- Brooks Conkle and his wife bought a property with two vacant homes for $ 40,000 in 2015.
- After selling one house, he and his wife completely remodeled the other to live there on their own.
- When real estate prices skyrocketed in Mobile, they sold their home for $ 228,000 in late 2020.
I love investing in real estate and it is one of my family’s main sources of income.
The only two personal homes I have purchased have had completed gut work. I’m a sucker for a good deal and home improvement.
I never would have thought of buying a barn house, but our most recent house was just that.
We could barely see it from the street, and it had been vacant for four years when we bought it in 2015.
This house even had its own car on the property – a broken down Fiat, of course, so we couldn’t exactly drive it away.
We also had to purchase an adjoining house as part of the transaction. Apparently 80 years ago when the previous owners bought the house there was a second home on the plot that they were unaware of (this sort of thing doesn’t happen with today’s records, plans plots, etc.).
We bought both houses and paid about $ 40,000.
It was a crazy good deal. The houses were inherited and the owner lived out of town – he had no personal connection with the houses. I was happy to be a solution to his problem.
We emptied the second home of all its contents, marketed it to local investors and sold it for $ 30,000 (they were completely renovating it and would sell it for $ 140,000 less than a year later).
We emptied the first house and completely renovated it.
We redid the plumbing, electrical, roof, windows, HVAC and other things. By the time we finally built a porch, built a patio, and installed a driveway, we had invested almost $ 120,000 in the property.
We completed the renovations in 2017. After a few years living there, I wanted to find our next business. My wife and business partner Mandee politely informed me that we would not be moving until our son graduated from high school. So I expected to stay put for the next four to five years.
Then 2020 arrived. And, ironically, the perfect storm has happened for my family.
We have a friend named Brent who lives in a newly built townhouse less than half a mile from our son’s school. We visited her property and Mandee said if we ever sold our house she would be ready to move in.
The prices in our market started to increase quite quickly.
The pace of life here in Mobile, Alabama is relaxed, and we sit on one of the most diverse river delta systems in the world and the second in the United States. We’re only an hour’s drive from the beach, and the low cost of living has made people start taking transplanting down south more seriously.
Mandee and I are both licensed real estate agents, and she gets paid to complete real estate broker pricing reviews, similar to an appraisal, for businesses such as lenders and insurance companies.
She kept telling me that she was seeing the values go up and commenting on the crazy prices in our area. Some people have decided to do home renovations and stay rather than move. Others moved from more expensive areas because they started working remotely and wondered why they had a $ 1.5 million house when they could get the same house in an area for less. for a third of the price.
We decided that if we could sell our house for a higher price, we would be willing to do so.
We initially thought our retail value was between $ 200,000 and $ 210,000, but after five months of watching the market rise, we decided that it was now valued between $ 225,000 and $ 235,000. $ approximately.
We texted a handful of friends in our neighborhood and let them know that we were going to put the house up for sale in three to five days. The same day, one of our neighbors showed interest.
We signed a contract with them and sold the house for $ 228,000 at the end of 2020. We didn’t even have to list it on the open market and saved on commission fees.
We made almost $ 100,000 in profit on an investment of approximately $ 130,000, or a rate of return of 76%.
The prices continued to rise and we could have sold the house for $ 240,000 to $ 250,000 based on current prices.
But we have no regrets and are enjoying our new living situation which includes a swimming pool, gym and no yard maintenance.