Gutting and rehabbing an old historical building - any experience?

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by Happy Boy, May 27, 2014.

  1. Happy Boy

    Happy Boy Silver Belt

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    Anyone done this?

    We own a nice duplex down condo with 3 full beds and bath which was full gut rehabbed and decorated right before we bought it. It was a rough area when we bought it in 2012, but now its gentrifying rapidly and we have Starbucks, Whole Foods, yoga studios and all vegan restaurants etc., all the trappings of yuppie town, and the place has gone up about 35% in value since then. A good investment, and one I wish to hold onto while it
     
  2. Kiddo716

    Kiddo716 Cubic Zirconia Belt

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    gutting the interior can be pricy, especially if you don't know what you are doing. I'd get an experienced contractor to give you a quote, make sure to get references and he's licensed. Have to be careful about older homes though, they may have hidden issues that could be very costly (unsound structure, bad electrical, ect.)
     
  3. Happy Boy

    Happy Boy Silver Belt

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    Do these things get unearthed at the official inspection, or is it something I had to identify, or someone on my behalf?
     
  4. Kiddo716

    Kiddo716 Cubic Zirconia Belt

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    sometimes the inspectors can catch obvious items, but they can't tell you if something is structurally unsound, just that you may want to get a professional to look at it. they'll hand you a list of items they see and recommend you fix. they aren't going to perform test other than turning on water and light switches.
     
  5. Happy Boy

    Happy Boy Silver Belt

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    That's interesting.

    Who do you get in touch with? What type of professional would be able to perform these tests properly and sign off with credibility on it?
     
  6. Kiddo716

    Kiddo716 Cubic Zirconia Belt

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    if you have a realtor, they would be able to give you some recommendations. other than that, go to the phone book or internet. a contractor would be able to give you good recommendations as to what would need to be done. be careful though, get a licensed contractor with lots of references. there are a lot of shady guys out there who will have no issue in screwing you over.
     
  7. Kiddo716

    Kiddo716 Cubic Zirconia Belt

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    first though, get the home inspected before buying.
     
  8. Pliny Pete

    Pliny Pete Puts Butts In Seats

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    I watch Flip Or Flop a lot which has pretty much made me an expert in home renovations and one thing I can tell you for sure is that no matter how much you think its gonna cost to fix up the house it will end up being at least 3 times that much because you'll discover all kinds of new problems as youre doing the job
     
  9. Mumrik

    Mumrik Silver Belt

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  10. Kiddo716

    Kiddo716 Cubic Zirconia Belt

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    also, since you say it's historical, check to see if it's on the historical building registry. if it is, then you'll have to take all sorts of precautions and be limited on what you can do to the building.
     
  11. Happy Boy

    Happy Boy Silver Belt

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    Yeah there is one in particular I am looking at that is a listed historical building. You have to apply for permission to alter the exterior in any way, the interior is fair game.
     
  12. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    If you have a general idea of what you want to do, you can have a walk-through with a contractor to give you a rough estimate. You will get an inspection before purchase, but you don't want to shell out the money for it until you know you are wanting to buy. The first step is to get an idea of what you want to do and get a couple estimates.
     
  13. Josh

    Josh Guest

    I've made good money completely gutting a place, it's certainly the best way to add value to a home. But I was able to do 95% of the finishing work myself, which is why I made a heap of money.

    That being said, if you do pay a contractor to do your work, it's essentially money in the bank in the form of equity.
     
  14. MusclesMarinara

    MusclesMarinara Friends with Bigfoot

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    I'm rehabilitating this goliath
    [​IMG]

    It's a 14 unit condominium (I'm the board president). We've replaced the slate roof, the rubber flat roofs, And have installed almost all of the facilities. The place was turned in to condos in the early 80's. They used the cheapest materials they could find. We've been paying for it ever since.

    My next step is to install LED parking lot lights and to up light the building.
     
  15. blokeybloke

    blokeybloke Prem Fred BMF Belt Holder

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    Standard Home Inspectors are generally useless, especially Realtor referred ones. The reason they get referred is they don't throw a spanner in the way of the Realtor's commission grab.

    Defineately research for a hands on independent General Contractor to do the inspection for you, preferably one who someone's judgement you trust has referred to you. He may not have the specific Home Inspection license but fear not, it's all a big con anyways and the Gen C will know far more than an Home Inspector and will have enough real time hands on experience to be able to redflag any major rework needed just by walking around the property. Home Inspectors don't stay Home Inspectors for long if they have a reputation for failing(read killing or even slowing down Realtors sales) inspections.

    I know a termite guy who has Home Inspection & General Contr license. He has a few Realtor companies for clients and the deal is he does an Inspection for selling couples who are desperate for escrow to close cleanly - he lists a bunch of cosmetic repairs needed to pass inspection - they're over a barrel with the escrow clock ticking - he says he has a gen c license but is really swamped but could prolly fit it in and get them through escrow in time - drops a huge repair estimate on them. And then also gets to tent & fumigate the place with his termite license.

    Great circular con.
     
  16. blokeybloke

    blokeybloke Prem Fred BMF Belt Holder

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    Watch a few episodes of 'Holmes Inspections' on the HGTV channel. You'll get a gist for just how clueless & shady Home Inspectors are . They're failed General Contractors who couldn't hack it.

    They know just enough to pass an exam though, so I put them slightly above Home Depot section leaders on the Construction totem pole lol
     
  17. ralphc1

    ralphc1 Steel Belt Platinum Member

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    You never really know what you have until you open things up to remodel. I'd get the city building inspectors to look over any property before purchasing.
     
  18. MadSquabbles500

    MadSquabbles500 Steel Belt

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  19. B Tapp

    B Tapp White Belt

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    IMO, I definitely suggest that you find out whether the home is listed in the historical building registry and figure out the codes that the city or area the home is in has in place. Otherwise, if you don't follow the city codes you can be fined quite a bit if you don't adhere to what they allow (this is primarily referring to electrical work that might need to be done on the property) or even worse have to redo what you had previously done.

    Also, as others have mentioned make sure that you get someone reliable to do the work. For example, if you have a contractor do an estimate of the property make sure that it is in print and not just written or scribbled about.
     
  20. The Special One

    The Special One Brown Belt

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    Are you closing on a place in Evanston or Winnetka/Glencoe?

    My wife and I grew up on the north shore and are soon to be in the same position as you. Bought a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in Fulton river district a couple of years ago but we looking to start a family soon and condo values in the area are skyrocketing so looking to possibly cash in while its such a sellers market and are now looking in north shore. Wife wants to be by the lake because she grew up by it, but that adds so much to property taxes...

    Regarding your place, the first thing I'd do is check for zoning/restrictions on the property. As you probably know, the city and the north shore are crazy about that kind of stuff so I'd be careful to check first so you don't run into any legal issues down the road with construction/permits, etc.

    Don't know of any contractors off the top of my head that specialize in historical rehabs but sounds like the kind of niche specialty that you'll want to make sure you get the right guy and not someone who is full of it re: their experience with such projects.
     

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