Investing in a Fixer Upper - Interview with a Los Angeles General Contractor

Branden AnnottiEarlier this year we interviewed Branden Annotti, a general contractor in Los Angeles CA. Branden provided our readers some Tips on Preparing Your Home For Sale.

Branden was kind enough to give us a second interview. This time we asked him some advice about investing in a fixer upper. Read the full interview below.

What should home buyers steer clear of when looking for a fixer upper?

When looking for a fixer upper you should steer clear of anything you are unfamiliar with. If it is a job you have not done before or are unfamiliar with, there may be additional cost associated that you are unaware of. Also if the home has had any renovations in the past, it is a good idea to check with the local building department to ensure that everything was done to code. If it was not done to code it is going to be your job to get it corrected so you can get the most value out of your home when it comes time to sell.

What are new hot trends for home building or renovating?

The new hot trend going around right now is staying in your home for longer and having a contractor make many more improvements in and around the home. With the economy the way it is I am finding a lot more people wanting to stay put and make the house they are living in the house they want to stay in.

What are the most valuable improvements or renovations to make to your home in terms of resale before listing it?

Some of the best areas for improvements you can make with value in mind are bathrooms, kitchens, and curb appeal. However never underestimate the value of a new coat of paint. If you only have the time to concentrate on one area I would recommend spending it improving the landscaping and curb appeal of the home.

Tell us about the most interesting job you’ve ever done. Feel free to include pictures.

The most interesting job I have ever completed is a four building apartment community. I found it the most interesting because I started on this community when it was a dirt hole and left with four completed buildings. There were many challenges along the way and because of that it made it one of the most rewarding projects I have ever been on.

Los Angeles General Contractor Los Angeles General Contractor

How do you choose the right contractor for the job?

Always make sure that with whomever you choose that they are licensed properly with the building department. Try to choose one that carries insurance as well as the mandatory bond. Also you get what you pay for so if you are bidding the job out and someone comes in a lot lower than what others are quoting there is a reason why. Don’t overspend, but also more importantly don’t under spend.

What is your outlook for the real estate market in 2012?

I believe there is not going to be much of a change in the market throughout 2012. Home prices will stay just about where they are, dipping down a touch in some areas. It is still a buyer’s market out there and I believe will stay that way until next year.

Branden is the owner of Annotti Building Company in Los Angeles CA. You can reach him at (805) 300-1338 or via e-mail at

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