Friday, February 10, 2012

Step 2 - After the Pictures, Clean Things Up

At the end of January I wrote about the significance of taking pictures.  The second thing I do before I begin to renovate the project houses I buy is clean the property up.  This can apply to a run-down Pig's Ear that has been condemned because it's uninhabitable or a foreclosed property needing TLC that has been vacant for some considerable time.

There are a few reasons to clean up after the pictures.  First, I want to make it obvious that things have changed; that someone cares enough to mow the yard and pick up the trash and debris.  Without any formal announcement neighbors will begin to look out for you and kids will stop throwing rocks at the windows.  Also, if teenagers have been hanging around late at night, they'll think twice and likely find somewhere else to listen to music and drink beer.  And, if people have been casually throwing trash out the window when they drive by, believe it or not they'll show some respect for the house with the mowed grass and be more inclined to get rid of their garbage somewhere else. And lastly, bringing a run-down home back to life is long process and can be a downer when you're surrounded by neglect and disorder.  Cleaning things up begins to change that instantly. 

On more than one project I've mowed, raked, and hauled away yard debris and trash before I actually had ownership of the property.  This may seem impetuous.  What if the sellers change their mind and decide not to close?  First, I'm only investing a little time and some gas money.  And because the houses I've bought have been in such rough condition, I'm nearly certain the buyers will not renege.  No one else wants the houses I've taken on.  They're owners are glad to get rid of these places and I know they're going to show up at the attorneys office on closing day.  It's not a certainty, but it's pretty close to it.  Because there is so much work to do, when possible I start early. 

After Day One - A big step in the right direction.

So, after taking pictures, clean the place up.  The neighbors will appreciate it and when you return, it will pump you up because it will have a bigger impact on the appearance than you will imagine.    


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