LONG CIRCLE Part 1 (House Flip)

Ashley putting up the for sale sign at Long Street house flip

This is a series of house-flipping articles that I'll post each week on Yarn Scissors Silk. I know it's not really related to yarn, scissors or silk, but I've had a lot of people request more stories on the house-flipping business and I have some pretty good stories! Some were huge successes and others...well, not so much. Remodeling does take a lot of creativity so I'm hoping you'll enjoy these stories and the before and after photos. Take a look at my posts on the site, A Passion for Remodeling and House Flipping {before it was Trendy} which describe how I got the bug for remodeling and house-flipping.

I'll be writing these posts in parts since there's A LOT to say about some of the flips. House flipping is not for the faint of heart but can be very profitable if you work hard and make informed decisions. I'd love to hear from you about your own house remodels or DIY projects and if you have a story you'd like to share on the site, feel free to contact me about doing a guest-post!

"Long" is the name of the street the house was on, not that it took a long time to remodel! I purchased this house in June of 2016 and it went back on the market in August 2016. It was actually one of the smoother projects I've done and turned out to be fairly profitable. For the two months I worked on the Long house, my "office" moved from place to place and my folders traveled from my residence to the flip house each day. I'd find a place on the floor to spread my files out and work on paperwork and lists, in between scraping wallpaper, choosing products, scheduling contractors or making frequent trips to the store, usually Home Depot, which was luckily right down the street!

When doing a house "flip" life pretty much revolves around getting the remodel done as quickly as possible, for several reasons. Often, large sums of money are tied up from the moment you buy the house until the day you close the sale. The timing of the sale is also important since our market in Denver drops dramatically in August when kids go back to school and families are ready to be settled. Some things in my life don't get proper attention when I'm working such long hours on a house...like my emails that pile up!

To me, the kitchen and bathrooms are a big priority as far as where I spend my money on a remodel. Buyers are looking for big open floor plans with kitchens that are just an extension of the living area. I look for homes that either already have this type of floor plan or could be altered. One way I can achieve a more open and modern look in the kitchen is to remove the old soffits above cabinets. Sometimes this can't be done due to extensive duct-work or plumbing, but in the case of this house there was nothing in the soffits, so they were removed and patched without too much expense.

All three bathrooms in the Long house required a lot of work. Everything was gutted and the hours spent on wallpaper removal couldn't even be calculated. Honestly, there's just no easy or quick way to remove wallpaper but I will give you some hints in my next post about the things I've found to work best. For the bathrooms, new cabinets were ordered, flooring was replaced, new tile, showers, toilets, plumbing fixtures, doors, and lighting were added. A partial wall separating the master bedroom and bath was torn down and replaced with a full wall and pocket door so that there was a separation between these two rooms.

The doors, floors, and trim were replaced throughout the house. The exceptions were the flat-front sliding closet doors, which I sanded, primed and painted white.

In all three bathrooms, the old rusty medicine cabinets were removed and patched. With the addition of functional cabinetry, there wasn't the need for the dirty medicine cabinets that barely opened. 

The biggest expense for this house by far was the flooring. Every bit of flooring in the home was replaced. Tile was removed and replaced, and carpet was added to the basement once the walls were in and the basement was finished. The carpet and tile from the stairwell, living room, kitchen and entry were replaced with beautiful hardwood which I stained dark. The transformation was amazing and gave the home a clean, cohesive look. 

The interesting stories are yet to come so stay tuned for part 2 and 3 of this project where I'll describe how challenging a home remodel can be. I'll tell you how unnerving it can be to deal with some contractors, how stressful it is some days when things go terribly wrong and how critical scheduling is when completely gutting a large home. In part 4 of this series I'll describe how victorious it feels when the home is finished and a buyer loves it. Closing day is always a celebration when a house is sold!

Find all my posts about house-flipping here, and specifically about flipping the Long Circle house here.