My First Foray Into The World Of Real Estate

By
Real Estate Agent with Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL
https://activerain.com/droplet/4g6D

My First Foray Into The World Of Real Estate

John B. Kane Residence/Victorian Home

My first real estate experience was not here in Huntsville Alabama, but took place in a suburb of Chicago all the way back in 1976.  I'd always had an interest in architecture and had majored in it at college for a while.  A few of my friends and I had a small painting and remodeling business that pretty much put us through school, paid the bills and allowed us to enjoy life in our 20's.  The business also gave me a lot of hands on knowledge that firmed up my confidence level to take on flipping my first house.

With my dad as my partner we purchased a 100 year old Victorian for $9,000.00.  The home needed a lot of work, but it wasn't what I considered over whelming.  I figured we could do the work and have the house back on the market in a month and a half or two...so, okay, I've made a few mistakes in life, but this was a doozy!   This home had original gas light fixtures, an Octopus furnace in the basement wrapped with asbestos and both first and second floors were sunk towards the middle of the home about 5 inches!

I'm pretty sure anyone who has purchased and taken on the responsibility of caring for and maintaining a "Vickie" will tell you they "ain't" easy...lots of ongoing maintenance and detail to attend to.  Anyway, one of the first things we did was to raise and level the house approximately .25" each month and if you calculate that out we ended up with the house for a little over 18 months...so much for the 1-1/2 month flip! The furnace in the basement was dismantled and asbestos wrapped duct work was tossed...lots of dust and at most we wore painters masks...does no good filtering out asbestos...it wasn't a big deal then.

Drywall was replaced, stairway rebuilt, new electric ran where necessary, new appliances, paint and carpet finished it all off.  Finally the house was ready to go on the market and placed in the MLS Books...the old timers will remember what they are.  After being on the market about one month listed at $36,000 the house sold for $34,000 and everyone paid their own closing costs.

Some how we still managed to walk away with a few thousand dollars, but considering the time spent there we took a beating.  But, it was a beating I wouldn't have missed...I'm not sure I'd want to go through it again, but I certainly would not give that experience up!  It was a real learning experience that ultimately got me hooked on real estate.  I also got to spend time with my dad...priceless!

Photo is the John B. Kane Residence Wikipedia

Nick T Pappas

 

If you need a knowledgeable real estate professional in Madison or Huntsville Alabama area, why don't you let me Google that for you! I also know outstanding agents in all states and Canada should you need help relocating to a new area.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 04/30/2014 07:42 AM
  2. Bob Crane 05/04/2014 03:01 AM
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my first foray into the world of real estate

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Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Good morning. It sounds as though the real benefit was the time spent with dad - it was worth it just for that!

Apr 30, 2014 08:52 PM #15
Rainmaker
666,349
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Oh the memories. I have performed a few remodels- never to the extent of that one. On one, in particular, I remember thinking in accounting terms: credit cash / debit experience.

Apr 30, 2014 09:23 PM #16
Rainmaker
869,934
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Such a pretty house, I love Victorians too.  This is a memory with your dad you will always remember with fondness!

Apr 30, 2014 11:29 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,315,408
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Gene-my first real estate purchase was a lot like my first transaction as a Broker...that is everything that could go wrong did and at the time you would have a difficult time convincing me that it was the best thing that could have happened because those are the times when you learn the most.

Roger-I had worked for my father in the past, but this was a little different as we were somewhat equals...still a great learning experience.

Don-those old furnaces are a lot different than the ones we see today and when I think about all that asbestos flying in the air...

Kathy-those times with my friends bring back special memories.  Anywhere from 3-5 of us lived together...definitely good times.

Bill-I'm not at all sure that the house I currently live in will still be standing in 100 years...if for no other reason because tornadoes seem to like my neighborhood!

Diana-my work ethic comes from my grandparents and my father...I truly respect them for that.

Joe-if I remember correctly my dad and I split $5K-$6K after the closing...still the experience was the big payoff.

Sharon-my sympathy, empathy and condolences go out to your sister!

Kat-yes, couldn't agree more.

Chuck-the experience certainly made later projects seem like a breeze.

Debbie-there are so many different style of Victorians and the one thing most have in common is all the detail which translates in to WORK!

 

Apr 30, 2014 11:39 PM #18
Rainmaker
2,444,302
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Life can be as simple as this post...Real Estate plus people doesn't disappoint

Apr 30, 2014 11:39 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,315,408
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Richie-what I can say for sure is that real estate is always entertaining!

Apr 30, 2014 11:40 PM #20
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Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

What a cool looking house Nick. I love Victorians but do not work on them. I love your story and from Illinois! Great post that I truly enjoyed.

May 01, 2014 01:17 AM #21
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

That is a great looking house Nick and the background behind it. 

May 01, 2014 01:48 AM #22
Rainer
52,166
John Jonas
ReplaceMyself - Virtual Assistants - Highland, UT
John Jonas

For sure you have really learned a lot from this experience. Well, sometimes it's not really about the money, it really is more of the story to tell.... the challenges and how you stood out victorious... nice story here...

May 01, 2014 02:04 AM #23
Rainmaker
1,315,408
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Noah-thanks, but that's not actually the house I worked on.  I could never find any photos of that house even though I took a few.  

Debbie-of course, I left out so much of the story, but you get the idea.

John-at the time it was about the money and as I look back the experience was so much more valuable.

May 01, 2014 02:40 AM #24
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Nick that was a tough lesson that was well worth going though for the life experience it provided you with.  Can't learn those lessons out of a book, they have to be lived.

By the way the first glance at the date I thought it said 1776 :)

I know, I know I am band :) :) :)

May 01, 2014 03:22 AM #25
Rainmaker
1,315,408
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

George-definitely an experience that I often think about.  No George, I'm not going to ban you at least not yet...after all you've been so good this year, but please tell me because I'm interested in the early history of our country....what was it like back in 1776?  Did you get to meet any of our founding fathers???  :) 

May 01, 2014 03:32 AM #26
Rainmaker
2,781,355
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Nick, The silver lining ... spending time with your Dad ... priceless, indeed. No doubt the experience well prepared you for what was to come.

May 01, 2014 05:47 AM #27
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Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Spending time with your dad made the experience worthwhile, and in the process you learned a valuable lesson.

Thanks for sharing.

May 01, 2014 11:57 AM #28
Rainmaker
558,491
Maria Gilda Racelis
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington - Manchester, CT
Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!

Good Morning Nick: An octopus furnace covered in asbestos? I would like to see antiquated mechanical as this gives our business different color and variation.

I bet you would not forget this experience. There was a lot to learn from it.

May 01, 2014 10:34 PM #29
Rainmaker
1,315,408
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Kathleen-although that house taught me how much I didn't know about flipping it did give me confidence to move on to do others.

Jennifer-yes, it was a positive experience all round.

Maria-I'm sure those old furnaces are still out there, however, now you would need a licensed asbestos mitigation team to remove it.

May 01, 2014 10:57 PM #30
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Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

That sounds like a great family project. I've always wanted to restore one since my dad's cousin did one when I was a kid. I spent a lot of time in that grand old house while it was being restored. 

May 02, 2014 08:02 AM #31
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Buying and restoring property sounds like a great thing to do at least once in your life...if you know what you're doing.  Sounds like you had a great time.

May 02, 2014 10:07 AM #32
Rainmaker
1,542,991
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Nick, one of my favorite remodels was a victorian. It was a tough one, but boy was it beautiful on the other side.

May 05, 2014 08:07 AM #33
Rainmaker
1,315,408
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Debbie-be careful what you wish for :)

Chris Ann-a Vickie is a once in a life time remodel because chances are you won't want to do another.

Mike-they do look good when finished, but lots of detail.

May 05, 2014 08:20 AM #34
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Nick T Pappas

Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource
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