These FAQ’s are some of the questions that we frequently get asked in some (but not all) of business and loan process. The questions and answers are not intended to be exhaustive, nor do the questions and answers create any relationship or duty on our part to assist or lend to you. The information, however, is intended to be helpful and to assist you in determining if a hard money loan is a good fit for you. Moreover, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your specific question or need.
A scope of work (rehab budget) is an essential document that lists everything to be completed on a rehab property in careful detail. One might even think of a scope of work as a “house flipping checklist” that helps the investor communicate to the appraiser and contractors exactly what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and how much money in the budget is allocated to each item.
Below, are ten very important items designed to help you know exactly what to look for when putting together your scope of work and identifying areas where you will need to spend money.
The scope of work will take this list further by specifying exactly how each line item is to be repaired or rehabbed and what quality of materials will be used.
As a result, this document serves as a critical tool that will allow you to complete the rehab on time and on budget.
Ten things to do first:
- Pull comparables from the MLS and other websites that are within 1-3 miles of your property: No rehab project can start without a proper vision of the final product. Research your market area using the MLS or websites that pull from it (like Zillow and Redfin) to find similar properties. Pay attention to the number of rooms and types of features offered in comparables, as well as the listing price. Not only will this help you gather inspiration for your rehab, but it will also help ensure the finished property is in line with similar properties—a crucial factor for selling the home quickly, and for your asking price.
- Find a contractor and invite them to the property for a walk through: To dial in a timeline and budget for your property, have your contractor walk through the property with you and share your plans and ideas. Better yet, have a few contractors walk through so you can ensure you select the right person for the job. Be sure to share your expectations for the project, note of your ideal timeline, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The right contractor will help your project run smoothly from start to finish.
- Bring essential tools like a camera and flashlight: Don’t show up to your walk through empty handed. Investors should always bring a camera, flashlight, calculator, and a notepad to any property walk through. Take pictures as you look around, so you can reference certain rooms and areas later. Write down any potential concerns you have, as well as extra projects you would like to see completed. The more thorough you are now, the more prepared you will be in the future when the project actually kicks off.
- Review the exterior, paying careful attention to structural issues: Walk the perimeter of the house more than once. Keep an eye out for any cracks or issues with the foundation, as well as any exterior issues that may be present. Check the status of any fences, decks or outdoor areas as well, as these will factor into the curb appeal later on. This step will help make sure all any big problems are out in the open before you start.
- Check interior walls for layout and cosmetic changes: You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: today’s buyers are looking for an open floor plan. If your property has a boxy layout or unnecessary rooms, look for opportunities to open the space up. Is there a wall between the kitchen and living room? What about any awkwardly placed closets? Be sure to consult your contractor on which walls are load bearing. This will help guide what you can do with the property’s interior.
- Decide what type of flooring will suite the property: As you survey the interior, take note of the condition of the flooring. What materials are used throughout the house: tile, laminate, hardwood or carpet? Refer back to the comparable properties you found earlier, and get an idea of what potential buyers in the area might expect. Then, price out options that will look right with what you plan to do to the space.
- Survey kitchen and bathroom fixtures: Buyers will go straight for kitchens and bathrooms when touring a new property, making these crucial areas of your home. However, they can be highly expensive to renovate. To make sure your property delivers without breaking your bank, take note of any existing features that could be repurposed to fit your final look. Check the condition of any cabinetry, counters and appliances to see what should stay. In some cases, a fresh paint job and new hardware will be enough to revamp a kitchen or bathroom, while other properties may require more significant upgrades.
- Review the condition of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems: Work with a professional as you survey the quality of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. Then, decide which areas need to be replaced, upgraded, or simply cleaned up. This is a crucial selling point, so don’t try and cut any corners as you finish up your rehab project.
- Examine interior doors and trimming: Don’t skip over the details! Double check the doors, trim and hardware throughout your property for any last minute changes. The doors should all be the same style and color, and the trim should flow when moving from room to room. Assess the condition of all the doors to make sure you don’t leave anything out.
- Stage the property and get ready to sell: We HIGHLY recommend this step. Staging allows your buyer to see the vision. The most important factor when showing your property is creating a space that potential buyers can picture themselves living in. Hire a staging company or set up the property yourself (if you think you can) and create an atmosphere that feels like “home” to anyone that walks through the doors. You may not need to stage every room of the property, but key areas should be prepared for potential buyers with care.
The best way to succeed as a real estate rehabber is to do your due diligence before getting started in any deal. Estimating the repairs for a given property takes experience and expertise.