I’m not used to houses like these

Scott CostelloAll, Blog 5 Comments

REI Money Making ActivitiesI first wanted to say thank you to all those people who wished me a Happy Birthday this past weekend.  It was incredible to see the 40+ wishes on Facebook that I got, considering I only got a handful last year.  I must have been a nicer person this time around..haha!  Thanks everyone, you made my day.

On Saturday I woke up early and met Jon (my coach) in Linden to take a look at some houses in order for me to get a better understanding of  estimating repair costs.  Since I haven’t done a lot of repair estimates in my life, this was a great learning experience for me.  My goal was to watch how Jon went through the house, what he was looking for and how he thought through developing his estimate.

What did I learn?

  • Figure out what kind of neighborhood the house was in (level 1,2,3,etc..; Rental or SFH)
  • Include about $500 for power washing
  • Understand that for rental neighborhoods you don’t have to fix every little thing (like cracked sidewalk or driveway) if the neighborhood doesn’t call for it
  • Pay attention to functional obsolescences
  • Announce yourself when entering a vacant home
  • Carry a flash light even in the day time
  • If you notice something structural, call a trusted contractor to give you an estimate (guestimate) of what something like a falling balcony would typically cost to fix
  • Patch, Carpet and Paint is about $400 per room
  • Check the manufacturer of Electrical boxes (there is a certain one that MUST be replaced, I wrote it down but can’t find the paper at the moment.  Can anyone help a fella out?)
  • Murray Hot water heaters are good, but most should be replaced if older then 15 years

I learned so much more, but the main thing was that estimating repairs is not that hard.  You spot the big stuff and then work in a miscellaneous budget for all the small things and then add on a fudge factor.

I will say from where I grew up, I’ve never been in houses in as bad a shape as these were in.  They were in your typical #2 and #3 neighborhoods and I am definitely not used to that.   If those houses where all cleaned up I couldn’t live in them.  It’s all relative I guess, but it was an eye opening experience and I thank Jon for taking me through those houses.

Scott Costello
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Comments 5

  1. Yep, Federal Pacific. Many of those out here. My own house nearly burnt down from them. Had a short and the breaker did not trip. Scorched walls and all. The outlet was still live when the electrician came to fix the problem.
    Scott, sounds like your getting some great teachings from your coach.


    1. Oh wow, that is some serious flaws in an electrical box. It’s surprising how many you come across if they were so defective

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