Specific Order of Repairs + Gantt Chart




  1. Clean-Out Crew: Many distressed properties will have been occupied by very messy people! Be sure to budget for dumpsters as well as labour to clean-out the property. In some cases the full scope of the project will not be known until after the clean-out is complete.
    1. Demolition Crew: At this point you will have a full scope of the project planned. The demo crew should remove EVERYTHING that you plan to remodel. Cabinets, vanities, tile, carpet, old plumbing, old HVAC, any drywall where new electrical or plumbing needs to be run. Many investors make the mistake of trying to save and work around certain items in the house. It is often less expensive to start fresh with than try to save costs by reusing items. Doors are a prime example....




  • What can you save? Appliances? Cabinets? Countertops? Hardware? Sink? Faucet?
  • Appliances: Unless the appliances are in extremely good shape, replace them. Even though people are not fans of cleaning stainless, it is still perceived as the best finish. You can get package deals from most appliance sellers - Home Depot, RONA, Trail, Coast Add a dishwasher if possible, even in suites. Not having one is a deal breaker for most people. Put the plug for the DW under the sink cabinet. Drill a hole for the cord in the side of the sink cabinet; much easier to plug in or out... I don't like the microwave/fan over the stove; only use it if you have a very small space. It's difficult to lift hot dishes in and
    especially if something is cooking on the stove. Garburators are out...

  • Leave the old flooring down while you are doing the demo and painting the interior, especially if you will be refinishing floors or doing a lot of drywall repair.
  • Once you have your plan, order all the materials. If something is back-ordered, pick something else. It will throw out the whole schedule if critical items do not arrive on time.
  • Overall Interior Colour Scheme: Pick a theme that you like and stick with it. Then you can use it again on the next property. It comes in handy if you need to pop back and do some paint touch ups, replace tiles, carpet patches etc. (Especially Rentals). Select the elements that are harder to find first; specialty items (e.g. Tile for fireplace surrounds, unique backsplash tiles, matching existing stained glass or other elements that you cannot...

Curb Appeal and Yard


  • Buyers first impressions are critical. They may not want see inside of house if curb appeal is a turn-off. Mow that lawn, weed, a few new carefully chosen bushes. Garden beds can pop with some new natural or brown mulch. (about $45) Paint that front door. Don’t underestimate the power of Curb Appeal.
  • Study the house from the street. What should stay and what should go. If stucco needs repair, consider painting afterward. New warm colors can make the home look so inviting. Steps and railings should be top notch.
  • Paint is the cheapest option with most return on dollars spent. C-Think twice before painting old 50’s “Rockdash” stucco. Pull the colors out of it for trim. Difficult to repair, but here’s a trick. With tarp in place, straw...


Part 1 of 5 Common Mistakes

Three most Common Mistakes and What to look for

Here are the three most common mistakes made by real estate investors:

  • Under-estimating renovation costs
  • Over-improving properties
  • Under-improving properties

What do I look for in a flip or buy and hold? 

  • Floor plans. Is there a good flow to this home? Open plans are more popular today. Walls that make little sense, even most bearing walls, can be removed. On the flip side, can an extra bedroom be created? Is there an issue that you can solve to create more value? A house with functional issues will be difficult to sell, even with great finishings.
  • Look for houses with mortgage helper or suite potential.
  • Know your Municipality Zoning Bylaws. E.g. City of Victoria and Saanich approvals for Secondary Suite...

My last sale was a difficult one. Finally an offer after 32 showings…we accepted a clean  offer as is, with a quick close. $10K down and Adjustments, completion and possession at 4:00 PM., all falling on a Monday. There were three home sales involved... my sale being #3. As Monday wore on, there were no funds by 3, 4 or 5:00 PM. Sale #1 had not funded, so #2 and #3 could not complete. I was nervous. For icing on the cake, the buyers’ truck full of possessions was sitting in the driveway waiting to unload. The buyers Realtor “Rob” calling me to assure me funds were on the way and could they just move their stuff in.

Rob had picked up keys earlier in the day from my office. I wisely had him sign a document  warranting that he received and would not hand over...

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