Cash Flow With Joe

Something is missing

by | May 19, 2021 | Buying | 0 comments

Something is missing


My first nonretail job was as a residential painter in college. I then worked for a handyman and then a custom home builder. I finally landed on a rehab crew remodeling both rentals and flips for an investor in Atlanta, which is where I got exposed to real estate investing.


And since my background is in construction, one of my jobs in our company is to “choreograph” our rehabs. Now, I chose that term instead of “mange” because getting a project from start to finish is more like a dance than anything when you take into account your subcontractors and all the little issues that pop up.


That construction background has helped tremendously with making our purchase offers because I can go through the house while I’m meeting with the seller and inspect it. This allows me to do a repair estimate so I can make an accurate offer promptly.


Consequently, I believe this gets us more deals because I don’t have a due diligence period in our offer. That’s comforting to the seller because they don’t have to worry about me getting it under contract, doing an inspection and then trying to go back and negotiate a lower price or pulling out as a result of things we might find on an inspection.


Now, I feel like I am fairly good at doing those inspections, but I still mess up.


One time, we were buying a bank-owned doublewide in Adairsville. I walked through the house, calculated the repair estimate, made an offer and got the house.


On the day we started working, however, I found something was missing. It was raining the day I went to inspect for my offer, and I had done a quick walk-around the outside, which was in good shape. I then spent the bulk of my time finding what was wrong on the inside.


I messed up because mobile homes often have windows that look like storm windows. But to make the windows more efficient, there will be a single paned window on the outside wall and then one on the inside — effectively making a double pane.


The whole house had windows on the inside. But almost all the exterior windows were missing. Putting new windows in was not an expense I was budgeting for, but we had to do it anyway.


I messed up on a three-bedroom, two- bath spacious farmhouse on Edwards Circle in Dalton that had a ton of potential. Part of that potential was a master suite with a huge bedroom and a large bathroom with custom tile.


Now, this house had all new windows already. But what it didn’t have was a closet in the master bedroom.


Once again, we had already purchased the property and were working on it before I realized something was missing. I walked through the master bedroom to measure a door, and it hit me all at once that there was no closet. Not cool.


We are working on one right now in Calhoun where I got the déjà vu feeling.


It hit me while I was looking for a dishwasher for a rental. I was at someone’s house where they had a dishwasher and a water heater for sale. I don’t normally buy used water heaters, but this one was pretty new and in great shape. But as I was thinking about whether I should buy it or not, it hit me — I couldn’t see in my head where the water heater goes on our current project.


I immediately called my lead man Charles and asked him if he could see where the water heater was supposed to go. He looked all over and couldn’t find it in any of the normal places. He even looked in some not-so-normal places like up in the attic with no success.


That got me worried.


To make a long story short, after some investigation, we found it. The previous owners had enclosed it in a wall like you would see in a mobile home. Except this isn’t a mobile home. It’s a two-story house. And they had made no entryway to access the water heater to service it. It was just drywalled over. The pop-off assembly was also not connected to a pipe that terminated outside the house. So, if that water heater ever failed, things in the house would have gone bad quickly.


We will be able to fix the issue, and I’m glad we found it before we got too far into the rehab.


Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to or call Joe at 678-986-6813.


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