Are you looking to buy a fixer-upper to transform into a designer dream home for your family? Looking for the ideal property to build a new custom home from the ground-up?  Working with John-Paul Micek of STUDIO 818 as your residential real estate consultant will give you all the critical information and preliminary investment needed to transform the property. You’ll have you need to analyze whether a property will meet your design and budget goals BEFORE you buy.

From Fort Lauderdale to Jupiter, Wellington to Palm Beach there are plenty of outdated homes homes begging to be renovated in South Florida. The challenge is not a lack of inventory, it is pre-qualifying and buying the right property relative to your goals and budget.

When you work directly with John-Paul as your real estate consultant to analyze the feasibility of potential properties you will benefit from his 25+ years in distressed property acquisition and real estate development.

Already in an official relationship with a Realtor that is an experienced buyer’s agent? No problem. STUDIO 818’s ‘Buy-It-Right’ residential real estate consulting can build off the sourcing work your agent will do. We provide the property pre-qualification, feasibility studies and project assessments in parallel with your agent in this situation.

If your combined budget for purchase, design and renovation/build is $1-million or more, read on — investing in making John-Paul your residential real estate consultant is the first step in ensuring you buy the best property to meet your design and budget goals.

The Challenges of House Hunting in South Florida

 The good news is a property from any of these categories except 3b have the potential to be a great foundation for your newly-designed dream home. That’s because South Florida structures typically have “good bones.” 

Most were built with concrete slabs and concrete block exterior walls with concrete columns and tie-beams. Many of the residential structures built in the late-50’s on were constructed the same way a new home would be built today. Some of these homes even have great architectural features hidden by years of neglect or haphazard additions. But buy the wrong structure and that same structural construction can work against you by making it impossible to achieve your goals without seriously blowing your budget.

With STUDIO 818 as your residential real estate consultant finding and prequalifying the right fixer-upper from this pool of ugly ducklings can now be done with scientific precision.

'Buy It Right' Residential Real Estate Consulting Overview

We created the ‘Buy It Right’ Residential Real Estate Consulting program because far too many people come to us to design their dream home AFTER buying the wrong property! We’ve had to turn them away because they can’t achieve their goals within their budget using the property that they bought.

What happened? They worked with a real estate agent to find them the right fixer-upper like they see on HGTV. But SURPRISE! — now the property they purchased needs WAY more money than they thought. Or worse, there are zoning issues or structural challenges with the property that prevent them from creating their dream home.

The problem is not usually with the real estate agent per se. The real estate agent is merely doing his or her job and finding a “fixer-upper.” The problem lies with asking a Realtor to do what they are not professionally trained or have the experience to do.    

The highest performing and well-intentioned Realtors are not experienced in identifying the monstrous budget killers that can be hidden in any particular fixer-upper before you buy. Even a Realtor who tells you they have “flipped” houses will fall short. There’s a huge gap between flipping a few houses and professionally designing and developing a true designer home.

It’s not that problems can’t be fixed. Every challenge faced in construction can be fixed with enough money. The most important question when analyzing a property as a candidate for a whole-house renovation, expansion or new custom home build is; ‘Can you overcome the challenges a particular property has to design and build your ideal dream home within your budget?’

A successful project begins with pre-qualifying a property based on four key criteria:

1) Property details & zoning criteria

We screen the property on lot restrictions relative to your design & build goals right up front. This begins with an analysis of the setback and zoning requirements of the property to determine if they allow for your base goals to be met.

2) Analysis of existing structure

If your project is a whole-house renovation or gut-rebuild we analyze the structure to determine if there are any hidden modification costs that will kill any hope of achieving your design goals within budget. We also analyze the existing structure to determine if it will allow for the expansion, floor plan and design aesthetic you want?

3) Budget projections

Buying the wrong property will always mean you either massively blow your budget or make significant concessions to your goals ending up with a sub-par design. To avoid that situation we determine a projected scope of work along with projected budget ranges for the design, construction and project administration work required on a property BEFORE you buy. 

4) Post-improvement valuation

Accurately projecting the valuation of the property when all the work is completed is the key to a successful design & build project from an investment standpoint. Whether gutting and expanding an existing home or building a new custom home from the ground up it’s important to understand what the property is likely to appraise for when completed. This creates the guardrails to help keep you from investing too little or too much in a property relative to its’ post-improvement valuation. 

Our experience is what equips us to provide this much-needed service that few other Interior Designers, Architects or contractors in the US are able to match. As the principals of STUDIO 818 John-Paul and Janie have over 13-years of experience acquiring, designing and developing dated properties into designer showpieces. And John-Paul has been acquiring, investing in and developing investment properties since 1995.

With STUDIO 818 as your residential real estate consultant you get all that knowledge, experience and expertise applied to your project for your benefit right from the start. We help you avoid buying the wrong property

How Our Residential Real Estate Consulting Works

Phase 1: Discover & Define

As with all our Design + Build Management services leveraging our expertise as your residential real estate consultant begins with the Discovery process to study your goals, complete a lifestyle analysis and define the scope of your project. To ensure working with John-Paul as your Residential Real Estate Consultant is the right solution for you it’s critical that we begin by discovering and defining exactly what “dream home” means to you.

First and foremost we need to make sure your general design goals and budget are realistic and in alignment. We do this by analyzing your timelines, general design goals, functional requirements, target neighborhoods and overall budget to create an general feasibility analysis for your project. 

Once we confirm that your goals and budget align we guide you through our exclusive Design Clarity System to draw out and clarify your design goals and define your personal design preferences. This stage of the process is essentially the same as for a new design client, since after finding the right fixer-upper we will immediately roll into our full-service design + Build Management process.

At this point we will have a clear hierarchy of your “musts”, “shoulds” and “wants” for your renovation, gut-rehab or custom home project.  Only when we have complete this step are we armed with the knowledge we need to effectively begin screening and pre-qualifying for the right  property for you.

Phase 2: Find & Prequalify

Next it’s time to go on the hunt to find a home with “good bones.” The ‘Buy It Right’ program is consulting based. This means you can take advantage of our Residential Real Estate Consulting program whether you are working with John-Paul as your buyers agent or if you already are signed with another Realtor as your buyer’s agent. If you don’t yet have a commitment to an agent or brokerage you’ll work directly with John-Paul benefiting from his 25+ years real estate investment and development experience. 

How it works! Click to download the acquisition consulting flow-chart.

How it works! Download the property acquisition consulting flow-chart.

The acquisition consulting we provide through the ‘Buy It Right’ program allows you to benefit from our extensive design and construction experience gained on our own designer spec home projects. We are able to see the structural and expansion potential lying dormant in an ugly duckling. We can identify many of the hidden challenges that could blow your budget.

During the property pre-qualification phase we complete market research that allows us to project the post-improvement value of the property. This information allows you to see what type of equity position and return on investment you’re likely to have upon completion. Most importantly, all of that analysis is done against the benchmark of your clearly defined design goals and the costs necessary to achieve those goals.  

This is information is then provided to you in a property-specific feasibility report so you can make the most educated buying decision possible. The ultimate goal of this phase is to help you prequalify a fixer-upper that gives you the right foundation for your renovation, gut-rehab or custom home project BEFORE you buy. 

Phase 3: Buy At The Right Price

Just like the right fixer-upper will have certain structural conditions that will make or break your budget, buying at the right price relative to your overall budget is critical to making a wise investment. We understand how required changes to the property will impact your overall budget. And we can advise how the total investment cost (home purchase, design and renovation) will impact the appraisal value after design and construction so you can approach your custom designed dream home with an investors’ mindset. 

Next — The Design Process

Once you have the right property secured, the StUDIO 818 team picks up with our full-service Design + Build Management service for your whole-house renovation, gut-rehab & expansion or new custom home. You can learn more about the services offered by our firm here.

Take the first step, let’s talk

Looking for a property in South Florida that you are going to renovate, gut & expand or tear-down to build a new custom home? Working with John-Paul Micek of STUDIO 818 as your residential real estate consultant is what will help you avoid buying the wrong property at the wrong price. Investing in this process saves you tens of thousands of dollars in construction costs, change orders and cost overruns down the road. 

STUDIO 818’s ‘Buy It Right’ Residential Real Estate Consulting is a comprehensive process. This acquisition consulting will help buyers at any purchase price above $1,000,000. The higher the combined budget for purchase, design and renovation is the higher the ROI (return on investment) for the buyer.

The ‘Buy It Right’ Residential Real Estate Consulting requires only a $3,500 retainer to get started. The net cost of our acquisition consulting is minimal when John-Paul Micek of STUDIO 818 is your exclusive agent (buyer’s representative.)

Let’s see if the ‘Buy It Right’ Residential Real Estate Consulting program is right for you. Schedule your Free Discovery Call and tell us a little about your goals. In the Discovery call we’ll dig deeper into your goals, budgeting vs. your target neighborhoods, and answer any questions you have on the acquisition consulting.