I'm going to copy/paste this from another forum I post on. I will disclaim that we are working with a GC/ electrician and plumber because of the magnitude of the project we took on we wanted to do this right the first time however all the demo was done by us and we've been helping them out as they go. While we are both capable of doing the work, the intricacy of Baltimore codes was prohibitive since I haven't worked in the city before. We've learned so much from this project that I can't wait to start another. I'll keep the dates included with each post so you can see the progress made and what we learned along the way and bold anything that was incorrect in our initial assessment. Anyway:
This is a house me and a friend of mine are working on. Pretty much got the deal of the century on it in Baltimore. It was a foreclosure that was a giant hassle to settle on but finally happened. In a nut shell the bank was asking 139k, we low balled at $87,900 assuming after countering we'd end up around 110k. Didn't hear anything for a few weeks until we saw it went up for auction. Well the auction fell through and the bank was in the process of being bought out so they accepted our offer in an area of Baltimore where the average home sale was/is $250,000+. We were ecstatic, even the realtor was amazed.
Then it got bad. The new bank started sandbagging the whole process refusing to accept the offer even though the previous bank did. They wanted us to pull our offer and reoffer $30,000 more! Finally after two months of waiting we settled paying the transfer tax and kept our original offer.
So from start to finish we looked at over 50 homes, put out three formal offers and finally ended up with our "dream house". A foreclosure in a nice area that needs updating but doesn't need to be bulldozed.
It's the first major renovation that we've taken on by ourselves. It's actually been a pretty fun process thus far doing the demo. We hauled out 2.5 tons of stuff the other day and will probably do the same again next week.
The house is a brick row home built ~100 years ago. 2 floors and a basement. It technically is a 3/1.5 but really is a 2/1 because the basement is only 6' tall.
Original hardwood flooring thoughout
3 homes for sale within spitting distance are listed at 285k, 325k and 355k respectively
Original oak staircase still in tact
200 amp service
Brand new AC unit (AC is actually pretty rare in these homes other than high end renovations)
Nothing other than the flooring and staircase is really salvageable
Original hardwood is under crappy linoleum
Each wall consists of brick (which we're exposing), plaster, 4 layers of wall paper, wood furring strips and wood paneling
Wiring outside of the AC run is the old nylon braid conduit style
Termite damage in the backdoor
(understatement of the year!)
Former owner had an unhealthy obsession with dragons
The kitchen sink leaked for at least a year onto the sink base but fortunately most of it was absorbed.
Has a 'fake' ceiling in each room below the actual ceiling
So the plan is to gut almost everything in the house. Off the top of my head: tear down the plaster, rip out the old wiring, reframe the majority of the house, rewire, address the lighting issue, new sheetrock throughout, sand down the floors and stair case and refinish and build a really nice kitchen and master bath. I'm sure I'm leaving out a lot but it's late and I'm tired.
The original pictures: