Flip #2: Betty Begins

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So, a week after we close on selling our first flip, we jump back into the flipping game in a major way by buying two, yes two, new houses. This is the story of one, which we call Betty because that was the name of the previous owner.

Betty is a tiny shoe box house in Wheeling, a northern suburb of Chicago. We bought it for a STEAL at $90K. This is 100% due to John’s negotiating skills. He’s a wizard when it comes to deal making. Here are the quick specs of the house we bought:

  • 864 square feet
  • 2 bedroom
  • 1 bath
  • No basement
  • Den area (to be converted into a 3rd bedroom)
  • 2 car detached garage

Take a look at a few “before” photos below:

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One big project we knew we were getting into with this house was that the main water line into the house had to be moved. Apparently it was coming in from a street on the other side of an empty lot to the rear of the property. The village stipulated that whoever buys the house would have to have it moved. So, as soon as we closed, we got to work on hiring the plumber to take care of this doozy of an issue. He proceeded to dig up the entire front yard, which frankly, was okay by me….we needed to get rid of all that extra shrubbery anyway. But, wow…what a mess it turned out to be! I don’t think it endeared us to the neighbors….

Speaking of neighbors…neighbors can be tricky. Some are great and are happy that you’re here. They see you as coming in to take care of an eyesore and they are nice to you. For example, our next door neighbors were kind enough to let us use their water supply when we were having issues. But, some are nosy and outright mean…and call the village on you. And that happened on this project. So, we had one major setback that put our project about 6 weeks behind. That was tough.

Now onto the plan for renovation. Here are the things we plan to upgrade:

  • Change all windows
  • Pull up carpet & vinyl tile and refinish/stain original hardwood floors
  • Update the kitchen: floor tile, new cabinets, new appliances, tile backsplash, granite countertops
  • Update the bathroom: new tub, toilet, vanity/sink, and fixtures; floor tile; bathtub wall tile
  • Create 3rd bedroom by adding a door and a closet

Now, if this was HGTV, I’d leave it at that. But, this is real life, so I’m going to give you just a sample of all the extraneous things we do to our houses to update them. The costs of these things adds up, not to mention how much time it takes to complete these things.

  • new baseboards, window trim, and door trim
  • paint every square inch
  • patch and repair damaged drywall
  • lay new sod
  • repair water damage to garage wall
  • add recessed lights to living room and kitchen
  • add ceiling fans to bedrooms
  • update all electrical outlets and switches
  • add new A/C, furnace, and water heater
  • change out front door

Stay tuned for the “after” pictures. Follow me on instagram and twitter. I’ll post photos of the progress there.


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