GREETINGS! From North Dakota. Brrrrrr! It is cooooold here. But it is all relative to what you know. When we landed and looked out the window, we saw a baggage handler with a light coat and shorts on his body. No big deal -it was close to 40 degrees F outside. What wasn't outside, though, was a lack of wind. It is almost like the wind is stored here for the rest of the country. And the longer we are away the more we forget about the animated people, the preponderance of once animated road kill, and the hyper animation of wind that can make 40 feel like subarctic temps. Brrrrrr!
We used to take the motorcycle out if it got above 40 back in the day when we lived here. Now we look at the thermometer with jaded southern eyes and seek shelter under added clothing if it is below sixty. But all this shorts-no-shorts discussion is absolutely not germane to flipping houses. What is germane is that like the wind, both mice and men can penetrate the barriers of your project and make life, well, interesting. The problems involved in flipping homes make for entertaining HGTV viewing, but the reality is much more earth bound: it will alter your profitability. We have advocated postmortem autopsies of deals before. But when it comes to day to day issues, postmortem autopsies, after the facts or events have already taken place but have yet to be solved, are somewhat like trying to get out of the wind on a North Dakota prairie. Good luck.
That being said, what that autopsy will do for you, once that problem is solved, is provide you with a checklist for the next time you travel down this road of rehabbing a house. You can prepare yourself for mice and men and wind. What were the lessons? What will you do next time? Or will you just not take the trip? Maybe you can start your own little operations manual for dealing with this stuff before it happens.
Here's a fictional example for you:
You may want to make sure your contractor knows the rules about giving your personal name and number to the neighbors. Check.
You may want to do a final pre-close walk through to make sure that your unoccupied home is still unoccupied. Check.
You may want to make sure that the schedule for securing the site is followed closely. Check.
You may want to throw out a few rodent repellents. Check.
You may want to pack a parka. Check.
You may want thicker socks. Check.
Or you may just want to walk 200 feet to your rental car swearing silently under your breath. Double check!
But swearing is not going to solve future problems. Remember: Hope is not a strategy. And neither is swearing in the face of squatters, rodents or 498 MPH winds in 40 degree temps.
Just a word to the hopefully well-sheltered.
Have a great day (or night) and we'll catch you next time...
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