Macario Escamilla wanted more.
As a sales manager for a local car dealer in San Antonio, TX, Macario was looking for a way to find true wealth and financial freedom. That’s when he met Gabriel Esparza, a real estate agent with New Western, and his real estate investing took off. He successfully flipped two different homes in San Antonio before Gabriel spotted an off-market opportunity he felt was perfect for Macario.
Macario purchased and restored the house on Mason in San Antonio. Because he became a licensed general contractor and found his own construction crew, he was able to cut his costs along the way.
“When you’re just starting out as a real estate investor, you pay people who know more than you up front,” Gabriel explained. “But as you get experienced, you start to learn more and more. You begin to understand how much certain problems will cost to fix, what works and what doesn’t, etc. Until then, you pay for what you don’t know on the front end. It’s something everyone goes through.”
This doesn’t mean every real estate investor needs to obtain his/her general contractor license or run their own construction crew, but it does mean getting help when needed—a sentiment Macario agrees with.
“The chance of getting a contract on a flipped property goes up 77% if you have a staged home. My advice? Spend the money on staging. Find a person or team who will help. I have a great team that stages very well, and that includes a great photographer.”
Although built in 1918, this property isn’t located in San Antonio’s historic district. That meant, unlike one of his previous renovations, Macario had the freedom to do just about anything he wanted to within code. That included painting doors pink “to give the house a little more personality” he said with a smile. He knows simply changing the color of a front door alone can change the look of an entire house.
When asked how he decides what level of “personality” to put into a project, Macario uses the surrounding area as his guide. “The neighborhood will help you define what you should change. I always suggest real estate investors do their homework on the surrounding area beforehand, because it’ll let you know what you can get away with.”
He kept the original front and back doors but painted both that eye-catching pink. He salvaged all the original doors to maintain the old home’s character. He even kept the original shiplap wall in the living room but chose to paint it rather than just stain it.
Because the house on Mason was 100 years old, Macario had his work cut out for him to bring it up to modern standards. It wasn’t in the historic district, so he didn’t have to worry about the red tape and rigorous approval process by the historic district. However, he did need to make several major enhancements to the property.
Macario also makes sure that all of the work he does is under warranty for his end buyer. “Electrical and plumbing are covered. Foundation is good for 10 years under warranty, the roof for 30 years. If someone buys it, they’re like ‘okay, it’s a hundred year old home, but it’s like a new home because everything’s covered under warranty and if anything happens, I’m good.’”
In addition to bringing this historic home up to current standards, he replaced the exterior stucco with modern siding and used a green paint scheme to give the house a sense of renewal and life. He converted the large back living room into a true master suite surrounded by windows to allow plenty of natural light. He even added a half bath; “that may be a small thing to some but to others, that extra bathroom is a big deal and it added a great touch to the property” advised Gabriel.
Interested in seeing the property for yourself? You can now rent it through Airbnb® for $325/night.