streettalk (2007-40)

Street Talk

Why did you decide to become a house flipper? Is this the first house youâ’ve bought to fix-up and resell?

Yes, this is my first house-flip project. I wanted to flip houses because it sounded so easy to do after watching hours of infomercials on how thousands of people just like me were doing it and making millions. I had saved up a little extra money and decided that if they could do it, so could I.

How much work does this house need? Is it structural, cosmetic or a combination of both?

Houses never seem to need much work until after youâ’ve signed the contract and go back to look at it again after you own it. For some reason you instantly see problems that you donâ’t remember seeing before. I guess you want to get going so badly that you put blinders on to help convince yourself that itâ’s a good deal. And what you were figuring it would cost to fix some of the problems that you saw before you bought the house, for some reason now look like theyâ’ll probably cost a little more now that itâ’s yours. But luckily for me, this house is mostly cosmetic. We are going to completely rip out the kitchen and laundry areas to change the layout and add a bathroom, but everything else will be mostly cosmetic.

The house is located near the cityâ’s south riverfront. Do you expect the proposed development there to enhance the sell-ability of the property?

Well, this house is close to the waterfront, but itâ’s not going to be close enough. The good news is that since the housing boom began, many people have been fixing up houses all over town and in all types of neighborhoods, some better than others. So many of the homes around mine have already been in the process of being renovated, so that will inevitably increase the value of this home.

The house market isnâ’t so great right now. Do you think this project could send you into complete financial ruin?

Thatâ’s just my luck. I wait and wait until I finally have enough courage to jump into a large financial risk and what would you know, the market goes south. Itâ’s definitely a disappointment, but if I had to pick any city in the U.S. to be in when the market weakens, Knoxville would be at the top of the list. Itâ’s a growing city with a booming economy surrounded by natural beauty. People are still coming here from all over because of good jobs, and itâ’s a great place to retire. So, yes it would be nice if the market was as strong as it was a few years ago, but I donâ’t think it will result in my financial ruin. Good question. â" Greg Wilkerson

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