Roshan Shah is currently the Director of Operations for a Healthcare company in Austin, TX. Shah recently moved to Austin from California with the goal of building a real estate portfolio of long term rentals. When discussing his long term goals, he stated, “My main focus is to build a portfolio of long term rentals. However, my most recent project ended up being a fix and flip only because I was made an offer I couldn’t turn down.”
Shah’s most recent project was a duplex on the east side of Austin. When he was looking at acquiring the property he accidentally ran into one of Easy Street Capital's partners, Casey Denton, who happen to be flipping a property of his own directly behind Shah’s duplex. After speaking with Casey, he quickly realized that Easy Street Capital could help him acquire and renovate the property he was looking at to buy and hold. He described the process of obtaining funding from Easy Street Capital as “painless”.
He was searching for a property in any area of Austin, but had his eyes set on the Mueller area because of the areas rapid growth. “I saw the street by street change taking place in that area and knew it would be a solid investment if I could find a property to acquire”, said Shah. Lucky for him, he found this duplex on the MLS for a great deal because it had been misclassified as a single family home. Therefore, it was getting overlooked by investors and retail buyers weren’t a fan of the “odd layout”. It was a great buy for him.
“I believe one of the most undervalued aspects of this business is building a relationship with reputable contractors. They can be the gatekeepers to the success of your project so you want to find the ones you can count on while supplying them with enough work to keep them busy, and ultimately happy,” said Shah. He also explained, “You want to find someone who not only is reliable, but you want to ensure they do quality work. You can’t just slap lipstick on a pig and call it a day. You want to make sure you are selling a quality product.”
One of the biggest challenges he faced wasn’t one we hear often, but in Austin it was one residents can relate to. “Oddly enough, my biggest challenge wasn’t with the project itself, but rather the time it took to actually get to the property. Regardless of the time of day, I was constantly sitting in traffic while trying to get from my house to the property to check on the progress. It got to the point where I was dreading having to go over to the property,” stated Shah.
Shah brings up a valid point. When you're searching for a property to fix and flip, you might want to consider your market. Do you live in a big metropolitan where traffic can be treacherous at various times of the day. Or do you live in a smaller city where traffic isn’t an issue. If you live in a bigger metro area you might consider properties closer to your work or residence to cut down on the time you spend commuting to and from.
One of his favorite aspects of the project was seeing the whole thing come together. Shah had a vision for the project so when it started to come to life, he was overjoyed with the progress. Another area he greatly enjoyed was hearing from the neighbors regarding the transformation of the neighborhood. “I had a long time resident of the neighborhood come by one afternoon to tell me he is thrilled with what we are doing to the neighborhood. He said that 20 years ago he wouldn’t have felt safe walking his dog down the street but now, with all of the homes being renovated, he loves the direction the neighborhood is heading in. " said Shah.
Fortunately for Shah, he didn’t experience anything unexpected during his flip, but he did change a few things last minute. “Once we started to work on the kitchen we made the decision to replace all of the cabinets rather than just refinish them like we had originally planned to do. I am happy we went that direction because it resulted in a higher quality product at the end of the project,” said Shah. He also decided to redo the driveways which was an unexpected cost, so overall he said they went roughly 10k over budget.
Shah’s project was a great example of being able to pivot when the road leads in another direction. His original plan was to buy, renovate and hold the property, but since an offer was made that he couldn’t turn down, he made a decision to sell it. He is now focused on finding his next property and implementing his original plan.
When asked where he looked for inspiration for this project, Shah mentioned looking at the various properties near him that had recently been flipped and sold. He wanted to make sure they weren’t over or under renovating it. Fortunately, there were plenty of flips in the area that he was able to model after. He looked at the market to see what he needed to do to get the most bang for his buck.
Shah’s story is a great example of when you set out with one goal in mind but then are able to shift when another opportunity presents itself. Being able to make last minute changes is pivotal to achieving success as a real estate investor.