Hidden Treasures…’GOLD’?

When rehabbing homes you never know what you are going to find hidden behind walls or under existing flooring.  It is really a crap shoot when buying a home, even with a home inspection, because inspectors can only do a ‘visual inspection’.  So all we can do as Residential Rehabilitators is hope for the best but plan for the worst!

Hewbrick Properties is actively rehabbing 4 properties in the Charlotte metro area.  3 of the 4 properties were built in 1962 or earlier.  With this, the quality of construction tends to consist of solid wood floor joists, wall studs and solid oak wood flooring (vs. some of the engineered materials found in most new construction today).  We knew two of these 3 older properties, Miss Poston and Westridge, had solid oak flooring but the big hidden treasure was found under the carpet at Cold Springs!

This is what those of us in the residential rehabbing business consider ‘finding gold’!  In today’s real estate market, it is difficult to find nice solid hardwood floors in entry level modern homes.  When we find this type of hidden treasure we can’t help but to get really excited.

We also find it fun to see some of the history of the homes we are renovating.  In the living room at Cold Springs there was a top layer of Berber carpet covering a layer of linoleum most likely form the late 60’s or early 70’s

and under that we found another layer of linoleum that our guess is from the 50’s

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Notice the gold flecks in the speckled background of this flooring.  This was laid on top of roofing tar paper typically used under roofing shingles that has helped protect the hardwoods underneath.  If this linoleum was glued to the wood flooring it would be difficult if not impossible to salvage the original oak flooring.

In what was being used as the Master bedroom at Cold Springs, there was the same Berber carpet that once peeled away we found a different linoleum.  More to come on what is hiding underneath this flooring.

We are also making progress on our Westridge property installing the hardwoods that had to be removed because of the water damage.

You’ll remember when we bought this home it had some pretty extensive damage to the oak flooring from a roof leak that had been ignored for quite some time.  We take pride at Hewbrick properties ensuring we are putting the homes we renovate back to the same quality as when they were built.  Carpet over the new plywood sub floor would have been adequate and ‘acceptable’ but not for Hewbrick Properties.  We pride ourselves on the quality we deliver and have our name and reputation associated with.

We appreciate your time reading our blog!  Please also visit us on our website at http://www.hewbrickproperties.com, on instagram – #hewbrickprop and Facebook under Hewbrick Properties, LLC

Many of today’s home buyers want open floor plans. Consider this concept for your next remodel.

One of the most popular “wants” of today’s home buyers is an open floor plan, which is also known as open concept.  Having separate, more formal rooms is fast becoming a thing of the past.  Open concept helps to keep families in touch with today’s busy lifestyle.  Parents helping their children with homework while cooking dinner, couples catching up after work, and a more versatile entertaining environment are what we hear from buyers when looking at our properties.  At Hewbrick Properties, we like to take older dated properties and make them more modern and on trend with what current buyers are looking for.    With this, here are some examples of what we have been doing to bring older homes up to date for today’s lifestyles.

The above images show how at our Cold Springs property we have opened up the living room and the kitchen.  You will notice we removed the wall between the two rooms which provides better flow, more natural light, as well as opens up these smaller spaces.  We also took down the half wall in the kitchen that had the stove up against on the other side.  These two walls not only inhibited the flow of the rooms, but also made it difficult to have an area large enough for a dining table in this space, which is needed for a home without a dining room.

These examples from our Westridge project show the difference after we removed the half wall and dated columns between the Kitchen and living area.   It not only opens the space but also helps with allowing natural light to flow through these spaces.

And lets not forget one of our favorite projects, ‘Olde Savannah’, where we removed the non-load bearing wall between the kitchen and den/family room to create a wonderful open space perfect for today’s lifestyle.

Open concept living isn’t for everyone nor is is feasible for every older home.  Creating an open floor plan is not a task for the novice do-it-yourselfer to try to tackle.  Removing load bearing walls without the proper support, using laminated or steel beams, is dangerous and can cause your home to collapse.  We recommend that anyone considering a remodel that will open their living spaces by removing walls consult with a licensed general contractor and/or an engineer.  They can determine if the wall to be removed is load bearing or not, as well as what type/size of support beam is needed to support the weigh the wall being removed has been supporting.  There are also electrical wires and plumbing pipes to be considered when removing walls.  Anytime work on electrical and plumbing are needed you should always have this work completed by a licensed professional.

The not so glamorous parts of flipping houses!!

The past two weeks have been filled with what some would consider the less glamorous tasks of owning a residential rehabilitation company.

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We are still working on getting our rough plumbing inspection completed at the project we call Miss Poston.  We have been through a few plumbers at this point who were not the professionals they tried to portray themselves to be.  This has held the project up about 4 weeks at this point and in this business TIME IS MONEY.

We have begun prepping our Cold Springs property to be put on the market.  We have found that one of this homes previous owners applied latex paint over oil based paint.  THIS IS A BIG NO NO!  Latex paint won’t adhere properly over oil based paint and will peel off  as you can see in the pictures.  When applying latex paint over existing oil based paint you should rough up the surface with medium grit sand paper and apply a good quality primer before applying the top coat of latex paint.  The best way to tell if you have oil based paint is from it’s sheen (i.e. shininess) and if you have an older home built pre 1960’s era.  If you don’t know it is a good idea to consult a professional even if you want to paint yourself so you don’t run into these types of issues and have to paint again.

 

We have also been scouting for new projects.  This can be exciting and scary at the same time.  It is exciting to see potential projects and get the juices flowing on what can be done to modernize the house by opening up walls, installing new kitchens and baths and getting creative with all the new flooring options available today.  The above homes are just two of many that we have put offers on that weren’t accepted.  As we mentioned, this goes back to the less glamorous part of this business.  A lot of time and effort go into scouting for properties and doing research on comps and budgeting to make offers only to not have them accepted.  The market here in Charlotte, NC is very competitive and most homes have multiple offers.

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When was the last time you saw an electrical panel (i.e. fuse box for those of us old enough to remember) like this?  It is surprising that these relics are still around in homes today.  This picture was taken in a home we did not put an offer on but something EVERY potential home buyer (whether an investor or personal residence) needs to look for.  Most people don’t think to look in the electrical panel when looking for homes but this is a big expense to upgrade if still fuses.

And then there is the “scary” aspect of looking for new project properties!  This situation turned out to be better than it may look.  Both dogs were friendly once they got to smell me but at first they sounded like they wanted to attack me.  One of the realtors on my team and I toured a another home that the listing did not mention anything about a dog however, when we went toward the back area of the home to the kitchen, a dog jumped in it’s crate scaring the daylights out of both of us.  We also toured homes that were in what could be considered ‘rough’ neighborhoods that we weren’t sure if people were in the homes or not.  You know that feeling when watching a scary movie and you think someone is going to jump out and get the unsuspecting person?  That was the feeling in some of these houses that we toured.

I hope this blog was both educational and comical to show the not so fun aspects of property flipping.  It is by no means always as fun and glamorous as we see on our favorite HGTV shows.  Those of us in this line of work don’t get the luxury of editing out the not so fun parts but in turn get to share them with you. 🙂

Did I hear Basement in Charlotte, NC??

Yes, we have a rehab property with a basement!! As we promised last week, we wanted to share this part of our latest project house here in Charlotte, NC.  To find a home with a basement in this region is quite rare due to the red clay soil which doesn’t drain well. To have a basement here you need the ideal lot that allows water to drain away from the foundation. We were lucky enough to find this property which has a basement with a one car garage!

We also have been working hard on the demo phase of this rehab.  We are almost done with demo which means we can start putting everything back together!  We have ordered our new kitchen cabinets, counter tops, new oak flooring, picked out the tile for the bathrooms and as well as the fixtures.

We also have some updates for you on Miss Poston.  She is getting her rough plumbing inspection so we can close in the walls and get ready for paint before we put the kitchen cabinets and bathroom fixtures in place.

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we are also working on feathering in the 1″ oak hardwoods in the living room.

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We hope to have this property finished in the next few weeks and will be updating everyone on the progress so come back and visit the blog to see how we finish the project.

 

 

We are ready for spring showers!

Work is well underway at the latest project we introduced to everyone in our last blog post. But before we show you what we have been working on, take a look at this video which shows the house as we bought it.  (We will show the basement in next weeks post.)


I am sure you agree, this house has been severely neglected and needs quite a bit of love & attention. So with this, the demo phase at Westridge is almost complete.

We have completely removed the kitchen cabinets and flooring


Removed all fixtures in the hall bath (including the old cast iron tub we had hoped to keep)


Demo’d the half bath in the master bedroom

Removed all of the flooring damaged from the years of roof leaks in the front two bedrooms along with the damaged Sheetrock.

We also opened the existing kitchen/living room opening to the floor.

Even with all of this action on the inside, we were also able to secure a roofer to strip off the two layers of old roof shingles to the plywood and replaced with premium architectural shingles as well as new soffit and fascia where needed.

We appreciate your commitment in following our journey and hope you check back with us to watch the progress of this house as well as the other 3 we are currently working on.  Don’t forget to hit the ‘follow’ button to get notified when a new blog is posted!!

We Have A Whole Lot Going On!

So much has been going on, it’s hard to find time to keep the blog updated on…Miss Poston, Martha Jane, Cold Springs, and now Westridge!

Miss Poston has been a busy site lately. The rough plumbing and rough electrical have been installed.

New decking installed on the rear of the home.

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The exterior of the home has been scraped & prepped for painting.

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We are fortunate to have a great team with A&C Home Improvement to help with all of this! We had a new HVAC gas pack system and hot water heater installed.

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The ceilings have all been Sheet-rocked, taped, & mudded.

 

Miss Poston is almost ready for a buyer!!!

Cold Springs has been treated for termites. Now we are working through estimates for the termite damage repair in the crawlspace of the home. Once we have the repairs completed, we look forward to freshening up the interior with new paint and flooring.

Last, but not least, we have Westridge. This is our newest property; we closed on this home last week. Westridge is located in sought after 28208 zip code, just outside of uptown Charlotte. The first week has been full of demo (thanks again, Bristol Carting & Container), finding this unexpected surprises, & completing our scope of work for the new finishes.

 

Stay tuned for our next post …we have a great video of Westridge (if you haven’t already seen it on our Facebook)!!!

Introducing …

Cold Springs!  We told you a lot was going on over the holidays.  Right before the New Year, we went under contract & closed on this property all within 10 days. A key benefit of selling to Hewbrick Properties, is we can close within 7-10 days if needed. We were pleased to have an opportunity to purchase a property in sought after Concord, NC. Concord is a small town outside the northeast side of Charlotte, NC;  it has a ‘small town’ feel, but is the 11th largest city in the state.  It also has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live (http://www.independenttribune.com/news/concord-ranked-in-top-best-places-to-live/article_32042378-9d70-11e7-a0e9-173a161c6dc6.html).

We mean it when we say ‘we will buy your house as is’, which can also means belongings that the sellers don’t take with them. Below pictures are a prime example.

Cold Springs is a 1,032 square foot ranch with low maintenance vinyl siding & vinyl replacement windows.  It sits on a large flat lot and has great potential.  This property will most likely be a buy and hold, thus will need minimal upgrades.  She was most recently updated in 2009.  Our current plan is to paint interior, install new flooring throughout, and reglaze the ‘pepto pink’ tub to white.  Cold Springs has 2 bedrooms, a large family room, and an eat in kitchen.

We look forward to showing you the transformation of our latest property.