Friday, December 16, 2011

Reno surprises

Settlement was not as smooth as I'm sure some are but I will leave the stories of that week for another time. Today I have a bigger issue. Renovation surprises.

I have been down at the reno house today with the electrician and have left a little despondent. The wiring in the place is pure dodge and while we knew and guessed there would be some "unusual" home handyman , trust me I'm an electrician, stuff happening, the real electrician has left exhausted. Nearly all the wiring has had to be redone (yes, job was 4 times the anticipated). One fan had so much wiring and cable links that it appears the previous owner may have just kept trying with cables until the fan worked! One job lead to another that exposed more and more noncompliant cables and wires.
Then I rang the solar company to check the price (or maybe even the chance of exchanging) the indoor inverter for an outdoor one and found that the house is not registered for the number of solar panels it actually has. Alarm bells have been raised and now the company is wanting to (demanding may not be too harsh a word) come out and check the situation saying that only a specifically licensed contracted can
a. fit the panels
b. add a panel
c. fit the inverter
d. move the inverter
e. change an indoor to outdoor converter
f. connect the system onto the grid
g. all panels need to be registered with energex.
Yep, two situations that will lead to more $$$'s going out. A very good safe situation will follow for the tenants but then again, they will never know the danger they may have potentially been in. No wonder there were 3 smoke detectors in the house.
So, today's lessons are...
During the due diligence phase, get a check done on any solar additions to the property.
Call in an electrician to give a quote to add some lights and fans. This way they can get into the
roof space and hopefully alert you to any obvious suspect electrical work. While the building inspection did highlight one area the true issue was much bigger.
Remember to leave a buffer in your reno calculations to cover potentially costly surprises.
Keep Smiling!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Close to settlement

Tip No.1 - All the gurus say it  - "surround yourself with people smarter than you". Over the last year I have met some wonderful people doing property from many differnet angles and some have become great friends and mentors. Inviting anyone interested, with a reno history or passion, to look at the house, has helped me target the main areas to reno immediately and areas that can follow once a tenant is in place.

Tip No.2 - Be on site when the building inspection is being done. My Inspector was a recommendation from within my circle and he expalined how and why he was reporting "findings" as he did. So, some things that might have otherwise read as a major issue were put into perspective and their true priority identified.

Tip No.3 - Be patient with trade. While one week the tradespeople were early, the next week some had forgotton the appoitment altogether. Getting quotes takes time and I am greatful for a longer settlement.

Tip No.4 - Respect the vendor. The vendor is staying in place until settlement. While I do have a clause to allow me access to the property with notice, I have appreciated the vendor's flexibility with trade appointments.

Keep it fun!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The beginning - Property Purchased

The journey to financial freedom with passive income through property has begun. While I have had a single investment property for a number of years, there was no buying plan, no follow up plan and I was never really sure what to do after that.
I now have a plan.
I have started this blog to help me keep focused and organised through the renovation of a post war house in Brisbane. If this story inspires you or helps you avoid some pitfalls in your own renovation, I'd be thrilled to hear about it