It looks like Mattress 8 can go off the for sale list and onto the Lessons Learned list in our sidebar. We reserve that list for special projects that we had high hopes for, but just didn’t work out like we had hoped they would. I’m sure all real estate redevelopers and investors have projects like that (if you don’t, you will).
We’d sucessfully worked on projects in the Temple area before. We did the Ash house with the Andress team, and they had a great general contractor lined up who did a very good job. Lee and I did another house out there in partnership with our friend Vern, who lives in the area. That one also went fine, because he had local contacts.
We continued to include the area as we prospected for houses to buy, and were excited about the Mattress 8 house, which was in a transitional neighborhood with some nice looking houses and some not-so-nice ones. Once we cleared out all the junk and renovation supplies, we got a reasonable bid from the same guy who did the Ash house and all was well…until he had some serious family issues.
We waited a while, then tried very hard to find new contractors. The minute we showed them that they’d have to follow a plan and would be paid upon completed work, they’d skedaddle. That did not mean we were going to change how we did business. We want real names, real contracts, and real schedules, which a professional would be glad to provide.
Lee and Mandi went back and forth to Temple many times only to have people not show up, or disappear very quickly.
When we put it on the market, the same thing happened. So many no-shows, other than one neighbor who really thought we should just give it to them, because a family member used to own it (or something like that). They kept calling Mandi.
But as we know, Lee can be quite creative in selling a house, so when a legitimate fellow investor got interested, they worked out a way to sell the house for not much more than we paid for it, but over time, with good interest. The buyer didn’t pay more than the house was worth, but we do make a profit, just over time.
It’s not ideal, but we learned a lesson: there’s more than one way to sell a sad house.