Posted by HR on June 12, 2000 at 21:04:00:
Yes, I just finished rehabbing a fire damaged place. As a rule of thumb, you need to check to see if the fire torched the wood so bad as to render it brittle and structurally unsound. If so, you need to replace all that wood. Which may mean replacing many support walls, joists, roof rafters, etc. This can get very expensive quick and requires lots of cash. These are not minor rehabs. If you have done only a few rehabs, don’t try this. It’s advanced. I was too green to do this one, and I really lucked out on some things. I’m lucky I didn’t get hammered. Knowing what I know now, I would be very reluctant to do another. The fire and heat, for example, can destroy the soldering joints on plumbing and gas lines… replace all those too. Then theres ripping all the sheetrock out, replacing the roof, etc.
If you are real experienced, I think these can make sense. Then again (not to be harsh, but real world), if you were real experienced, would you be asking the question? Your answer is: if you can purchase the property at a price cheap enuf to cover repairs, purchase and sales costs, holding costs, contingencies, and profits, you can make $$$. But isn’t that true with all rehabs?
Fire damaged properties are just an advanced rehab. Beware. If you don’t really know what you are doing, you can get burned real bad (sorry; I coulden’t resist).
Just my 2 cents.