My Friends Thought It Should Be Bulldozed

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This was the worst I've ever seen. This property was in such a run down condition that most of my friends thought it should be bulldozed. The smell absolutely knocked you over. (more on that later).

Hi, my name is Steve Stephens and I have been a Real Estate Investor for close to the last three years. I have been involved with ten projects now and most of those have been rehabs. This particular house came to me by way of my “I buy houses” classified advertisement. It was an old coal burner and every wall had this black soot and filth throughout the entire house. The grandfather that originally had the place, was a pack rat and collected everything imaginable. We literally had five full size dump truck loads of “stuff” that had to be hauled to the dump. In the basement there were seven old refrigerators, ten working and non working washer and dryer sets, eight T.V.'s and the list went on and on.

The collectibles in the basement were stacked literally to the floor joists. In the dining alcove they had another four refrigerators blocked in tight for the last twenty years so as to render the space useless. The toilet needed repairs fifteen years ago and never got done. The current owner was the son that inherited the place and he said that they used the commode all week then flushed it with a five gallon bucket on Saturday. Oh ya, and that smell I mentioned earlier, the unit was leaking for the last fifteen years, so this guys solution was to put a full sized garbage can in the basement to collect the urine and feces. And we had to move it. When we were remodeling in the bathroom, my guy fell through the floor and and landed up to his elbows in the muck. Needless to say he was not a happy camper.

But I had vision. I knew that this place had potential. And besides, I got the property for the dirt cheap price of $18,500. Additionally, I was able to trade straight across with another property that I had had only six months. With that one I had built up enough equity after getting it for no money down. So here I am, now the proud owner of my first fully paid off property that in reality cost me nothing so far but a little “elbow grease”.
I spent the next four months remodeling the place top to bottom mostly by myself. Since I knew that I was going to move into it, I was able to fix things up just the way both my girlfriend and I would like it. We put in everything that we always wanted in a house.

The bottom line is that now I have a beautiful single family residence that is brand new construction and just the way we like it. It cost me $18.5 in a trade and another $22,000 in materials and remodeling costs for a total of close to $40,000. Running comps from the area shows that this place is now worth $130,000. Boy I love this business. 90K profit and free rent for life. If someone three years ago had told me that I could really get a property for 30 or 35 cents on the dollar and then totally own it, I would have laughed at him. Just goes to show you that if I can do this business, surely anybody else can too.

Steve Stephens
Spokane, WA

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My Friends Thought It Should Be Bulldozed

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