Any HGTV addict will tell you that there is something about couples who DIY and flip homes that is particularly charming. Just try to sit and watch one episode of Fixer Upper With Chip and Joanna Gaines or Flip or Flopped (and the multiple spin offs) during a marathon without wanting to binge watch!
One of the things Top of the Coast is particularly passionate about is DIY home projects and we found a young Jacksonville couple who have turned their love of DIY and real estate into an exciting new business.
After they were married two and a half years ago, Dror and Brooke Mida decided they wanted to start saving up to start a business flipping houses. At the time Mida was a 5th grade teacher and her husband was in flight school. They began saving up and planning ahead for their business which they have now turned into a reality.
“One of the things we’ve always been passionate about together is the real estate industry,” Brooke says. “We had to really kind of pinch our money together really tight and we had to be really committed to our financial goals so we could have that cash to invest in a property. We were very goal oriented and two years into our marriage we finally felt comfortable investing in our first property. We moved back to Jacksonville and Jacksonville has a great market for investors my Dad’s currently an investor in the city and he has a bunch of properties so we leaned on him for his knowledge of the areas as well,” she continues.
Today Dror is a commercial pilot and Brooke sells real estate full time. Brooke explains the process of how her and Dror chose the property they have recently flipped in Murray Hill.
“We chose an area and got a property that literally needed everything…I mean we kind of went in full force…it needed plumbing, electrical…you name it. We are currently working on it together. We do a lot of the work ourselves…the work that’s safe for us to do,” she says.
According to Brooke, Murray Hill is one of the hottest areas in Jacksonville for investors looking to flip houses.
“Our house is in the Murray Hill area close to Riverside. I personally have a passion for that whole area so Riverside, Murray Hill and Avondale… and I think that has been a hot market for a few years and it’s continuing to be and now that trend from Avondale to Riverside over to Murray Hill is kind of pushing that direction. Murray Hill is one of those areas where it’s still a little rough but I think investors are really starting to see the potential there because of its vicinity around those historic districts,” Brooke says.
Brooke has been able to develop an expert knowledge of the market in Jacksonville for real estate investors.
“Where we chose to invest and where our property is lies right on that line [historic Jacksonville districts]…and you have a lot of investors that are pouring into that area and starting to put money into the older properties,” she says.
Brooke says Murray Hill and the surrounding areas is transforming into a hot location in Jacksonville for young professionals and local businesses. This is due in part to investors like Dror and Brooke who are putting time and money into restoring the homes in the area.
“I think what they are trying to accomplish is to follow in the footsteps of Riverside and kind of become that artistic, young neighborhood where people feel like they can invest in a lot of businesses and we’ve seen some of the restaurants and businesses that are going in there kind of mirror the same vibe as Riverside…so you’ve got local bakeries and bars going in and hip local businesses…so now a lot of people are investing in those historic homes and making them really nice,’ she says.
Brooke has some advice for people interested in flipping homes:
“First of all if somebody wants to get into an investment property that’s something you really have to plan for financially and you really have to be committed to saving for it because you’re not just talking about purchasing the property you have to know what money you need in reserve to fix it,” she says.
Brooke also gives some advice about how to search for the right property to flip,“When you’re looking for a property it’s important to remember you’re going to see something that is very distressed, it needs some love and you have to be able to see past the flaws and have the creativity and ability to say ‘Wow! What can I do?’ and ‘how can i make this my own?’ and you have to love it because you’re going to get down and dirty, you’re going to rip things apart and you’re going to come across things that you didn’t expect,” she says.
Brooke says that it’s also important to be prepared for surprises-her and Dror found this out during their last project.
“When we pulled up some of our laminate floors we found that some of the sub-floors were just rotted and that was something that we didn’t expect but you know that’s why it’s important to have that cash…so you’re ready to say ‘OK. I know that this house needs this, this and this so I have that money saved but then I actually have an additional 25% so if I run into a bump it’s there for me,” she says.
When it comes to how her and Dror split up their DIY duties Brooke says there are certain roles taken on by each of them.
“I’ve leaned on him more for knowledge when it comes to the construction end of things and he’s really leaned on me more for the artistic end of things such as picking out paint colors and putting up back splash against counter tops and knowing they’re good together. I would say that we’re a good team in the sense that we trust one another and kind of lean on each other’s skills,” she says.
Brooke explains that her Mom is the inspiration behind many of her home design ideas and that to stay on trend she usually goes online. “My parents have a bunch of properties in Jacksonville and they kind of work the same way as Dror and I. My Mom is really the eye for design. She really inspires me because she can just walk into a space and be like ‘boom! I know what I’m going to do!’ and she can have all the colors picked out and they all go together perfectly and it’s flawless so she really inspired me. There are also so many resources online that I go to stay current on modern design trends,” she says.
One of her favorite modern home design trends is a big, open kitchen. “I know that in the past kitchens weren’t really a focal point- you can see that in older homes, they were kind of a blocked off space…but now people really love having a kitchen as a social space and it opens up into the living area. So one of the things we did in our home is that we knocked down walls to make the kitchen as open as possible and we really incorporated the kitchen into the living space so it’s just a free, open floor plan” she says.
Brooke says she was able to incorporate two of her favorite modern design trends into their Murray Hill project. “As far as color trends are concerned: one of the things that we saw and I fell in love with it because it is very elegant is the color scheme of having light grays on the wall, like a blueish gray with white trim and then gray hues on the flooring. So our flooring is something that is really popular right now- a cooler toned, grayish-brown hardwood that has hints of blue in it as opposed to a more golden hued hardwood floor,” she says.
The Midas are preparing their Murray Hill home to be put on the market and are ready to move on to their next investment property soon in the Murray Hill area. Brooke also focuses on helping other buyers find the right investment property in the city through her real estate business, “Jacksonville is huge and there are so many different neighborhoods that are hot for investors there are other areas like near the airport that are starting to come up too but Murray Hill is where our heart is right now but down the road we may start to move into other areas, too,” she says.
If you have any questions for the Midas on any of their projects or are looking for more advice about investment properties you can reach Brooke on her Facebook page or shoot her an email at Brooke@thebillsharpteam.com.