Has anyone on this board dealt with a company called Key Solutions, LLC out of Baltimore, Md. The owner is an Andre Johnson who reports to have a masters degree from Lehigh University and has done numerous rehabs in the Philadelphia, Wilmington, (De) and Baltimore areas. (Per their website) They advertise in the classified section of this board and I was curious if anyone has had any first hand dealings with this company?
I know this is a really old post, but I just came across their website and was curious about the same thing. Has anyone on this board ever dealt with them. I’m giving this post a free bump because I’m in need of hte same information. Also, the rehabs I saw didn’t look that great
I checked out the website and was sort of interested, I just wanted to know if anyone here had ever actually used any of their services. Every business is gonna blow their own horn, I just wanted to know if the potential they were advertising is true or at least verifiable.
I did some research on one of their properties under the “Handyman Special” section and here’s what I found using Marylands Real Property Database:
Property: 3016 Presstman St, Baltimore, MD 21216 (Under Contract)
List Price: 30,000 with a 2k deposit needed to remove from market
Rehab Est.: 37k
1711 Ashburn St (.38mi away) sold for 145k in June-05
2228 Braddish Ave (.66 miles away) sold for 98k in July-05
2813 Harlem Ave (.69 miles away) sold for 91k in June-05
3422 North Ave–could not be found in the MD database
824 Whitmore Ave (1 mile away) sold for 116k in Aug-05
2703 Baker St–could not be found in the MD database
The sale price listed and the actual sale price in the MD database were a match. Where I found a descrepancy (I’m not sure how much it matters) was in the distance of the comp properties from the property listed for sale. I basically got directions using both Mapquest and Rand-McNally from Presstman to the other comp properties listed. The first three comps were all further away–at least driving–than what was listed on the ad. I’m not sure how much distance affects comps, but that’s what I found. According to both sets of directions the property at Ashburton was a half mile away at least, Braddish Ave was over 1 mile away, and Harlem Ave was also closer to 1 mile away.
I live in Maryland and I inquired with a real estate agent/investor about Key Solutions. This person said that for some people the “handyman special” programs work fine. But that the margin for profit is slim at best. Comps and rehab quotes are not that far apart money-wise. Reason being is that a rehab in general in Baltimore City is going to cost a minimum of 30 to 50K and a full blown rehab (read - ground up build) is going to be around 80K or higher. They obviously have a lock on getting properties and then including their wholesale fee in the price set for you, the buyer. You also have to purchase them, I believe, in a group or set. And use their financing sources. I looked them over quite a bit because I figured hey, the legwork is done for me, but I can’t seem to find a deal in their listings that I would actually make a solid profit on; for me to take the risk in Balt. City on a full rehab I would want a minimum of 30 to 40K profit. I know some books say if you’rre working on an ARV of 100K or less, then expect to make 10 to 15 K but I think that is crap. The risk is very real in that area and if you are going to take it, you better get something big in return, IMHO.
I’m not saying their bad or whatever, I’m just relaying what I was told.
I made an investment with them and I would suggest that people avoid them.
They say that it is turnkey, and that they will take care of everything but when they couldn’t resell the property they pointed me to a realtor and said “good luck”.
Rehab work was shotty.
There is no easy dollar.
Be prepared to have to drive to the property weekly and check everything. Insist on inspection before they put sheet rock up.
Look at the work as if you were going to own the property for a while, because you might!
I’ve heard of them…never did a deal with them though. I felt they blew me off somewhat when they found out I was a new investor without much capitol. A few of my friends checked them out, but none of them felt it was worth it. For what it’s worth they have a good rep. with some of the other bigger investors in the locaol REI clubs.
Bonedbykey is absolutely right. Expect to visit the property weekly. I was supposed to receive weekly updates with pictures from Key Solutions as part of the contract. I never received anything from them until the rehab was almost complete.
My rehab took 6 months longer than the 90 days in the contract. Supposedly you would get reimbursed $100/day for every day past the 90 for the rehab, but they have included a little loophole in their contract that states gas, electric and water have to be available before the rehab starts. Unfortunately, some work needs to be completed and inpections done before the meters can be placed. Dealings with Key, their contractors and BGE is much like dealing in a third world country with all of the lies and finger pointing. Needless to say, I received no reimbursement for the rehab delay…only receiving the threat that they could put a lien on the property and cause propblems selling. And yes, they rehab was very shoddy!
I also just found out I received a fake roof cert from Key Solutions contractor, Steve Chenault of Discount Home Improvements. I refused to release the escrowed funds until I had a roof cert. The roof is now leaking and the contact on the cert does not exist or has skipped town.
I have also since found out I have no claim to the deed, and I am in the process of finally selling. Key Solutions was selling and LLC which held the property. Because of a clerical error, the LLC did not exist and apparently, the LLC was created two weeks after I had purchased it, causing a problem with the title company handling my closing.
There is much more to this and many others are having the same problems I have already experienced. I would never do business with anyone associated with Key Solutions, LLC ever again.
Anyone wanting to know more or who has similar experiences, please feel free to contact me.
They do everything in LLC’s…they create a new LLC for each property they control and then sell the LLC itself instead of selling the property. The property is considered an asest of the LLC. So you may not find any info under Key Solutions, LLC.
I would avoid an operation like this. My business partner and I utilized a similar operation and had a heck of a time. We purchased what we thought was a great investment property in early May. As we were both new investors (partner is a real estate agent and I am a risk manager), we decided to purchase their contractor referral and rehab consulting program (over a grand). We finally let the contractor go in August, as we kept hearing excuses and now we are finishing the work ourselves. We just hired our last sub to finish some of the major items. I believe this company marked up the purchase price of the property (which is fine, if everything else is above board) and then hit us again with the worthless referral program and rehab consulting.
We have found numerous additional problems (when they painted they did not cover the new windows or cabinets, we had to rip out the new ceiling and wall in the living room to fix a pipe that broke when the original contractor installed the toilet). I thought I would have learned more from an organization that has completed over 350 flips. We basically learned to hire the right contractor. My suggestion would be to join a local investment club or other similar organization and find someone that can help you get started. We are now more than $3,000 over our budget, so our flip will now be a hold…which is not a big deal, as the rent in the area is decent, but we did not want to hold onto the first one…single family home.