HUGEEEEE UPDATE TODAY: I received additional photos of my property as construction has officially wrapped up. A few final photos below:
In other news: I've finalized a trip to Indy in early March. I have a confirmed meeting with my property manager/general contractor and will have access to the property. First hand photos and video will be taken!
In addition, I have several confirmed meetings with investors, realtors, property managers, and turnkey companies. This should be quite the adventure! Looking forward to it!
My Trip to Indy
As you know, I took a trip out to Indianapolis, Indiana from March 3rd through March 5th (2017). I can happily say I accomplished all the goals I prioritized on this quick 48 hour trip:
-Meet General Contractor and Property Management company - ACCOMPLISHED
-Visit/Walk-Through Property - ACCOMPLISHED
-Get property keys in my possession - ACCOMPLISHED
-Build relationships on the ground in Indy for future investments (scheduled 6 meetings with various investors, turnkeys, project managers, realtors) - ACCOMPLISHED
Below are FIRST-HAND photos of my first rental property investment:
-If you decide to invest out of state, I HIGHLY recommend visiting the market in person. Make as many connections as you can before getting out there, and arrange as many meetings as possible. Strong relationships are integral to investing in real estate, especially out-of-state, when you are not a quick drive to your property.
-It's important to take a step back and reflect on what you've accomplished every so often. A few months ago, I had THE IDEA of purchasing a property...but nothing really tangible. Now, I've acquired a house, renovated it, and it's ready to rent. What are you proud of?
Let's get a qualified tenant in here and watch this property do it's thing - become a performing asset.
The past couple days can be summed up as: frustrating. I'm not angry or anything, just frustrated. I'm now seeing the difficulty in investing out of state and 2,300 miles away. Communication is challenging from a different state. I mean, by default I'm already 3 hours behind in the day due to the timezone! Not being able to be on-site and see visible progress, is a whole separate beast, and takes a lot of trust. Here's a recap of the past couple days:
January 27 - Got another call from the Acquisitions Manager, who provided additional follow up on the renovation phase. He noted that CEO of the Turnkey Company was in the loop on my situation and understands my frustration with communication.
Received a call from CEO and spoke with him for a good 15 minutes this evening. He was very kind, understanding, and provided updates on my property as to why things weren't going as smoothly as I hoped. He promised progress pictures of each line item on the Scope the following week.
January 28 (TODAY) - Received additional progress photos. With construction starting the day after Christmas, we're now a little over 4 weeks into the renovation phase.
Bottom Line: progress has been made! We're getting closer to a rent-ready property. We're getting closer to placing a tenant. And I'm getting closer to receiving monthly rent checks! Below are a number of renovation progress pictures:
Remember the "BEFORE" shot from December 2016?
Here's where we currently stand at the end of January 2017
-Going back to trust...you've got to trust in your strategy and you've got to trust your connections and relationships on the ground. It hasn't been a smooth ride, but as I said before, progress has been made, and that's a major positive to be happy about.
Through the various podcasts I listen to, books I read, and videos I watch, I feel that the running joke is that renovations are never done on time. Welp, I guess that's true for me too. I'm 1 for 1. We've run into delays.
After receiving photos from the very generous Aaron in Indy, I contacted my Turnkey Company with concerns regarding lack of exterior renovation progress (broken basement windows, warped siding, lots of soffit/fascia repair needed, and chipping paint).
January 17 - Received email response back stating I should be receiving progress pictures by January 20th as bad weather caused delays.
January 25 - Emailed Turnkey Company for an update as progress photos were not received by January 20th.
January 26 - Received phone call from my Acquisitions Manager, who I personally worked with when targeting and putting this property under contract. I explained my frustration in lack of communication and updates on renovation progress. I was promised photos today and updates on the construction.
Received photos! However, they weren't exactly what I wanted. I got a exterior shot of the front and very generic photos of the interior rooms. I responded back wanting photos of specific items on the Scope of Work (refinished floors, new furnace, new breaker box, repaired soffit/fascia, paint, etc.).
Side Note: also received Property Management Agreement, W9 Form, and Direct Deposit form for review and authorization of Turnkey Company to manage the property.
I got a renovation picture, finally!
-Real Estate Investing is not meant to go smooth 100% of the time. You will run into issues, delays, unexpected challenges. It's part of life. But, it's a matter of moving on and finding a solution.
-I'm going to harp on communication again...keep people accountable to their timelines and call them out if promises are not fulfilled.
There is ENORMOUS value in making connections whenever and wherever you can. Thankfully, I've been able to meet great people in person and online by sharing my story.
A few days after closing on my property, an individual in Indianapolis offered to drive by my house, check it out, and send over photos. There was no way I could pass up on this opportunity. Thanks to Aaron in Indy, I got a detailed look at the state of my property, and see where it really stood pre-rehab:
First off, YIKES...this place looks a lot worse than I initially thought. And, broken windows to the basement?!?!? I was fuming/nervous/scared. Get MY property secure now!
Also, Google Street View is a great resource, but you're never going to see the real condition of a property. Please, please, please don't just rely on online photos. Get someone out there to send current photos. A good contractor will send photos, but if you're having trouble there, try the site: WeGoLook.com and pay someone.
Regarding renovation details, here is what I was told would be taken care of: roof repair, exterior paint, replace rear siding, new exterior doors, new gutter, soffit and fascia repair, clean and seal basement, electrical repairs and new 100 amp breaker, refinish hardwood floors, new vinyl kitchen floor, new furnace and duct work - Estimated $9,100 total.
Here are my follow up questions, that I'd recommend asking your contractor:
1. What is the expected start date and completion date of construction?
2. Can you provide both BEFORE and AFTER pictures of each item on the scope?
3. Please provide further details on each line item:
-Roof repairs: Are you patching or replacing?
-Exterior paint: does this include facia, soffit, windows, and doors? Are you sanding/priming? What color?
-Exterior doors: what quality doors are you putting in? are you changing the hardware?
-Gutters: are these galvanized?
-Vinyl floors: are you doing solid vinyl?
-Hardwood floors: are you doing a sealer coat? how many top coats?
-Furnace: what brand of furnace? is it high efficiency gas? how many BTUs?
4. What are the warranties on the work?
5. Does this contractor have insurance?
6. Do you sub out the work?
7. Are you installing new smoke alarms?
8. Does the garage need any work?
9. What appliances are in the house?
I sent them over a crap ton of questions, and probably was pretty annoying, but their response?
I hope you are enjoying the holiday season!
Your property has already begun construction and it typically takes about 6-8 weeks to completion, weather dependent of course.
I am gathering detailed answers to your questions from the crew and as soon as I have the answers I will forward to you. Thanks!
OK...I'm taken aback...they already started renovation?? Without telling me? WTF.
Very, very, very frustrating example of lack of communication. But, I guess bottom line...renovation should be complete in about 6-8 weeks, which takes us to the end of February/early March. I didn't receive answers to my specific questions, but right now, there's not much I can do. Renovation is in the hands of the contractors, but I urge you to GET A PROPERTY INSPECTION and GET THE FULL RENOVATION DETAILS!!! Don't let these two things slip.
-Network, network, network. You never know where someone might be willing to help you. I wasn't getting much response from the Turnkey Company on property photos (definitely not a good sign), which was very frustrating, but thankfully Aaron from Indianapolis was willing to drive by and provide amazing insight.
-Get confirmed timelines, push contractors on questions you have, after all, you're paying them for a service, and they need to follow through. Get a proper inspection and the full renovation details!
-What to do when there's a renovation period and you have some "down-time?" LEARN, LEARN, LEARN. Hop on blogs, listen to podcasts, meet people! I'm learning so much more AFTER I closed on my property than prior. It's crazy.