How to Be Resourceful in Real Estate Investing

 
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When people tell you to build your network in the business…do it.

It was late at night and my rehab scope of work was due to the lender in the morning. The problem was I was unsure how much certain line items cost. I have never needed to paint a rental property or buy cabinets. I needed to figure out how to find some sound assumptions and finish the line item estimate. I quickly utilized a few key skills to finish the estimate.

 

  1. Phone a friend: How much does it cost to paint a duplex? $2000? $6000? $8000? This project could have a significant impact on my budget if I use the wrong assumption. I didn’t have time to get bids before the details were due to the lender. I suddenly remembered that a fellow RE investor had recently painted a similarly sized unit. I sent a text and was able to get a rough estimate.

  2. Do what I do best…online shop: Need to figure out how much appliances will cost? Do a little online shopping through a retailer and you will have a very good idea how much to budget for the refrigerator, range, sink, faucet, and so on. This also works great for lighting, cabinet hardware, and tile.

  3. Refer to an online home improvement site: I really was stumped on how to come up with a reasonable per linear foot estimate for cabinets. Also how much would it cost to replace the AC unit on a 900 sf home? For these, I found HomeAdvisor.com’s TrueCost Guide immensely helpful to build knowledge and create an estimate for the property.

Key Take Aways:

  1. Build your network: When people tell you to build your network in the business…do it. It is for times just like this where having a sounding board is really important.

  2. Don’t over think it: Sometimes the easiest solution is the most accurate. Act as though you are really buying something in order to find a realistic estimate. Plus shopping in your pjs is fun.

  3. Assume someone has asked the same question: As obscure as finding an estimate for an AC unit may seem, it is surprisingly easy. A few Google searches will lead you to the answer. 

Carissa Swanwick