West Gate House | Austin, TX

Mention aluminum wiring, and the Capital City Flips team shudders. One of their early flips was a home wired with aluminum. “It’s a funny story,” according to their New Western agent, Justin. “It probably wasn’t funny at that time, but they wound up with multiple offers on it. They hate aluminum wiring.”

When Frank and Lauren Novak and their business partner, Michael Morris, went to sell the West Gate house after finishing their rehab, the first buyer under contract got hung up on the wiring. The team brought in a master electrician. He checked all the breakers and plugs and gave the wiring his expert seal of approval, but the buyers brought in their own electrician, who didn’t sign off on it. As a result, the deal fell through.

Frank recalls what happened next: “Once again, with the second buyers, they still had a pretty big hang up on the aluminum wiring. They were concerned aluminum wiring modified with copper wiring could pose a fire hazard because of the difference in material conductivity. We changed all outlets and switches to CO/ALR outlets, added AL/Cu wire nuts in all junction boxes with copper and aluminum wiring and swapped all breakers with aluminum wiring to Arc Fault,” explains Lauren.

“We ended up going through with the contract and everything but two buyers in a row got really hung up on it,” Frank adds.

The experience certainly left an impression on the trio, but they realized that all houses will have unique challenges, from foundations to wiring and everything in between. “If we took all of these out of the equation, we would be leaving a lot of deals on the table,” explains Frank.

They learned that they need to be open to learning. “You have to go in knowing that you’re going to have to learn through the process. So you pick and choose what you want to learn about,” muses Michael. Learning throughout each project has made the team more confident in the breadth of projects they can take on.

Even with all of the challenges in the West Gate deal, the home was only on the market for seven days. “That was the house that we’ve had on the market the longest. So that’s why it’s our horror story,” laughs Lauren.

Austin -
West Gate House

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Success in real estate investing takes hard work, perseverance, and not a small amount of luck. The deal results shown here may have been preceded by others that weren’t as profitable, but paid dividends in the knowledge and experience gained. Every deal is different and you shouldn’t expect results like these on the typical investment. The investors featured by New Western volunteered to share their experiences with other investors and are not paid for their stories.