Historic Home Rehab

We’ve officially closed on the historic home and our renovation plans have been approved by the historical society. Our first job is to smash up the concrete pool deck, fill the pool in, clear and level the overgrown yard, and tear off the illegal addition built on the rear of the house. 

I was a bit surprised to find that the interior of the house is no where near as bad as the exterior. Don’t get me wrong….. it definitely needs lots of work, and it smells terrible, but overall it isn’t as bad as we first thought.

We are doing a full renovation on over 3,000 sq. ft., so this job is going to take several months to complete. The budget is around $75k-$80k, but hopefully our contractor can find a way to save a few bucks here and there. 🙂

 Heres a bunch of before pictures for you to look at:

Bowdoin St Springfield MA


Pondwater in Pool

Illegal/Halfassed addition built on rear of House

Overgrown Yard

Overgrown Yard

Interior of illegal addition


Kitchen pic 2

Kitchen Pic 3

Dining Room

Living Room

Main Hallway/Staircase

Full Bath 1

Full Bath 2

Half Bath

Bedroom with Fireplace

Bedroom 2

Scarface Bedroom

The REO broker told us that they took 8 dumpsters worth of trash out of this house just from the inside, and then they hired a professional cleaning crew to come in and scrub everything down…. and it still looks real nasty, and smells even worse. If you add up the cash-for-keys the bank had to give to the owners to get them out ($2,000), the cost of the trash out and the cost of the cleaning crew, the bank probably spent more getting the house ready for sale than what we paid for it!!!! Not to mention the $176,000 they lost on the mortgage they gave in 2006.  Hmmmm I wonder why all these banks are going out of business??

I’ll post some more updates of this project as things progress, as well as a few videos that we’ve put together.


13 Responses

  1. They loaned 176,000 on this!!???? Who was the appraiser for this, Stevie Wonder? LOL

    I sure hope you got this at land value or less, because this thing needs a LOT of work!! 🙂

    • Hi Tony,

      We got this house real cheap. The REO agent actually suggested to the bank that they just give it back to the city, but they were determined to sell it.

      Another plus is this house came on a double lot, so we actually got a seperate building lot with the house.

  2. Definately an awesome looking rehab–can’t wait to see how it cleans up. I’m sure the local historical society is mightily pleased with you right about now.

  3. Wow. [shakes head]

    And there are plenty more where this came from…sans an illegal addition or two.

    Idiots. All Around.

  4. You are crazy with those bigg ass houses man. That one would eat me alive. I try and shy away from 2 stories. Its super killer though, I cant wait to see it all buttered back up with the correct historical style materials. Its hard to tell from pics but I think thats the #117 siding that we have here still available, you should try and grind it down to keep the house correct. I know you arent using travertine in here right? I see alot of ceramics being cool with white shaker style cabinets. I’d try and save that claw foot tub as I am sure you are planning. A 6 color paint scheme outside too would be cool. There are some good historical paint colors online you can match. Great project, Have fun!

    • Hi Tom,

      No travertine in this house, thats a little too high end for this neighborhood.

      We will be saving the claw foot tub and we are trying to save as much of the original woodwork as possible. The problem with the woodwork is it is very nice and ornate, but it’s all so dark…. and I want to paint it all white!!! But I hear people like the dark woodwork in these historical homes.

      We are going to be keeping the historical integrity on the exterior of the house but on the inside we will be adding some nice modern touches.

  5. I. am. so. jealous. Would love to get my hands on something like this! Can I come work with y’all for a couple of months?

  6. Definately do not paint the woodwork white! My cousin just completed a historic Victorian rehab, and he’s winning an award from the local historical society (great free publicity for him and his flip), but keeping the original dark woodwork is a huge selling feature. He compensated for this by keeping all the walls very light, and it looks terrific.

    • Hi Greg,

      Do you have any pictures of your cousins house? I would like to see what he did.

      I guess I may have to abandon my usual colors here and go with the dark woodwork and something a little lighter on the walls.


      • Hi!
        I bought the Italianate house on the corner a few doors down from you (1030 worthington) last summer, which also needs a total renovation, but not quite to the extent of the one you bought…but my question is, who is your contractor? you said your budget is under $100,000? I would love to be able to find a good contractor for that price! Are you doing any of the work yourself? I heard you bought the house for $16,000, is that true? I also heard there was a puppy mill in that house at one point! This summer I am hoping to do the exterior of the house, and put a fence up. I hate the Springfield historic commission – they seem to be being much nicer to you than they are to me. I’m meeting with them again on the 15th for my fence. I thought they said that they don’t allow any new buildings to be put up – do you think they will let you sell the lot as a building lot?

  7. It’s going to look absolutely amazing with the dark trim and creamy white walls!! Can’t wait to see the pics!!!

  8. Sure, my cousin’s Victorian flip is 22 West Broadway, in Red Lion PA. If you Google it, the house comes up on the usual sites…Zillow, Trulia, etc. He just listed it for sale.

    It was totally trashed, but he took great pains to keep the original trim and decorative floors. He even found an old photo from the early 1900s of the front, and he rebuilt the porch to look just like the original (sometime in the 80s the original porch was covered up). He has a nice exterior color scheme, as well.

    I think rebuilding the original front porch is what really won him the historical society’s praise.

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