Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Reality Home

Yesterday was another great day in real estate!  Got to help another friend move one step closer to making his dream a reality.  Jon has dubbed me the "Tom Brady of Real Estate" (though these days that may not be such a good thing!), though I feel more like Edwin Moses because we had so many hurdles to jump!  He and his Fiance Kindra will be starting renovations on this incredible fixer upper in the Lake Magdalene section of Tampa.
The Happy Couple
When you have a long wish list for your home and challenging financing conditions, you need a strong and experienced agent to navigate the waters.  We successfully negotiated ALL CLOSING COSTS to be paid by the seller in spite of an extremely strong sellers market where concessions are usually few and far between. We also anticipated required repairs that would block FHA financing approval and had them negotiated and completed BEFORE the appraisal so as to keep the timing of the deal on track. Working in tandem with my mortgage partner Bryan Marx at NFM Lending, we also got this transaction closed several days EARLY!  Structuring our deal the way we did will enable Jon to keep the maximum amount of money in his hands so he can put it towards his renovation and the smooth loan transaction and early closing gives him more time to get his renovations complete to make their Dream Home a Reality Home!

I sentence you to 45 days of renovation hell!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Next project!

Haven't posted in a while, here is why!  Just helped a friend close on his 2nd investment property and we spent the weekend demoing and renoing! 
Empty Dumpster (Not for long!)

1st big score!  We found the Sprinkler valve control box and all the zones work though in need of a few small repairs and a new controller.
Bathroom demo uncovers significant mold.
 This is what lurks behind MANY bathroom walls.

Bathroom demo taking shape!
We picked the hardest window to install first but eventually we got it done!
View from living room to Kitchen and dining area.  To get top rental dollar as well as top price at time of resale, creating an open concept Kitchen/Living space is really the way to go.  It will be significant expense to the budget but a worthwhile one.

This was the most challenging aspect to think through as we needed to make sure that if we totally change the kitchen layout that the existing cabinets could still be made to work.  In the end, we still have all the proper sized cabinets to fit in and make the redesign.  We will only need to make modifications to one of the upper cabinets which will easily be done.
It was a long, dirty, but productive weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Field Trip!

Yesterday I took a field trip to check out some "tilewood".  If you're from the Northeast like myself hardwood floors reign supreme, but here in Florida where homes are built on concrete slabs options are a bit more limited. Tile with a faux wood finish is gaining in popularity for its stylish look and great durability.  The cost per sq ft of the material is cheaper than real wood and there is no worrying about water damage, refinishing, and maintaining the floors.  Installation costs vary mostly based on the size of the tile, the larger the tile, the more difficult it is to lay it due to imperfections in the levelness of floors.  

Tile Outlets of America on Hillsborough Avenue here in Tampa, FL is my goto for all things tile.  HUGE selection, great prices and great service.  While Home Depot and Lowes tend to have an okay selection of flooring, your local tile warehouse will probably have triple the options and a lot more experience because they specialize in it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Upcoming Investment Project- Forest Hills

Today I wanted to give you a preview of one of my latest investment rental projects.  This property will be closing and renovations commencing by the end of the month.  Since I'm a bit long winded in the video I'll give you the synopsis here.

Property is a 1250 sqft 3bed/2ba/1 car garage located in a nice residential neighborhood in the Forest Hills section of Tampa.  I'm experienced in this neighborhood personally owning 2 properties here and just completed another project with the buyer of this home in the same neighborhood.  

The property was bought by the current owner in July of 2013 for 107k.  He did not maintain the property particularly well and then he decided to list it for $159,900!  While Forest Hills has seen tremendous appreciation over the last 2 years that is only in well cared for and upgraded properties.  One of my properties that was bought for 92k in 2014 recently appraised at 137k but of course that is with us spending about 6k to renovate cosmetics combined with buying it about 5k below appraised value at the time.  As a result of him listing this property too high, it sat and sat on the market.  It was vacant and the few spots where grass is able to grow is nothing more than knee high weeds.  For my buyer, this is a classic case of buying the worst house on the best street. With basic maintenance, this house could have sold for 130k with ease.  It's an ideal first time buyer home.  However, it simply shows horribly and very few first time buyers have the skills or money to put into making the improvements. This house will be a gem when we are done with it.  

Monday, July 6, 2015


Welcome to the new!  A person so diverse and complicated needs a great outlet to the world and that's what I hope for this blog/website to become.  A native of Brockton, MA, I moved to NYC in 2002 to pursue a career in DJ'ing that quickly morphed into a great career as a personal trainer/group fitness instructor.  Out of my roaring 20's and into my mid 30's the desire to tackle a new challenge came about and I set my sights on the real estate world which I'm now happily excelling in one house at a time!  Questions on anything and everything are encouraged and I will do my best to answer!