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Flippers share rehab experience on YouTube

Home-improvement television can inspire viewers in a lot of ways: a new wall color, a kitchen layout, a backyard design.

It inspired Craig and Samantha Buehler in a different way.

After years of watching HGTV, the Westerville couple decided to make a 22-minute video about flipping a Columbus home, mistakes and all.

“We documented everything from the very beginning,” Craig said.

“We wanted other people to know what it really felt like to do a flip for the very first time. We all watch HGTV, and it all seems so easy, everything goes perfectly. We just wanted to document it all to show what really happens.”

Craig, 28, and Samantha, 27, who are Coldwell Banker King Thompson real-estate agents, paid $46,000 last April for a 115-year-old home on Dakota Avenue in Franklinton, thinking they would rent it out, as they had other properties.

But while touring the badly neglected home with a contractor, they had other ideas.

“When we walked through the house with him, we were still thinking of rental, but he gave us an estimate for renovating it, and we thought about flipping it,” Craig said. “Even if the costs doubled, we’d still make a profit.”

Shortly before tackling the project, they decided to film the process, offering lessons as they went along.

“Clearly we did not know what we were doing,” they acknowledge in the video, which can be seen on YouTube under the title “Our First Flip, What Really Went Down.”

One of the most important lessons they learned: Flipping takes a lot longer than expected.

The Buehlers had hoped to wrap up renovations in time to capture some of last summer’s home-shopping season.

Instead, they didn’t list the home until October.

Their contractor’s vacation, along with cabinet and window delays, pushed the project farther out.

“Next time, order the windows ASAP, along with anything else that may take awhile, including kitchen cabinets,” Samantha advises on the video.

Another lesson: Flipping can be dangerous. While renovating the home, Samantha fell through a vent opening in the floor. She plunged through the hole, legs and all, before stopping her fall with her arms.

The flip also helped the couple understand the true costs of renovation. Although some expenses, such as moving walls, proved far less than expected, others, including kitchen cabinets, added more to the budget than planned.

In the end, the couple spent about $80,000 renovating the $46,000 house. But in February, they sold the house for $176,000, netting a comfortable profit.

They were happy enough with the results to tackle two other homes: a Westerville condominium and another Franklinton home.

And the videotape is running again.

“I would love for a producer or someone to find it,” Craig acknowledged. “And I would love for them to see that our goal is to create something genuine, not just something dramatic.”

Dispatch Reporter Jim Weiker writes about home topics. Reach him at 614-461-5513 or by email. jweiker@dispatch.com

Craig and Samantha Buehler in front of the house they flipped in Franklinton

[KYLE ROBERTSON/DISPATCH]
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