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The best ways to handle common property rehab jobs
Home Home Real Estate
By: Alan Cowgill Email Article
Word Count: 1846 Digg it | it | Google it | StumbleUpon it


As you know my main strategy with real estate changed from a buy and hold mentality to more of a buy, fix, and flip. When I get a house, there are certain things that I like to do in the rehab phase to help spruce things up and hopefully get it sold quickly. Flipping houses for profit is all about a balancing act of speed and quality.

I used to buy carpet as cheap as I could, $20 a roll. I had to transport the carpet to the property and then I’d hire guys to install it. For a time, I purchased my own carpet-laying equipment for the installers because I was hiring people who didn’t even have their own equipment. It was a mess. I'd get a carpet in and you’d go over to the property. The guy was saying, “I got to get paid right away.” I’d cut them a check and then I walk out in the garage and there’s all the remnants of my carpet. I thought they had cleaned it and took it away, which is what my carpet folks do today. They would hide it in the past. Occasionally the carpet got stolen. The roll would be laying there and I’d be trying to hire someone separately to lay it. By the time they got there the carpet was gone. I couldn't believe it and after a while I'd had enough of it.

Now I have found a place that just goes in with their carpet layers. They get the job done and they're out. It's at a reasonable price. Not the cheapest but reasonable. I found that when I was trying to save money at first, it became more expensive in the long run. Chasing down problems was eating up my time. My time was money and so is yours. I also learned to use simple colors. We use a brown and a tan. We stopped using tan because it showed dirt. Carpet is an important aspect of your rental property. Make sure you do it right.

We put blinds up in the downstairs front of the house. One of the first things people do is start moving things in. Often they don't have window covers. Blinds are cheap. You can buy them at Lowes for $4 a piece. I like the curb appeal that blinds bring. If they are up and they are all nice and uniform it looks nice. We close them to create a nice look. It also gives them a nice look when they walk through the house. You have new carpet and new blinds. This looks good to them. Blinds can get expensive, but in certain properties, it is worth the investment. I have learned a lot about where to put them and why.

If we have a large picture window, we go with vertical blinds. This looks good from both the interior and the exterior. Sometimes you might want to consider mini blinds. You have to have rules with these because your contractors will be clueless on them.

The contractors are going to hang the mini blinds for you. I suggest that they be closed. I have that rule. I want them closed all the way around the house because of security. I want a safe gap in the front windows. I spend whatever I spend to put them in and then when people come in to see the house, they see these nice mini blinds. They can also see them from the outside. If they are up before your contractors are done, the contractors might open them up to get a little light.

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E. Alan Cowgill is the owner of Colby Properties, LLC. and President of Integrity Home Buyers, Inc. Since 1995, Alan has bought and/or sold hundreds of single family and small multi-family investment properties. His home study system, 'Private Lending Made Easy', shows others how to find private lenders for their very own real estate business.

His website is

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