Caliber Real Estate Founding Partners, Ian Morell, Dave Albers, & Zack Lazo have a long background in buying and flipping homes and continue to do so today, in addition to running Caliber Real Estate. For this project, the guys teamed up to take on a mid-century renovation project in Ballard. 

Purchase Price:

The Backstory – Whose project, and how they found it.

Whose project was this?

Ian, Zack, & Dave have renovated and flipped hundreds of homes together. This project also provided the perfect opportunity to include in one of our Monthly Field Trip Friday excursions; one of our ways of giving Caliber Agents firsthand exposure to flip projects. It all started with a Pre-Demo Walk-thru to discuss the scope of the project, which was documented in Episode 5 of Caliber Life

Dave Albers, Ian & Jillian Morell, and Zack Lazo are the founding partners of Caliber Real Estate.

How did they find this property?

A home seller reached out to Caliber Real Estate with a property that needed work, and that they were in a hurry to sell. The asking price was over a million dollars and they saw that there were many comparable properties in the neighborhood selling for less than that, so the partners were not too enthusiastic about the pitch. On the other hand, they also knew that this neighborhood is full of true mid-century modern homes and figured it would be worth checking out on the off chance that they could make it work. The leery partners visited the property, but quickly realized it was a very unique opportunity.

The Project

What did they like about the property?

“Looking at the house from the street alone you could see it had quintessential characteristics of a mid-century classic. A daylight rambler with clean lines sitting back off the street, a large carport, long covered walkway to the front door, vertical cedar accents, and more. As I walked inside, I was greeted by many more period-correct details. Flagstone entry, flagstone fireplace, interior planter boxes, custom mid-century lighting, baby blue tile – the list goes on. On top of all that I realized that the house had a stunning view of Puget Sound and that almost all the 12,000 SF lot was flat. With the mid-century details, the large flat lot, the truly breathtaking views of the water, and being so close to downtown Ballard, I knew I wanted to take this on.” – Dave Albers, Founding Partner Caliber Real Estate.

What Were The Biggest Challenges?

“Having over 300 completed projects in my portfolio, I have never come across the opportunity to remodel a mid-century modern classic like this. I realized that it would be quite a challenge to enhance the features of this home, while maintaining the style and essence of what was originally created.” – Dave Albers.

Any Surprises?

The Partners also wanted to make sure that they incorporated all the modern features of a new luxury home, while accentuating the time period and essence of the original features. The kitchen downstairs initially looked like a challenge, but actually turned out to be the piece that really made this house stand out once it hit the market. It was discovered during the renovation that making too many changes to the downstairs kitchen would introduce the need for additional permits from the city and extend the timeline beyond the target completion date.

Dave immersed himself in the building codes and determined that just making some minor cosmetic updates would not require the permits if all the original appliances were untouched. Fortunately, the appliances were in magnificent shape and, with a case of beer and some elbow grease, were restored to a luster that matched the day they were originally installed. Thoughtfully preserving this space created a time capsule that gave potential buyers the feeling of being transported back to the golden age of the 1950’s.

Get a detailed tour of the finished home from Ian, Zack, & Dave in Episode 8 of Caliber Life as they lead Caliber Agents on another Field Trip Friday, following up from their first visit.

Why Caliber?

Ian, Zack, Jillian, and Dave started Caliber Real Estate because they realized that there were no real estate brokerages in the Puget Sound area that look at real estate through an investment lens. Their story and experience allows them to provide a roadmap that any agent can follow to best serve investor clients and become successful real estate investors themselves. The partners continue to be active real estate investors and share their knowledge and experience with both Caliber Agents and Clients to move down the path toward building long-term wealth through real estate. They have built an environment of collaboration, training, and support, and this unique culture provides agents and clients the guidance and tools needed to create long-term wealth through real estate.

Join Caliber Real Estate

If you’re an investment-minded real estate agent, and would benefit from being around like-minded agents, then Caliber Real Estate may be a great fit for you. Reach out so we can discuss.

Attend Field Trip Friday

Field Trip Friday is one of the ways that Caliber Agents get first-hand experience in real estate investing. Click below if you’re interested in attending an upcoming session.