Advice on Historic House.

18 Replies

So we have done hundreds of flips in the last decade everything from full gut jobs, tear downs, light rehabs, cosmetic rehabs you name we have done it, low end to high end. Saying that, it as been a dream of ours to do a cornerstone, epic, historical house. Meaning not even just a small historic house, but one that would also be a cornerstone historical house for the whole neighborhood. This was bought more as a pet project as well as an investment. We plan on spending at least year on this project as we want to take our time and enjoy it.

We have recently got this house in Atlanta GA. It is a corner lot right across the street from the park and just a block or so away from the Charter School.

Purchase Price was $225,000

Rehab Budget $250,000

List Price $750,000

If you have any advice or even opinion I would love to hear about it. If you have ever rehabbed any historical house I would especially like to hear from you.

Thanks for your input.

Andrew

Hey @Andrew Cordle , that's a great house! My first thought is you may need to raise the budget if you are going to keep the historical accuracy and details of the original house. I restored a large home in Virginia Highlands a few years ago and the best thing I did was take a lot of pictures and save at least one piece of each rotted trim detail. That way I could take it to a local millwork shop and have the molding or bracket or corbel recreated. The best thing you could do is take the time and expense to get the exterior trim details finished as they were originally. It makes all the difference in the look and feel of the finished product. Good Luck!

Check out Nicole Curtis ~ Rehab addict , if you are not already familiar with the show and the woman :) She has a passion for restoring historic homes, and has a lot of great advice on her show and facebook page... That is all she does, and I bet you would learn a lot from her ..

Find out what types of approvals you will need from the Historical Commission and how long it takes for them to approve.

You might want to track down your local architectural salvage suppliers and get an idea of things they have that you might want to use. Also track down who can do architectural reproductions.

As has been mentioned, if this is in a historic district you could be in for a fun time getting permission to change the exterior (Including color changes in some UDTs)

City of Atlanta means a long time getting permits.

DO NOT try and skimp on the design work. A good architect and/or design pro will charge you quite a bit, and it will be worth it.

We've done quite a bit of work on historic houses. I'd be happy to discuss it with you.

No suggestions other than to say i am so so envious. I have always wanted to work on a historical house, especially at the price you're getting it at. Most of my market is made up of stucco boxes built in the 80s. Generally not very architecturally inspiring.

Congrats on the purchase. As Aaron mentioned, dealing with the City of Atlanta means lots of delays. The City's Historic Planning Board delayed a rehab I was doing for 2 months because I wanted to change the function (not the size or color or look) of one window, on a basement level, on the side of the house, which you could not see from the street. Two months.

I hope you are a patient person with a high tolerance level for incompetence mixed with arrogance.

Please post some during and after photos.

@Mark Graffagnino

@Aaron McGinnis

Hey guys thanks for the input, this is for me is a lot more than just another flip. We have several of those going on right now matter of fact we are closing on a house in Old Fourth Ward and one in East Atlanta Village this Friday.

We are very excited to do this historic house in atl. we really hope we can make it a cornerpiece in Atl. I will keep you both posted as we go.

Let me know if you have any thoughts.

Andrew

awesome find with tons of character! I've worked on quite a few older houses just be ready for the challenges along the way.

@Andrew Cordle This one has lots of character! Beautiful features. $250k into this one and it should be back to it's old glory.

I assume you'll make back into a single-family dwelling. Do you have the old plans or is it obvious?

I think the 'pickers' would have a field day salvaging some of the knick knacks from this place.

Best of luck to you!

Rick

@Rick Baggenstoss

Hey man thanks for the input.

Have you been to this house before? It seems like you know quite a bit about it? The house is packed floor to ceiling of items. I will probably get some pickers to get by there.

AC

@Andrew Cordle one thing I'd suggest is that when you are into the inspections phase, make sure you get one of the newer "combo inspectors". These guys are specifically for small projects (like a SF house) and they can do framing plus all the MEP inspections in one trip (if all are ready). I've found these guys to have a much better attitude than the old guard guys who only do one trade and try to look for any reasons to not pass you, or to tell you why they can't do something. Combo inspectors make the process faster and easier.

Good luck. Looking forward to seeing progress photos.

Originally posted by @Mark Graffagnino :
@Andrew Cordle one thing I'd suggest is that when you are into the inspections phase, make sure you get one of the newer "combo inspectors". These guys are specifically for small projects (like a SF house) and they can do framing plus all the MEP inspections in one trip (if all are ready). I've found these guys to have a much better attitude than the old guard guys who only do one trade and try to look for any reasons to not pass you, or to tell you why they can't do something. Combo inspectors make the process faster and easier.

Good luck. Looking forward to seeing progress photos.

If you have actual experience in getting a 'combo inspector' in the city of Atlanta I'd be all ears.

Some places like Sandy Springs, Smyrna, and Dunwoody do combined inspections as a matter of course. As far as I know, there is no way to side-step trade-specific inspections in Atlanta.

Nice house there Andrew. Wonder where you found that steal...those guys must be good!

@Andrew Cordle No, I haven't been to or thru the house. I have great deductive reasoning skills. :-)

Nothing says 'pick me' like an white oak barrel keg sticking out of the side of the house. It's just over two gas meters and the 2 story deck are give aways for the duplex.

The turret and Victorian features places this house around Grant Park or Inman Park. Your price place it in Grant Park.

How'd I do? Do I get first pick?

PS - I, too, have house envy so I was looking up close at the pictures.

@Andrew Cordle

That's going to be a great project. Please keep us updated throughout as I'd love to see the finish product. Like @Summer Segeleon said, 'Rehab Addict' will give you some great tips on restoring old homes cost effectively definitely check that out.

@Rick Baggenstoss Your deductive skills left me in awe. That was amazing.

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