Posts in building
Love this House
From the front entrance to the basement, every details counts! Even the outfit. This one was featured on Ann Taylor’s  Loft.com

From the front entrance to the basement, every details counts! Even the outfit. This one was featured on Ann Taylor’s Loft.com

I am so thrilled to see my Laurelhurst project reach completion. It has truly been a labor of love. This home has every modern convenience a homeowner could want! Located in a lovely Seattle neighborhood, this street is overflowing with families and fun. I should know, I lived in this house for a short time.

Can't believe this beauty was a tiny one story bungalow.

Can't believe this beauty was a tiny one story bungalow.

These raw wood floors need care but boy are they worth it!

These raw wood floors need care but boy are they worth it!

I was dying to use these light fixtures.

I was dying to use these light fixtures.

I love the open floor plan.

I love the open floor plan.

Can't you picture yourself in this cozy living space?

Can't you picture yourself in this cozy living space?

Another cool detail, don't forget the ceilings!

Another cool detail, don't forget the ceilings!

Loving the sunset view from the master.

Loving the sunset view from the master.

Initially, my business partner and I bought it as a flip but as time went on I thought this was a good home for me and my family. So we moved in as the designs were drawn up and we waited for permits. Once we realized staying in the home during construction was not an option due to some changes in the remodel plan, the whole project took on a life of its own. We had to roll with a new plan.

We regrouped but, I finished this home off as if it were my own. And I am so happy I did – it has so much attention to detail and special finishes that I would want for myself; an open floor plan, tons of entertaining spaces, an outdoor living room, appliances and finishes that are fabulous.

With lots of twists and turns, I loved the process and definitely the final product! Cheers to staying fluid in life. It is always worth it! Some lucky homeowner will enjoy this home to the fullest. I am so thrilled to have taken on this project. 

Over the next several weeks, I am excited to share each room of the home and all the finishes we used.  I’ll be sharing paint colors, tile, lighting, bath fixtures and more. If you like what you see in this home, you can have it too!

Just for fun, here is a photo of where we began. Hard to believe!

Just for fun, here is a photo of where we began. Hard to believe!

Flipping Homes Q&A
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I love hearing all your questions on flipping homes. I thought I would answer a few on the blog today because when one person has a question, typically several others have the same question. So here we go!!

Q: What experience did you have in remodeling and construction before you started flipping houses?

A: Fun question, because, you will love the answer – NONE! We had remodeled our own home but, really, I knew very little when I started. It takes guts and a financial plan but really taking a home that needs updates and making it a space that potential homeowners will want to own is a busy but rewarding job. It’s really just common sense; Update the spaces, revise the plan if the spaces don’t work, be creative, stay on a budget and believe you can do it! I often get my best results from properties that my friends and family say I am crazy for buying. I see the potential – others not so much!

Q: What do you think the number one challenge is when flipping a home?

A: That’s easy. Finding good help! It’s tough finding good sub-contractors and keeping them tightly scheduled. I have worked with many of my subcontractors for the last 15-years, so they know how I operate. If you are just getting started, then here are 3 things that make you someone your workers will want to work for again and again.

1.    Be a decision maker – it moves the job along more quickly and creates respect.

2.    Be fair and pay promptly. (This has been my mantra and it works!)

3.    Appreciate their knowledge and consider their input and suggestions. I learn so much from those that work with me. They are doing their trade every day and offer great ideas on each project.

Q: How do you find your projects?

A: Connect with local real estate agents, go to auctions, talk to friends and family, and knock on doors. I have done all of the above with the exception of the auction route. But, I do know several people that have had success with auction properties.

Q: How much of your job is actually designing homes?

A: I would say less than 50%. Most of your time is spent coordinating the remodel process. However, the design portion is key because bad design decisions can lead to reduced profit. Designing is not just carpet, tile, cabinets and countertops. It includes the home’s layout and style. Make sure you are reworking the rooms to ensure a more livable space.

Enjoying the view from another great second floor add on.

Enjoying the view from another great second floor add on.

Good luck!  I hope to hear about your many successes because this is definitely a fun business.

Eight Great Tips for House Flippers!
Flipping houses is a lot of fun but, hard work!

Flipping houses is a lot of fun but, hard work!

This Bryant home in NE Seattle was such a fun rehab project! Check out these 8 tips to help you sell your next house.

Flip Tip 1: Location, location, location… set the ceiling high for your sale price! A great house in a challenging neighborhood may be tough to sell or provide a lesser return.

The house needed cosmetic updates but was already a sweet buy on a great street! Sometimes those are the most fun – just cosmetic fixing!

This sweet little home cleaned up so well.

This sweet little home cleaned up so well.

You could barely see this home behind all of the shrubs, but it was in the perfect neighborhood. 

You could barely see this home behind all of the shrubs, but it was in the perfect neighborhood. 

Flip Tip 2: Stay in touch with people in the industry – they will bring you gifts!

One of my favorite real estate agents pamelajensen@windermere.com brought me this project and I was thrilled! It was a win-win for both the seller and my team.

Flip Tip 3: When rehabbing – overcome existing home objections for future buyers.

The living room in this home was small but thankfully I was able to add one of the bedrooms to the space to open it up. That still left 4 bedrooms which was critical when turning a bedroom into living space.

Before: Dark, closed off and cramped 

Before: Dark, closed off and cramped 

After: Light, bright, open and airy!

After: Light, bright, open and airy!

Flip Tip 4: Kitchens are one of the most important areas of a home for buyers.  Look at the kitchen and ask yourself, “If this were updated or remodeled would it hold up at the new sale price?” If not, I generally move on. It really is a deal breaker.

The kitchen in this house was not large but definitely had a great layout. We updated the space with light and bright white cabinets & countertops, stainless appliances, new flooring and, most importantly, opened it up to the dining room and living room to make it feel bigger.

Before: A teeny kitchen with no counter space

Before: A teeny kitchen with no counter space

After: A long, white counter and plenty of cabinets with contrasting dark floors

After: A long, white counter and plenty of cabinets with contrasting dark floors

After: Open concept floor plans are the best!

After: Open concept floor plans are the best!

Flip Tip 5: Remember that when you are rehabbing a home, you are always looking to make the house more livable not just pretty. Can you fix what is currently missing in the house?  If so, then it is a good buy at the right price.

We added a bathroom upstairs to service the 2 bedrooms; A critical move that would move this house into the next price point.

Before: A dark corner upstairs needed an update

Before: A dark corner upstairs needed an update

After: You don't need a ton of space to build a bathroom

After: You don't need a ton of space to build a bathroom

After: Use appropriate sized pieces, like this sweet vanity, to finish a much needed bathroom

After: Use appropriate sized pieces, like this sweet vanity, to finish a much needed bathroom

Flip Tip 6: An unfinished basement can be a goldmine. By adding bedrooms, bathrooms or even a living room within the existing structure, you can change a dark space into a huge money maker! But make sure the home has sufficient ceiling height. Lower ceilings in a finished basement or attic are less appealing to buyers.

This basement was already finished but needed some TLC, so we improved it with some fun updates. It was a great added living space when the job was complete. Pictures don’t really do it justice! 

Say hello to a useful basement!

Say hello to a useful basement!

Another living space adds value to any home.

Another living space adds value to any home.

Flip Tip 7: A great paint palate is vital when selling a flipped property. It allows buyers to relate to the home. They know what colors they may want to add but don’t have to overlook colors they don’t like.

Our new paint selection was neutral, clean and soothing. We chose Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, White Dove, Beach Glass and Gray Owl, which were all very well received by buyers.

Beautiful neutrals bring the space together

Beautiful neutrals bring the space together

Flip Tip 8: Move forward on projects swiftly. Keep your contractors scheduled closely and keep them informed on the progress of the house. Moving too quickly can compromise craftsmanship and often causes mistakes. A consistent and considerate workflow makes these types of projects successful.

We had great timing and organization with the Bryant project. This house was completed in about 5 months and sold quickly!

Any questions? Stay tuned for even more tips and happy flipping!

Framing It Up!
Believe it or not, I'm sitting in the spot where our elevator will be!

Believe it or not, I'm sitting in the spot where our elevator will be!

We did it! Six weeks ago, we just had foundation walls and now we are all framed up and busy getting the heating/cooling, plumbing, and electrical installed. This is so cool!

Having a little fun along the way!

Having a little fun along the way!

This process is what we call “rough in” which means everything you don’t see that makes your home run is happening now! Even though this is a slow process, the bright spot is, we do get windows and siding installed during this time so noticeable changes keep happening. 

I still get excited seeing my name on a pile of framing materials.

I still get excited seeing my name on a pile of framing materials.

The guys guiding each piece like a puzzle.

The guys guiding each piece like a puzzle.

I'm so lucky to have such a great team!

I'm so lucky to have such a great team!

What looks like a maze, will soon be rooms in our lovely new home.

What looks like a maze, will soon be rooms in our lovely new home.

Almost there, roofing will be the next step.

Almost there, roofing will be the next step.

I’ll keep you posted with a video tour throughout the house. So excited! Our home has been really fun to build and it will be even more fun to live in!

This project is really taking shape. Any questions or thoughts?  Bring it on!

This summer, I wasn't sure how long this would take.

This summer, I wasn't sure how long this would take.

But, Voila! We are well on our way.

But, Voila! We are well on our way.

Ballard Beauty
This Tudor turned out so fresh and bright! It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do.

This Tudor turned out so fresh and bright! It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do.

Last year I took on a project in Ballard – a fun, hip neighborhood just northwest of Seattle. It’s a great place to find a charming older home and make it new again. So many home buyers are looking for an open floor plan which is tough in a Tudor but we were able to make this light and bright with my favorite color paint – white!

This property was in need of a lot of work and I really wanted to brighten it up! We got in there and attacked the issues as they came up (and boy did they come up!) What a transformation!

Look at this great design for an unusable garage. What a great guest suite or rental space!

Look at this great design for an unusable garage. What a great guest suite or rental space!

We made doorways wider, the staircases more open, a room a little larger with a small dormer, and completed an unfinished basement.  It was so lovely in the end, this happy home sold very quickly!  Check out this fun project's before and afters.

I love taking underutilized spaces and adding value and use to a home. Take a look at this amazing basement redo.

Look at this beautiful change from non-functional, dated kitchen to modern dream kitchen!