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Old 01-26-2015, 10:39 AM   #1
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


I'm going to make an offer on this house. Owner doesn't want to fix it with the insurance money, he just wants to sell it as is. Highest sold in the subdivision is 160k. Would I be able to save this house since the fire was just upstairs and most of the framing didn't get charged? Or will the city make me tear it down? I know there's no way to build a 2100 sqft house from ground and make a profit in this subdivision so that wouldn't happen. Thinking about offering 40k and I'm guessing about 50k-70k work. Thoughts?
This is in Georgia btw.



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Old 01-26-2015, 10:50 AM   #2
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?



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Old 01-26-2015, 10:56 AM   #3
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


You really need someone on site to look it over that that knows what there looking at.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:09 AM   #4
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


Everything except the third and fourth pictures is smoke damaged. Looks like the fire was mostly contained to the attic. The roof burn damage will need to be assessed for structural damage. You can't tell for sure from the pictures. It could be just a cleanup, seal it and add sister trusses for structure. Or it could need the whole roof removed and replaced. The rest of the house looks solid.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:18 AM   #5
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


I've seen a lot worse fixed.

As Joed said, most of that is smoke damage. Far from a tear down...but, plan on replacing a lot of drywall.

One of the hardest things to fix in a house fire is the smoke smell. Any drywall that has any smoke residue on it is going to smell for a long time. Plane on gutting all the drywall upstairs. That will let you asses any wood damage and fix any wire damage.

Do you know the cause of the fire?

The pictures are quite good...and revealing. Notice the fire line on the walls? You can see where the heat layer was. It shows you how the ceiling drywall delayed the fire getting into the attic. Notice the carpet? Or burned carpet? One of the reasons I don't have any in my house.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:19 AM   #6
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


From what i see, 50-70k maximum will get it fixed up, if it is structurally sound. But thats from my side of the monitor.....
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:24 AM   #7
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


+1

Looks (purely from a couple of pictures and devoid of a more proper structural investigation) to be a candidate for a remodel/rebuild vs. a full tear down.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:19 PM   #8
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


From personal experience.
Unless you are a contractor....
I would slowly turn and walk away.......
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:44 PM   #9
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


As most of the other posters have said it really does look that bad as far as structural issues go. In the worst case the local AHJ may make you replace all of the roof trusses, decking, etc. Other than that it's just drywall and insulation replacement and definitely some wiring replacement on the 2nd floor.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:43 PM   #10
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


No one has mentioned mold. That is always a problem. Mold and latent material expansion from moisture. If you can buy the whole shebang for the price of the lot and get the taxes deferred for a time, go for it.

The only thing I see wrong is the fire department got there too soon.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:02 AM   #11
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


I agree with most of the folks. I'd make an offer- one you know would make a profit.
I have been involved in a few of these from a plumbers view.
Fiberglass units need to be replaced, plastic piping repaired/replaced- mostly attic work.

The last one I worked on had several new trusses and a new roof. Complete drywall gut too
Another had a few floor joists replaced on the main floor. Hardwood floors gutted as well as sheetrock.
The smoke damaged wood was sealed with a paint product.
If its been cold there pipes may have froze since the power has been off so be prepared for extensive plumbing repair and electrical work too
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:34 AM   #12
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


The fact that you are asking tells me you are better off not getting involved. Leave this one for the pros to lose their butts on. One misstep and you lose anything that would have made this project a deal.
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:01 AM   #13
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


Based on the pics and if you can get it for your price I would say go for it. It sounds like your budget is in reason. Again from the pics a couple things I would suggest;

1. Hire most of the work done. Unless you have quite a bit of experience it will take you too long. And eat up your potential profits.

2. Even if you do hire it out be on site. You need to be there to make decisions and to keep things moving.

3. Think ahead. Some things need to be ordered like cabinets and windows ahead of time. You don't want the project delayed waiting on delivery.

4. Don't cheap out on materials. And don't overdo it, middle of the road for this project I would think.

5. Do your leg work. Check the comps in the neighborhood see what comparable homes sold for and how long they were on the market. You want your price too be for a quick sale.

Sitting empty will eat up your profits quickly and put you in the hole. Everyday it's empty the interest on your loan is building plus your monthly payment.
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:12 AM   #14
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ron45 View Post
From personal experience.
Unless you are a contractor....
I would slowly turn and walk away.......

What he said only I change walk to run.

The smoke smell is very pervasive and usually requires a full gut and framing seal even in rooms with no visible smoke damage. The only way the insurance companies manage is that they feed contractors on a regular basis and receive a significant discount over "normal" pricing. When you got to that level service upgrades become mandatory in most jurisdictions.

If you can't do a lot of the work and aren't in the game then your chances of breaking even are slim to none. I personally did it once doing 95% of the work and it was a very long 120 days.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:56 AM   #15
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Is this a tear down or can this fire damage house be salvaged?


You also may get caught in a catch 22 situation with the lender and insurance co. The lender will want insurance on the building to protect it's assets and the insurance co will want a complete building with signed off permits and inspections. Getting rebuild/construction insurance may be difficult if you have no track record or are not a contractor. Also you will need to figure in the carrying costs (insurance, taxes, utilities, etc) for the duration of the project up to the sale date

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