BEACON HILL CRAFTSMAN HOME
Welcome ! I'll be sharing a recurring blog regarding my Beacon Hill Property Flip that goes over the ins and outs as I live through the flipping experience. If you've ever wondered what the process looks like, then follow along for the ride. Also, if you ever have questions, don't hesitate to reach out. The home that I purchased can be viewed here
We finally received our permits approved by the City of Seattle two weeks ago! We've begun and completed demolition of the interiors. The fun part of framing the new floor plan will come next along with ripping out the existing plumbing and electrical systems. The target goal for this project is to try and complete the work by end of May 2018. In case you're wondering how much costs are so far for things like architectural drawings, structural engineering, and permits, we've totaled up around $15,000 across those areas. It is important to do so though because you want to do things right as it builds buyer confidence in the home. When you purchase homes in this market, there are some flippers who aren't going through the permit process and as a buyer you may have concerns about the quality of work being done. Our goal is to give peace of mind to a buyer that the home is built to code. Whenever you can remove doubts and uncertainty about a home, buyers will allow themselves to bid more freely on a home.
I apologize as it's been awhile since my last update! Some things that have been moving along since the last post is my Architect has submitted all the plans to the City of Seattle to begin the permit process. We are submitting it as a STFI (Subject To Field Inspection). To learn more about this type of permit, go HERE. The short summary on the benefits of going down the STFI route is you can typically get faster approvals to get your project moving forward faster provided you meet the requirements for STFI. The name of the game when it comes to flipping is to keep your project moving forward. We should hopefully hear back from the city soon and then we'd move onto demolition where all the fun begins!
A couple recent comparable home sales that have sold super close to my flip property are:
When buying a flip property and during the process of renovation, you really hope to see other updated homes nearby your home selling because it gives you real concrete evidence on the type of demand going on for the neighborhood. Going into the home purchase, I was thinking that the home could likely sell between $850K to $900K based on the specs of the home and what we'd plan to do with the home. With these two home sales, this bodes well for my confidence heading into the spring market of 2018 which is when it's typically the hottest season of each year for home sellers. I'm excited to get started on the renovations!
Here are copies of the floor plans that we are submitting for structural engineering to take place. Next step in the process is to obtain drawings from our structural engineer, and then we'll submit to the city for permits. Things are moving along, and I'm excited to get started with demolition and construction in the near future! I'm happy with the proposed floor plan changes and exterior changes that will make the home have a better curb appeal.
The last two weeks, I've been meeting with Robert Bonner to nail down the details on our floor plan changes. I really liked the proposed floor plan changes for the main floor and basement. Those were more straightforward to decide on. However, where I faced a dilemma was on what I'd want to do with the upstairs.
The floor plan arrangement we have is that there are two bedrooms upstairs with one of them being the master bedroom, three bedrooms on the main floor, and two bedrooms in the basement. There is already an existing bathroom in the basement, and on the main floor to which I was fine with because they were functional enough. The upstairs has a wide territorial view of West Seattle.
The problem to solve was that we didn't have an existing master suite, and the upstairs lacked a bathroom.
1) Create a master suite with West Seattle views that has a large walk-in master closet, washer/dryer, and attached master bathroom.
Have a second bedroom that has its own attached bathroom.
Pros: Should be able to accommodate as many sleeping arrangements as possible
Cons: The most expensive since we will have to plumb and finish another bathroom. Maybe unnecessary if the second bedroom could share the master bathroom.
2) Same as option #1, except that you subtract the other bedroom's bathroom and force that room to share the master bathroom by walking through the master bedroom
Pros: Saves cost of installing an additional bathroom
Cons: Sharing the bathroom and doesn't give privacy to master bedroom. Limits this floor plan likely to only work for a very young child in the other bedroom.
3) A compromise of option #1 and #2 where you add an additional door access to the master bathroom by adding a separate entry way from the hallway.
Pros: Solves the problem of the other bedroom having to invade the privacy of the master bedroom to get to the bathroom
Cons: Still sharing a bathroom. Limits this floor plan likely to only work for a very young child in the other bedroom.
I liked option #2 the least. I mulled this over for a while because option #1 will likely add about another 15K to the budget, and I'm sure there are households that wouldn't mind option #3 either. However, my approach to selling a home is to figure out how I can market this home to appeal to as many of the total buyer pool as possible to help sell the home for top dollar. A compromise I am thinking about doing once I figure out a better estimate on the overall project is to make the top two floors as appealing as possible, and leave the basement just framed so I can also make changes to the exterior to enhance the curb appeal of the home and win a buyer over as soon as they pull up to see the home. The thought is maybe the buyer already has enough house to play with on the top two floors (5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, ~1900 sq ft), and should the buyer ever need more space (2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, ~900 sq ft), then they could finish it out with a pre-designed architectural drawing to be given to them. Additionally, if they wanted to make additional rental income, they could finish out the basement and collect close to $2,000 in rent for a two bedroom in the North Beacon Hill area. This decision will be figured out later.
I have been meeting with my architect Robert Bonner to go over some of the initial concepts for what we can do to the floor plan. The rules that I outlined for Robert were that I wanted to try and preserve as much of the structure as possible to minimize cost, but at the same time create a much better architectural flow for a homebuyer to experience when walking through the home. I also wasn't trying to add an addition to the house. The existing floor plan has a central stair case creating a circular flow of rooms which creates some awkwardness for rooms and layout. See below for the existing floor plan and the initial concepts proposed from working together with Robert.
As built diagrams of existing floor plan below.
Initial Concepts for New Floor Plan
The next step is we will go over some more formal CAD drawings to see things in more detail. What do you think of the changes so far?