How I Bought a HUD Foreclosure, Rehabbed it, Lived in it, Sold it for Profit.
Back in Late 2008 the Real Estate Market was in Shambles.
I returned to Rochester, NY in September 2008 just as the financial markets were crumbling. All I had to my name was a short stack of silver and a bit of money from my IRA from my job at a hospital in Tampa. I was living with my best friend and times were uncertain. So I took a job at a local VW and Mazda dealership because I was already a Master VW salesman so I knew they would hire me on the spot. I also knew that I could not live with my friend forever.
So, with reluctance I asked my parents to help me buy a foreclosure. At the time the listings were full of them and if you had cash you were king. I found this old Kodak home just 300 meters from Kodak park. The neighborhood had a pond, easy access to the highway and a beautiful path that led to the Monroe County Zoo. I knew it was a good neighborhood so we put in a ridiculous bid of $19,500 which was below the HUD asking price. Since this was a new listing by HUD I knew that buyers who were planning to live in the house for two years had priority. We won the bid!
The Condition of the House was Rough.
- The pipes had burst in the upstairs bathroom during the winter and ruined the walls and the hardwood floors.
- The house had lead paint.
- The furnace was shot.
- The roof was in need of replacement.
- The windows were original single pane.
- The Whole House was dated.
Water Damage From the Pipes Bursting.
Stairwell with Water Damage.
Living Room Opposite.
Bedroom 1 of 3
The Price was Right.
When my team inspected the house they were really impressed. They figured they could remodel the whole interior for around $13k and make it livable. We were thrilled and gave them the go ahead. There were aspects of the house that really set it apart. The lot was huge because the houses behind were torn down to make room for the new highway. The former owner bought the remaining property of three houses which made my yard T shaped as seen below. Also the prior owner had installed a beautiful chain link fence around the property.
The House is Finished.
After about a months worth of work my team was able to complete the total remodel of the interior. We did not replace the roof until I sold the house in 2014.
Closet Turned into Half Bath.
If You look at the center column you can see damage from the water. We had to add a new support column.
My Tenants Dogs on the Trail to the Zoo that Crosses the Genesee River.
In the End We Sold the House.
I had the pleasure of living in the house for just over two years before I moved to Panama. For a little over a year I had a tenant. Due to the burdens of being landlords my parents and I decided we needed to sell the house. So we put it up for sale and it sold after about 4 months on the market. We had to drop the price from $95k and ended up selling for $75k. In the end it was a great investment because it allowed me to live for cheap in a safe neighborhood. We were able to sell for a decent profit that the tax man ended up gobbling up. If I had to do it all over again I would.
If you can do it avoid the temptation to buy anything for top dollar. I know it sounds great to buy a new house but sometimes a house built in 1910 is the better option. this house was solid as they come. It just took a little tender loving care to bring it back to its former glory.