Fire Damaged Property Rehab - Suggestions Please - Posted by Don

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on September 09, 2003 at 01:21:47:

Don–(MD)----------------

I can’t believe it. Two weeks wait for an inspection? Here in CA one day or two days is normal. Seems to me that the Baltimore building department is ill-run.

Good Investing************Ron Starr************

Fire Damaged Property Rehab - Suggestions Please - Posted by Don

Posted by Don on September 08, 2003 at 14:35:10:

Hi All,

I have a fire damaged property and I’m starting to renovate it. Fire was in the basement that took away the electric, plumbing, some walls, etc. It looks scary but really insn’t - rest of the 2 floors need very minimal work. Its just basement that needs to be really rehabbed.

My question is -
Do I have to show this property to any housing inspector (or fire marshall) BEFORE I rehab it or AFTER rehab gets done ?
My contractor is saying that I have to show this property to an inspector BEFORE we rehab it - I just feel that he is trying to get more work ($$) since the inspector will tell a lot of things right of the bat.
I talked with the seller (old experienced lady), and she said that I do NOT need to show the property to an inspector. She just said that “do what ya gotta do and then get the inspector to look at it”. Inviting an inspector before we rehab the property, is just gonna quadrapule the problems.

Lastly and importantly, I got the card in the mail from the housing inspector of that area, and I talked to her (nice lady), and told her that I’m re-doing the whole electric, plumbing, etc. And she said that it was fine, and to call her after the rehab gets done to perform a walkthru of the property.

So, with this situation I’m just inclining towards proceeding with the rehab and not worry about the inspector issue (and what my contractor is saying).
Can people please guide me in this situation.

Thanks All !

Don (MD)

Re: Fire Damaged Property Rehab - Posted by Pro Home

Posted by Pro Home on September 08, 2003 at 20:38:08:

As a contractor working in Balto., believe me when I suggest you pull permits for the job. Why go through the hassle when the inspections division stumbles across your project (and you know they will). You don’t need them to come in for a pre-inspection, only after each portion of work is completed.
Hope all goes well.

Re: Fire Damaged Property Rehab - Posted by JJ-KC

Posted by JJ-KC on September 08, 2003 at 16:54:52:

if you pulled a permit to do the rehab just have the inspector come out after the wiring & plumbings redone & before you cover the walls back up.

Here’s my views. - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on September 08, 2003 at 16:53:28:

Don–(MD)-----------------

Congratulations on what will likely be a very profitable venture.

I’m all for saving money. And I don’t always think city building inspectors are needed.

However, in this situation, I recommend that you do get in the building inspector. I don’t understand what you mean by “Inviting an inspector before we rehab the property, is just gonna quadrapule the problems.” Why would that be? You weren’t thinking of doing a slipshod job and then hiding things from the inspector were you?

Where there is a fire, some framing members have to be replaced if they are burned to a certain depth. This would be wall studs and floor joists here, I would think. If they are not too badly burned, they can stay. You have to know which can stay and which have to go. The inspector will tell you which is which.

Otherwise, you might rebuild things then later have to tear out the new work to replace some wood members you had left in that you should have pulled out initially. Are your really eager to do the same work twice?

I’ve been keenly interested in fire-damaged property investing, although I have not done any. If you could tell us what happened after it is done, I’d love to hear from you.

Good InvestingRon Starr*****

Re: Here’s my views. - Posted by Don (MD)

Posted by Don (MD) on September 08, 2003 at 21:28:00:

Ron,
I wasn’t trying to do a shoody job or hide anything but trying to do a sensible spending on rehab. If you’re in Baltimore you would realise what I mean by that - contractors up here are used/known to give outrageous rehab figures. The reason to avoid any inspector is just because not to hide things but to save time. Inspectors are also known to complicate things - like bringing in some kinda inspection for stuff that I can resolve by $100, something like smoke, smell curing. Its more about time, concentration to get stuff done that needs to be done and avoid more people, telephone calls, headache and all that back and forth business - just waste of time. With financing from a HML I just can’t kid myself with inspectors and their schedules - I mean there is just no way in the world that I’m gonna wait for a inspector 2weeks to tell me that I need to change/sister three floor joists (that I already know).

When I bought the property, the first thing that I had done was scrap the floor joists by taking the iron bar lying at the floor. And guess what floor joists were probably 2-3mm charred and the first level floor woodden strips are not that bad but some may need to be replaced. Today evening me and my wife were jumping on the first floor to see if we end up in the basement (which would really hurt ;-), but floor did not budge which means that the flooring is also sound.

The contractor gave a $10k rehab figure - everything included which is fantastic and means that I’ll get this under my belt for less than 20k. Man you can’t beat that one considering a monthly $1200 income from it (2 units).
We determined that we would scrape the floor joists and sister some of them if needed. I’ll write more details later in about 3weeks when I’m done with my rehab.

Thanks All,
Don(MD)

Re: Here’s my views. - Posted by Rick(MD)

Posted by Rick(MD) on September 09, 2003 at 14:16:19:

“Today evening me and my wife were jumping on the first floor to see if we end up in the basement”

That’s funny!! But I feel sorry for your wife. It’s ok if YOU ended up in the basement but please don’t endanger that woman’s life with your hair brained ideas :slight_smile:
(She must be a great Gal)