Century Home: Sold!

After about 145 days on the market, our Century Home flip is officially sold! We couldn’t be happier that the home went to a younger gentleman that is moving to Cleveland from the East Coast.

One of the question we kept getting via email was “Did you make any money?”

We did – a little bit.  The trouble with the Century Home was that it’s big and, while it is in a good suburb, it’s on the periphery of the more desirable areas.

As a rule, my partners and I target flips with a net return of 30%.  If it’s less than that, we don’t want to take the risk.  This one came in well below that, but thankfully we still managed to turn a little profit.

The chart below shows a general split of how it all worked out.  Rehab costs ate up 57% of total proceeds, with the purchase price taking up another 28%.  Those are our “Hard Costs.”  Rehabbers generally have a good sense of how to estimate those.  What many newbie flippers forget, however, is that there are soft costs, as well – interest, commissions on the sale, insurance, taxes, lawn maintenance, snow removal, utilities, etc.

Are we happy with 5%? No, not at all – but, you win some and you lose some.  It’s a numbers game.

The goods news is, we’re back at it – we’ve got two properties under contract and we can’t wait to tell you about them!

Century Home – Interior Photos

Well, i’m only about 5 months behind schedule updating this blog.  We finished the Century flip about 4 months ago and have moved on to other fabulous rehab projects.  But I never shared the final product with you! It was a tremendous process, but we’re glad its over.  Here’s the final product:

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Measure Twice, Cut Three Times

I obsess about the big picture – am I on budget, will I meet my project deadline, are my partners happy, are the contractors doing good work – things like that.

My wife…my wife obsesses about the finishes.  She’ll spend 15 minutes debating me about shades of gray (hehe), the placement of the kitchen island, the budget (“but for $200 more, this is light fixture soooo much better”) … and that’s exactly what I need!  I have little interest in being bothered with that kind of stuff; I’ve got far bigger issues to deal with.

With that said, it’s no surprise that I missed a rather glaring issue in out master bedroom that she saw within the first 5 seconds of stepping in the room.

As we’ve wrote about in the past, the master bedroom went through several iterations – we ended up expanding the size of the closet and adding a large fireplace.   This all happened after we had drawn new electrical for overhead lights.   You get the picture … the lighting placement just didn’t look right after we moved things around.

The first time we moved the light placement was after we expanded the closet.  I told my electrician to “center it.”  I never looked at it again.

My wife, however, quickly realized it wasn’t “centered” with the fireplace…it just looked off.  Fortunately for me, my father is an electrical engineer and charges me $0 per hour.  A little father-son bonding and 1 hour of work, the lighting was moved for a third and final time.

Check it out below – far left hole (placement #1), large hole in the middle (placement #2), final hole centered with fireplace (placement #3).


A Guest Post From …

…..the Wife!!

Hi there! It’s Harriet – i’m the reason for all of the large bills from Home Depot, Build.com, Pottery Barn, Sherwin Williams and Restoration Hardware, just to name a few.  Yep, I’m the reason projects always seem to come in over budget.  With good reason, though!

I know my husband is focused on the budget, but when you are trying to beautifully rehab a property,  you sometimes need a little pizzaz! Unfortunately, pizzaz = money.

Over the weekend we did one of my favorite shopping trips for the Century Home – lighting! We shopped at two local lighting stores to find just what the flip needed…a little sparkle!  While we always try to leave plenty of room in our budget for lighting and other finish projects, our daughter Mila couldn’t take her eyes off of one of the most expensive (and sparkly) chandeliers we’ve ever seen! Definitely castle worthy!


Here’s a sneak peak of the dining room chandelier we chose – a slightly tarnished silver that will definitely go well with the 100 year old sconces we were able to salvage.

We haven’t been updating the blog as often as we should, but I have to brag for moment.  When you seen the end result … the transformation … your jaws will drop!  My hubby is an intelligent man, but with all of the stress he’s been under to hit project deadlines, I think he’s been too distracted by the little things to realize just how beautiful the Century Home flip will be.

Ladies, this home is something we fantasize about.  The walk in closet is the size of most bedrooms.  The master bedroom is just as big and has a gorgeous fireplace, where the crystals radiate more than the flames.  The kitchen is inviting and will be perfect for hosting large parties.  Stay tuned, we’re just a few weeks away from hitting the market!

Harriet + Mila + our little dog Zeus

Master Bath – Tile Sneak Peak

Construction is moving fast! Much faster than I can keep up with on the blog!  Our crews are finishing up some minor drywall repairs, installing trim around the new doors and windows, crown molding in a few of the rooms and, most importantly, tile in both the master and kids bathroom!

Here is a sneak peak, with compliments to The Tile Shop for their awesome product selection and design inspiration. Can’t wait to show off the finished product!


Master Bedroom Fireplace

I am not a designer.  Managing construction timelines, staying on budget, yelling at contractors, buying them coffee and doughnuts when they work weekends, keeping our investors informed of progress we’re making – I can do all of that.  But a designer I am not.  In picking finishes, I rely on Houzz and my wife.  Both are a good way to go over budget!

After a walk-through with my wife last weekend, she was rather impressed with the progress we were making – until she walked in the master bedroom.  It lacked the “wow” factor she thought was needed to sell the house.  “Spa-like” and “glitz” were two words she used to describe what the feel of the room needed to be; “boring” was how she described the current plan.  Luckily, we were able to find savings on another part of the project, so we had a little money to work with.

So what’s better than a fireplace? This is the look we’re going for:


For the stone veneer, we decided to go with the Sierra Vista architectural stone from TileShop. The fireplace we’re using is the Dimplex Lacey.  All told, this change order will cost us about $1800 in material, $400 for the fireplace and $1300 for the stone. …about $400.

I had our contractors put up cement board this weekend, as seen below.  The stone and fireplace will be installed later this week!


On to the Fun Stuff!

Who knew holding down a full time job, flipping a house, managing a few rental properties, helping care for our newborn daughter (it’s mostly my wife), building a website for my father-in-law’s homebuilding business, managing a blog, trying to find some alone time for my wife and I, plus all of the other small projects that come up (tax season, ah!!!) would be so, well, time consuming?   As someone who likes to have more on my plate than I can handle, even I didn’t realize it’d be this difficult!  So you have to understand my apologies for not updating the blog as regularly as construction at the Century Home flip would allow.

So, let me catch you up to speed!  We’re about a week behind our construction schedule, but overall the project remains largely on budget. We passed our electrical inspection last week and our plumbing inspection yesterday – remember, our scope of work called for all new plumbing and electrical in the house. With all of the rough work (incl. demo & framing) done at the house, we’re finally able to move on to the fun stuff!

Our drywallers will begin hanging sheetrock tomorrow and cement board is currently being installed in both of the bathrooms in preparation for tile. Tile! My father and I delivered about 3,000 pounds of marble floor and wall tile earlier this week, which is no easy task.  The plan is to have both bathrooms tiled by the middle of next week.  After that, we’ll be moving on to tile flooring in the kitchen, which still needs to be picked out.

To be sure, there is still on ton of work to do, but the finish line is in sight.  At this point, it’s mostly picking out finishes – paint colors, light fixtures, countertops, etc.

Until next time!

2014 in Review – THANK YOU!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 49,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 18 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Master Bath: Sneak Peak

With Christmas fast approaching, construction at the Century Home has come to a pause for now.  Our crews plan to get back at it next week.  With rough plumbing and electrical finally complete, our drywallers will be kicking off the New Year with spot repairs throughout.  Soon as they’re done, our tile guy will begin rebuilding the master bathroom.

While my wife and I certainly love to pick colors and tile, we are not interior designers.  Far from it.  Fortunately for us, with online resources like Houzz and a brand new Tile Shop nearby, we don’t need to be!

The great thing about The Tile Shop is that each store has TONS of kitchen and bath vingettes located throughout the store, so you can easily envision what the tile might look like in your home.

We opted to recreate the Eleanor Bath, with a few alternations of our own. Can’t wait to show what they are, but for now…here is a sneak peak of the tile we’ll be using in our master bath.


Demo Here; Demo There; Demo Everywhere!

Why do we yawn a creation and thrill a destruction? 

I have no idea, but destruction is my favorite part of a renovation! The process of wiping the slate clean and starting fresh is extrelely rewarding.  That, and hitting walls with a sledgehammer is a great way to relieve stress!

Demo is largely complete at the Century House and we’ve begun to put it back together, but I’m a little behind on the blog so let me catch you guys up!

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Demo’d butler stairwell in the kitchen and closed off access. Increased size of the kitchen dramatically!

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Cabinets gone. Drywall gone. New electrical being installed. Oh, and 10 foot ceilings!

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New can lighting being installed in the living room. We removed numerous sconces throughout the room in favor of overhead lighting.

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This used to be a four seasons room which was enclosed at a later date, but some of the exterior aspects remained. We removed / closed off some of the windows and framed over a door which was an awkward second entry to the first floor bath.

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Master bathroom. Drywall removed in preparation for new plumbing. Window over tub closed so we can have a full wall of tile!

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Kid’s bathroom. Drywall removed in preparation for new plumbing. Window over tub closed so we can have a full wall of tile! The cast iron tub is almost 350 pounds!

Until next time!