Case Study: The Cat Poop House | Scope of Work
Welcome back everyone! Melissa here with another story from our real estate investing business. This one won't focus so much on the before and after (even though we'll still show those pictures). Instead, we're going to look at the scope of work with this house, and the insane shape it was in when we first got it. So, without any hesitation, let's take a look at this house flipping scope of work that I've dubbed "The Cat Poop House"!
What a Mess! House Flipping Scope of Work
This house looks so normal on the outside. It's on a really nice corner lot and nice landscaping. There wasn't much we had to do to renovate the outside of the house.
The second you step up to the front door, though, you get hit with the smell. Don't worry, we'll talk about where that smell is coming from further down. I mean, it's probably obvious from the title of this blog post, but just wait until we get to it. It's insane!
So Much Stuff Was Left Behind...
Seriously, when I first walked into this property it looked like people still lived here. I had to call my acquisitions guy to make sure the old owners had actually moved out. I'm not talking about one or two boxes left behind. This whole house was, more or less, completely furnished.
The master bedroom had the entire bed set, dresser, wardrobe, nightstands, mattress, and a full closet of clothes. Seriously, there was an insane amount of shoe boxes with mostly new tennis shoes. Like, boxes up to the ceiling.
One of the bedrooms was converted into a home office that was still filled to the brim with office supplies. Not home office supplies, full office supplies. There was bulk supplies of printer paper, folders, tape, staplers, computers from the 90's, and a lot more. It was sort of intense.
While the rooms had a lot of stuff in them, nothing compared to the living room and the parlor. The previous owners had converted the living room into a full entertainment ice-house style bar complete with a full pool table and fluorescent decorative lights. There was a corner bar built in by the kitchen's breakfast bar that was full of bartending equipment and custom shot glasses and beer mugs. These things looked nice, and kind of expensive. I was shocked to see that so much was left behind!
In fact, when my content producer and I went to this property, we spent almost an hour picking through all of the things that were left behind to salvage some great stuff before it got thrown into the dump. The first thing that comes with this type of house flipping scope of work is clearing everything out. Once all of the stuff that got left behind was removed from the house, we were able to start the rehab!
This house originally had tile and carpet floors, but the old owners were sort of half way through a renovation. The entrance hall had tile with wood vinyl over it, the parlor room had a different type of tile, the living room had half pulled up tile, half concrete, and a different type of wood vinyl half way rolled out, the kitchen had a completely different type of white tile, and all of the bedrooms had ripped up carpet.
It was a nightmare. We always replace the floors in our rehabs, but since this one was such a hodgepodge already, replacing the floors was the first thing to do.
After cleaning the place up and removing the old floors, we put in that nice wood vinyl that we use in a lot of our houses. We made sure to give the entire house one cohesive feel instead of the floors looking like a mad house the way it had been. The carpet wasn't just messy, it was filthy. Needless to say, we replaced that in the bed rooms.
Just like the floors, the walls had a lot of weird things going on. There wasn't a theme at all throughout the house, which added another thing to really fix when it came to this house flipping scope of work.
The kitchen was a super dark gray that didn't work with the white tile countertops at all. The worst part about it was that the paint didn't carry into the living room, so there was a hard cut off from the kitchen walls to the "bar" walls.
The entrance room and bedrooms were just as bad. There were paint marks on the entrance wall, as if the previous owners were half way through repainting. The bedrooms had crazy running wallpaper with mismatched accent wall colors. It was bizarre looking at this house flipping scope of work.
The Worst Smell of Any House Flipping Scope of Work!
Ok, this is where the house gets its name. The Cat Poop House wreaked of ammonia 3 steps away from the front door. Right when you walk into the house - BAM - the horrible combination of mildew, unclean toilets, animal fur, and cat poop smacks you right in the face.
Like most of our houses, this smell isn't something brand new. We've had smelly houses before. This one was just unreal. I walked through the house looking for where the source of the smell came from (yes, I thought there was a dead animal, that's how bad it was), and then I found it...
Right there, in the master bathroom, was the most cat poop I've ever seen in one place! These poor kitties must have been left completely alone while the previous owners were looking for another house. There was only one litter box (that was too small for these kitties) that was overflowing. Because the cats ran out of room there, they decided to... go potty... all over the vanity and in the master bath's sinks. THEN, when they ran out of room on the sink, they started going potty all over the floor of the bathroom, the floor of the master bedroom, and all over the master bed. It was disgusting!
My poor contractor had the tenuous job of not only removing all of the left over stuff in the house, but of cleaning out all of the kitty mess AND getting rid of the smell. When we first posted the video of this house flipping scope of work on our YouTube channel, we got asked what we use to get the smell out. It happens in a few parts:
- You need to make sure to tear up all of the old floor and padding. Really go all the way down to the concrete. That's where the smell has seeped into.
- Get a very strong cleaner - something that will get out all of the ammonia from the concrete. (You might have to do this step more than once).
- Replace everything AFTER the concrete and walls have been thoroughly cleaned.
It took a while, but eventually this house made a complete turn around.
Liked this article? Check out the video we made of this house flipping scope of work on our YouTube channel! If you want to keep up with us on a day-to-day basis, join the FlippingJunkie group on Facebook! We’re always active there, and would love to hear about your house flipping nightmares! Come network with us so you can take your real estate investing business to new heights. Talk to you in the group!