House #13: Some Details

September 2, 2009 · 8 comments

We put The Poor House under contract after looking at it for only 5 minutes (it was priced right), so I decided to head back there today to look at it a little bit more closely and to start putting together a scope of work…

Here are some additional details about the house:

  • First, some pictures
  • The house is in the same subdivision as The DIY House, and is relatively similar in layout, size and architecture.
  • It’s a 3/2, with a large finished room in the basement that could easily be converted to a bedroom if we added a closet.
  • The exterior of the house needs a LOT of work. In addition to a new roof and new gutters, it likely needs all new siding, a new back deck, and at least one or two trees cut down from the front yard (more on this below).
  • The interior is in decent shape. It needs paint, carpet, need fixtures and a new kitchen, and then there is some more serious work to be done in the basement.
  • The basement has a good bit of mold. We originally thought it was coming from the deteriorated siding (and it is), but it’s also coming from the concrete foundation wall that is allowing a good bit of moisture to enter the unfinished part of the basement. We’ll likely have to fix the water run-off above-ground (the gutter drainage and grading), and also do some interior water-proofing to keep the issue from recurring in the future. We’ll also have to do a bit of mold remediation.

I mentioned the trees in the front yard that may have to come down. This is made evident to me this morning, as I pulled up to the house. My GC was there waiting for me, and as I got out of the car, he was facing down the street with a startled look on his face. I looked over to where he was looking just in time to see a huge tree (likely 40-50 feet high) crack and fall right onto a house about six houses down from us…right through the roof!

We hurried over to make sure nobody was hurt (luckily, no-one was home), and upon inspecting the tree stump, it was pretty obvious that it was termites that brought the tree down. The fire department came out and ultimately the owners got the tree removed and the roof tarped by the end of the day, but it was a good reminder that the trees overhanging (and leaning towards) the front of our house need to be examined for damage and future risk to the house.

Anyway, assuming we do our typical rehab on this house, the cost will likely be between $45-55K, depending on how much we spending on siding, waterproofing, and mold remediation — all of which are highly variable costs that could come in relatively low or relatively high.

8 responses to “House #13: Some Details”

  1. Alex says:

    Wow! That tree story is kinda creepy. There are some large tree’s near our house–at least by bedroom isn’t anywhere near the tree’s.

    You know the worse the house is to begin with the better is always turns out. So if I’m right this one should be the best one yet…good luck!

  2. J Scott says:

    Alex –

    This one is probably the worst house we’ve purchased based on the exterior condition, but the interior isn’t all that bad (other than the mold).

    You’re right that the rehab pictures of the exterior will likely be fantastic considering how bad it currently is!!!

  3. Steve says:

    So you witnessed a 40 foot tree fall on another house? Probably glad it wasn’t yous.

    The house seems to have an open layout. Are you going to save the cabinets?

  4. Bilgefisher says:

    I know siding is a serious expense, but new siding makes a house stand out imho. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Isn’t it nice to take a community eyesore and turn it into a community gem. Improving Atlanta one house at a time. Good luck on this one.

  5. J Scott says:

    Steve –

    Yeah, very glad it wasn’t ours (not that it would have cost us anything, but we would have lost a good deal)…

    With all the rest of the finishing in the house being new, the cabinets would likely look very dated if we kept them (even if we refinished them). So, we’ll likely replace them and the counter-tops. We should be able to do it all for about $3500 (installed), so I think it will be a good value-add to the house…

  6. J Scott says:

    Thanks Bilge!

  7. Steve says:

    Ya – I would have to agree on the cabinets. Do you find yourself doing more fixing (and budgeting for more fixing) as you gain experience? I know on our first couple we saved some flooring and cabinets that we would have never saved now.

  8. J Scott says:

    Steve –

    It’s funny…my wife and I drove past the first house we ever sold today, and we were discussing how little work we did on that house. While we made really good money on it, we both said that if we had bought that house today, we would likely have done about 10x as much work on it as we did a year ago.

    Crazy, but yup, we tend to fix more than probably needs to be fixed…but, it likely helps us sell things more quickly, and helps us gain a good reputation. So, it’s definitely worth it!

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