Property Acquisition Consulting

Are you looking to buy a fixer-upper to transform into your custom-designed dream home? Need help analyzing whether a property will blow your budget BEFORE you buy? Studio 818’s ‘Buy It Right’ pre-purchase consulting program takes care of this critical step..

There are plenty of outdated homes homes begging to be renovated in South Florida. The biggest problem we see is people buy the wrong fixer-upper to use as the foundation for their newly-designed dream home. Buying the wrong structure will always mean you either massively blow your budget or make significant concessions to your goals ending up with a sub-par design.

When you take advantage of this consulting program you’ll work directly with John-Paul as your Realtor benefiting from his 25+ years in distressed property acquisition. Already in an official relationship with a Realtor? No problem! A good relationship with your buyers agent is key. The Buy-It-Right program is consulting-based so we provide the pre-qualification and feasibility consulting in parallel with your agent in this situation.

If your combined budget for purchase, design and renovation is $750,000 or more, read on — this consulting is ideal for you.

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  • Overview

    Program Overview

    We created the ‘Buy It Right’ 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 just like they see on HGTV. But SURPRISE! — now their fixer-upper 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?’

    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. The principals of Studio 818, John-Paul and Janie have nearly a decade of experience acquiring, designing and developing dated properties into designer showpieces. John-Paul has been investing in and developing investment properties since 1995. With our ‘Buy It Right’ property acquisition consulting 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 fixer-upper or lot for your new custom home.

     

  • South Florida Challenges

    Fixer-Uppers in South Florida

    If you’ve spent any time looking for a home in South Florida you know that there are slim pickings when it comes to truly modernized properties.  Turn-key designer homes are even harder to find unless they are brand-new homes built in the last year or two. This is particularly true in the high demand coastal neighborhoods East of I-95 where most homes were originally built in the 1950’s and 60’s. Even homes built in the early 2000’s West of 95 are seriously dated in design and in need of floor plan reconfiguration and major cosmetic renovation.

    In your house hunting you’ve probably noticed that most homes fall into one of three categories:

    1)  Run-down with LOTS of deferred maintenance . . . in other words, un-livable in its’ current condition. These are often, but not exclusively, foreclosures or short sales. 

    2) “Granny houses” (AKA: Clean But Dated) These homes are are so dated that you feel like you stepped through the front door of your grandmother’s house. On the surface you have kitchens, bathrooms and finishes pretty much as they were when the house was built. And when it comes to the critical systems that form the backbone of the home like the roof, electrical system, HVAC, plumbing and underground sewers things are usually just as dated.

    3) Homes misrepresented on the MLS as “upgraded” or “renovated.” There are two versions of these homes:

    a. Properties cosmetically updated decades ago in a hodge-podge manner by the owner. These homes are so ugly and out-of-date they may as well be a granny house with the amount of redesign and renovation they’ll require.

    b. Houses completed by the typical house flipper. These properties are usually renovated using a ‘lipstick on a pig’ mindset. Corners get cut during renovations to make a quick buck and it’s not unusual to discover that the property still needs $100,000 or more to fix a bad design, hidden MEP issues (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) or other structural problems covered-up during supposed renovation work. 

     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’s ‘Buy It Right’ property acquisition consulting finding and prequalifying the right fixer-upper from this pool of ugly ducklings can now be done with scientific precision.

  • How It Works

    How our acquisition consulting works

    Phase 1: Discover & Define

    As with all our programs this begins with the Discovery process to study your goals, complete a lifestyle analysis and define the scope of your project. To ensure the ‘Buy It Right’ acquisition consulting 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 acquisition consulting even if you currently are in a working relationship with a Realtor. 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 those services here.

Take the First Step

If you’re looking for a new home in South Florida and know you’re going to have to renovate or add-on space, the ‘Buy It Right’ Program is what you need to avoid buying the wrong home at the wrong price — saving you tens of thousands in Construction costs down the road. 

Due to the comprehensive nature of this consulting the Buy-It-Right program works best when your combined budget for purchase, design and renovation is $750,000 or more. The ‘Buy It Right’ Program requires a $2,500 retainer to get started.

To learn if this specialty consulting is right for you, simply schedule a Free Discovery Call and tell us a little about your goals. In the Discovery call we’ll dig deeper into your goals and answer any questions you have on this consulting program.

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