Buying & Selling Real Estate Discussion

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Namon Thorn
  • Hammond, LA
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Wholesaling Fire Damaged Houses

Namon Thorn
  • Hammond, LA
Posted Apr 23 2013, 15:52

Hello BP Fam,
I have a question for anyone one out there. Has anyone ever wholesaled fire damaged houses before? Is flipping these type of properties any different from a regular wholesale non-fire damaged house?

Thanks
Newbie Namon

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Stephen R.
  • Investor
  • Fort Worth, TX
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Stephen R.
  • Investor
  • Fort Worth, TX
Replied Nov 14 2013, 20:38

You can wholesale a fire damaged houses to me! I will buy them. :)

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Erik Hitzelberger
  • Investor
  • Louisville, KY
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Erik Hitzelberger
  • Investor
  • Louisville, KY
Replied Nov 14 2013, 20:46

I also like fire-damaged houses! To answer your question though, no - flipping the house is not really any different. It's just a bigger project.

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Aaron Mazzrillo
  • Investor
  • Riverside, CA
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Aaron Mazzrillo
  • Investor
  • Riverside, CA
Replied Nov 14 2013, 21:29

What Erik said; you just need to factor in more money for rehab. Sometimes, the trusses can be saved if they aren't burnt that bad. I've never rehabbed a fire damaged house, but have several asociates who have.

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William T.
  • Wholesaler
  • Saint Louis, MO
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William T.
  • Wholesaler
  • Saint Louis, MO
Replied Nov 15 2013, 00:48
Originally posted by Aaron Mazzrillo:
What Erik said; you just need to factor in more money for rehab. Sometimes, the trusses can be saved if they aren't burnt that bad. I've never rehabbed a fire damaged house, but have several asociates who have.

Aaron, I have also thought about doing this also... Would you recommend starting out at a 50% or 60% - repairs for this property?

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Dyrol Harding
  • Structural Contractor
  • Coral Springs, FL
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Dyrol Harding
  • Structural Contractor
  • Coral Springs, FL
Replied Nov 15 2013, 04:21

Norman,

A friend of mine rehabbed a fire dammaged 2 family property in Brooklyn NY years ago (may be 12 years ago). It was a great deal for him in a competitive market for the following reasons:

1) He had, at the time 15 years of construction experience,

2) The city was a week from flattening the building because it was a hazzard so many invesrtors probabely stayed clear of it thinkinking it was too far gone to rehab.

Long story short, he spent about $30K on the building (doing all the work himself and sold the building a couple months ago for about $800k. There are definate pros and cons in wholesaling of rehabbing fire burnt buildings.

Cons - You need to make very good assumptions with your pricing. Repair of structural members such as joists, rafters and studs. Components like electrical or plumbing piping may be partially damaged or may need to be completely destroyed. Since there was a fire there is definately water damage (to get the fire out). So if the fire was on an upper floor the water can seep down to lower floors and damage furnace, water heater etc. Fire damaged buildings also have very strong odors that need to be addresses. So if you are not budgeting for a gut rehab you may get burnt (no pun intended). This obviously depends on the severityand location of the fire etc.

Pros - Because of the cons listed above you will more than likely have less competition. If you cover yourself on the repairs there is a lot more room for you to create value as a rehabber and this translates to profits. My friend ended up renting his 2 appartments for years and cashflowed beautifully. With these properties, depending on the market, you have the option to purchase for less than the land value if you have to tear the house down to rebuild. In NYC it is advantageous to keep at least the facade of the building so it is considered a renovation and not a new building. New buildings get reassessed for higher taxes than a renovation/rehab.

Conclusion - Make sure you are covered on the construction cost. Take an experienced contractor, engineer or someone who can tell you how much needs to be replaced. Could be a great deal but could also be dangerous if you are not euipped to estimate the work or execute the repairs required. Good luck. Please let me know what you decide.

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Aaron Foster
  • Investor
  • College Park, MD
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Aaron Foster
  • Investor
  • College Park, MD
Replied Jul 10 2014, 19:59

I've been a firefighter in DC and PG County (Md) for over a decade. I've been in numerous fires in my life. Insurance companies use firefighters to "bird dog" properties.  Fire damaged properties are easy money for insurace companies and I know guys up in baltimore who try to buy the fire damaged properties (Especially the ones that don't have the insurance and can't fix the damage). food for thought. 

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Account Closed
  • Investor / Developer / GC
  • Manassas, VA
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229
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Account Closed
  • Investor / Developer / GC
  • Manassas, VA
Replied Jul 11 2014, 06:03

We've done alot of insurance work on fire damaged homes/apartments/building. I would buy these properties any day of the week. Regarding costs:

Typically, the asset is not a complete loss. In these scenarios our costs can be similiar to rehab costs.

When the asset is a complete loss we can typically reuse the foundation and build new so, our costs are similiar to new construction less the foundation but add the demo. 

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Eric Robertson
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Homosassa, FL
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Eric Robertson
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Homosassa, FL
Replied Jul 12 2014, 07:38

Anyone actively buying fire damaged properties in North Florida?

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Michael Tucker
  • Investor
  • Bowie, MD
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Michael Tucker
  • Investor
  • Bowie, MD
Replied Apr 8 2016, 06:53

@Aaron Foster what are the best ways to find fire-damaged/damaged homes in the DMV? I'm interested in trying to develop leads but not clue where to start. 

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Asisa Berrios
  • Investor
  • Orlando, FL
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Asisa Berrios
  • Investor
  • Orlando, FL
Replied Mar 17 2017, 19:37

@Eric Robertson I am actively looking for fire damaged properties in Florida.  

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Jasmine Dixon
  • Chicago, IL
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Jasmine Dixon
  • Chicago, IL
Replied Nov 30 2017, 02:23

Anyone in Indianapolis Indiana interested in buying fire damaged properties? 

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Troy Fulks
  • Rental Property Investor
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Troy Fulks
  • Rental Property Investor
Replied Mar 18 2020, 18:41

I have a fire damaged property available in GA.