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  • Profile photo of gpfstuffgpfstuff
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    @gpfstuff
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 11

    Hello All,

    My BIG PICTURE is to start my renovating journey of buy and sell for profit and then keep every third/fourth property as positive cashflow. I would eventually like to do this as my full time career but for now am stuck in the daily grind of 9-5.

    My question I would like to ask fellow renovators is there story of how they find the time to perform a renovation. What creative ways are people using to find the time to renovate.

    How many are doing this for a living?
    How many are only working weekends?
    How many get others to do the work?

    Thanks in advance!!

    Glen

    Profile photo of TheFinanceShopTheFinanceShop
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    @thefinanceshop
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    Hi Glen,

    I obviously work full time but have purchase 3 properties that needed a full reno – nothing structural more walls, floors, bathroom, kitchen lighting, gyprocking, etc.

    I took 2 months off work and renovated to hell out of 2 properties. I am talking 7 days a week and 18 hour days. I personally found that if you are a weekend renovated, the job will never get finished. I try and do most of the work myself (with the help of my wife of course) but I did find that it pays to have professionals do certain jobs (such as the electrical wiring). Before I started on the renos I contact a real estate agent and simply asked what is going to sell? He gave me a lot of pointers which helped.

    Shahin Afarin – Property Finance Consultant
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    Profile photo of gpfstuffgpfstuff
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    @gpfstuff
    Join Date: 2012
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    Hello Shahin,

    Thanks for the reply. I admire you for putting in the hard yards, 7 days a week and 18 hours a day. I have done a reno in the past doing weekends only and it took over 6 months. The next time I do a reno I want to take time off work as you did, be focused and determined to get the job done.

    I would be interested to hear if any one uses mostly tradespersons and still makes a profit!

    Regards
    Glen

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
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    @catalyst
    Join Date: 2008
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    We have done several full renos in the last 2 years.
    We rip out the kitchen and bathroom and replace with new, paint, carpet, polish floors.
    We both work full time and do most of the work ourselves (except tiling bathroom, electrical and plumbing).
    We usually take 5 weeks for a full reno. We both go after work and weekends.

    I personally think most people take WAY too long for reno's. We did one quick one where we painted the kitchen doors and replaced the handles, new lino in kitchen and laundry, new carpet, paint throughout and new vanity and toilet. That took 8 days. A friend did the same but it took a month.

    Where are you located?

    Profile photo of DWolfeDWolfe
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    @dwolfe
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 1,253

    Hi gpfstuff and all,

    Our last reno we did ourselves. I rang the rental agent and asked for the phone numbers for the handyman, electrician and plumber they use. Then I got all them out to show them the work I needed doing. I did all the painting myself and hubby installed the kitchen (Bunnings flat pack) The tradies then got the keys off the agent everytime they had to go do something.

    There were drawbacks with this as the plumber had to get another guy out after he broke his arm the guy didn't install the laundry trough right, and it wrecked the trough. (wont buy a flat pack laundry trough again)

    Mostly it worked well, I left lists for the handy man and drove there once or twice a week and sometimes stayed the weekend. It was 2.5 hrs drive away from my house and I've got kids so it was long, and it took longer then I wanted it to.

    There is plenty you can do of an evening, such as painting, replacing stuff like handles, or scrubbing putting flat pack together. Noisy stuff can be done during the day. 

    Get a team around you who you can trust, pinching the agents tradies is usually good, as they do work for the agency all the time, and mostly have to do it without owner supervision.

    Good luck, if you want to do something bad enough you can find a way!!

    Cheers

    D

    DWolfe | www.homestagers.com.au
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    Profile photo of jmsracheljmsrachel
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    @jmsrachel
    Join Date: 2012
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    Currently doing a full reno to one of my IPs. Doing everything myself – weekends and after work. Might have to take a week or two off work so i can finish within 2 months. I’ve started the reno during settlement so i’ve gained 2 months interest free.

    Profile photo of TheFinanceShopTheFinanceShop
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    @thefinanceshop
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    Oh and one other thing – when people ask you what to get you for fathers day, christmas or your birthday – tell them BUNNINGS VOUCHERS! After our renos I knew almost everyone in bunnings on a first name basis!

    TheFinanceShop | Elite Property Finance
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    Profile photo of ChrisA1ChrisA1
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    Hi all

    This is a great thread, thanks for asking the question Glen, and thanks for the replies, great insight.

    If I could expand/hijack this question, I would be interested in how people manage renovations 'from a distance' (eg house is hours away or in another state) where driving to the renovation each weekend/night isn't possible. Like Glen and the other replies here, my partner and I work full time (although the comments about taking some time off work to at least supervise the start/finish of the renovations appears like the go until you know and trust the tradies)

    Cheers,

    ChrisA1

    Persistence is 'to keep on keeping on, no matter how hard the going may be'

    Profile photo of gpfstuffgpfstuff
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    @gpfstuff
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 11
    Catalyst wrote:
    We have done several full renos in the last 2 years.
    We rip out the kitchen and bathroom and replace with new, paint, carpet, polish floors.
    We both work full time and do most of the work ourselves (except tiling bathroom, electrical and plumbing).
    We usually take 5 weeks for a full reno. We both go after work and weekends.

    I personally think most people take WAY too long for reno's. We did one quick one where we painted the kitchen doors and replaced the handles, new lino in kitchen and laundry, new carpet, paint throughout and new vanity and toilet. That took 8 days. A friend did the same but it took a month.

    Where are you located?

    Hello Catalyst,

    Thanks for the insight into your renos. I really like the idea of getting in and out as quick as possible. 5-6 weeks sounds like the ideal time frame.

    Juggling the other things in life is always a challenge. I think you have to say to yourself and your famiily around you that it will be a finite time frame. During this time frame life is going to be tough but it will be rewarding at the end!

    Regards
    Glen

    Profile photo of gpfstuffgpfstuff
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    @gpfstuff
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 11
    Catalyst wrote:
    Where are you located?

    Catalyst,

    I am located in Newcastle, NSW.

    As for the long distance renovations, I have never completed one and am more of the opinion to set a profit on how much I want to gain from a reno and then search, search, search and more search for a house to fit my criteria which is close to home. This allows me to go after work and do some painting etc.

    Ideally I would rather not work, but Buy, Reno and sell for a living! What a Dream job!

    Thanks for the great posts!
    Glen

    Profile photo of Rental ProfitsRental Profits
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    @rental-profits
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 28

    i have done many long distance renos ( 10 hours drive away )
    you need to build a great team of tradesman
    knowing good real estate agents in the area also helps ( most country real estate agents go above and beyond the call of duty i have found )
    and get a great cheap handyman in the area, my handyman charged me about $20 per hour and was a wealth of knowledge, could do almost anything and knew where to buy the cheapest materials

    i put my handyman in charge of things and he loved it, he sent me photos all the time and took ownership

    putting on a few cartons of beer for the team every week or 2 also went a very long way

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
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    gpfstuff wrote:
    Hello Catalyst,

    Thanks for the insight into your renos. I really like the idea of getting in and out as quick as possible. 5-6 weeks sounds like the ideal time frame.

    Juggling the other things in life is always a challenge. I think you have to say to yourself and your famiily around you that it will be a finite time frame. During this time frame life is going to be tough but it will be rewarding at the end!

    Regards
    Glen

    That's true. I've seen many reno's (not mine) drag out to the point where people are sick of it. Not my idea of fun. If it's not fun I'd rather pay someone else to do it.

    If friends/family offer to help. Let them. Lots helped with the first one but after that we let them know they had no obligation as we were making money from it. We still got a few helpers when needed. We had to sheet half a house with gyprock so needed men (I hate to say it). haha. Have you ever lifter that bathroom sheeting? Man they are heavy!

    We have only done one long distance. We took 6 days off after settlement and did a quick makeover. A friend of mine who doesn't even know what a spanner is just hires local tradies. He has only had minimal problems. But he's not as fussy as me.

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
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    gpfstuff wrote:

    Catalyst,

    I am located in Newcastle, NSW.

    As for the long distance renovations, I have never completed one and am more of the opinion to set a profit on how much I want to gain from a reno and then search, search, search and more search for a house to fit my criteria which is close to home. This allows me to go after work and do some painting etc.

    Ideally I would rather not work, but Buy, Reno and sell for a living! What a Dream job!

    Thanks for the great posts!
    Glen

    I'm in Sydney. Close- yell if you need anything.

    We want to buy reno sell soon as our portfolio is almost full (well where we want it). We only aim to do one a year to supplement our wage from our portfolio as we don't want to work for much longer.
    If you love renos it's the way to go. If you don't it's best to pay someone else as if your hearts not in it it will show. This is especially important if you are selling (as opposed to buy reno hold.

    .

    Profile photo of gpfstuffgpfstuff
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    @gpfstuff
    Join Date: 2012
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    Rental Profits wrote:
    , my handyman charged me about $20 per hour and was a wealth of knowledge, could do almost anything and knew where to buy the cheapest materials i put my handyman in charge of things and he loved it, he sent me photos all the time and took ownership putting on a few cartons of beer for the team every week or 2 also went a very long way

    Wow what a score with that handyman, it makes you want to use him again.
    So are you a detailed planner of your renovations? Eg, For a buy reno sell strategy

    1. Do you set a goal of how much you want to make and look for a house that suits that?

    OR

    2. Do you look for cheap properties with reno potential, buy it, perform reno and take the cream when it is sold?

    I am just wondering how the successful renovators work so I can work my strategy best I can.
    Thanks for the post!
    Glen

    Profile photo of gpfstuffgpfstuff
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    @gpfstuff
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 11
    Catalyst wrote:
    I'm in Sydney. Close- yell if you need anything.

    We want to buy reno sell soon as our portfolio is almost full (well where we want it). We only aim to do one a year to supplement our wage from our portfolio as we don't want to work for much longer.
    If you love renos it's the way to go. If you don't it's best to pay someone else as if your hearts not in it it will show. This is especially important if you are selling (as opposed to buy reno hold.
     

    Hey Catalyst,
    I am an ex Sydneyite myself, I will keep that offer in mind!

    I would love to replace my income through reno's as I do like to get my hands dirty. My situation at the moment and the reason for this post is that I am frustrated in trying to find time to perform a reno. When I did my last reno kids weren't in the mix. But now, having two young ones I need to work out with my wife a set period of time where I can dedicate to perform a reno, ideally 6 weeks,taking some time off work.

    I did read that you performed a basic reno (long distance) and it took 1 week, did you sell and what sort of profit are you aiming for in your renos? I dont want to be greedy in my renos but I would like to have a goal profit in mind and work towards it!

    I enjoy hearing from like minded people and I love, "the strangest secret", Earl Nightingale
    Thanks.
    Glen

    Profile photo of Rental ProfitsRental Profits
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    @rental-profits
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 28

    Glen
    There isnt a quick answer to your questions, i do discuss it a lot further on my blog, however i do determine how much i will make on each project before i even sign contracts, that is crucial

    I dont always sell them, depends on a lot of factors.( i dont really like selling )

    I do plan my renos very well, and use timelines and engage my contractors as much as i can so they can understand my timeframes and goals

    Key is to buy really well, you make your money when you buy not when you sell, know the market well and get to know the agents. I try to get early access so i can get the team in and out ASAP, If i can do all of that before i actually settle on the property even better.

    Study negotiation, As a renovator and investor you must be a master of negotiation and know how to buy and sell things well

    And of course, treat people with respect and pay your contractors super quick, as they will drop everything for you all the time if you pay them quickly, I have lost count on how many times i have needed a carpenter or plumber to drop everything and have a look at a property for me or to rectify something
     
    and shout them a few beers along the way.. that goes a real long way with tradies !!

    Profile photo of seqelseqel
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    @seqel
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 11

    Hi Everybody,

    Thank you for all the posts, its interestin to see what everybody is up to and how they are doing it.

    My question is in relation to building networks, How is everyone doing with this?
    I often ring carpenters etc for quotes and they dont show or give amazing high quotes (in my opinion),
    Whats the going rate for basic things like painting.

    I have a 3 bed 1 bath Highset fibro house as one of my properties and got quotes to paint the inside from $3000 to $4400.
    To me this sounds excessive.  Another time I wanted to do a small extension, This required packing the joists, reusing the existing windows etc, putting in 2 beams, mixed hardwood floors etc.  The extention was just under 10 square meters and the only chippie that turned up wanted $14500.

    Cheers
    Simo

    Is this what others are paying?

    Profile photo of TheFinanceShopTheFinanceShop
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    seqel wrote:
    Hi Everybody,

    Thank you for all the posts, its interestin to see what everybody is up to and how they are doing it.

    My question is in relation to building networks, How is everyone doing with this?

    I often ring carpenters etc for quotes and they dont show or give amazing high quotes (in my opinion),

    Whats the going rate for basic things like painting.

    I have a 3 bed 1 bath Highset fibro house as one of my properties and got quotes to paint the inside from $3000 to $4400.

    To me this sounds excessive.  Another time I wanted to do a small extension, This required packing the joists, reusing the existing windows etc, putting in 2 beams, mixed hardwood floors etc.  The extention was just under 10 square meters and the only chippie that turned up wanted $14500.

    Cheers

    Simo

    Is this what others are paying?

    Hi Simo,

    That is the story with most trades – be careful though as often you get what you pay for with trades (as is the story with most things). Where are you based?

    Happy to give you my contacts if you are in Sydney.

    Regards

    TheFinanceShop | Elite Property Finance
    http://www.elitepropertyfinance.com
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    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
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    @catalyst
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 1,404
    gpfstuff wrote:

    I would love to replace my income through reno's as I do like to get my hands dirty. My situation at the moment and the reason for this post is that I am frustrated in trying to find time to perform a reno. When I did my last reno kids weren't in the mix. But now, having two young ones I need to work out with my wife a set period of time where I can dedicate to perform a reno, ideally 6 weeks,taking some time off work.

    I did read that you performed a basic reno (long distance) and it took 1 week, did you sell and what sort of profit are you aiming for in your renos? I dont want to be greedy in my renos but I would like to have a goal profit in mind and work towards it!

    I enjoy hearing from like minded people and I love, "the strangest secret", Earl Nightingale
    Thanks.
    Glen

    Our kids have grown so our time is our own (besides working). Last year I helped a guy who wanted a break from his profession (no experience with tools). He bought a house and took 2 months off work. We really loved it and went back to his job refreshed. He rented it out. He's even thinking of doing another at a later stage.

    We haven't sold any yet. They were all bought to build our portfolio. We are close to having enough (if there is such a thing) so want to move into buy and hold. Mainly as an income source as we don't have enough yet for us both to quit work.

    Lately I've been seeing a lot of buy reno sell deals on RE.com lately in the sub $400K price. You can tell they have been renoed to sell by the staging. I look them up on RPdata and I see a lot of people are either under estimating the cost of the reno or over estimating the price they'll get or not factoring in all the costs. One example- paid $370K and is for sale at $419K. There is NO profit in that.
    Reno $15K (if they did loads themselves)+ stamp duty and solicitor $15K + holding $5K? So cost is $405K. Then there's selling costs $9K. So IF they get asking price they'll make $5K (minus tax).hahaha.CRAZY. And that's not a one off. I'm seeing them all the time (well not that bad but not worth it.

    Renovating is the buzz at the moment and people are overpaying (in my opinion anyway). If I'm going to work into the night after work and on weekends for 5 weeks I want it to be worth my while. I don't have a $ figure as it depends on the amount of work I have to do. If you are paying tradies then your profit is for just keeping an eye on it (or you could employ a manager). Also if you start moving into structural renos you and make $100K+ (high end properties). I"ll buy sub $400K so the margin isn't as high.

    I guess you have to work out what your time is worth. But over estimate cost of the reno (at first anyway) and under estimate the sale price. Then that will determine your buy price.

    I'm getting keen to do another now but frustrated at people overpaying. Hubby is getting withdrawals. LOL It's been nearly 6 months since we finished the last one but that was a biggy (burnout) so we needed timeout.
     

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
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    seqel I guess it depends on the state of the walls/windows. Get a few quotes.
    Sometimes there can be a lot of prep time if walls need to be repaired and windows are peeling etc.

    I have only paid to get the outside done on one major reno (time was getting away).
    I always do the inside myself. Of all the trades that's the one that is easy to do yourself (no respect to painters). It can be really hard work though if you have to repair and that's where a professional may be needed.

    If it's straight painting do it yourself but make sure you get some advice on correct procedures. I saw the almost worst reno in my life last month. Walls were rollered straight over flaws in the wall and only one coat (you could see through it in places).
    If you don't have the ability to do a good job, don't.

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