Real Estate Investing Forums

Real Estate Investing => Rehabbing, Fix and Flip, Rental Properties => Topic started by: aubs129 on October 11, 2005, 10:54:13 pm

Title: Learn to rehab
Post by: aubs129 on October 11, 2005, 10:54:13 pm

Hi,

Are there any books, courses, or even classes one could take to learn basic rehabbing skills? I would really like to learn invaluable "home-fixing" techniques like window replacement, wood working, fixing sinks etc...I can paint a wall, but where I can I learn other aspects to getting a distressed property in better shape. I would like to use contractors as well (in fact, would it be better to get them for most of the work or even all? Would that save more money?) but really want to learn to do a lot of the work myself.....
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: davnic4 on October 12, 2005, 12:28:55 am
I am new to the forum, but if there is one thing I learned so far from the all the wisdom here: Pay professionals for the professional jobs (i.e. plumbing, electrical, carpentry).

If you can paint a wall, great, stick to painting. If you need to re-wire a house so its up to code, call an electrician. It will save you time and money in the long run.
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: carlosguti on October 12, 2005, 02:22:35 am
I cannot recommend a course because I never had a course in flxing up, but I just got done with a book from the local library. it called fix and flip or something like that, im sure you can find great books for free in your local library.
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: kdhastedt on October 12, 2005, 07:31:39 am

Try your local trade school or community college -- most offer courses in the trades, they are usually reasonably priced, and you might even get some college credits!

Keith
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: rhm76384 on October 12, 2005, 12:02:44 pm
Hey,
     See if there is a local Habitat for Humanity chapter in your area. Ours is always building a house, looking for volunteers and you can help build one from the ground up and learn lots of things.
Peace,
Richard
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: kdhastedt on October 12, 2005, 12:47:53 pm

Good point, Richard and it does GREAT things for the community!

Keith
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: masoning on October 12, 2005, 03:42:57 pm
Rehabbing cannot be learned from a book!!!!

The way I learned was to do a major rehab and I had a fulltime lead carpenter on my payroll.  He and I and the resy of my crew were doing two 3000sq ft buildings that were next door to each other at the same time. He was with me for two years fulltime until we parted ways.

What I did while we were rehabbing those two buildings for resale,was to buy a small building that I was going to be the lead carpenter and run the rehab.  I hired another crew of three guys.  We gutted the building and built it back until just before the drywall phase.  Then I sold it.

Now, 2 years later and many rehabs later I can run my own crews and make decisions without the help of others.  However, I still run things or techniques by colleagues.  I also go into dozens of buildings every month to learn other techniques.
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: Baloo on October 12, 2005, 10:38:24 pm
I was lucky enough to get into tile setting and cabinetry at a young age.  I find most people are handy or they are not.  Its like gardening and cooking, you can try and learn it and might be fair at it, but if it doesnt just click...

The best way is experience.  Pull something apart and fix it.  Faucets and toilets and such are always a good place to start.  I know Home Depot and Lowes will often have a schedule of free classes that will show you some basics such as installing a vanity or a tub surround.

Leave the stull like the hard plumbing and electrical to the profesionals.  And somethings like windows and carpeting are sometimes more economical in the long run to hire out.  For example the house I just bought needs all new windows, about 16 total.  I could save about 1,000 - 1,400 by installing them myself, but it would take me 2 or 3 weekends.  I would rather hire a team to do it for me in one weekend and free me up to work on something else.  In the end it will save me close to a month in additional carrying costs which is almost 1/2 of the installation.  And if I mess up a window, I have to pay to replace it, If they mess up a window it's on them.

Good luck
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: JeffInCT on October 13, 2005, 04:07:36 pm
Go to Home Depot and buy that 30.00 book they have.  It tells you how to fix, repair or replace just about anything.  It has detailed instructions, pictures and all kind of good information.

Bring it home, put it next to your toilet and read it every time you take a dump.  If it doesn't scare you away from rehabbing, then you have won half the battle.

I like the part where it tells you how long it will take to do the job based on your experience or skill level.

In my case it would take 23 years for a rehab.  Calculate those holding costs.    ;D

But seriosly, the book is interesting.
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: darrenjzy on October 13, 2005, 07:33:56 pm
thats where i do my best REI reading.  But the library keeps kicking me out of the bathroom :'(

My library has a plethra of "how-to" books.  You know the good ones by the work stains on them.  Yeah, i always see that big orange HomeDepot book by the entrance.  I outta check it out.
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: TamiSpartan on October 14, 2005, 01:02:47 pm
I like the part where it tells you how long it will take to do the job based on your experience or skill level.

In my case it would take 23 years for a rehab.  Calculate those holding costs.    ;D


This is a delightful post! As I sit here today listening to the crew tear out all the grout in my kitchen, bath, hall and foyer because of their screw up -- I'm reminded it's always best to pay the professionals when you know you're out of your league. I would really hate to be doing what they are today (instead I get to sit here and post while I babysit my house). I am out of my league for most heavy-duty work.

I can do the small stuff myself, painting; faucet and toilet installation; lighting and ceiling fan installation; drywall repairs (if an entire human didn't go through the wall); and I've even put in a garbage disposal. But that is where I draw the line. BTW I taught that stuff to myself because I watched the guys I've paid over the years and figured if they could do it, I certainly could.

Habitat for Humanity was a stellar idea btw -- that is an excellent way to learn. I think I will do that myself.
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: black95gt on October 14, 2005, 02:26:44 pm
the best way is experience.  Ive done two rehabs now and to be honest, on the first one i had never even painted a wall before. But i am the type that will try something if seems easy enough.  Most everything in rehabs is just commen sense type stuff.  If you know how to use a tape measure, run a saw, use a level......you got most of it licked.  Like i said, ive taught myself about everything that i know, but i have also had to redo things over 2 or 3 times.  Sure it cost me some money, but i guarentee that money that i spent 2 or 3 times was better than paying a contractor to do it, for the fact that i know how now.  The only things i hire out is water hook ups and furnace repairs. ( I dont mess with gas)  I always try the water hook up once, but if it leaks, then i call the plumber.  The electric is all pretty easy work as well, at least as far as replacing fixtures and outlets.  Another source that i use now if i have never done the particular task is, i goto the Lowes website and they have how-to instructions on about everything.  I read through that and then go try it.

Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: JeffInCT on October 14, 2005, 03:10:53 pm
I have somehow networked into some very inexpensive labor here in CT.  I re-habbed a condo with a cell phone and American Express card.   And I always go to ebay to buy my coupon for 10% off at Lowes Home Improvement  before I shop. 5 bucks saves me hundreds of dollars.

You can view after pictures of my latest condo rehab at

 www.jyrentals.com

It's the one highlighted in yellow. Don't laugh at my web design abilites.
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: kdhastedt on October 14, 2005, 03:15:53 pm

Looks like a solid, neat job, Jeff!

I'm retired military and get 10% off at Lowes...but ya gotta ask!

Keith
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: JeffInCT on October 14, 2005, 03:27:39 pm
Thanks, Keith.

For the compliment and for being in the military.

Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: kdhastedt on October 14, 2005, 04:48:54 pm

You're welcome...on both counts!

Keith
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: PilotBill on October 14, 2005, 05:24:00 pm
I have been a remodling contractor for the better part of 20 years and have rehabbed quite a few homes and now own quite a few rentals.  

If you are completely new to rehabbing and new to investing.   You may be able to learn a few tricks of the trade by getting involved with a local experienced investor/rehabber who still does some of the work personally.   Ask them if they need any help with their current rehab putting in tile, windows, or whatever part of the rehab you are interested in learning.  If you have the time and are willing to help for free or at a low helper wage,( without whining I might add.)  Once they get over their intitial "how are you trying to con me reaction"  Many people would love the help.   Putting in a few week-ends of free or very low cost labor will lead you to discover how much satisfaction you did get by taking an ugly room and making it beautiful and help you make  much smarter and informed decisions on your own future rehabs which could save you mega bucks, you may find that your "free" work actually paid you $100/hr  Or, you may discover after crawling around on the floor with the sawdust, mud, paint drips and what-have-you -nots smashing your finger with the hammer and trying to get the tile grout out from under your finger nails at night.   You just might decide that everything that you read about rehabbing might not be for you and you won't have to max out your credit cards to get the down payment to mortgage your life away on a house that you will wish you never owned, just to find that out.  
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: Baloo on October 14, 2005, 05:27:37 pm
Keith

Do youneed any type of proof of service at Lowes?  I was telling my father about your lil tidbit of information and he said he would need to pull out some form or another.

As to the nature of the post...  You dont learn to swin until you get in the water.  Time to get your feet wet!
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: kdhastedt on October 15, 2005, 12:14:04 pm

Retirees have a retired military ID card.

Keith
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: Baloo on October 15, 2005, 08:18:57 pm
Right, the question is does Lowes require it for the 10% off?
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: kdhastedt on October 16, 2005, 11:35:34 am

Yes, you need proof...but most of the cashiers know us now...I guess 10,000 trips to Lowes will do that!

Keith
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: auggflo on October 16, 2005, 11:46:54 am
Keith, do you like Lowes over Depot?

Thanks
auggflo
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: kdhastedt on October 16, 2005, 03:07:40 pm

I've done several price comparisons involving a large number of items and Lowes has always been a bit cheaper...plus they give me an additional 10% off on everything except install labor.

I actually like Home Depot better but for my renatal properties, price rules.  Here where I am they're only about 1/4 mile apart so there's no real travel diffference.

Keith
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: Baloo on October 16, 2005, 08:42:57 pm
My wife actually came across a printable lowes coupon online (don't ask me where she finds these things) thats good for 10% off a single purchase up to 10,000.  Most of the ones I have seen from Lowes and Depot are only good up  to 2,000.  And since Depot honors Lowes coupons I was able to buy just about everything for my rehab I needed.

Better yet I opened a home improvement lone with them which is an open line of credit that stays open for 6 months before its closed and starts charging interest. That should give me plenty of time to get this cash cow completed and sold.

Now if only I could find a contractor that takes competitors coupons and wont charge me interest
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: black95gt on October 17, 2005, 07:39:12 am
here in Sioux City, we have a Lowes and a Home Depot is being built.  We also have a store called Menards, which everything is usally a few dollars cheaper than Lowes.  It also seems that everyone else knows this as well, because Menards is always crowded and packed, and always very few vehicles in Lowes.  But i can say lowes has a better variety to choose from, but when your doing rehab houses, you dont really need the variety
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: john828 on October 17, 2005, 11:40:21 am

Hi,

Are there any books, courses, or even classes one could take to learn basic rehabbing skills? I would really like to learn invaluable "home-fixing" techniques like window replacement, wood working, fixing sinks etc...I can paint a wall, but where I can I learn other aspects to getting a distressed property in better shape. I would like to use contractors as well (in fact, would it be better to get them for most of the work or even all? Would that save more money?) but really want to learn to do a lot of the work myself.....


Sorry, but the educational professionals and investors from my point of you disagree. They say that you should never be the handy man or landlord. Your job is manage, make deals and administrate all facets. In other words, you should be spending your weekends seeking new homes and new deals not spending time painting or doing rehab.
Think about it?
If you could make some serious money on a property that you saw this past weekend, would you rather be painting?
Do you think Donald Trump does painting on the weekends or does he have someone do it for him? Do you think he is scoping out new deals or worrying about rehab work? I know he is loaded and has people working for him but, if you could use that same ideology in this business that makes more sense.

Best of luck to you!
John
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: kdhastedt on October 17, 2005, 12:47:52 pm

<<Sorry, but the educational professionals and investors from my point of you disagree. They say that you should never be the handy man or landlord. Your job is manage, make deals and administrate all facets. In other words, you should be spending your weekends seeking new homes and new deals not spending time painting or doing rehab.>>

Perhaps in your "slice of paradise", John.  Personally, we have our own business model and it works for us...part of it is that we do most of our own work.  Someday maybe we won't...personally, we like doing the rehab work.

I'm not Donald Trump -- don't want to be Donald Trump (I have plenty of my own hair -- don't need a comb-over that looks like a dead red squirrel on my head)...

There are a ton of folks here just starting out...I can tell you for an absolute fact that a lot of them can't afford to hire a lot of work done (yet) and can't afford to do more than 3 or 4 properties a year (yet).

And, BTW, I trust most of the "educational professionals (read: "gurus) just about as far as I could throw one of them...what they REALLY want is you to believe that they have some  new panacea that will make you rich overnight...and, oh yeah -- send money!

Keith
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: black95gt on October 17, 2005, 01:11:04 pm
agree totally kdhastedt.  I myself do the rehab more as a hobby than anything.   I work a fulltime job 8-5 and then spend a couple hours in the evening doing the work myself. I dont have any kids and my g/f helps me with them as well.  It is something for me to do rather than go home and sit on the couch and watch tv or whatever.  But i do not work on the weekends that often as i take them off to relax and go boating, hunting, watch football ect.  But i do plan on going fulltime in this type of work in the future. I just need to get a bank roll built up to where i can go 6-8 months without a paycheck(Other than rental money).  It also doesnt make sense to have someone do the management on rental properties unless you have more units than you can keep track of.  I mean why give them 10%?  Unless your complexes/houses are paid for or you put a big chunk of money down, it is hard to come accross a property that you can rent out and make enough money to cover everything and still put a little money in your pocket.  Also, when your doing rehab houses, if you pay someone else to do it, your losing another 5-10 grand in labor costs.  This last rehab i did, i figure i will profit 20k without my labor or 15k with my labor at $30 per hour.  Although a contractor prolly woulda had less time into it, they would probably charge $50 per hour or more.  So you figure if you made 15k after paying a contractor, then pay your 28% taxes, pay the realtor fees/closing costs, your only making 7 or 8k opposed to around 13 or 14k otherwise.....id sure take that extra 5k for a months worth of work rather than subing it out IMO.
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: kdhastedt on October 17, 2005, 02:33:03 pm
Well, black, if you look at john828's last few post's REIs are supposed to just be pushing a pencil somewhere and not getting their little hands dirty doing hard work.

But, hey, if that works for him -- GREAT!  But I think he has no right coming on the forums and telling others what they have to do or should be doing...he has no idea what point folks are in their investing career, what their long-term goals are, or what their business plan looks like -- he just knows what the "educational professionals and investors from his point of you [sic]" tell him that he should know.

To which I would ask, "If you have a new investor and he/she doesn't know what things should cost, how do they know when the contractor is playing a quick game of 'who's your daddy' with the Noobie?"  You've got to know what things cost, you've got to know what goes into repairs/rehabs, you've got to know how to manage properties, etc., etc. or you'll get 'jammed' for sure!

Keith
Title: Re:Learn to rehab
Post by: black95gt on October 17, 2005, 03:00:13 pm
yeah, There are so many different ways to be involved in real estate.  I actually ended up in real estate by accident beleive it or not.  I found my first rehab house that i was going to fix up and live in it cuz i knew i would have good equity in it and thought it would be something fun to do.  Needless to say, the day before i closed on it i found out i was moving to CA for awhile, so after i got it rehabbed i tried selling it, and when that didnt sell, i rented it out.  Thats when it started to click on me that this is where you can make some nice money. So its actually been 1 ytd that i have done 2 rehabs and six months of that time i was in CA. I almost hada 4-plex bought  and have another property that i am going to look at here to rehab.  This one i will probably hold and use as a rental. so right now my goal is to do 3-4 rehabs this year and maybe keep 1 or 2 as rentals and flip the others.  i really havent put aplan together yet, but im going to get something organized and figure this whole thing out so i can go into it fulltime.