Fire Damaged Auction Property

2 Replies

I’m looking at a property for sale at tax auction. The property sold at auction for $32k but before the deed was filed there was a fire in one of the bedrooms. Buyer backed out of the deal do it is going back on auction. I think I can get it for under $20k.

I can’t do a full inspection prior to the auction. I peaked through the windows and see the fire was in the front bedroom. Looks like the mattress was the source of the fire. Extensive smoke damage in the room. Thick black soot on walls and ceiling. Windows blown out. Sheetrock is intact. Minor smoke damage in adjacent rooms. Roof is structurally ok. No smoke damage out the attic vents so I don’t think the fire made it to the attic.

House is 1950’s single story brick. Pier and beam with crawl space. 1360 sqrft. Guessing the last reno was in the 1970’s so it needs to be redone anyway. Needs new roof because of age. I’m thinking new Sheetrock in the fire bedroom. New floors throughout. New paint. Update bath and kitchen.

ARV $75,000-80,000

Reno budget $20,000 - $30,000

Auction price $20,000

Meets 70% rule

What am I missing with fire remediation?

@Pete Harper

Most likely the smoke made it into the attic at least enough to cause you to have to redo any insulation in the attic, and potentially also needing to seal all of the smoke smell in the wood in the attic. Mattress fires are very smelly and the smoke is very thick so expect to have pretty nasty smell throughout the house. When you have a fire in a bedroom or anywhere in a house, it creates high pressure inside the house and causes the smoke to be pushed through holes, into ducts, electrical sockets, ceiling fans etc. so any hvac ducting will have to be, at the very minimum, inspected and cleaned.

It's really hard to get smoke smell mitigated. Unless this is the only deal in the county, I'd probably pass. It's doable per the above post but it can take a lot of work.