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Adelaide student flip makes $120k profit

An ambitious structural reno completed in just 12 weeks.

Adelaide students Martin and Leanne have been property investors for over 20 years, but tackling a renovation was something they had little experience of until completing a Renovating for Profit bootcamp in May 2017.

Since then, they have done four renovations in and around the Adelaide suburb they live in, none more audacious than this structural renovation they completed in just 12 weeks last year.

Cherie-Barber_Renovating-For-Profit_Graduate_Martin-Leanne_Main-After

The couple managed to snare the large, un-renovated house, perched on a sprawling 3500sqm block, for a bargain $350,000 – mainly because the broken asbestos roof scared off buyers. It was by far the single biggest cost to fix, at $20,000, but as it was a known expense it was factored into the renovation cost.

The original house was a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom family home and the couple debated whether to convert it into a 4-bedder. However, they ultimately decided that would compromise the size of the bedrooms, so kept the ratio the same, but completely reconfigured the layout, switching around kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms to create a much better flow through the house.

Cherie-Barber_Renovating-For-Profit_Graduate_Martin-Leanne_Entry-After
The new entry mudroom transitions into the open-plan living areas.

 

The original kitchen/diner was demolished to accommodate the third bedroom and adjoining study, with access to the study via a sliding barn door off the living area. Walls were removed to create open-plan dining, kitchen and living.

The original porch was enclosed to make an entry mudroom. “We built seats and storage out of recycled baltic floorboards to bring in a sense of warmth,” says Leanne.

“We re-used and cut down the windows that were removed in the original sitting room to make way for french doors and bi-fold doors that now open onto a new rear deck.”

 

 

The kitchen was relocated to where the original ensuite was, so they could save costs by tapping into the plumbing.  “All the new living areas are north facing and overlook the almost one-acre backyard where we placed the deck,” says Leanne. “It draws you outside and creates the sense of a larger living space.”

 

 

The master bedroom was relocated to the front of the house.

This was done for two reasons:

  • to provide a larger deluxe ensuite adjacent to the new master bedroom
  • to relocate and incorporate the kitchen into the open-plan living spaces, which face north and are flooded with light.

“We removed a double-brick wall to make the master one metre larger, pinched from an oversized second bedroom next door,” says Leanne.

 

 

The original laundry was “huge” and contained the hot water service. This was relocated outside, and the floors in the laundry and adjoining bathroom were jack hammered out to allow for an improved layout. “Doing this allowed us to maintain a full-sized family bathroom with shower and bath, as well as a full sized ensuite. Perfect for the ‘Adelaide Hills’ family market we were aiming at.”

 

The sloping backyard was tiered and additional seating added. “We turfed this area for family play and made over the rest of the garden around the house with new turf, plantings and painting all the retaining walls to match the house,” says Leanne.

Cherie-Barber_Renovating-For-Profit_Graduate_Martin-Leanne_Bathroom-After

 

The original bathroom is converted to an ensuite, which adjoins the luxurious new main bathroom.The sloping backyard was tiered and additional seating added. “We turfed this area for family play and made over the rest of the garden around the house with new turf, plantings and painting all the retaining walls to match the house,” says Leanne. A new car port was added at street level.

 

It proved a challenging renovation, with several unexpected hitches along the way.

“Re-roofing a broken old asbestos roof in the middle of an Adelaide Hills winter wasn’t fun,” says Leanne. “It also caused delays to the renovation after the asbestos removal company misled us on time frames and hence backed up many trades as a knock-on effect.

“Carrying approximately four tonnes of brick and concrete rubble in buckets outside, up 14 steps and tossing it in to skip bins. That sucks!”

It proved a challenging renovation, with several unexpected hitches along the way.

“Re-roofing a broken old asbestos roof in the middle of an Adelaide Hills winter wasn’t fun,” says Leanne. “It also caused delays to the renovation after the asbestos removal company misled us on time frames and hence backed up many trades as a knock-on effect.”

When their builder fell sick half way through the reno, they had to pitch in to keep things on track.

“We did far more than we anticipated due to the builder’s illness to restrain costs. Carrying approximately four tonnes of brick and concrete rubble in buckets outside, up 14 steps and tossing it in to skip bins. That sucks!”

But all the hard work was ultimately rewarded. Even with the reno costs blowing out to $150,000, the couple walked away with a gross profit of just over $120,000. And are busy combing the hills for their next renovation project.

Cherie-Barber_Renovating-For-Profit_Graduate_Martin-Leanne_Floorplans-Before-After
Before and After floorplan
FINANCIALS
  • Purchased July 2018
  • Purchase price: $350,000
  • Renovation spend: $150,000
  • Renovation time frame: 12 weeks
  • Sale Price: $660,000
  • Settlement Date: Mar 2019
  • Gross profit: $122,000
1 Response to “Adelaide student flip makes $120k profit
  1. Hi Cherie
    This story is very encouraging. We live in Perth and would love nothing more than to do this full time. Our market is a tough one here (flat), not sure what it is like over east. How much consideration do you give the market when buying and selling? Also everything here seems more expensive to do, and most homes here are brick making opening up rooms and re-configuring a lot more expensive.
    We own a home close to Fremantle. Given our market is it still worth spending the money to make a bigger profit? We are then hoping to buy a home that needs work but also free up some cash to buy a place to make a quick flip and put profit on new home and re buy another project….too big a goal? Any advice would be appreciated. Have booked to attend your talk in Perth too by the way!
    Thanks Cherie
    Collette

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