Each month we highlight one of the most successful investors in our Investor Spotlight article. This week we talked to Leka Devatha about her investment property in Ballard, which was a huge success! Leka gave us a little insight on what the process of renovating was, and how she took the potential of the worn-down house and turned it into a huge profit.
ACQUISITION PRICE $680,00059%
SALE PRICE $1,150,000100%
With over 25 flips and four years of experience, Leka Devatha is a one-woman army that does everything from flipping homes, building a passive income rental portfolio, helping other investors and retail buyers alike buy and sell homes, and acting as an advisor on the board of an up-and-coming real estate startup in San Francisco.
She has flipped homes across King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, and is a registered agent with Keller-Williams. Leka has had 8 successful projects with Heaton Dainard and has four more currently in the works. Now, as a mother of two young boys and owner of Rehabit Homes, Inc., her life couldn’t be any busier, and she wouldn’t have it any other way!
Q. The end result is beautiful, but it looks like this property had a lot of issues. Can you tell us what your initial impression of the house was?
My initial impression was that the house had a lot of potential! It had the quintessential Ballard charm with beautiful balconies and huge rental potential on the lower level.
Q. We have a lot of first-time investors and sometimes they aren’t prepared for all the things that can go wrong. As an experienced investor, can you describe some of the issues you ran into with this property? And how you handled them?
The floor plan – it was choppy and we wanted to have a good layout to make it more open and usable. It was a challenge but it turned out beautiful in the end. Also, once we started the demo and stripped down the sheetrock, we noticed that the ceiling had 4 different heights on the main level. We needed to add extra framing to make it even.
The original basement framing was also very amateurish. None of the beams were continuous and were held together with staples! We had to re-do all of the basement framing to make it stable. Also, we discovered a leak in the basement that was coming through the fireplace which we needed to be fixed by adding exterior french drains and sump pumps.
Q. Staying on budget can be a huge challenge sometimes, were you ever worried about your budget? What ways were you able to cut costs, but maintain high quality?
We did pretty well with the budget on this house. Considering all the initial added costs for new framing, etc. we cut down on our original plan of building a garage. This saved us a lot of money and helped us build a good quality house. Meaningful floorplan, high-end trim, nice appliances, etc.
Q. What aspects of the project are you most pleased with?
The mother-in-law unit in the basement turned out so great. It makes for a beautiful rental unit which helps pay for the house. Also, the sun-room came out so beautiful! Also, the colors we picked for the house gave it a lot of charm!
Personally, I love the sunrooms in this house, if I was the buyer I would be immediately drawn to them. Were there certain aspects of the house that you decided to spend more resources on to add market value?
Yes, the basement. We added a new kitchen and appliances and also framed in 2 bedrooms instead of leaving it a single bedroom. This increases the rent potential for the house and is really what helped get us well above asking in my opinion!
Q. How would you describe your overall experience with Heaton Dainard?
I really think the company is comprised of quality individuals that really take the time and effort to make sure to provide the best customer service! Everyone is so knowledgeable and helpful, and as an investor, this really helps me put out a good product time and again!