property due to code violations.
The previous owner started a big remodel including
New electric & Plumbing
But like many back yard weekend warriors you could tell some of the work was questionable at best.
Hey it’s so easy to flip real estate even a cave man can do it.
To make sure we knew what we were getting into (or at least have a decent idea of what we were looking at) we met the inspector at the property (multiple times) who put the violations on Falcon.
The inspectorseemed very helpful and walked myself , contractor, architect (different times) through the property and pointed out what he wanted fixed. Some of these items were…
Electrical & Pluming – make sure it was to code and fix what wasn’t
Wanted the decks engineered to make sure they were OK
Check the roof and some beams
Replace some windows that were removed
A handful of miscellaneous items
Well even though it wasn’t April, the joke was on me. The first thing the city did when we submitted (as per the cities guidelines) our plans from the architect was to ask for additional items (it seemed like every time we submitted someone asked us to add something else. I think there was a contest at the city to see who could get us to make the most changes and different times).
What made this difficult is every time they asked for something new we had to scramble for someone to get it done as a priority. Below are some of the items that were asked of us, piece meal (It would have made more sense to me to have just given me the list from the start. But what do I know they need to stay busy to justify those big pensions right)
Submitted set of plans of our modifications the city suggested. Hired an architect to do this
They then asked us to get a surveyor to survey the property lines – week later re submitted
Wanted additional engineering – week later submit
Oh, now you want a landscape architect and a biologist to call out EVERY plant on our property and 100 feet past in all directions and onto the cities land…. Oh, sure why not that makes sense since we are doing what to the landscape? Oh, you also want us to actually draw, diagram and show the placement of each plant… Yeah no problem, just let me know if you would like me to re-pave the street for the city while I am doing this extra work. A few weeks later
Oh, you have coastal sage brush on our city property… tisk tisk…
Fast forward months of back and forth, Tug-a-war between different people in the city telling us to do different things. Different interpretations, more submittable to the city, tweaks, and finally the legal has landed we are through plan check and now just need to get this thing finished and hope we don’t run into any more major problems like we have already.
Here is a brief rundown of where we are at and what happened.
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I am very excited about this post as this is my first deal with Curtis and Gabhart Investments. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I am very new to real estate and am interning with Curtis to learn the ropes of flipping houses and how to succeed in this market. This deal was not only exciting, but also unique in that the property was flipped so quickly and with no work or construction. It was valuable learning experience as I learned it is possible to flip a house, make a profit, and no work in less than 30 days. Below is the step by step process of the deal.
stay tuned for our most recent acquisition at 6600 Shannon, 92115. Well be adding square footage and re-configuring the floor plan to turn it into a 4 bedroom 3 bath from a 2 bedroom 2 bath
– Brad Talbert
Back to our message folks…
So the property we picked for $320,000 on the 26th of October in Ocean Beach, we just sold it for $400,000 on the 18th of November.
Here’s how it all began!
Once upon a time at a faraway place in Point Loma Hieghts…
WHAT & WHERE – 706 Sq Ft, 2 Bed/1 Bath in 3952 Coronado Ave, San Diego, CA 92107
DEAL POINTS OF PURCHASE
Executed contract date – October 11, 2010
Escrow length 15 days (Oct 11 to Oct 26 – We closed early)
Deposit – $10,000
Down payment – $90,000
Loan Terms $230,000 seller carry back @ 6% interest only, 1 year term. $1500 in loan fees
Purchase Date October 26th
Purchase Entity- Gabhart Real Estate Opportunity Fund, LLC Series 2
DEAL POINTS OF SALE
$400,000 Net to Fund
Executed contract date – October 29, 2010
Escrow length – 20 days (Oct 29 to Nov 18)
DEPOSIT – $80,000 NON REFUNDABLE UPON ACCEPTANCE (WE gave him all the due diligence & disclosure up front)
Loan- none, all cash transaction
Close of Escrow (sale date) – November 18, 2010
None. We only went inside the property twice.
HOLDING TIME: 23 DAYS
RETURN ON EQUITY (approx) 77%
ANNUALIZED CASH ON CASH RETURN (approx) *A BOATLOAD
(CG-*Remember it is unlikely/ impossible that your money works 365 days a year doing investments. It would mean the day you closed escrow you bought another property.)
HOW WAS IT FOUND
Through our website. Seller contacted us after seeing our posts at sdcia.com
Way back when on the 8th of October Curtis received from his website that a person wanted to sell a property in Ocean Beach.
After calling and qualifying the seller as to why he was selling (he just purchased and didn’t want to drive an hour each way to fix it up and decided to wholesale it instead) and some other important questions so we didn’t waste our time chasing our tail .
Basic property info
Bed/bath, square footage & any recent improvements
Why are they selling & for how much
When do they need to close
And who else are they talking to (this he lps with negotiations)
This is important so we don’t waste time and have a good understanding of the seller and the property.
Ring a ding ding and a ching ching we got an email from our website that someone had a property for sale.
Action time! When getting deals ACT QUICK ! AFTER you qualify
How did the deal transition from purchase to sale (Step-by-Step)
1. The first thing we did is logged on MLS and other sites to compare the property and compile a few comparable which to evaluate and compare to the Coronado property.
a. ALWAYS do this before you get in your car and drive a property, your goal is to eliminate as many wastes of time unqualified properties as possible.
waste of time – the devotion of time to a useless activity; “the waste of time could prove fatal”
waste, wastefulness, dissipation – useless or profitless activity; using or expending or consuming thoughtlessly or carelessly; “if the effort brings no compensating gain it is a waste”; “mindless dissipation of natural resources”
2. Upon arriving at the property and beginning our inspection, we were pleased to see the property was in fair condition. (our definition of condition is probably different than most. In this case it was standing and we didn’t have a previous kitty farm, we didn’t have to jack up the house, etc.)
a. We noticed instantly the house needed a new roof, but other than, that the outside would be an easy fix. (on our first inspection we use a form from winforms that is used when doing a move in/out inspection for tenants. The form has each area broken down and items for each area. For example each room has a spot for baseboards, doors, hardware, lights, etc. We fill in the form with our notes on what needs to be done and when we get back to the office we input the information into our initial estimate spreadsheet to see how much construction is going to be)
b.Basic paint and landscaping would be the extent of work needed on the exterior. Create nice curb appeal by bringing attention to the front porch and door, adding some river rock as a wainscoting up front and just bringing back the character of this style of house.
c.The floors needed to be refinished (almost any condition hardwood floors can be made to look like new Curtis says), and a complete new kitchen with appliances and a couple other minimal touch-ups throughout the house was all the inside needed. We were thinking of redesigning the kitchen, filling in a door that had no real purpose except to take up precious wall square footage int he kitchen.
d.The backyard was big and spacious, and needed only a basic cleaning up.
e.A new front lock would also be replaced, as the current one was a bit cumbersome.
3.Upon leaving the property, we met a neighbor who informed us that other investors had been inspecting the property just an hour before. The race was on and we were off to drive the comps.
a. The majority of the day was taken by driving & walking the property and driving the comps. One of the comps we drove was a recently rehabbed property which we had put in an offer, but did not get the deal. The two were very similar, yet we felt more comfortable with our new subject property.
b.While both properties have 2 bed / 1 bath, the new one had less square footage. Our subject property we were buying did have a much much larger lot and was on a better street. Additionally our subject property had the add-on room, which was not on the tax records. This wouldn’t be beneficial for the appraisal but would act as incentive to a buyer.
c. We try to drive, video tape, and take notes on each comparable property. Curtis mentions that you always want to try to look at it from the eyes of a buyer understanding that the buyer wants the best value for their money. Ask yourself some of these questions on each property you look at.
Street – equal/better/worse
Neighbors – equal/better/worse (sometimes it is worth it to pay to paint a neighbors house or clean up their yard. Curtis has done this on other projects)
House – equal/better/worse – We look at properties that are in similar condition and don’t compare ours to fixers since when we go to sell it typically it will be fixed up. We also see if there are things that can’t be fixed like street noise, yard size etc.
In the video recorder we verbally give our assessment of the property so we can review it later. In addition this can come in handy dealing with appraisers later since many times they don’t look at the interior of the comps and you may need to justify your price to the appraiser with this being your back up.
4.Once back in the office, we run a proforma and play with the numbers to see if this venture is profitable. We start by running a quick back of the napkin proforma using the age old 70% ARV (after rehabbed value) minus costs for improvements. We quickly realized that this is a good deal, so we work to lock up the property.
(we also do this real quick before we get in the car to try to eliminate wastes of time. Once we have looked at the property we give it a more thorough analysis before we put in our offer. It is important if you get your offer accepted you close so your pre-purchase due diligence is key)
a. The project is so versatile, as it lent itself to many exit strategies.
i. One possibility is to put it back on the market without doing anything or wholesaling it. The factors here are how much we would make and how quickly.
ii. Secondly, would be to add minor paint and a roof and let the next owner really do the rest of the work.
iii.Thirdly, we could fully rehab everything, including a full kitchen package, refinished floors, new windows, landscaping etc. The final option is to try and build and add anywhere from 500 to 1500 sq. ft.
5. Once we ran our proformas and realized we had a deal, Curtis called the seller. We verbally offered $310,000 and he asked if he could call us back at the end of the day, as he wanted to see if anyone else would offer $320,000.
Curtis decided it wasn’t worth the risk of losing it and gave the seller 2 options. (by talking to the neighbor Curtis happened to get out of him the name of the buyer looking at it earlier and knew him. Because of this we knew we had to act quick and didn’t want to risk losing $60,000 – $100,000 on a bet when it worked at $320,000)
1. $310,000; all cash quick close
2. $320,000; assume the financing the seller had for $320,000 at 6% interest for only 1 year. This reduced our hard money costs and ended up netting us more than offering $310,000 and also allowed the seller to get his price.
6.Curtis immediately wrote up the offer and sent it over and got a response that night. With the $320,000 and 6%, it was really a wining situation for everyone. We put in the offer at $320,000 and had it accepted within 24 hours. The terms were a price of $320,000 and the seller carry back 6% interest and only $1500 in fees for 1 year term. We had a 15 day COE (Close of Escrow) in which we closed in 12. As it was, by having the seller carry back the financing, we were able to save money which in turn positioned us better than the $310,000 all cash quick close option.
Coronado was now a GII Property
Once we locked up the property, we began calling a few agents in the area to firm up what was happening in the market. We attempted to find out:
Are their listings getting offers and for how much?
Are they receiving close to asking price and if not, what do they think their property is really worth?
Information on the sales prices and condition of the property, financing, concessions if it was a sold etc.
We decided to let two of the local agents know that if we received $400,000 net commissions, we would sell and walk away. If not, we would let them know in 30 days when we were done rehabbing before we put it on the market , so they would have a chance to bid on it.
We came to this conclusion as we figured that a full rehab would net us about $80k or $110k and would take about three months. If we sold for $400,000, this would net $80,000 in a week, which greatly increases the returns on the property. (See post about velocity of money)
Ultimately, this was a fantastic property to find, and we are lucky we could flip it so quickly. It took less than 30 days from when we received the tip, to closing the property to the new buyer.
The transaction went smooth with few headaches. The best part of the deal is we now have a trusted professional acquaintance in North County who we will hopefully be able to exchange deals with in the future, and a buyer who is an agent will also send us deals in the future (your reputation is important and San Diego is a small town, so treat people right. Do what you say, and in the long run it pays off)
This was sent to Curtis after we had bought it from the Seller.
Thanks for purchasing the home on Coronado Avenue from me. You promised a quick and easy close and you delivered on that promise. We actually closed 3 days early on a 15 day escrow! You are to be commended on your honesty and integrity in this business dealing. If everyone involved in real estate transactions performed as you have, it would make all of our lives much easier. You may use me as a reference for anyone who wants more knowledge of this transaction. Thanks again, Larry C*
By the way stay tuned for our most recent purchase at 6600 Shannon, 92115. This will be an interesting one since we are adding square footage to the property and re-configuring the floor plan.
For the most updated information & news on real estate & Gabhart Investments go to our Facebook & twitter pages