You may have noticed that it’s been a little quiet around here lately.
But. You guys.
Things are happening.
Before I get into the nitty gritty of what’s going on, here’s the quick back story – as you know, Jason and I have been flipping houses for 6 years now, and we’ve done 10 in all (not counting our own house and our two rentals). We’ve learned a lot about construction, entrepreneurship, and real estate in general. We’ve ridden the highs and lows of the real estate market, started a family, and moved into our 30’s.
We’ve always said that we’d like to build a house when the time is right, and maybe ultimately move from being flippers to builders. That prospect has always seemed like kind of a phantom dream, one that you can catch a clear glimpse of from time to time but that just doesn’t seem quite real or attainable. Maybe it’s one of those things that you talk about but never actually do.
But with the real estate market in Dallas picking up, it’s become harder and harder to find houses to flip – other investors are snapping up houses left and right, and homebuyers themselves are feeling comfortable buying fixer-uppers. We are lucky to have found the houses that we did.
Back in February, Jason received an email from a wholesaler about an investment opportunity in another part of Dallas. The house wasn’t quite what we’re used to working with – it was more expensive, more square footage, in a different neighborhood, and on a much larger lot. Because of all that it wasn’t in our comfort zone, but after I ran some quick comps we decided to hop in the car to go scope it out. Flips are hard to come by, so it was certainly worth our time to see if this house could be a contender for a renovation.
Once we checked out the house, it was clear that the house was a disaster. Not in the sense that it was completely falling down, but it had a terrible layout, bizarre construction, and had been neglected for a time. We knew that we could sink hundreds of thousands into this house and it could still be terrible. So, flipping it was out.
Then, Jason had a thought – could the lot alone be worth the asking price?
The idea terrified me. The asking price was much more money than we normally spend – to be honest, it was more than we normally sell our finished flips for.
But, the neighborhood was killer, and the lot alone was worth the asking price. Jason and I went back and forth – he is an entrepreneur to the bone and I’m very conservative, so we had some spirited discussions to say the least.
In the end, I knew Jason was right – we should buy the lot and build a house. Get started on that dream of ours. Jumping into home-building would be a scary prospect no matter when we did it, and this was a great opportunity.
So, we put in an offer below asking price and it was accepted. We left for a ski trip that morning and scrambled to find a way to get the earnest money to the wholesaler (that was interesting), but it all worked out.
(Update: we are building this house as a spec house and plan to sell it when it’s completed – one day we hope to build our dream home, but not quite yet!)
We’ve owned the lot for exactly two months now. I’ve been waiting for the “perfect time” to tell you what we’ve been up to but there hasn’t been one, and I’ve gotten tired of waiting. :) We have a lot of “behind the scenes” work to show for those two months, but we’ve yet to break ground. To say we’re chomping at the bit would be an understatement!
So, that’s where we are right now. I can’t wait to take you guys along on this wild ride!