Mark and Kasia (Team Kaprelian) are real estate professionals at Watson Realty Corp. with 35 years of combined experience. They specialize in new construction and marketing existing homes in St. Johns County. While helping buyers and sellers find their dream home is their main focus, Team Kaprelian also incorporates a dynamic background in land development and home flipping to complement their knowledge and serve their customers.
A few months back REALTORS® Mark and Kasia (Team Kaprelian) transformed an abandoned foreclosed home in Mill Creek Landing into a beautiful like-new show piece. When they chose the project, they imagined a young family with children would one day live in the home which is located in a beautiful neighborhood in an A-rated School district in northern St. Johns.
Mark says that when his triplets were born he always worried about paying the bills. “Going from two incomes and no kids to one income and 3 kids was a big shock with plenty of sleepless nights.” Helping families is at the heart of what is really important to Mark and Kasia, whether they are helping families buy or sell a home as REALTORS® or when they get involved in a flipping project as investors. “We can do our small part now by helping a few young families enjoy a beautiful home within their means,” says Mark.
It is amazing to watch a home receive a makeover, transforming it from before to after. You may have seen home-flipping shows on television and been intrigued about how it’s really done. According to Mark and Kasia, flipping a home is complicated and requires more than simply slapping down new paint and carpets – it is a process that requires strategy, knowledge and integrity.
First they must find the perfect property. “We typically buy a home significantly under market value, either through online auctions or through live auctions” They focus on Real Estate Owned by a lender (REO). “For us land is key. Anyone can remodel a home but in development communities your lot is your lot, so better start with a good one” says Kasia. With this in mind they like to find homes on preserve lots.
Next they must view the property in person and evaluate the potential or lack of it. Mark and Kasia possess that rare ability to walk into an abused decrepit home and see what it could look like with improvements.
Then comes the bidding process. According to Mark and Kasia this is not for the faint of heart and investors really need to have a strong knowledge of market value, market conditions and general construction. This allows them to accurately calculate how much it will cost to make renovations and resell the property. They also advise enlisting the help of other professionals. REALTORS® like themselves, inspectors, contractors, insurance and mortgage brokers, title companies and accountants may all be required at some point during the process. In the end the costs to consider would be buying/selling expenses, construction repair costs, legal fees and holding costs like property taxes, insurance and utilities.
Then comes the fun part as transformation begins. Mark and Kasia typically gut the property, keeping the bones but making cosmetic changes like flooring, fixtures and upgrading kitchens and baths, if necessary.
Finally, the home is ready for resale. “Many times we have multiple offers in the first few days of listing,” Mark says.
As they had hoped, the home they renovated in Mill Creek Landing sold to a young family. They loved the house and the kids really loved the tree in the back yard. Thanks to Team Kaprelian, instead of a foreclosure eyesore on the street, the neighborhood now has a beautiful home with wonderful new residents.
Mark and Kasia began investing in real estate in the 1990s and have never looked back even through some very tough markets. The experience they gained as investors led them to pursue real estate licenses. Kasia, who is originally from Poland moved to the United States in her twenties and became a naturalized citizen. She truly appreciates the importance of home ownership and its place as part of the American dream.
Their background wearing different real estate hats has given them a thorough understanding of the industry as a whole and it is why they are effective agents as well as successful flippers. Today they make their home in northern St. Johns with their family and a rescue dog Shady where they continue their passion as REALTORS® helping home sellers and buyers with all of their real estate needs.
For more information on Team Kaprelian: MarkKaprelian@watsonrealtycorp.com Kasia@watsonrealtycorp.com
Office (904) 436-1345 Cell (508) 333-1342 KasiaAndMark.com
St. Johns Magazine