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Working With A Contractor... For Dummies

This probably goes without saying by now, but Brendan and I aren't the handiest guys in the world. We have, however, perfected the art of faking it until we make it. We are master illusionists when it comes to appearing knowledgable. We are the Penn and Teller of real estate. Only difference is that we can actually talk to girls... sometimes.

After absolutely dominating our first house flip with very little outside help, we knew the next one would be different. Our goal was to take a step back from the day-to-day minutiae and hire out a majority of the work. The only problem is that when you hire out more work, it requires more time and effort to manage all the subcontractors. If only there were a solution...

Enter our general contractor. I am fortunate enough to have a family friend that has been doing general contract work for 25+ years. When I approached him about managing our next flip, the timing worked perfectly with his schedule, so we decided to move forward. We are now about two months into the project, and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I've ever made (and I make a lot of great decisions).

Had we approached this flip the same as the first, it would probably have taken us close to a year to complete, and that's being conservative. This house needed everything... We're talking new roof, new windows, new plumbing, new electrical, new HVAC, new flooring, new trim, new kitchen... oh did I mention we also added a bathroom to make a master suite? Suffice to say we were in a bit over our heads.

Thankfully, we've had Devin managing the project for us. It started with us agreeing on a budget, timeline and scope of work prior to closing on the house. And from there on it's been nothing but smooth sailing... for the most part. I get a daily download every day for about 30 minutes. He's like the girlfriend I never wanted, but definitely need in my life. We've empowered him enough to make most decisions on our behalf, mainly because his decision is almost always the right one. We don't typically go there during the week, since we both are working full time, but our house is on a lockbox so he can come and go as he pleases.

This project has been incredibly different from our first, but I consider it a major step in the right direction. The only way we are going to scale is by reducing our project lead time and taking on multiple houses at once (there's a little biz lingo for ya). It's been a wild ride thus far, and I'm finally starting to feel like an actual real estate investor. Guess it goes back to the whole "fake it til you make it" mentality. We definitely haven't made it yet, but I can assure you we are well on our way.

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