Rehabbing Condemned Property

Hi, All:

Does anyone have experience rehabbing property that has been condemned? Any successes/failures you can share?

I have looked at a few that are scheduled to be demolished, and as you can imagine–they look really bad! Was just wondering if they are a legitimate source for rehabs and not something “too far gone” to be fixed and flipped.

Your responses are appreciated…


The only way to figure out if they are “too far gone” is to see for yourself. I have a list of every single condemned property in my state. The first year we went county by county and looked at every single one to see if we could do anything with them. Now we only have to look at recently added ones. This can be a very legitimate source for rehabs (about 8% of my deals are were condemned). Some that are too far gone can still be money makers.

Here’s a success story:

I bought a 3 acre property from a small town that had an old farm house on it. The house was unsalvageable. I called the county police dept. and spoke to the SWAT commander to see if they wanted a free explosives and mechanical breaching course from yours truly (my background would permit me to do this). They had some of their team out of town at a private training school and couldn’t spare any other officers for training at the time. So I called the town fire dept. and asked if they would like to train using my house. They accepted! First they practiced hacking away at doors, walls, etc. then they lit the house on fire in a controlled burn. It was good training for them because the wood in this house was bone dry and went up like a match. The house was almost totally gone before they got it extinguished. The removal costs were minimal because the fire fighters burned most of it away and helped load the remains in what ended up being about a dumpster and a half. This event also made it to the local newspaper which helped me sell the land in less than a month. This was a win all the way around and it was a lot of fun doing it.


That is awesome. I would have never thought of those approaches. Just shows there is always a solution to the dilemma.

Nice Job!

I recently inspected a condemned property. It had alot of upside and was condemned only because the previous owners were growing weed down in the basement. The downside was that this home had no yard to speak of and had no garage. Otherwise it only had cosmetic work that it needed.

I’ve also heard about the burning down the house part also. I was told you can actually take it as a loss on your taxes!! I’ve heard conflicting things about this, but it was a tax professional that told me about it. I’ve asked a few other accountants and they weren’t too familiar with it so I guess it’s something that doesn’t happen too often, maybe someone else here can chip in about this.

Anyway a friend of mine checked into it and I guess it depends on where you live. Some towns won’t do it because they’re afraid of their people getting injured and then they’re on a life time pension from the city. He couldn’t find anyone in the surround towns that wanted to do it so he had to do it the old fashioned way.

Just saw this poat or I would have responded sooner.
We have bought one demo at an auction. We thought it was a 2 unit but when we were able to inspect thouroughly, only after purchase, we found that it was a three unit.
It needed all new electrical, all new plumbing, some flooring, carpet, paint, basement had mold issues that we addressed.
We bought it for $7,000. We put 25,000. into it. Our payment on that loan is 7% for 10 years and about 295.00 per month. Our rental income is$1260.00 per month.
I would do these all day if my husband would let me.
It took alot of hard work and one year as it was our first complete overhaul.
At another auction we bought a condemened for $3800.00. The sev’s put it worth 19,900. However we sold it quickly for $6,000. and took a loss because of closing fees and realator fees. I knew if we held it we would have made out but my husband was nervous as it was a two hour drive.
I would do demos anytime. I’ve just learned to stay in my county for my husbands sake!! ::slight_smile: