Spring in Detroit 05/02/2024

Welcome back to A Day in Detroit! My name’s TJ. I’m a husband and father to 5, a Christian, Real Estate Broker, and Investor. I write about our adventures in real estate, and share personal growth and success stories in these posts as well. I write about house flipping, wholesaling and more. We’re always looking for new contractors! If you’re interested in working with us, please reach out on Instagram @wisepropertybuyers

Welcome back to A Day in Detroit! My name’s TJ. I’m a husband and father to 5, a Christian, Real Estate Broker, and Investor. I write about our adventures in real estate, and share personal growth and success stories in these posts as well. I write about house flipping, wholesaling and more. We’re always looking for new contractors! If you’re interested in working with us, please reach out on Instagram @wisepropertybuyers

Deals in Process

We’ve been wholesaling like crazy these past few weeks. We went through a period of buying a lot of houses, at the time of this writing we are flipping 5 houses right now. One is finishing, two are starting and 3 are in process. We’ve never done more than 5 at a time. One day I want to be able to do 10 or more at a time and I think that we will get there sometime in the next 12 months.

I thought we could get to 10 at a time in 2024, but recent experiences tell me that we are not there yet. We just walked away from a deal in Waterford that was projected to be $50k in profit because it was so far and so complicated. Easy, cosmetic flips are best; that one in Waterford was anything but easy or cosmetic. It was a 2 acre parcel with an existing structure that had obvious structural issues and was gutted to the studs.

You know what’s not the best? Crawlspaces. I’ve always hated crawlspaces, being in them; owning houses that have them, living in houses that have them…none of that is attractive. We had a crawlspace growing up and there was always ants and spiders in our house. We had a crawlspace when my first daughter was born, the pipes froze. My first house had a crawlspace, the furnace was down there…so guess how often I made it down to change the furnace filter?

Horror Crawl

And now, I’m flipping a house on a crawlspace. Not the first time ever, and the other ones have worked out okay thank God. But this one here…it’s a doozy. We got the house for $105k in Brownstown on 1/2 acre. It has two small outbuildings, a shed and a garage. Roof is decent, newer. Siding too.

We thought we’d do a basic cosmetic $30k flip…now it’s over $70k.

We are going to be very close to breaking even, or possibly losing money on a flip for the first time ever. I knew it would happen one day. I’d get “too big for my britches” as my mom used to say and bite off more than I can chew. Ashley is managing this one for us, and her and Joe both didn’t feel good about the house. I should’ve listened to them.

Now, not only are we stuck for months on a house that won’t make us any money, but it’s also going to use up our resources, we’re using most of our money for the remodel and our crews are going to be tied up there for months. This one project is enough to keep me up at night, but I’ve got 4 more on top of it. Anyone in it knows, this business isn’t for the faint of heart. The ups and downs can be frighteningly abrupt.

On a Good Note

We just sold a house that had become a problem for us. We were set to make $10,000 for a quick wholetail that we bought on the westside. It was a brick ranch with a basement and a garage, 3 bedrooms. We got it for $30,000. It wasn’t the best street and the house was in pretty rough shape but as far as “bones” were concerned, this house had it.

We got it under contract to sell after just a couple weeks of ownership and closing was scheduled quickly. The buyer did an “inspection” of the sewer line and everything was acceptable. Just a few days later when we were supposed to close, all of a sudden the buyer wanted to do a final walkthrough. I can’t fault them for that because truthfully anything can happen to a house over the course of a few days…but for this house, as long as it hadn’t burnt down, all was well. The whole interior had to be redone and the house had sat vacant for years. What’s a few days?

Well, the buyer’s agent went to the walkthrough, and while there, he encountered a couple of neighborhood residents who felt like he presented some type of threat. They therefore threatened him and made him feel that he needed to leave the premises. This caused him and his buyer to promptly back out of the deal. We were so close! We were literally supposed to close the day the buyer’s agent was supposed to do his walkthrough. I had even went and signed all the papers.

Upon speaking with these residents they’d said the property had been abandoned for years and was “under investigation” by the Wayne County Prosecutors Office. They claimed they were only trying to protect the neighborhood by keeping people away from the house. I think they were just causing trouble, but I’ll never know for sure. Thank the good Lord above, because we closed that deal last week.

We paid $30k plus closing costs for the house when we bought it. We had it sold for $40k … the first time. The 2nd time around we only got $35k! We eked out a small profit of like $1800 after it’s all said and done. That one was a doozy.

Flips Finished

We got our Bagley flip on San Juan pending this month. Should be closing within a couple weeks of this being posted. We did okay on that one financially. The day we accepted an offer, one for $10k more came in. Word to the wise on the market of today – WAIT. Don’t rush into an offer. Wait days or even weeks before making snap judgments. Especially in Detroit.

Our flip on Indiana is just about done. Should be staged Friday and photographed this weekend. That will hit the market next week, just before this gets posted. We added a 4th bedroom with a master bath on that house. It came out really nice. New windows and roof. We also opened up the kitchen by removing a wall that used to keep it all closed in. We even made one of the bedrooms a little smaller to make the kitchen even bigger. I’m glad we made the decision to do those things.

We’re closing in a couple weeks or less on our Mansfield flip. We did really good on that one, though we’re still waiting for the blessing of the appraiser. We got it for like $25k and put $30k in, then sold it around $100k. It came out really nice with new windows and new roof, plus a whole new interior.

Closing some of these deals is going to feel good. We’ve got more money “on the street” than ever before. We also have more rentals than ever and a couple of houses sitting either empty now or with ongoing evictions. Getting all of those houses situated will feel good, but if I know anything about us, we will have more stuff sitting before we’re able to clear the plate. That’s how we tripled in size from 2022 to 2023. I saw a great picture that sums it up, and I’ll paste it below.

Risk vs Rich

Thanks for reading A Day in Detroit. If you’re interested in flipping houses, lending money, being a landlord or learning how to wholesale, you’ve come to the right place. Feel free to reach out to us on Instagram @wisepropertybuyers. Join my buyer’s list here: www.wisepropertysellers.com

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