Grand-Haven was about 30 miles from our home base of operations, yet, the best experience, Profit-wise, that my wife and I had in buying and selling a foreclosure was a Hud home we bought and sold in the City of Grand Haven Michigan. Grand-Haven is a Lake Michigan community and although this property was a ways from the water, it still held possibilities for us.
The exterior of this home was impeccable! The previous owner had put in new replacement windows throughout, had installed a new roof and vinyl siding which already gave the home great curb appeal!
The problem was that the whole interior needed work. He had not finished trimming out the interior doors and windows. The bathrooms were a mess and the floors in both the upstairs and downstairs were slanted, both towards the interior of the home. They both had claw-foot tubs and there was no shower in the home. It had two furnaces, one upstairs for the two bedrooms and full bath up and then one in the basement for the main floor. The one for the main floor was “shot” to say the least.
So you might ask:
What is a Grand-Haven HUD foreclosure?
Interestingly enough, we had to bid on this Grand-Haven home twice! It had been listed for 70K and we bid 65K but lost out to a non profit organization who fixed them up for re-sale. Somehow though, we kept watching and watching and it came back on the HUD list briefly but just in time for us to make our purchase and get our bid accepted. Then the fun began!
My wife and I have a usual rule in that we work best together when we work on different floors. Also here specialty is cleaning up messes, and mine is making them. First the bathrooms. They both had slanted floors and claw-foot tubs, (both of these tubs had missing feet, one was setting on two bricks) and we wanted to put a shower in the lower bath where the master bedroom was found. So we stripped out the baths and I began to shim the floor so as to level it out and installed new OSB over the shims.
Now the lower bath needed to be re-plumbed as we had decided to put a corner shower system in it. We called in a plumber who said that he could not do it as code didn’t allow for the toilet to be as close to the shower as it would end up. SO, we decided to do the plumbing ourselves. PVC works wonders and having easy access from the basement we were able to not only move the two drains but also because we were stripping out the lathe and plaster in this room, virtually gutting it, we were able to run new hot/cold water lines up to facilitate the shower. With new drywall, a new floor, etc., we were able to put an attractive shower unit in the corner and it came out beautifully.
The Upstairs bathroom of this Grand-Haven Home, did not need to be stripped to the studs so we put in the new floor, fixed, painted and put new flooring in and then put the best claw-foot tub in with all the appropriate feet. (The other we sold out front of the house to a passerby).
Profit Realized- $20,000+
As I mentioned before the whole home needed trim. I am a cheapskate by trade and know how much oak trim costs per foot. So I bought a router table, router, and bit to make a shoe and a ton of Pine board that had been primed. My wife and I spent a few hours putting a “shoe” on one edge of each board. You should have seen the pile of shavings. Then we bought mitre blocks for each corner and then cut and installed the pine trim. Painted it Gloss white and it came out nicely.
The Rest of the Story!
Outside they had once had a pool, which was gone, but they had installed a deck ¾’s the way around it. We took down the area around where the pool had been and used that material to square off the deck to a nice size for sitting! We also had to put in a new furnace in the basement. Then besides new carpet, flooring and paint, we were read to SELL! And it was READY TO MOVE IN! RTMI!
We sold it within a month for $109,000 and after realtor fees, etc., and deducting all of our expenses including materials, new tools, interest on money we borrowed and the fact that we only worked on it for about 2 days a week for 2 months, pocketed a neat $20,000. Not bad for part time work!
Grand-Haven was also a Great Area being so close to Lake Michigan!