Gopher a tenant too? Just what does that mean? Thinking of the title for this post makes me think of my assistant. Here we are with several hundred thousand dollars tied up in a property with a room addition in the middle of construction, rebuilding a new septic system and trying to defeat an otherwise county inspector who would not let us pass inspection at every corner of construction. During all of the chaos of this project, one day at my whit’s end, I heard my assistant in the front yard saying “look at him, he’s just so cute” how funny, we got a gopher tenant too.For me cute meant little constant mounds of dirt everywhere and just where is he anyway? Let me see the little gopher runt costing me a fortune!
Turns out that despite the volume of work I did on this home to improve it, something was there undermining my efforts. Yep, undermining being the important word here; It turns out we had a mad gopher trying to defeat my efforts on what he thought was his turf. Cute little dude, but he and I were not best buds.
Rose Drive was a 1000 square foot home with an un-permitted room addition on its rear when I purchased it. My intention right from the start was to legalize it as part of my rehab and design. The basic house was in great shape kitchen and bath. However the house needed an additional bath and legalize the rear room with a family room or den added on the rear. It had been vacant for a year so it was an otherwise dormant lot. Our little “cute” friend the gopher moved in and did all he could to stop my progress.
To our surprise that gopher filled up the wall between the kitchen and bath every day for over a week with dirt. Each day we’d remove the clean out cover in the kitchen wall and remove a full 5 gallon bucket of dirt. He also had a field day on the front lawn as well. I finally had enough and introduced him to my good friends at Gopher Control!
What I learned is that a yard sitting dormant for too long invites gophers. Then when we water and or disrupt the ground, they become agitated creating all kinds of fun for flippers and home owners trying to regain a nice yard. Overall the flip went well and it was a great looking house when complete. Moral of the story, don’t ignore the free tenants living in the ground. Quickly give um the ole RIP! It will save all the great work you do in your yard…the sooner you catch um, the sooner the problem goes away.
This post is written by (me) Don Gilmartin in order to inspire the DIY, design & flipping community. As CEO and founder of Fliptechs I have over 20 years of design, construction, and real estate, experience to share.