An oddly common, yet invisible, issue facing rehab investors

I asked Pete Youngs, our featured speaker at Traction REIA this week, to discuss an oddly common, yet invisible, issue facing rehab investors.

Here’s what he said.


I have been doing rehabs and investing for almost 35 years now. Along the way I have learned literally thousands of money saving techniques.

Some of the most common mistakes new investors and seasoned alike, can be avoided by knowing just a few things before you get started.

Here are some valuable items that will save you a lot of pain and grief as well as a lot of money.

Many people are at the mercy of sellers and what they disclose (or don’t) when they buy a fixer property. One of the most common mistakes people make, is assuming that they know what has been done to the property before they bought it.

An easy part that is often overlooked on a property is how was the property painted before. Seems like a minor concern until you look at the serious side.

You cannot paint latex paint over oil-based paint.

Most fixer fans love to use latex paints. They are easier to work with and clean up with soap and water is a breeze. Most also assume that everyone before them has painted with the easier latex paint. But many problems can occur if you put latex on top of oil based paint.

First off, the latex paint will seem to have a hard time covering the oil paint. It may seem to smear a bit, instead of flow evenly. The other problem is that even though it looks like your paint is covering properly, it actually is like putting water on butter. It just simply will not stick!

This is going to cause any surface painted to flake and chip. The most common areas that this is a factor will be on the doors; windows and wood trim in the home.

Literally hundreds of times in a house, someone has painted the surfaces with some cheap paint just to give a cosmetic face-lift to the property.

Now, and until this problem has been corrected, it will be a maintenance nightmare constantly requiring touch up and repaints due to the easy flaking areas that will scratch and peel anytime they are bumped or grazed by everyday living.

The first step is to make sure that you are not the person who paints the latex over the oil paint to start the problem.

A couple of ways to prevent this is before you ever paint a surface, test it!

You can get a product called “Goof Off” or you can use a canned product called “Xylene” to test paint before you apply any coating. Both can be found in the paint dept of most hardware stores and will run you about $5.00 to buy.

Testing is the same for both products. Step one is to get a white cloth and pour some of the solvent (either of the two) and rub the cloth on the surface you are testing with medium scrub strength.

If the paint comes off on to the rag (actually melting the paint and removing it) then the paint is a latex paint and can be painted over again with latex, and no other prep is required.

If you appear to only clean the surface and no paint residue comes off on the rag, this means the paint is oil based. Here you have 2 choices. You can paint it again with oil-based paint with no other prep needed, or you can do what I prefer: I will paint the surface with an oil-based primer such as “Kilz” brand. After the oil primer dries, I can now recoat with a latex paint. Now and forever more I can paint with the latex paints, because I will be painting latex over latex.

So there is no confusion, a latex paint will not stick to oil based paint, however, latex paint will stick to oil based primer.

That way you have converted the area back to using the easy latex paint.

What about if you have a property that someone before has painted the latex over oil and left you with the problem of fixing the flaking paint?

The solution is to follow the steps above for painting over oil. Use the Kilz primer and then paint with latex afterwards.

I recommend that if the flaking is occurring that you also use a paint additive called “EMULSA-BOND”. This is a product found in paint and hardware stores. It causes latex paint to adhere to surfaces that are flaking or chalky.

I hope this will help you from making a costly mistake in the future.

I’ll be teaching you a bunch more at my Traction REIA classes.

— ### —

Thanks Pete. We’re looking forward to your events.

Everyone can get signed up here. Works nationwide. Join us on Zoom from anywhere:

#1.  Main Monthly Meeting ONLINE
TOPIC: “Rehab any flip house for 50% off rates”
SPEAKER: Pete Youngs

Thursday August 20th ONLINE using ZOOM.
6pm Eastern
5pm Central
4pm Mountain
3pm Pacific

Click here to RSVP

#2.  ONLINE Training Intensive with Pete Youngs
Pete’s Essential Tool Training and Signature Home Depot Tour

Saturday August 22nd ONLINE using ZOOM.
10am Eastern
9am Central
8am Mountain
7am Pacific

Click here to get your ticket

Tom Zeeb

Traction REIA:
11+ Year Recipient of the National REIA “Honors of Merit”
and the “Award of Excellence”
For Best Real Estate Investor Association!

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