Getting Ahead Of Low Inventory
A couple of months ago in order to get ahead of the foreclosure market we decided that we were going to look for homes that were currently in foreclosure, and attend the foreclosure sale in Gwinnett County. We hoped we could purchase a home at the auction and get ahead of the game. We spent the entire month looking at close to a hundred foreclosures in Gwinnett County, and ended up purchasing one at the foreclosure sale.
The home was actually occupied by a homeowner who lived there for quite some time, and had experienced some financial difficulties over the years. As a result he fell behind on his payments and also fell behind on maintenance that needed to be done.
Gaining Possession of an Occupied Auction Property
I went and visited with the owner after the auction, just to introduce myself and to get an idea of what would be involved in getting him to move. He was very, very nice to me and allowed me to take a look around the house. I noticed when I went in the home there were holes in the ceilings and walls. This was the result of polybutylene pipe that had split or broken. Additionally we realized that we needed to replace all the windows in the house; as they were in bad shape.
My meeting with the owner went well and we agreed to give him a $1,000 if he moved out on his own without having to evict him. I was blessed that he agreed since the eviction process can take a long time.
Surprises That Can Await You
Along with the windows, we realized that we would have to replace the heating and air system. These things all came as a surprise since you really don't know what to expect when you buy a foreclosure at the courthouse. In most cases when a foreclosure is occupied you are generally limited to assessing it from the street.
There are other examples when you're able to get inside the house and take a look around that you can evaluate prior making a buying decision. But, when a home is occupied it's impossible to do that so we bought this home pretty much sight unseen.
Pulling it All Back Together
Once complete we were able to start the deck, replace the poly pipe, the HVAC system along with all duct work, and windows. This then set the stage to have our painter come in. They did our entire drywall repair, painted our kitchen cabinets and vanities. Once finished we were able to get the flooring guys in, the plumber to do the trim out, and the granite guys to finish their install. Once all of this was done we had the carport slab removed and re-poured, and rebuilt the supports for the carport.
As a finishing touch we had the landscaper come in a clean up the yard, install pine straw and black drain pipe to direct water away from the house.
In The End We Made a Profit
All together we had a little over $40,000 in the renovation and large part of that were surprises. We sold it within a few weeks, without any hiccups on appraisal. In the end it was good.
Van Purser is a licensed real estate broker in Georgia. Since 1981 Van has successfully purchased and renovated over 400 homes. His expertise is in the area of foreclosures, rehabs and fixer uppers. Additionally, he has represented hundreds of clients over the years as a broker with Metro Brokers, RE/Max and now with his own firm. He and his wife, Jeanne, who is also a broker, have been happily married since 1977. Van can be reached at 770-623-3313 or by email VanPurser@VanPurser.com