How We Flipped and Sold a Home in Less than Two Months

We never planned on flipping a home, it kind of just happened. The short story is that we helped a family member buy a home that they ended up realizing was not right for them. We know, that can be quite a costly mistake. Luckily, the home was in excellent condition and the housing market was doing great so we sat down with our realtor who suggested we fix 5 simple things to get the home sold as soon as possible. And it worked! It really worked! Within a month, we had the home listed and shortly after had secured a buyer. So today we are sharing the simple things we did to get the ball rolling and how much it cost us. It’s probably important we note that we are not realtors or contractors, just a couple of avid DIYers with a tad bit of crazy in us 🙂

Here are the pictures of the home from the original listing prior to us doing anything:

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These are the five things that were recommended we change:

  1. Remove carpet and wallpaper
  2. Add a fresh coat of paint
  3. Finish hardwood floors
  4. Landscaping
  5. Professional cleaning

We also went a little above and beyond by adding a few items for styling purposes. These included a kitchen towel and plant in the kitchen, a welcome mat outside the front door, and a towel, soap dispenser, and some decorative items in the bathroom.

We didn’t do much DIYing here because of time constraints with our school so instead we hired people to take care of most of the labor. Below is a breakdown of each job and the cost associated with it:

  • City Inspection: $300 – The city inspection consists of all matters related to city code and regulation. They come in and make sure everything is up to standard and request that you update what is not so you can get a COO (Certificate of Occupancy) which you need if you are selling the house.
  • Painter: $1800 – We requested a handful of quotes and went with the mid-range contractor that had between 5-10 years of experience. Most of the cost was for removing the old wallpaper from the entire main floor. The patching up and painting wasn’t as bad as we initially thought.
  • Flooring Company: $ 1700 – This cost was a deal compared to the other quotes we got. The flooring contractor removed the old carpet and refinished the hardwood floors in approximately a week’s time. Be aware that the cost could be higher if you have flooring problems or need wooden trim and/or shoehorn installed.
  • Electrician: $250 – We needed an electrician to remove and replace all the 3-prong outlets to 2-prong because they were not grounded. Another minor thing he did was make sure that all of our wiring was up to code in the garage and outside the house.
  • Professional Cleaning: $150 – To sell the house and truly bring out the beauty of the space we hired a local cleaning company to polish up the home just before it hit the market for showings.
  • TLC: $100 – After we got all of the above done we decided to caulk to make sure corners, windows and all doors were sealed and correctly adjusted to their frames.
  • Landscaping and Decor: $150 –  You can’t go wrong with mulch, flowers and lava stones to make the landscape pop. We also purchased a nice outdoor welcome mat and indoor mat for potential buyers to feel a sense of home.

TOTAL: $4,450

We really wish we had the time to do these updates ourselves, but it would have been too overwhelming and would have taken us much longer. If we did do some of the things ourselves such as the painting and cleaning then we would have saved quite a bit of money, although we did recoup the costs with the sale of the home. The important thing to note is that it doesn’t take much to get a home move-in ready even if there’s a kitchen or bathroom that could use some updating.  If you have a similar project you’re diving into or are considering becoming a house flipper, now you know what it takes to get a home with good bones flipped and sold in no time at all. Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for…….the reveal:

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Have you ever flipped a home or considered flipping a home? Let us know in the comments below. We can’t wait to share our next exciting project with you so if you don’t want to miss out be sure to follow us here and on instagram for the latest and greatest. signature3


Our DIY Home Journey + The Upskill Project

This probably should have been the first post on our blog but I figured it’s never too late to share our rather interesting DIY home backstory. You see, the idea of renovating our home ourselves never even crossed our mind. I mean don’t get me wrong, we are pretty handy and creative (heck, we DIYed our wedding) but we just assumed that home repairs were way out of our league. So like every clueless new homeowner, we called contractors to help us with the very basics and then some. Things went pretty smoothly until one day the contractor working on our basement announced that he had a family emergency overseas that he needed to attend to. I think he saw the panic in our eyes because he calmly responded, “Look, I first learned this trade by watching others in a very short amount of time. You don’t have to be a genius to do this line of work, anyone can do this.” He then spent the next few days before his departure demonstrating and explaining how to put up studs, mud drywall, and lay tile. He even left us with his tools! Those simple words of encouragement and instruction were enough to spark something within us. Although, it took us some time to finish our basement, the internal transformation happened immediately.

That’s how we got a taste for home DIYing. Every year since, we have tackled a major home project and we even started this blog as a way to share our home journey because we are passionate about DIYing and home life. When we experienced the joy of confidently working together on our home, we wanted to share that with YOU because we truly believe that ANYONE can do these things. We are living proof. Just take a look at the pictures of our home from our first showing compared to what it is today. Doesn’t it make your DIY senses tingle?

That’s why we are super excited to share that we are partnering with Lowe’s for The Upskill Project contest running in Detroit from May 7th-21st. So if you have a home project that you’ve been wanting to undertake but are reluctant because of the costs or because your skills leave much to be desired, then this contest is for you! Lowe’s is offering up to five lucky people the chance to win a $2,000 Lowe’s gift card for their project along with expert help to guide and teach the skills needed to complete your project. We know from experience just how crucial a little bit of guidance is and that is why this movement resonates with us so much. It’s all about empowering homeowners and giving them the skills, confidence, and inspiration they need to tackle any home project.

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To enter, all you need to do is submit a video answering the following questions:

  1. What is your project?
  2. What skills do you need to complete your project?
  3. What would having those skills mean to you?

Simple enough, right?! We’ll be there to help and document one winner’s project progress along the way.  And if you’re not a lucky winner, you’ll still have the opportunity to learn the skills you need at a free workshop hosted at a local Lowe’s on August 25th. This workshop is an invaluable opportunity to learn important homeowner skills such as painting, tiling, plumbing, and general tool use. Did I mention we will also be there too? So mark your calendars and get ready for a date with your new DIY BFFs.

IMG_6067If you’re not in the Detroit area and want to enter the contest, don’t fret because The UpSkill Project is coming to a number of cities across the country throughout the year. You can click here and scroll down for a full list.

All right, what are you waiting for?! Want to enter this contest? Start brainstorming and share this contest with your friends! We want to see what cool projects you have envisioned for your home! Maybe you want to build a rain garden? Or renovate your peach 1950’s bathroom? Whatever it is, may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Disclaimer: NO PURCH NECESSARY.  Homeowners and renters (with property owner’s permission) in eligible ZIPs only.  Rules/Entry details here: http://bit.ly/2Gvud8k. Ends 5/21/18. 

This post is sponsored by Lowes. The thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 


Keeping it Cozy: Simple ways to add warmth to your home

With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving ahead, we are inevitably inching closer to the end of the year and to even colder weather (brrrr… just the thought makes us cold). The good news, however, is that there are a few simple ways to kick the coziness factor of your home up a few notches and I’ll be sharing them with you in this post. It really doesn’t take much to make a space inviting and cozy. No matter what your style is, if you can envision yourself curling up with a good book or good company and forget all your troubles then you’re doing something right. The fall and winter seasons makes this more of necessity because there’s less going out and more staying in. The last thing you want is to be sitting in is an uninspiring space all winter. Plus with the many holidays around the corner, you’ll definitely want a welcoming space where your family can gather. Here are just a few ideas that you can implement today:

Bring out the throws. Nothing says warmth like a soft, fluffy throw. A throw hanging out on your sofa is a nice invitation to relax and feel right at home after a long busy day.

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Light it up.  Candles and string lights add a warm, cozy glow to any space especially when it’s cold outside. Furthermore, the scent of your home can really make or break the mood. Try burning or diffusing fragrances that are meaningful to you. Some of our favorites include cotton, balsam fir, orange, and vanilla.
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Warm drinks at the ready. Whether you’re a coffee or tea or hot cocoa drinker, having a tray or cart set up for an evening sip-a-thon will transform your space from cozy to COZY. I mean, who doesn’t dream of relaxing in their home with a warm mug of their favorite beverage in hand?
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As you can see, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how we can make our home a little cozier for the winter. During my browsing adventures, I came across many home decor items that I found both beautiful and cozy so I put them all in a mood board for you  with sources included. For now, my plan is to add winter greenery with some fairy lighting but our living room always feels cooler in the winter even with the heat on so I thought it would be nice to have a TV stand with fireplace. One can dream, am I right? Anyways, I hope you find inspiration in our little collection and in our simple tips for making your space cozy for this winter season.

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Sources: 1. Wayfair | 2. H&M Home | 3. IKEA | 4. Amazon | 5. H&M Home | 6. IKEA | 7. Target | 8. H&M Home

What are some ways you like to make your space cozy for the changing seasons? Tell us in the comments below and as always, if you liked this post please follow us and share!

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One Room Challenge: Week 6|Bathroom Renovation Reveal

Yesterday marked week 6 of Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge™ and that means it’s reveal time! We are so excited to share the results with you and see what other awesome bloggers have done. Seriously, after you’re done with this post go check out some of the other transformations. You will not be disappointed!

ORCI wasn’t able to take pictures sooner because we were out of the house yesterday and we have guests staying with us but I finally got around to it this morning. We thought we would have a little more time to decorate but time is up! There are still a few things we will be finishing up this weekend including installing the glass shower door, putting in the toilet paper bar (which will be back in stock at IKEA on May 14th), and staining the new window sill moulding but the bathroom is fully functional and oh so awesome. We also realized that we had not been properly linking up our posts to the Calling It Home site and we were a little discouraged that we had done all this work for nothing. But this renovation isn’t for everyone else. It’s for us.  All the sweat and blood (literally) that went into this project was for our family’s comfort and so before we get to the reveal, we thought we would recap our six weeks of hard work.

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Week 1 | Bathroom Renovation Preparation

IMG_1590Week 2 | Bathroom Renovation Demolition

IMG_1597Week 3 | Laying the Foundation for Tile

IMG_6453Week 4 | Mudding and Tiling a Bathroom

IMG_6526Week 5 | Tiling and Decorating a Bathroom

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that we ran into some issues that cost us precious time. Because of that, we literally spent every day this last week working well into the early morning hours in order to finish on time. In just one week, we grouted and sealed the entire bathroom, primed and painted the walls, assembled and installed the vanity and storage cabinet, installed shelving and lighting, cleaned and caulked everything, and had the plumber come and connect the plumbing. Was it worth it? Totally! Although some features were not our first choice, we are very happy with the results. As you will see soon, our bathroom is unrecognizable. The white subway and Carrara marble tile totally brightened up and opened up the space. It looks so much bigger! Our favorite part, however, is the accent wall in the shower. We cannot wait to bathe the babies and enjoy the beautiful view. Without further ado…

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What do you think of the transformation? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for other fun DIYs and projects. Up next is our summer garden 🙂

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One Room Challenge: Week 5|Tiling and Decor Inspiration

Today marks week 5 of Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge™ and that means we are less than one week away from the final reveal. We thought we would have a little more finished this week but with a grant application deadline that my wife needed to submit for, things got pushed to the side. As of now, all the tile has been laid on the floor and walls and we are getting ready to grout tomorrow. We have had our fair share of cuts and bruises (not to mention fatigue) but we are finally nearing the finish line and are so excited to share with you.

All right! Here’s what we have left to do:

1. Grout and clean the haze

3. Prime and paint the non-tiled walls

4. Install vanity, toilet, storage cabinet, and other accessories

5. Decorate and style

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Progress:
Einstein was really on to something when he came up with his theory of relativity. It’s seriously hard to believe that we have been working on this project for a month now! To recap: We demoed and gutted the bathroom, installed the new bathtub and had the pipes replaced, installed new cement boards and insulation, mudded and tiled everything. Tiling was not hard but it was tedious because of all the cuts I had to make. The good news is that grouting shouldn’t take more than a few hours (if we can actually settle on a grout color). After that the plan is to do minor touch-ups to the drywall and then prime and paint. If all goes according to schedule, we hope to install the vanity this weekend and get the bathroom ready for the final photoshoot.

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This past weekend we went and picked out our bathroom furniture from IKEA and it was a bit more difficult than we had anticipated. The vanity series that we really liked only came in two depths: 11″ and 19″. Both of these were on the extreme ends of what we wanted. Ideally, we were looking for something around 15-16″ to maximize storage efficiency and spaciousness. We found exactly that but in a color that we weren’t so sure about. In the end we had to make the sacrifice and go with this one in black-brown. The major upside to this was the vanity sink. Every single thing about the sink that comes with this vanity series is beautiful and perfect. Okay, I know I’m talking about a sink here but it truly is a thing to behold.

lillangen-sink-white__0381414_PE556140_S4The light fixture was something else that we had to settle on this week and we went with an inexpensive bath bar light and these awesome filament globe bulbs. It might look simple but with the specific lightbulbs we chose,  it looks really cool.

Decor Inspiration:
We put together a mood board of inspiring decor items from IKEA, Target, Etsy, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropologie. We are not going to necessarily buy all of these things but creating this helped us decide on the look that we are going for: something earth-inspired, calming, and with a splash of color.

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At the center of the mood board is a quote art that my wife made herself. It’s something our son always says when he’s splashing around in the bath and we thought it would make for a nice bathroom wall decor. We are also providing it to you as a free download printable. Think of it is a gift of appreciation for putting up with us and our crazy projects all this time 🙂

Printable Wall Art: splishsplash

Anyways, we could have shown you more progress shots but we will save that for next week. There’s nothing worse than a trailer that gives away a movie’s plot. The accent wall turned out more amazing than we could have thought so we will just let you revel in that thought until you can see it for yourself in next week’s final post.

Would you like to see our progress as it unfolds? You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for behind-the-scene videos!

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One Room Challenge: Week 4|Mudding and Tiling a Bathroom

We are hitting week 4 of  The One Room Challenge™ and that means we are less than two weeks away from the final reveal. Yikes! All the cement boards are completely up on the floors and walls and we are mudding as I speak (type). In other news, our accent wall tile arrived! And boy are we happy with the product. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that we were torn about what color to go with for our planned accent wall in the shower. We had to order it online and we made the split decision to go with the mint green arabesque from Home Depot. It was a gamble to order online because pictures can be very deceiving but luckily these Merola tiles are more gorgeous than we could have imagined.

All right! Here’s what we have left to do:

1. Tile and grout
2. Install the vanity
3. Install the medicine cabinet
4. Connect the toilet and sink
5. Decorate

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Progress:
I know it’s been a slow first few weeks but we are feeling the fire now and desperately trying to finish on time. This past week was spent cutting and installing cement boards on the floors and walls. We also got rid of the debris from the demolition over the weekend. The city that we live in opens the dump to the public on the third Saturday of every month, which is awesome because you can dump all types of material except hazardous chemicals. It’s super convenient and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. On the down side, I managed to get a nice scar on my jaw when a mesh wire from the cement boards caught my skin. Ouch!

Once the mud dries we will sand and then thoroughly remove all the dust so that we can begin tiling tomorrow. We will start with the floors first and then do the walls. Next week, we will be sharing a design board of some decor ideas and a fun little printable we have been putting together for wall art. Until next time 🙂

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Would you like to see our progress as it unfolds? You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for behind-the-scene videos!

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One Room Challenge: Week 3|Laying the Foundation for Tile

We are hitting week 3 of The One Room Challenge™ and boy has it been rough! We just finally finished the demolition this past weekend and up until an hour ago our bathroom was completely gutted. Right now we are seriously questioning if we can finish on time and that’s been a bit disheartening but we are pumped to make it happen. It’s called a challenge for a reason, right?! In this post we will be sharing why our progress has been slow as well as some mistakes that we made so that you can avoid them.

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Progress:
As you know from last week’s update, we had some hiccups with the walls because the tile wasn’t chipping away easily so we made the decision to take everything out all the way down to the studs. If you follow along on our Instagram stories, you might have seen how we completely demolished the walls and the floor in the bathroom. We also took out that hideous 300-pound blue tub (with help of course…that is why you have brother-in-laws!). With the walls and floors gone, we layed down the moisture barrier and plywood so that we can install the cement boards and tile. We have our plumber guy coming first thing tomorrow morning to replace some corroded pipes and get the bathtub and shower head/faucets all set up. Replacing plumbing wasn’t in our budget but now that we’ve gotten this far it doesn’t make sense to build something new on a faulty foundation. And those pipes were clearly nearing the end. Once the plumbing is all set, we can begin tiling!

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Issues & Concerns:
The reason that our demolition took two weeks (besides that we are doing this in the evenings with two kids) is that the removal of the tile proved to be much more labor intensive and involved than we had anticipated. This was an issue we had little control over. There is one blunder that we made, however, that cost us unnecessary delays. The bathtub. You see, there’s not much you can do without your bathub in place. During the entire brainstorming and design stage of this project, we focused entirely on the tile, vanity, and lighting and we completely neglected the bathtub! We just assumed that we could walk into a local Home Depot and leave with a reasonably-priced, 5-star tub. Yeah, no. Once we started looking into reviews and the different types (cast-iron vs. steel) we became so overwhelmed. Many of the good ones were not available in-store and would have cost us another 1-2 weeks of time if we ordered online. In the end we settled on a tub that had decent reviews and was available in-store. The awesome thing about it is that it is 2 inches deeper than standard bathtubs. It is now sitting in the bathroom so that the plumber can set it up and we can finally begin putting this room back together again. The lesson in all of this? If you’re ever considering doing a bathroom renovation on a tight schedule then have a bathtub selected and a plumber arranged to come before you start.

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Would you like to see our progress as it unfolds? You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for behind-the-scene videos!

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One Room Challenge: Week 2|Bathroom Renovation Demolition

Good evening friends! Today is exactly one week since we started our bathroom renovation project in conjunction with The One Room Challenge™ and so far we are still in the demolition stage. In this post we will be sharing our progress and where we stand currently. To be honest, I thought we would be done with the demolition by now but we all got sick and needed to take it easy. I didn’t want to be a hero and push myself past my limit so I took off the last two days. Slow and steady wins the race.

ORCProgress:
If you follow along on our Instagram stories, you might have seen that we already removed the toilet and the vanity over the weekend. The last major piece we need to take out is our bright blue 1950’s tub. We managed to remove the majority of wall tile from the existing cement boards only to realize that the mortar isn’t coming off as we had imagined. Considering the age of the bathroom, I’m not all too surprised. The good news is that we are a little more settled on the tile we will be using. After a recent trip to Home Depot, we really fell in love with this Carrara Matte tile for our floors. With white subway tile for the walls, it’s going to look great!

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Issues/Concerns:
Since I will not be sticking to the original plan of leaving the cement boards, I had to purchase a new blade for the angle grinder so we can cut through the cement boards and take them out piece by piece. Removing everything all the way to the studs is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good is that we will redo the bathroom with all new construction materials, we will be able to do a clean, solid job from beginning to end. The bad is that we will have to spend more $$$ on purchasing drywall and new cement backer boards. Considering that this bathroom is a small space, the additional expenses shouldn’t exceed $250 (and this is considering that I will also have to remove and replace the subfloor with new plywood & moisture barrier). We just really wanted to challenge ourselves to do this renovation on an extreme (but realistic) budget so we could inspire others who might not otherwise consider renovating because of the cost.

All this fun stuff with the walls and floor removal, which I had hoped I wouldn’t have to deal with, will add between 1-2 weeks to the job. As is the case with any renovation project, you have to be prepared for stumbling blocks and plan accordingly. Despite our setbacks, I think we will still make it out in 6 weeks. We sometimes get discouraged thinking it will take that long, so we have to keep reminding ourselves that we have day jobs and two little ones and that’s why we can’t just finish it as quickly as we would like. Until next week 🙂

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You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for the latest behind-the-scenes and videos of our progress.

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One Room Challenge: Week 1|Bathroom Renovation Preparations

We are super excited to share that this year we will be participating in our first ever One Room Challenge! Hosted by Lisa of Calling It Home,  The One Room Challenge™, is a widely anticipated biannual event every April and October in which twenty design bloggers take the challenge of transforming a space in just six weeks. Every Wednesday, the designers document their process while sharing their sources and professional advice. On Thursdays, guest bloggers, like us, can play along and support other guest bloggers that are also tackling a room renovation. We have been wanting to participate for a while now but last year we started our kitchen renovation much later than anticipated and so we weren’t able to play along.  We really hope we can get this bathroom done in the six week period but with two kids under the age of two and graduate school on our plates that is a tall order. We are diving right in regardless.

ORCLast week, in anticipation of this event, we shared two design boards and some bathrooms for inspiration. You can check them out here. We spent the last two days completely emptying out our bathroom and relocating to the bathroom downstairs. With me gearing up to start dissertation fieldwork this summer and my husband starting his MBA soon, we decided this project could not wait any longer because life will just get busier. Besides getting it done in under six weeks, we also need to stick to a tight budget. Challenge accepted.

Alright! Here’s what our bathroom looks like now:

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Ugh.  So much YELLOW. As a photographer, the urge to edit these images was intense but I wanted to capture the space exactly as is so we can all enjoy the final transformation. The wall tiles are still in great condition but they make the space so dark. We really want a bright clean look that white subway tile will definitely give.

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We started some of the demolition today by taking out the toilet, sink, and vanity. The tub will be next to go followed by the tile and then it’s all rebuilding from there. We still haven’t fully settled on the floor tile, accent wall tile, and vanity but we will be deciding in the next day or so. The feedback we have received from readers, family, and friends has overwhelmingly been in favor of Design Board #2 which is interesting because we are leaning toward white marble floors and black fixtures. I guess you will just have to tune in next week to see where we are in the process. You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for the latest behind-the-scenes and videos of our progress. Until next week 🙂

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