Question about condemned house in Texas

5 Replies

I looked at a fire damaged house that is condemned by the city.  Fire started in the garage but was quickly put out.  Beside the water heater in the garage and part of the kitchen was destroyed, the rest of the house was untouched except for some soot and smoke.  Looked at the fire report and it was dated 2 yrs ago.  Didn't understand why it took the bank 2 yrs to foreclose on this property.  Put a bid in yesterday and called the city inspectors but didn't get a clear answer on what to do except there is a list of repair that I have to do to bring it out of condemn status.  Anyone have experience with this before?  Thank you for any advice.   


Was there and structural damage at all? If so you will probably need an engineer. I have done alot of these kind of deals. They make great money. You can email me with any specifics and I can prob help. I am a licensed contractor, so I can give general advice anyways. Make sure to talk to the city about what they expect. It has been over 2 years, they may require everything be updated to current code.

@Jeremy Tillotson  thank you for the fast response.  I went up the attic and looked around. There is no damage to the rafter, just the ceiling in the garage. The fire is mainly isolated in the garage and a little bit spread to the kitchen.  City requires that electrical, plumbing, and mechanical to be up to code.  Spoke to the chief inspector this morning and he said as long as there are no damages to the area and everything is up to code, he'll will remove the condemned status after inspections.  I estimated complete rewiring at 10k, plumbing is another 10k and structural at 20k.  Am I under or over estimated for a 1600sqft home  built in 1964?  This will be another buy and hold that I will pay for with cash.  Did I bit off more than I can chew?

I dont know the comps in your area, you will know that. Pricing is prob higher than you should pay, but budget high and try to come in under, things happen. Not surprised about having to bring up to code. Sounds like a deal, let me know if I can help you with anything. You didn't mention HVAC though thinking that will need redone.

@Kevin Tran 

I've done rehabs in Ft Worth and I think your estimates are on the high side so Yipee!  If the numbers look good to you now I think you'll be happy at the end of this project.  Btw what house size/rents do you get in your part of TX?

I haven't seen a fire damage rehab, with similar square footage, that could be done the right way, for less than 40K,  so you are probably on track, depending on status of the HVAC. Probably not a great first rehab project, unless you use a well seasoned GC, who has great rapport and track record with city officials and that can navigate the city permit process quickly. They can produce big profits if you buy and rehab right!

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here