This will be a long post, please bear with me!
Before I get to the details, why am I naming a house? I’ve always given nicknames to people (and yes, sometimes things). Names help people remember things easier, myself included. Imagine if all of your family and friends were referred to by a number instead of a name. See what I mean?
Why The Batcave? Because there is a power plant between my house and this property. I’ve spent a lot of late nights working up at the house, and when I drive past this power plant at night, it reminds me of Gotham City. I should probably call this house “The Learning Experience” because of everything I’ve learned along the way, but I plan on continuing to learn as much as I can going forward, so therefore every house will be a learning experience, not just this one
Now for the details of the house. It was a 3 bedroom 3 bath split-foyer on a large corner lot that is entered from a cul-de-sac. Purchase price: $57,750. Purchase date: 1/24/11. No, that’s not a typo. I’ve had this house for over a year now, and it’s kinda complicated. This was a Fannie Mae property that has a 90 day deed restriction. This means I can’t legally sell the house during the first 90 days of ownership for more than 20% above my purchase price. This means I could either (A) Sell the house in the first 90 days for less than $69,300,. or (B) Sell it for as much as possible after 90 days. I like (B). Therefore, I was hoping to rehab the house and have it on the market in May 2011. Well, lesson learned #1: Never count on anybody but yourself. I assumed I was going to have more help with this project, but people are busy. My problems are not their problems. I get that now. ALWAYS have a complete plan ahead of time. Working nights and being out of town every other weekend has also made it difficult to get this project finished.
Next, June rolls around and I find out my 8 year old son (9 now) was physically assaulted by his mother’s husband. My rehab time and money is then directed towards hiring an attorney to file the necessary petitions to get custody of my son. I won’t go into too much detail, but I was awarded a motion for temporary custody but that motion was dissolved in August ’11 because I didn’t personally witness the attack, and my son wasn’t injured to the point of brain damage, multiple broken bones or being put on life support. Yes, that’s basically what it takes for a child to be taken away from a mother.
At this point, my plan shifted to holding this house for 366 days before selling it because then I’d only owe long term capital gains taxes (15%) on the sale price vs. being taxed at my normal income bracket rate if it is sold in less than one year. That brings us to now! The house is almost finished and I hope to have it on the market in the next 30 days.
Since I was going to be doing most of the work myself, my estimated rehab budget for the house was $10,000, but I also wasn’t planning on holding it for over a year. I’ll recap all of the final costs after the house is sold. Here’s what I’ve done to the house so far: Finished out basement level including HVAC which can be used as an office or 4th bedroom. There is a very nice custom tile shower in the bathroom adjoining the room, so I will market it as a 4th bedroom.
- I’ve replaced the light fixtures
- New toilets
- New ceiling fans
- New cabinet doors and paint cabinets
- New faucets
- New doorknobs/hinges
- Replace/repair rear deck bench and rail
- Replace exterior entry lights
- Replace bedroom door
- Replace bedroom window
- Paint front door, deck and railing
- Replace front door knocker and kickplate
- Paint shutters and side entrance door and trim
- Replace air registers and vent/grates
- Lots of other odds & ends I can’t remember right now