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Living In Tallahassee

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    Renovation Mortgages & This Old House

    By February 27, 2023No Comments

    History of This Home

    I hope you can help me out. We have a listing on East Washington Street in Monticello, Florida, which we think is perfect for a renovation mortgage. We hope you can help us find a buyer who is willing to purchase this house, oversee renovations, and move in by this summer. This home has a sad story, but there must be someone out there intrepid enough to take a chance on earning equity immediately on this home in Monticello, Florida. Just a note on pronunciation, locals pronounce Monticello as Mont-Teh-Sell-O.

    When I first met this three-bedroom, two-bath home, the owners lived in Alabama and had left this home in the care of family members. You see, the wife did not like the little home very much. The house was built in the 1940s and is located on one of the main roads into Monticello. The owners had tried living here. Her husband, Mr. Gallon is from Monticello and still has family nearby. Mrs. G grew up in California, so it is safe to say that our small town is quieter than she was familiar with. While we have found a home here, small-town living is not for everyone.

    The Inspections Last Year

    Older homes have stories, features, and details that new homes do not have. Some of the antebellum homes in Monticello are on the historic registry. However, this older home needed love and attention to return to its beautiful self. The Gallons had lived in Alabama for many years and were ready to buy a new home there. So, we listed and sold this house for them last summer. We found a local who wanted to turn this tired home into the stylish modern home it was meant to be. So, we put it under contract and ordered inspections.

    The inspections revealed that the septic system had failed. When the home was built in the 1940s, the seller had put the septic in himself, and it had never been updated. That needed to be addressed immediately. The WDO found no termites eating at the house, but there was some wood rot in various places. While there appeared to be nothing structural wrong with the home, the floors were uneven, as is common in older homes.

    The New Owner Was Ready for Renovations

    These things did not daunt the new owner, who saw an air conditioner working well enough to make the windows cry, a solid roof, a dry attic, a large backyard, and endless potential. Mr. Brock had big plans and the vision to see renovations through. Let me tell you about the new owners now.

    The road I live off ends on the road named Brock, and it was here that Mr. Brock grew up. The farm is large and is the envy of many Southern farmers. My morning walks often brought me news from one of their friendly ranch hands. Unfortunately, we learned the family lost its patriarch last fall.

    Mr. Brock, the home’s new owner, had lost his grandfather. He was quite surprised when he learned he had an opportunity to pursue owning his grandfather’s home. This family home has memories and stories that mean a great deal to Mr. Brock.

    Unfortunately, that also means this home on East Washington is again looking for a new owner to love. In the past year, the owners have installed a new septic system, addressed the flooring concerns with foundation repairs, taken down many trees, and removed dated counters and countertops and closets. The owners would prefer to sell to an owner-occupant and are willing to cooperate and be patient to find this home the owners it deserves.

    Renovation Mortgages Are Perfect for Dated Homes Too

    The house has a 3 bedroom floor plan, though the owner had considered turning it into a 2 bedroom floor plan with bigger bedrooms. It is also possible to remove the ceiling in what is now the master bedroom and create all one level in the house.

    We have consulted with builders and contractors and have some ideas for future homeowners. In our plan, we would remove the ceiling of the master bedroom and use the second bedroom as the master bathroom. That’s the room next to the bathroom with a missing wall. We would turn that into a generous-sized master bathroom. That would make the master bedroom a huge 25×15 room that would feel even bigger with a high, sloping ceiling. Of course, that would include spray foaming the rafters to reduce the heat that the afternoon sun would bring.

    Before we go over our estimated budget, remember that these are only estimates. The prices will vary depending on finishes, costs of materials, and contractors. Buyers should verify all numbers for themselves. We added the roof to the list. It is not leaking but does have a discolored spot where the cast iron stove’s chimney was removed.

    Some More Details About the FHA Renovation Mortgage – 203k

    This house would be perfect for a loan package that is called a 203k. That loan is a renovation loan that allows you to purchase homes that need renovation. The buyer can borrow the amount needed to obtain the renovations they want. The house needs to be appraised at the higher price after renovations are completed. The downpayment on the loan is as low as 3.5% of the appraised value after renovations. There are timelines in place and most work is required to be done quickly. The renovation work is done after closing, and the bank will require licensed contractors to perform the work. There is significantly more work to obtain quotes and help the bank process the paperwork. It’s worth it though for many buyers.

    The Estimated Renovation Budget


    Finish demolition: $2,000

    Bring floors to one level: $5,000

    New flooring: $7,000

    Spray foam insulation: $10,000

    Electric: $8,000

    HVAC new duct work & service unit: $4,000

    Drywall and paint: $8,000

    Doors and trim: $4,000

    Miscellaneous: $8,000

    Total inside:  $56,000


    Driveway: $10,000

    Landscape & tree removal: $10,000

    Siding, shutters, wood rot: $10,000

    Roof: $15,000

    Total outside: $45,000

    Total in renovations of $109,000

    This would bring the final cost of the home and renovations to $269,000 for a large 2 bed, 2 bath home. The home would have new appliances, floors, walls, bathrooms, counters, and countertops.

    For a comparable sale, this home across the street closed in January 2023 for $383,000. It was built in the 1920s and is on more than half an acre. The house is also significantly larger than the one we toured today.

    If you are considering a move within Tallahassee or to Tallahassee, we would love to help.

    Contact us at:  850-203-0209 or email me at:  [email protected]

    Abbe Flynn, Ketcham Realty Group

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