Yesterday I was invited to join Allen Moore of Mason McDuffie Mortgage in Berkeley for a tour of fixers. We met at one and for the second time in my life I saw a home that is not a likely candadate for the FHA 203k program. It was a very small duplex so right away it needs to be larger for FHA financing. The thing that caught my eye was the 3 x 3 studs on 48" centers and only 3/4" plywood where one side was the inside wall and the other side was the outside wall.
This was likely WWII housing slapped up in a hurry on a patio slab rather than slab with footings. Very light weight and with no real structural support. The last one I saw years ago was in Merced, CA where the 2 x 2 studs on 48" centers supported 3/8" asbestos board. You could see through the cracks between the panels into the inside of the home, the bathroom was the only place where any drywall had been installed. It was clearly on a patio slab with no footings. On this one I thought about installing a foundation footing all around the exterior and doweling it into the slab, then building a new home up around it on the newly installed footing and eventuallly swallowing the orginal houme as we removed it. HUD unfortunately nixed that idea. This home in Berkeley didn't appear to have enough property around it on the left side to be able to construction an exterior foundation.. too close to the property line.
Too small and can't be added onto as this home has no structural ability to build up and the lot is too small to build out.
Allen had refreshments at the site for everyone in attendance, too bad you weren' there...
These were very tasty snacks, enough for all who attended.
Then we started the caravan to see some other fixers that were certainly 203k properties, one is shown below
These properties are "perfect for a 203k loan"
When your client is looking for a home and wants to pay full asking price you don't need to be picky... there are lots of sellers willing to sell you a home at full asking price. The deals are still out there for those who extend their thought process and see the potential of a home that needs a little work. In most cases you are replacing floor coverings or cabinets and really making this "Your new home" by adding your touches unique to YOU. What a program, and Allen is your guy in Berkeley and surrounding areas.