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What were we thinking? Flip Rehabs Then and Now

by Danny Johnson

Progress of our flips rehabs

What were we thinking? Flip Rehabs Then and Now

Melissa and I were looking at pictures of some of the rehabs we had done in the past.

Woah.

Some of those things were down right terrible! I don’t know what we were thinking. Some of them were even done after we had already had several years experience.

I guess sometimes you make progress without realizing it. Then, after several years go by and you look back at some of the old ones, you realize how much things have changed.

Then, there were also times that I knew something had to change. I remember one house that wouldn’t sell and sat on the market for months. It was time I go back by there and figure out what the problem was. I couldn’t have been more embarrassed. I couldn’t believe we had that thing on the market. It seemed that maybe we were focusing a little too much on quantity than quality and it showed.

Instead of just rambling on like I normally do, Melissa thought it would be more fun to post pictures of some of those old rehabs along with pictures from our most recent. What a great idea. Usually I will tell her her idea isn’t any good, only to claim it as my own a few days later. :)

Embarrasing Rehabs From The Past

Here are some pictures from rehabs past with a little description about what is so bad about them.

Flipping houses rehab then picture 1 (embarrassing)

Nice yard. It was nearly an acre of nothing but dead and overgrown vegetation. You’d think we’d at least power wash the sidewalk. Melissa said this picture makes it look like a murder house…lol

Flipping houses rehab then picture 2 (embarrassing)

Could we have made this one more blah? Guess we needed something as bad as the pink brick, so we went with an awful yellow. I can’t look at this one any longer.

Flipping houses rehab then picture 3 (embarrassing)

I’m starting to wonder if we had a falling out with our landscaper at this point. Why wasn’t this taken care of?

Flipping houses rehab then picture 4 (embarrassing)

Nice deck! And is that a rusted out AC condenser? (This is the back of the house at least to be fair. So cut us some slack.)

Flipping houses rehab then picture 5 (embarrassing)

This was the walk to the front door. How inviting? Geez. I think that tree ate that treehouse.

Flipping houses rehab then picture 6 (embarrassing)

Who doesn’t like a bunch of rocks with junk strewn about?

Flipping houses rehab then picture 7 (embarrassing)

Glad we went the extra mile to coordinate the colors…One of these things just doesn’t belong here.

Flipping houses rehab then picture 8 (embarrassing)

This is awfully colorful and vibrant. Who forgot to change the light fixture and adjust the cabinet door? This is an after picture right?

Flipping houses rehab then picture 9 (embarrassing)

Ugh. The ill-fitting dishwasher and the horrible tile really round out this one and make it a stunner.

Flipping houses rehab then picture 10 (embarrassing)

Let’s save the cabinets and have someone inexperienced in tile do the countertop? Yes, we did. No, we shouldn’t have.

Flipping houses rehab then picture 11 (embarrassing)

Well surprise, surprise, more white cabinets. Those floors looked good on display at the tile store. Not so much on the floor in this house. Maybe it didn’t look good at the store either.

Flipping houses rehab then picture 12 (embarrassing)

What do you mean the cabinets won’t close?

Flipping houses rehab then picture 14 (embarrassing)

Who the hell hung that mirror? Good thing that countertop fit just right…this is getting really embarrassing.

Flipping houses rehab then picture 15 (embarrassing)

Glad we left holes where the old toothbrush holder and soap holder were. That bathroom must have been 3 feet by 3 feet.

Flipping houses rehab then picture 16 (embarrassing)

How is it that everything got updated except the most important things, the tub and tile surround?

Flipping houses rehab then picture 17 (embarrassing)

Hmmmm

Flipping houses rehab then picture 18 (embarrassing)

So glamorous!

Flipping houses rehab then picture 19 (embarrassing)

Yes, a real (working?) outhouse. We wholesaled this one. We just had to throw it in there so that you would immediately forget the other embarrassing rehab pictures. Didn’t work did it?

Recent Rehabs To Be Proud Of

Here are some pictures from more recent rehabs. I think the biggest thing to note is that we started focusing on really trying to make our rehabs stand out. We were sick and tired of every rehab looking the same and looking like everyone else’s.

Potential buyers need to walk in and say, ‘Wow, this isn’t anything like everything else we’ve seen.’ What we want to happen is for them to see a lot of houses and then remember ours. The fact is that most houses don’t stand out, whether rehabbed or not and they can all be a blur. If we can do things that the others don’t do, ours will stand out and sell much faster.

Flipping houses rehab now picture 1 (embarrassing)

Flipping houses rehab now picture 2 (embarrassing)

Flipping houses rehab now picture 3 (embarrassing)

Flipping houses rehab now picture 4 (embarrassing)

Flipping houses rehab now picture 5 (embarrassing)

Flipping houses rehab now picture 6 (embarrassing)

Flipping houses rehab now picture 7 (embarrassing)

Flipping houses rehab now picture 8 (embarrassing)

Flipping houses rehab now picture 9 (embarrassing)

Flipping houses rehab now picture 10 (embarrassing)

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Hopefully we’ve redeemed ourselves with these recent rehabs.

Danny & Melissa
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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill H March 20, 2013 at 8:33 am

Hey Danny, there’s some winners there! I love the outhouse! A kid’s toy in there? What the ….? The latest pictures are awesome, what a difference staging makes! Great post.

Reply

Danny Johnson March 20, 2013 at 10:10 am

Bill,

Weird isn’t it. That house was AWFUL!

I couldn’t agree more about what a difference the staging makes. Melissa has a real good eye for design.

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Dan P March 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

Great post! Love the long tile and blue cabinet combination for the new kitchens!

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Danny Johnson March 20, 2013 at 10:11 am

Thanks, Dan.

I never thought I would have the guts to go with a color other than white. Thank goodness we did. I was so sick and tired of white and now when I look at those old pictures, I can’t believe we ever painted them white.

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Alex March 20, 2013 at 8:41 am

Hi Danny,
Wow your quality and your sense of style sure has improved. Maybe it is from all the experience. I have one question, since you have been doing this for over 10 years. How do you separate your business from your home life. What I mean is do you have a two separate cell phones, one personal, one for the business? Do you work out of your home as far as the address is concerned or do you have an office or use a PO Box? I mean do you draw a line to keep those types of things separate or is it inter-twined? Thank you for all the valuable info you provide us.

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Danny Johnson March 20, 2013 at 10:22 am

Alex,

I only have one cell phone. We used to office out of the house but got an office less than a year ago (though we don’t spend a whole lot of time there as I tend to work from my laptop at the kitchen counter :)).

We never wanted to become a big company with lots of employees or any employees for that matter. That takes away from the freedom. It’s been challenging at times but now that we’ve made it this far, I’m glad we never did grow to where we needed to hire people and make sure they always had work to do. Sometimes it’s nice to not work so hard every once in a while. We do work hard though. There is a lot of work involved.

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@buyhousescheap March 20, 2013 at 9:59 am

I really appreciate this article Danny. I aspire to make rehabbing a part of my business and you hear about the big paydays but rarely you hear about the bad decisions and investor makes when it comes to the rehabbing process. Tks

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Danny Johnson March 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

Yeah. We’ve made mistakes and we continue to make mistakes, but we keep going and learning. It’s good to look back at those old mistakes and laugh about it now. And laugh we did.

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Jeff Sampson March 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Danny,

Maybe you could touch on this subject. How do we determine good neighborhoods when we want to buy a property that isn’t in our area or State for that matter?

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Danny Johnson March 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Jeff,

If you mean that you have a lead and want to determine if it is in a good area, you do the following:

Get comps for that area (back about 3-6 months). You will need to find a Realtor with MLS access in that area.
How long do they typical sit on the market (days on market) before sold? Shorter average days on market better of course.
What is the ratio of houses sold to the houses that are for sale? Good number of solds is best. Don’t want an area where nothing is selling.
Are they getting close to what they are asking? List price vs final sales price.

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Brandon Turner March 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Awesome post, Danny! I look back on my early flips also and think.. “oh … my….”

I sure hope we don’t, in five years, look back at our good ones and say the same thing! (but I’m sure we will! All these great muted colors are going to look really out of style in a few years!)

Keep up the great work!

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Danny Johnson March 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Thanks, Brandon.

I’ll be happy as long as I never have another cabinet painted white ever again!

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Tyler Blackwell March 20, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Hey Danny,

Wow, you really can tell! There’s a huge difference in your houses then and now! It’s very noticeable in the kitchens, with the addition of the tile backsplash and well-coordinating colors, everything seems to mesh more. Your landscapes are more pulled together, too.

Good stuff!

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Danny Johnson March 21, 2013 at 11:12 am

Thanks, Tyler.

I guess I should also add that those were the bad rehabs and don’t represent all of our past rehabs. :)

What you mentioned is why I feel so much better about the product we have been putting out lately. Thanks.

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Jeff Sampson March 21, 2013 at 11:25 am

There sure is a huge difference! I have been a carpenter for over thirty years now and completely understand how he has evolved over the years way to go Danny

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Danny Johnson March 21, 2013 at 11:59 am

Thanks, Jeff.

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Gainesville Condos April 1, 2013 at 6:41 pm

It’s true that more unique homes stand out more and get sold faster. Interesting post!

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Danny Johnson April 3, 2013 at 9:34 am

Absolutely, Mr. Condos. :)

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Shane Woods July 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm

You’d be surprised at how many of the west of Fort Worth/Dallas “rehabs” don’t even match up to the standards set by your early ones. :) Much less the latest. I love the green brick, and the gray brick. I’m gonna look a few more times at the kitchen and bath and see if I can’t start liking it. The idea of making it stand out is a great one. “Flipper Beige” is getting kinda old.

Great to see y’all staging and really making it all pop now. Thanks again for doing what you do!

Reply

Danny Johnson July 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Hey Shane!

Maybe the pictures don’t do the kitchen and bathrooms justice. People really seem to like them. We are planning on experimenting with some new colors on the next couple rehabs though.

Absolutely about the staging. It makes all the difference.

Danny

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Jeff July 29, 2014 at 9:12 am

Danny,

You and your wife have so much to be proud of you sure have evolved it’s fun to be part of your career. I recently landed my dream project and have just landed the biggest deal of my 26yr career! Keep sharing and inspiring. May i also suggest to you and your reading to use neighborhoodscout.com I am NOT affiliated with the site in anyway we use the site in our business daily.

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Danny Johnson July 29, 2014 at 10:15 am

Thanks, Jeff!

Congrats on the dream project. Care to share the details? I’d love to hear about it.

Danny

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Jeff August 1, 2014 at 9:51 am

My dream project is a health and wellness center that specializes in helping spinal cord injury survivors. However the new center will also have an entrepreneurs center complete with attorneys available on site. While there is many many details i cannot write about here i expect the project to take five years and costs 16-20 Mil.

I am a spinal cord and closed head injury survivor (fell three stories off the roof of a house i was building) while the accident was horrible in other ways it also has been a blessing as well it made me set out on a mission to help myself and others through such injuries we teach illness look at any hospital they promote the illness not the wellness and educational aspect of our needs so i am changing that it is my hope when we get it done right here it will spread across the country.

Everyone can and will benefit from the center when it opens! If it weren’t for flipping houses to make the money this dream would not be possible and i have learned allot from you as well thanks for sharing Danny

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Danny Johnson August 1, 2014 at 11:13 am

Jeff,

That’s a heck of a dream project. Awesome to have a dream to strive towards. That’s missing from a lot of people’s lives.

Love how you took that adversity and found the benefit in it. That’s awesome! Best way to handle things.

Thanks for sharing, Jeff.

Danny

Reply

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