Are You Really Saving Money??



Observations from

Bottom Line Builder”



There was a recent article in the Alpharetta Revue &
News written by Brian Patton, Broker with Capital Realty Advisors, LLC titled
“Foreclosures: Atlanta’s 21st century gold rush”. In it he states “foreclosures
made up nearly one-third of all home sales in metro Atlanta during the first
quarter of this year”…….. “If you are thinking about joining the gold rush and
trying your hand at buying foreclosed property, there is no shortage of
opportunities, but be sure you know what you are getting into. While you might
get a great deal on the property itself, you could incur significant costs to
get it ready to sell or rent. ”

This made me think of a call that I had gotten a few weeks
ago from a realtor who had seen some of my renovation work at an open house.
She was looking for a home for herself and was considering several properties,
including a foreclosure. She wanted a “ballpark” idea of what it would cost to
fix up the foreclosure. I looked at the house with her and “guesstimated” what
each item would cost to fix, repair, or renovate. I concluded that she was
looking at $150 to $200K. I pointed out that even after that, there would still
be inherent issues not addressed, e.g. synthetic stucco, low ceilings in
finished basement, etc. She made an analytical informed decision and passed on
the property. It did not cost her anything for me to look before she bought and
I have hopefully picked up some work or at least a future referral. Before you
actually buy that “great deal”, get a professional inspector to give you a
report. But before you get serious about a property get some idea as to what it
could cost to fix the problems and get it the way you want it to be.

Sometimes foreclosures can be a good deal,
or even a great deal, but they can also be a disaster (ever see the
movie The Money Pit?). Contact a reputable renovation specialist to get a rough
estimate of what it could cost to get it the way you want it. Then you can make
an informed decision and the proper offer, contingent on an inspection. 

Richard Adams (The Bottom Line  Builder)    

   Adams Residential, LLC




“Why should I hire a General Contractor (GC) and pay him a fee when all he going to do is subcontract out most, if not all, the work?”


So think some home owners when considering home renovations. There are multiple reasons that answer that question in the affirmative.

  1. Each subcontractor should be a specialist in his phase of the work. He should bring knowledge and experience together with the proper tools and equipment to the job. A good GC will have the expertise to hire the right subcontractor for the work. Over my 34 years in this industry I have developed a solid stable of good and reliable subcontractors as well as suppliers. After years of working together, we each know what to expect from the other to meet the common goal. In remodeling work this includes being ever mindful that you are working in someone’s home; many times while they are living there. The cheapest sub is rarely the best sub.
  2. No GC is smart enough to know everything about every trade. Nor is there time to watch every worker every minute. Even if there was, one cannot make a bad sub do good work through constant supervision. The GC’s job is to pick the right subcontractor or supplier for the task at hand.
  3. The GC is responsible for determining exactly what it is that the Owner is trying to accomplish and then implementing this with clear directions to the subs.
  4. The GC should bring fresh viewpoints and alternate ideas to the table always keeping the Owner’s vision in mind.
  5. The GC is responsible for scheduling the work. This doesn’t just mean figuring out “what to do when”, but also anticipating what can go awry. That comes from having “been there, done that”.
  6. The GC is responsible for making sure that all the subs have the proper licensing and insurances to protect the Homeowner
  7. Last but not least, the Owner needs one entity to hold ultimately responsible. For example, he does not want to have to decide who is responsible for a bad carpet seam; the manufacturer or the installer.


THE BOTTOM LINE: The General Contractor earns a fee for not just doing the work, but knowing who to select to help him do the best job at meeting the mutual objectives and providing good value to the Owner. I love it when my customer tells me at the end of the job “your subs are great”.

Richard Adams (The Bottom Line Builder)
Adams Residential, LLC