Photos by Hillary Ehlen and courtesy of Valley Property Partners
Staging by Gathered. Boutique Rentals & Events
In a quiet Harwood neighborhood is a steel grey house with window boxes of marigold flowers. Behind its sunshine yellow door is an open-concept living space, decorated with a shiplap accent wall, a butcher block kitchen island and industrial lighting accents. But this cozy modern farmhouse isn’t the new build on the block, it’s Valley Property Partners’ latest flip venture.
This house was once a heavily-lived in time capsule that required multiple dumpster loads to clear out. To provide a much-needed refresh, Jack Hoss and Josh Koth of Valley Property Partners teamed up with Chad and Esther Gunderson of New River Properties in this joint venture. In just six months, this team transformed this dated property into “home sweet home” for a lucky new homeowner.
With many flip homes, the property and location helped determine the success of the project. Koth said that the lot and the location were a big part of the appeal and that the home’s good bones sealed the deal. He said, “Everyone likes an open concept. This space was already pretty big. We knew that with a couple of minor alterations structurally, we could really take advantage of that and have a really great first impression when walking in and seeing everything laid out. We knew that wouldn’t be that hard to achieve, so that was our vision.”
The team also loved the privacy, yet proximity to town. Koth commented, “Harwood isn’t seen as being ‘out of town’ or a barrier like it used to be.” Just under 20 minutes from downtown Fargo, Harwood has easy access to Hwy 81 and is a straight shot into the city. A home in Harwood is ideal for a family looking for a quiet neighborhood without sacrificing the nearness to the amenities that city-living provides.
Realtor for the project and frequent partner to the Hoss and Koth, Amber Nefzger added, “There are a lot of people who want to have something with a little more privacy and a good yard. This house is an ideal location for many people.”
The Right Price
In any flip home, and especially to investment property gurus Hoss and Koth, staying on budget and balancing costs and benefits was carefully watched on this project. To keep this project successful, the team relied on the expertise of realtor Nefzger. Nefzger helped determine what they could sell the property for, thus determining how much they could spend on the rehab. After calculations, they work backward from there and map out what expenses are most beneficial to the end result.
In coming out with a beautiful end-product while also honoring the budget, Chad Gunderson said, “There was a balance. Picking out styles to trying to match what our vision was, but getting them at a price point that was reasonable.” When your business is investment properties, figuring out this balance between making the stylish and structural updates you want and still making a profit is essential.
To be successful, a flip goes beyond new paint and appliances. In this project, the team made sure updates improved the livability of the house.
One big decision the team made was removing a staircase and adding a bathroom by the side entrance across from the detached garage. About this, Gunderson noted that they toyed with a few different designs, but landed on turning the side entry space into a bathroom and storage area, with a washer and dryer just around the corner.
Nefzger reflected on whom they envisioned living in this country home, adding, “I like this addition of the added bathroom. Anyone who lives in this house is probably going to be an outdoorsy person that’s going to be utilizing the extra garage and they are going to want easy access to that. I think that the laundry being on the main floor as well is a huge positive.” The team put their heads together to make sure changes would allow the future homeowner to live with no qualms about the home.
All members of the team agree that the exterior of the house was one of the highlights of the flip. In a market where curb appeal is so crucial, painting the exterior, landscaping and adding a window flowerbox made all the difference.
“The curb appeal of the exterior is really what draws people in. If someone is just driving by and sees the exterior of the house and it’s appealing, they are going to want to come in,” said Nefzger. In the market of selling homes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts…but also what’s on the outside.
For refreshment of your own place, Koth noted, “Painting the door is one of the easiest transformations you can do to improve your house. It takes minimal time, but it transforms the look.”
Follow Valley Property Partners
To keep up with Hoss and Koth on their future projects, follow them at “Valley Property Partners LLC” and “FargoFlips.com” on Facebook. To learn more about investment properties and the financial details behind the work they do, tune into their weekly podcast, “REI Rookies Podcast,” where they share their experiences with acquiring rental properties, building net worth and working towards financial freedom. Additionally, you can find Hoss and Koth the first Monday of each month at The REI Rookies Real Estate Investing Meetup at Keller Williams Inspire Realty in Fargo, and every first Wednesday of the month at Greenberg Realty in Grand Forks.