Probate Deal and Top 20 Real Estate Investing Blogs

Alot of you are probably familiar with the site It’s a great real estate investing site that features forums, articles and an awesome community. Joshua Dorkin, who runs Biggerpockets, recently put together a list of the Top 20 Real Estate Investing Blogs, and I’m proud to say that our made the list!!! There are alot of good blogs on there, many of which I visit regularly, so make sure you check it out.

Things are still cranking along with all our various rehabs. I think we are renovating 8 houses right now, with another two ready for construction. 

One of the jobs underway is a probate deal that we picked up a few weeks back, located at 51 Crystal Ave. This house was referred to us by an agent that we’ve bought quite a few properties from. We actually put the house under contract back in March, but we had to wait for the probate process to be completed, which took about another 3 months.

This is another gem. It had been vacant for several years and all the mechanicals were shot. We are going to be doing a complete rehab of the house, both the interior and exterior. It will get a new roof, new siding, new windows, new electric, new plumbing, new heating, new insulation, new sheetrock, 2 new baths, new kitchen, etc….. We are also going to be changing the layout a bit to make the third floor more accessible and to better utilize all the square footage within the house.

Now, I coulda sworn I took some before photos of this house, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. When I went back to get some the guys had alreay started the demo and the new roof was being put on…. so here are some pictures of Crystal Ave after a couple days of work….. Enjoy

51 Crystal Ave

Crystal Ave

The house looks like it’s brick… but it’s not. Thats a faux brick siding that they use to use back in the day. I think it’s made out of asphalt, like roof shingles. You can see in these pictures above that we already have the old roof ripped off and the new plywood is up.

There was a porch off the back of the house that we ripped off because it was falling down and unsafe. You can get a better look at that fake brick siding in this picture. 


Above is a look at the kitchen, which has been mostly gutted out.

First Floor Half Bath

Second Floor Full Bath

Second Floor Full Bath Gutted

Living Room


Master Bedroom

Dining Room

Stained Glass Window


This house is 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths with about 1,400 square feet. We’re gonna add some additional square footage and another bedroom. We bought this property for $25,000.

Real Estate Bootcamps and Business Updates


Wow, I haven’t posted in quite awhile…. I apologize as I’ve been in Seminar Land. 

I spent the last 5 days attending Than Merrills Marketing and Wholesaling bootcamp in Boston. I learned a ton of new info and met some great people. This is the fourth time I’ve attended this bootcamp and I always pick up new things each time. It seems like every year I go back our business is at a different point and I learn alot of new things that I hadn’t picked up on before.

I first took this bootcamp back in the summer of 2007 and really credit Than and his seminars in helping me put all the pieces together to get our business rocking and rolling!! I’m not sure when he’s going to be holding it again…. but if you’d like more info you can check it out HERE

Business Update

Even though we took some time off to attend the seminar we still managed to purchase 6 properties over the last two weeks! That’s pretty crazy!!!

We closed on three houses last week and three houses the week before. All six are rehabs so we now have our plate full with properties. I am way behind on the property updates. We’ve got quite a few houses now that I haven’t even posted on. I’m going to work to get some photos and videos together of all these projects.

While at the seminar I had some time to sit back and look at what we’ve accomplished in 2010. So far this year we have purchased 15 properties, we’ve sold 5, and have another 5 under agreement to sell in the coming weeks. Those are some pretty sweet numbers, and puts us ahead of our target of doing 2 houses per month. I think it’s time to up the goal to 3 houses per month!!

I hope all of you are reaching your goals for 2010. If your not email us with your challenges (, or post them in the comment section and we’ll try to help!!!

New Short Sale Closed and Self Directed IRA’s

We spent the last couple days in Boston at a Pensco Trust Company symposium learning about all sorts of different alternative investments that can be made using a self-directed IRA. There’s so much you can do with your IRA beyond just buying stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Did you know you can buy and sell property within your IRA tax free?? You can wholesale real estate contracts, buy rental property, give notes and mortgages, and buy tax liens.

Since the majority of our private lenders use self-directed IRA money to lend on our deals, we find it helpful to stay on top of whats happening in this area. If you have any questions or want more info on self-directed IRA’s leave a comment below or shoot us an email at

Now onto one of our latest short sale deals.

We started negotiations on the property at 35 Dorothy Ave in the beginning of January and had an approval by mid March. This is really fast seeing as how most of our other short sale deals have taken 6 months to a year to get approvals. I think this one went so fast because we were dealing with a small servicer and we had direct access to the Sr. Asset Manager who was very responsive and proactive in his approach to getting the approval. This asset manager would actually call and email us looking for updates if he hadn’t spoken to us in a few days. This is a very refreshing approach as compared to dealing with the likes of Bank of America or Citi, where every little task takes them 30 days to assign or review.

So we closed on Dorothy Ave right at the end of April. This is a real cute ranch home located in a great neighborhood in Chicopee.  It needs the usual updates; kitchen, bathroom, etc…. but the biggest improvements we are going to make is converting it from a 2 bedroom to a 3 bedroom and finishing off the basement. Adding bedrooms and additional square footage is a sure fire way to raise the value of any house!!!

Here are some pictures: 

This house will be renovated and for sale in Chicopee MA

35 Dorothy Ave, Chicopee MA

Garage - 35 Dorothy Ave

Overgrown Back Yard


Kitchen 2


Living Room

Master Bedroom

Well that’s it for now.

If you like our blog posts you can subscribe to the email update feature located in the upper right hand corner of the site under “Subscribe to this Blog”. This way every time we post something new you will be automatically notified, and you won’t miss any of our great updates!!!!

1892 Parker St Video Preview

Heres a look at our ranch located at 1892 Parker St in Springfield. I showed you the before photos a few weeks back, now have a look at the before video.


This house is now complete and ready for the market. I will post some of the finished pictures in a couple days.

House Flipping News Story Update

Our story aired on Thursday night during both the 6PM and 11PM news and it really came out great. Jen Thome with CBS 3 did an awesome job of putting it all together and putting a good, positive, spin on the story. I wasn’t sure just how long it was going to be, but it turned out to be over two and a half minutes.

Heres the link to the story that aired: (just click on it to open)

Local Company Flips Historic Homes

And here it is on Yutube:

On top of our company being on TV, Jen invited us to the CBS 3 studio so we could check out the newsroom and help anchor the 11 PM news.

Here are the photos of Dominic and I in action

Hampden Homebuyers on the news

Matt and Dom covering the Days Top Stories

Dom covering Sports

Matt Giving a Weather Update

Matt, Jen and Dom discussing all the latest Trends in Flipping Houses

We’re officially Famous….. so if you want an autograph just leave a request in the comments section below!!! LOL

Hampden Homebuyers in the News

You’ve seen us on Youtube, now it’s time to catch us on the Primetime News…Our story will be airing tommorrow (Thursday) night on the 6 PM and 11 PM news on CBS 3 here in Springfield. Next stop is A&E’s Flip This House!!

I received an email from the news anchor Jen Thome that read….  “Just wanted to let you know our promotions director put together a promo for the story.  It’s running on CBS now until Thursday.  It will definitely run during the news but should run other times too.”

Heres a look at the promo that has been running on CBS:

Pretty Cool!!

New House Flip – REO Rehab, Bosworth St Springfield

We purchased a new rehab property located at 8 Bosworth St in Springfield MA. This house was an REO that we bid on in early March. We wanted to close in 2 weeks but the bank asked us to push the closing out to a month. This seems to be the norm right now, we always write our offers up for a quick closing and the banks always ask to put the closing out for a month or longer. I guess with the volume of REO’s all these lenders are trying to process they can’t close fast anymore.

This house is a newer colonial (built in 1985) that had some burst pipes which caused a bit of water damage. It also had a real nasty pool that we had to clean up and fill in. We’ll do a new roof, a new kitchen, two new full baths, gut out the water damaged sheetrock and flooring, and add all new plumbing. The second floor bedrooms all had electric heat, so we are going to run a new line off the boiler and add hot water baseboard heat to the second floor.

We closed on this house a little less than two weeks ago and we are making real good progress. All the rough plumbing and electric is done, the sheetrock is up and the guys have started painting.

The nice thing about this house is we already have it sold. A buyer that fell in love with our house on Fullerton St, but was outbid, really wanted to buy one of our houses…. they also wanted to get in contract before the expiration of the tax credit. So we showed them this property when it wasn’t even halfway done and they decided they would take it!

Here’s a look at some of the pictures from this project:

New REO rehab in Springfield MA

8 Bosworth St Springfield MA

Nasty Green Pool

Flip this house Kitchen


First Floor Bathroom

Living Room

Second Floor Bathroom



The first thing we did was drain and fill in the pool. I thought we may be able to save this one because the liner was still good and it was holding water…. but it had some problems with the pump and some of the pipes buried in the concrete were cracked…. so we just filled it in. The good thing is the pool took up the majority of the backyard, so now we have a really nice fenced in backyard.

Heres how it looks now:

Filled in Pool

Filled in Pool


We’ll be testing out FHA’s new guidelines of allowing flips within 90 days of ownership, so we’ll see how that goes.

Flip This Ranch- New Property Update- 1892 Parker St

This is a new update on a property we started rehabbing back in January. I guess I’ve fallen a little behind with some of these houses.

1890 Parker St is a huge “sprawling ranch”. I like to call it an executive ranch, but some people don’t agree with me on that. We got this deal off one of our banners that we hang from our various rehabs.

This house was very dated and had a couple roof leaks, but overall was in fairly good condition compared to the properties we usually buy. The renovation plan is to really open up the floorplan by removing walls between the kitchen, dining room and living room. We will also do a new roof, some new siding, and all new windows throughout. The electrical turned into a bit of a problem. Alot of the wiring was done very half assed, and looked like the job of a “handy Home-owner”. There were buried junction boxes all over and exposed wires everywhere. So we are basically going to have to rewire the whole house, which we did not budget for. Other than that we will do a totally updated kitchen, two and a half new baths, fresh paint, some new sheetrock, new lighting and new flooring.

Here are some of the before pictures:

1890 Parker St

1890 Parker St Springfield MA

House for Sale Parker St

Parker St Springfield MA

We Buy Houses Springfield MA

Parker St Springfield with We Buy Houses Sign

Parker St House For Sale Springfield MA

Living Room with Walls marked to be Removed

Master Bedroom


Kitchen 2

Full Bath 1

Master Bath

Back Bedroom with Roof Leak

Finished Basement

This ranch is just under 2,000 square feet and it has 4-5 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 2 fireplaces and a finished basement.

So far it is coming along real nice. It should be finished within the next week or two, so I will post some updated photos and videos for you in the near future.