House Flip Before and After – 93 White St

I haven’t done any of these cool before and afters in a long time. I’m about 20-30 properties behind ūüôĀ

I’m gonna make a point to get caught up so you can see all our beautiful transformations!


Here is a look at the before and afters of our rehab at 93 White St in Westfield. This was a fire damaged 2 family house that had sustained significant fire damage to the second floor unit. We ended up gutting both units and doing a full renovation.




Reader Questions – Rehabbing a Fire Damaged House

We’ve rehabbed alot of houses that have fire damage, because of this I get quite a few questions from our readers on renovating fire damaged homes.

These types of properties can seem very intimidating to¬†the new and experienced investor alike. You have multiple issues with fire damaged homes;¬†not only are you dealing with¬†the burn damage, but there is also smoke and water damage that come into play when renovating these houses. ¬†Because of this trifecta of potential problems we usually just look at most fire damaged properties as full guts…. this way there is little question as to what we can save and what we need to replace….. we just replace it all!!!

Below are two recent questions I’ve recieved from visitors to the site along with¬†my responses.¬†

I was curious if you could give some tips on rehabbing a fire damaged property. I am making an offer on one today and would like to hear from you about any ‚Äėgotchas‚Äô or unique requirements from buyers, lenders, fire departments, municipalities, etc.


My response:


Alot of it depends on the extent of the fire damage. Was it contained to one small room, or did the fire spread throughout the house?

We generally budget for a full gut rehab with all new mechanicals when doing a fire job. Once you have the house gutted out it becomes pretty easy.

Make sure you pay close attention to any burn damage to structural beams and joists. These usually will have to be sistered or replaced depending on the extent of the burn damage.

You can walk the building inspector through before you start the project and he will point out what he wants fixed and corrected.

Also be sure to work with a very good contractor that has experience with full gut rehabs and knows alot about framing and correcting any structural/support issues.

Good luck with your offer!!!

And now the second question:

Hey Matt

I live in Baltimore and am looking to do some similar things to what you and your partner are doing up in MAss. Can I get any tips on renovating a burned out place…Is there anything specific I need to do prior or during renovation? How do you deal with the smoke smell, do you guys like wash them down inside or once the drywall goes on it kind of encapsulates all that? Any kind of special testing group I need to bring on or anything?

And my response:
Most of our fire damaged renovations are full guts. So we rip out all the sheetrock, carpeting, electric, ductwork etc…..
The smoke smell is tough to get rid of. We encapsulate all the burn damage with an oil or shellac based primer/sealer like Killz. We are usually tearing all the sheetrock out so this is done to burn damage that remains on wood framing, ceiling/floor joists or the roof rafters. On one project we did the fire was contained to an upstairs bedroom and hallway. So we kept some of the sheetrock on the first floor. However I did notice that on really warm days I could still smell some of the smoke left in the walls.
Make sure you are working with a good contractor that really understands framing and building codes.

Hope this helps – Matt

Obviously theres alot more that could be said on this topic and each fire damaged property is going to be unique. The best ones are when you are dealing with a small fire that only burned a couple interior rooms. The more questionable ones are when the fire really spreads throughout most of the house and does damage to the exterior walls and burns up through the majority of the¬†roof. I’ve found that some of these can’t be¬†fixed or it doesn’t make sense economically to¬†rehab them, as the potential rehab cost far exceeds what the house will be worth when finished (especially in areas with lower priced homes). ¬†
You’ll notice that in both responses I made sure to recommend using a good contractor, as this will make or break your rehab, especially when your dealing with fire damage.

House Flip Update – 70 Glenwood St Sold

We put 70 Glenwood St on the market just over two weeks ago and it is already sold!!! We were able to get this done so quickly because we found that ever so elusive retail cash buyer. 

We met our buyer over at Glenwood St on Thurs. April 1st and she immediately fell on love with the house. She informed us that she had the cash available to purchase the house and she could close in a week. Well, that was music to our ears and we made it happen. After negotiating the price a little, title was ordered, inspections were done, and we officially closed one week later. Another bonus is she was not working with an agent so we saved a few bucks on that end as well.

Here are the final pictures of it finished and staged (you can see the before pictures HERE) … enjoy;

70 Glenwood St Springfield MA

Flip This House - 70 Glenwood St

Flip this House - 70 Glenwood St

Green Renovating - Bamboo Flooring

Porch Converted to Living Space. Archway

Stainless Appliances

Glenwood St Kitchen

Full Bath 1

Kitchen Looking from Dining Room

Full Bath 2

Bedroom with Shiny Hardwoods

Master Bedroom

Full Bath 2 with shower panel Body Jets

Beautiful Bright White Handrail and Railing

Well, I wish they could all be that easy. Two weeks exactly, from the day the property first hit the market, to the day we are at the closing table signing the deed over, that’s definitely a record that will¬†be hard to beat!!

70 Glenwood; Where Have You Gone

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while you may have remembered the property at 70 Glenwood St. This is the property with some major fire damage¬†where we completely knocked out the floor of the first level. If you missed that video you have to see it … click HERE to watch it!!

Well we hit some delays getting our heat on there because the gas company told us they cut the line at the street and they wouldn’t be able to fix it until spring time. Long story short, they finally sent someone to the house and realized the line wasn’t cut at the street and we did have gas to the house, however we lost a good amount of time because we couldn’t get heat to the house, which also meant no water.

So I have a video we put together awhile back, as well as some more recent photos of the property near completion. Heres the video:

And here are some pictures of the house nearly complete. This is the first property we started using those nice archways, we borrowed the idea from Tom Tarrant over at .

Check it out:

Living Room with Bamboo Flooring

Front Door Looking from Living Room

Kitchen Looking from Dining Room

Archway Between Dining Room and Kitchen


Full Bath

Master Bedroom

Finished Attic Space

New Main Support Beam

This house was a small two family home that we converted to a single family. It is now 4-5 bedrooms with 2 1/2 baths and maybe 1600-1700 square feet.

Next step is to stage it and get it SOLD!!

17 Bessemer Before and After

Heres a look at the before and after of the property we rehabbed¬†at 17 Bessemer St. This was our flagship deal of 2009. The stars seemed to align on this property; from finding it, to rehabbing it, to selling it…. everything went real smooth and the deal was very profitable.

The transformation was really amazing!!

37 Mansfield St – Final Pictures

37 Mansfield Before

The renovation work is totally complete at 37 Mansfield St. The property came out awesome and we found a buyer without even having to put it on the MLS. This property had alot¬†going against it; it was condemned, it was fire damaged, the porches were falling down, and it had some serious structural problems… but we fixed all that and turned it into a¬†real gem!!¬†With over 3,700 square feet, 10+ bedrooms and¬†3 full bathrooms¬†this was by far the biggest property that we have rehabbed. We started renovation of the home in June and work was completed¬†at the end of September. We ended up converting this property¬†from a three family to a two family.¬†This was a total gut down to the studs; we did new electric, plumbing, heating systems, roof, siding, windows, kitchens, baths, sheetrock, etc…..¬†¬†¬†

You can see more of the before pictures here and some video here.

Heres a look at the finished product:

37 Mansfield St- After

37 Mansfield After

Kitchen Unit 1

Kitchen Unit 1

Bathroom Unit 1

Bedroom Unit 1

Living Room Unit 1

Bedroom Unit 2

Third Floor Living Room Unit 2


I was amazed out how nice the hardwoods came out. When we first started work I didn’t think we were going to be able to save any of the floors¬†but our¬†hardwood refinisher was able to work some real magic on those old floors!!

So have another look at the before pictures here¬†and let me know what you think….

37 Mansfield St and New Deal Updates

Things are still moving fast and furious! We’ve had six closings over the last few weeks with one more scheduled for Monday. In total we sold¬†four¬†of our properties and bought two new¬†rehabs, with a third new¬†rehab set to close Monday.¬†

We spent today touring some of our projects with a couple of our private lenders from the Boston area. While we were out walking the properties we got two more offers accepted!! One¬†is a MLS listed property that we offered on Thursday. The second is a private owner that we met with on Friday and presented them with an offer. Both are looking to close ASAP so we’re gonna be busy getting everything together for these purchases.¬† These two properties are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. The MLS property is in terrible condition and will be a full gut. It’s real nasty and kinda spooky…. just like Bessemer and the Ware House were. The second property is a very light rehab; condition wise it’s probably one of the better houses we’ve purchased. It will need paint and light kitchen and bath updates.



I’ve fallen behind with the updates on the fire damaged multi family on Mansfield St. We’re almost done with this one and should be able to get it to the market next week.¬†Heres a pictorial timeline;

Insualted Walls

All the walls were insulated throughout the house.


The sheetrock was delivered and put on all three floors.


All the sheetrock was hung…. it finally looks like a house again!


Sheetrock gets taped and mudded (is that a word??) 


Vandals break in and completely TRASH all our new walls ūüôĀ

Just kidding…. thats a picture from when we were doing the Demo…. just making sure you’re still paying attention!

All our new walls are painted in our beautiful TAN


These pictures are from a few weeks ago. Right now all the hardwoods have been¬†refinished, all the doors have¬†been hung, everything has been trimmed out,¬†the bathrooms are in and we are finishing up the kitchens. I’ll have some more current pictures/videos pretty soon.¬†

¬†Stay Tuned………

Bringing Down the House… Part Deux

Heres a little bonus footage we put together to follow up on my last post.

*Warning: These are trained professionals, please don’t try this at home*¬† ūüôā¬†