Well that was Quick!! Ravenwood Finished

So I posted a semi-before video of the property at Ravenwood on Friday…. and now I’ve already got the after pictures for you to see. This renovation went real quick, and believe it or not it’s already sold and our new buyer has moved in.

We purchased this house as a short sale on January 21, 2010, had the renovation complete by February 12, and had our new buyer moving in on February 20th. That is lightning fast… but we did cheat a little bit. See ,we actually started working on the house about two weeks before we even owned it, a little risky, yes, but the rehab business is about taking risks. Also, we had been working with this buyer for a few months. She had wanted to buy our Plumtree Rd house and Lasalle St house but missed out on both those… so she was very determined not to miss this one. She saw Ravenwood before we were even done with the work and said she’d take it…. so it was an easy sale!!!

The house came out real nice… I’m not a huge fan of the color of the roof, but one half was brand new shingles (reddish brown color) and the other half of the roof needed to be replaced. So rather than tear off the brand new section we just matched what was there (the reddish brown shingle). My first choice is always a blackish grey shingle, this color looks awesome no matter what color the house is. The only time we really deviate from this is when we have to match an existing shingle… and honestly, I don’t know what some of these homeowners are thinking when they are choosing a roof color??? Shingle color is something I am very particular about, almost like a pet peeve, but I realize I am probably boring most of you so let’s get on with the pictures; (you can see the before pictures HERE)

Ravenwood St Springfield MA

Ravenwood St Front

So I just realized you can’t even really see the roof in these photos… just take my word for it.

Kitchen 1

Kitchen 2

Kitchen 3

Kitchen -- Again....

I took alot of pictures of the kitchen, I think it came out nice!! Check out the appliances, top of the line GE Profile… yes that is a Double Oven!!  We went even more over the top on the Fridge….

GE Cafe Series French Door Fridge

If you look hard enough you can see the little GE symbol on the Fridge is Red… this is the Cafe series…. and supposedly it is a step up from the Profile Series… which means it’s a real bad-ass fridge, almost better than Electrolux!!! Plus it’s a French Door Fridge… so that makes it even more awesome.

Kitchen Looking in from Living Room

Living Room

Dining Area -- Nice 18x18 Tiles on the Floor

Living Room from Kitchen


Tiled Tub Surround with Glass Tile Border

Shower Panel w/ Glass Tile Inlay

 We did the bathroom a little different here… We used a glass tile inlay and I think it looks real Sweet. You will see this in all our houses moving forward. Also we added one of those curved Hotel Shower Bars… a nice little upgrade.


Finished Basement

So, that’s about it for Ravenwood… In and Out in the blink of an eye, a real text-book flip. On to the next one!!

Ravenwood St Update

Heres a look at the short sale property on Ravenwood St that we bought a few weeks back. This video was shot after the first couple of days of construction. You can see all the before pictures here.

Crazy Week + 37 Mansfield St Final Video

The week started and ended very good with us getting two more offers accepted, one on Monday and the other on Friday. The first deal is an estate property that was brought to us by one of the bigger REO agents in our city. The house is in a little rougher neighborhood than I like, but this will be the third property we’ve purchased from this particular agent in the last couple months so I’m viewing it as a way to further solidify our relationship.

The second deal is a short sale that we received an approval letter for on Friday. This should be a pretty sweet deal but we’ve got to clear up a few little title issues before we can close on it.

In other news, after only owning the house on Ravenwood St for a little over two weeks, we’ve got the rehab finished and our new buyer is already moving in!!!  I’ll have pictures and videos of this property coming up in the next week or so.

OK… to wrap it up I want to post our final walkthrough of the fire damaged multi family home we did at 37 Mansfield St in Springfield. You can see all the before pictures here, and our initial walk through video here.

Check it out;

143 Lloyd Ave Update

Lloyd Before

Our property at 143 Lloyd Ave is almost done. The city came out and turned the water on for us yesterday, so now the plumber can finish up with his connections and can fire up the heating system. This house received new siding, new roof, new windows, and a complete interior makeover. The major change that we made was converting the existing breezeway into living space. This required insulating and sheetrocking the whole room, installing vinyl windows and adding flooring. This new spaces adds about 200 more square feet to our living area and will make a nice dining room or family room.

Here are some pics of the house as we are finishing up;

143 Lloyd Ave


Converted Breezeway

Converted Breezeway Looking into Kitchen

Kitchen 1

Kitchen 2

Eat In Kitchen Area


Living Room


Once the plumber completes his work we’ll put together a final punch list. When the punch list is complete the home will get cleaned, staged and to the market.

In other news I think we have the house on Ravenwood St sold. This was the Bank of America short sale that we purchased two weeks back. We started the rehab well before we officially closed, so by the time we actually owned the house the renovation was nearly complete. We brought a buyer through this week and she is ready to sign a purchase and sale. I’ve got videos and pictures that I need to post of this property so keep your eye out for those.

Hunting Down Short Sales and Deal Updates

Nowadays short sales are a dime a dozen, you don’t have to look too hard to find them…. but every once in awhile one will catch my eye that I really wanna buy. In order for a short sale to get me all hot and bothered it’s got to have a few key factors. First, it needs to be a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Secondly, it needs to be vacant. Thirdly, somethings happened to the house thats gonna make the bank motivated to move it, and will allow the BPO or appraisal to come in nice and low (i.e. burst pipes, hole in the roof, mold etc…).  

This was the case with a house that I’ve had on my radar for the last month. This particular property was located in a great neighborhood and had excellent curb appeal. It was very similar in style and location as to our house at 42 Wexford. I pulled up an old listing sheet on the house and it said the boiler was inoperable…. sweet!! I went by the house and peaked in the windows and saw the ceilings had caved in from burst pipes in the second floor bathroom…. double sweet!!! I figured this would be a slam dunk short sale as long as I could get in touch with the owner prior to the bank taking it back. I found a PO Box for the owner in Colorado and bombarded them with letters and postcards for the last four weeks. I finally received an email today from the owner telling me that they no longer own the house and to stop contacting him. “Well” I thought to myself… “he must be mistaken”. See, I checked the registry of deeds and the house was still in his name, and while the bank did file the foreclosure notice in October, they hadn’t actually gone through with any auction. I also checked all the auction sites and the public notices and the house wasn’t in any of them for the last four months. So I replied back to the owner letting him know that while the bank did file a foreclosure notice, there has been no auction and that he still owns the house and he can still sell it…. and further…. I want to buy it from him and lets get this thing rolling!!!  Well his response back crushed me. He said “I don’t know what the banks doing, but we deeded it back to them in lieu of foreclosure in December.” 🙁  DAMN….. thats the one thought I had when he initially said that he didn’t own in anymore, but a Deed in Lieu, who’s ever heard of a bank actually doing these?? I’ve been around quite few of these foreclosure situations and have never heard of a bank actually going through with a Deed in Lieu…. oh well… I guess they haven’t gotten around to recording the new deed, you know how fast these banks are. Looks like I’m gonna have to wait till it becomes an REO and bid against the 30 other investors that will be offering on it.

New House

On the deal front we just put this monster under contract to purchase:

Front of House

Eastern side of House

Eastern side of House

Western side of House

 Wow, She’s a real beauty!! This beast is 6 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and over 3,000 square feet. It needs a major renovation and its in a historic district, so we have to play by a whole new set of rules. The good thing is we bought it real, real cheap ($16,000), but the rehabs going to come with a very hefty price tag!!

We’ve got a few other rehabs finishing up that I could post about… but this is getting too long so I will save those for another day…..

 Peace Out

Gifford St Update, Sheetrocked and Painted

The Gifford St house is a few weeks away from completion. All the sheetrock is up and everything is painted. Now it’s time for trim, doors, kitchen cabinets, etc….. We have some outside work to do, like building a deck off the back of the house, but this stuff is gonna have to wait till it warms up a bit.

Heres a look;

209 Gifford St

Dining Room looking into Kitchen

New Staircase

Living Room

Dining Room

New Second Floor Bath

New Second Floor Master Bedroom

Deal Updates and Top Blogs

Wow, our little blog is getting some good recognition. Scott Costello over at the StrugglingInvestor.com put a list together of the Top Blogs: 8 Investors who are Crushing It and Sharing, and we made the cut.  Many of you are probably familiar with the other sites Scott features, all of which I like to visit regularly. Thanks Scott…. keep on coming by and checking out our work.  

On the deal front we finally sold 37 Mansfield St. This was suppose to close before Christmas but we hit a few delays and got it all closed up yesterday. Mansfield St was our biggest project yet. Doing a full gut rehab on a 3,700 square foot three family isn’t for the faint of heart…. but we got it done and sold. From purchase date to sale took about 7 months, which is a month over what we typically shoot for but with the size of the project that time frame is very good. After completing a job of that size I think we feel pretty confident that we can tackle most any project!!!  

42 Wexford Update

Well we’ve got about 6-7 houses that are all winding down and nearing completion…. which is pretty cool but also kinda sucks because I’m gonna have to stage all those. I’ve got about enough staging paraphernalia for maybe 3 houses… so this means we are going to have to do some shopping. 42 Wexford St is one of those houses that is getting close to being complete. All the new sheetrock is up, everythings been painted and the hardwoods are being refinished. Heres a look at the house so far:  

42 Wexford St

Living Room looking at Staricase

Dining Room looking into Kitchen with new Archway

Kitchen looking into Dining Room with new Archway


Full Bath

Master Bedroom

Finished Attic

One more look at the Archway

Sometimes when a house gets to this point you are wondering if it’s gonna look good when completed….  everything is still dirty and alot of stuff is half finished and maybe you start second guessing some of your choices…. but that is not the case with this house, I can tell right now that it is gonna come out amazing and I can’t wait to see it when it’s done.

Bank of America Short Sale Approved…. and Closed

Everyone thats ever attempted a short sale knows that there is nothing short about the whole process…. as was the case for the short sale we just closed on today. I met with this homeowner about a year ago…. January of 2009. It took two appraisals and 12 months time, but we got Bank of America to approve the deal and we finally closed on it.  We got a really good deal on this property, as is the case with most of the short sales that we buy, so it is definitely worth the wait. My strategy with short sales is to just jam them into our pipeline and sit and wait. I never know when they will get approved, or even if they will get approved at all….. but its always a pleasant surprise to get that call or email with an approval.  

This is another one that we started work on before we even owned it. A little risky, but we actually received the short sale approval letter in December and they gave us over three weeks to close it….. which really surprised me because usually they are drilling you to close within 10 days.

Heres a look at the property, located on Ravenwood St in Springfield;


Dining Area

Living Room



Roof Leak.... always a plus on a Short Sale


Garage Full of Junk

Basement Full of Junk

You’ll notice that this house had an active roof leak, which is always a plus when you are negotiating a short sale because the bank knows that no FHA buyers will be able to purchase the house. Use this as ammunition to drive the price down. 

I think we may have another short sale very close to approval. Should be another good deal, I’ll post more about it as things materialize.