How many people do you deal with on a weekly, or even daily, basis via email, messenger or Skype? Are there several you’ve never met in person? We live in a world where the trusted handshake, accompanied by eye contact, are no longer factors that clinch the deal. Today, it is the other party’s reliability in turning up for that Skype meeting and proven skill in an area that are the deciding factors. Yet, flying long-distance to check out a place, deal or situation, or to meet an individual, are still best practice for obvious reasons. And this is what I did over the past few weeks: I travelled to the US, and more specifically to Atlanta, Georgia, where the property flip deals we offer South African investors are located.
Often, investors will enquire as to the lifestyle in this well-established city. My experience over the past few weeks has been one of buoyant spring weather and the finest mountain bike trails (for the outdoor types), superb Starbucks coffee (when you need a pick-me-up), cultural delights, such as a visit to the home of Dr Martin Luther King (for those slanted towards human rights), and the excitement of the upcoming season’s opening baseball game, featuring the Atlanta Braves versus the Washington Nationals at Turner Field (for the historians). Next year, the Braves move to a new stadium – SunTrust Park, in Cobb County! Another perk of being on location is, of course, the opportunity to deepen relationships with our team of advisors and contractors. These include the lawyers, tax advisors, real estate agents, designers, architects, home inspectors, project managers and builders who are instrumental to YDL’s Atlanta-based operation.
Our modus operandi is to deal with the highest-ranking builders, designers and architects we can find, so that we ensure the most superb results in the quality of workmanship and project management of each flip renovation we commission. For example, in one particular 6-bed, 5.5-bathroom house in Sandy Springs, renovations took place from basement to ceiling and left the luxury residence in question in a move-in-ready state.
Hardly a detail was overlooked in converting a once outdated purchase into a thoroughly modern home for resale, including the use of new systems and high-end fixtures. Examples of the sophisticated finishes our contractors employed include neutral paint shades, new hardwood floors, tasteful lighting and contemporary touches, matched with high-end appliances. Two specific examples of value-boosting alterations that were made to the house include:
1) a fireplace in stone, that previously gave the living room a ‘hunting lodge’ feel and heavily dated the property. The interior designer we secured took into account the rather upmarket nature of this part of Atlanta, and set about creating a contemporary hearth look that would match the new living area, with its altered colour scheme, large windows bringing in the outdoors and dramatic staircase. For before and after images, click here. >>
2) a yesteryear kitchen with a featured ‘pizza-oven’ style stove, which needed a complete overhaul and a significant appliances upgrade. In brief, an award-winning interior designer took on this project, adding fancy feature items such as a hand-held faucet over the sink to ease the washing of pots, and a plumbing fixture on the gas stove to provide water in handy reach when cooking. A spacious island and built-in appliances (microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, wine cooler) completed the picture, and soft-close cabinets added a sophisticated modern touch. For before and after images, click here. >>
I was impressed by the detailed creative thought and skilled craftsmanship that went into this property – an example of the calibre of contractors we employ on our flip properties. Importantly, Atlanta has been the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the US for the past 10 years, with a population estimated to reach over six million by 2020. This translates to an additional one million people who will need housing by that date, but also means that as college graduates are employed by the 16 Fortune 500 companies based in the Metro, more families will be looking for the type of comfort and style available for purchase in the residence showcased here.
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