Fix and Flip Real Case Study - A Historic Home

Historic Fix and Flip Brings New Glory to an Old Beauty

Here’s the story of a Walnut Street Finance fix and flip team that converted a historic home in Maryland from a dive to a total gem. The results and benefits brought them out on top. Just look at the before & after!

Older properties can be exciting fix and flip projects. If not suffering any structural damage, they can have some amazingly solid bones and attractive detailing that can add appeal to potential homeowners. But, these sorts of properties can come with a boatload of work to bring the home up to modern standards and codes. Fortunately, there are resources you can tap into such as historic tax credits and funds at the federal, state, and local level, plus private foundations to help you upgrade a home. These can range from façade specific to “Go Green” initiatives. It’s worth doing the research when you’re working on a historic home, because you could otherwise  be leaving money on the table.
fix and flip before

The Fix and Flip Location

Fell’s Point, Baltimore, MD

The Flippers

These second-time fix and flippers were ready to breathe new life into an old dilapidated home in one of the Baltimore’s oldest neighborhoods.

The Fix and Flip Property

Located on the historic Baltimore waterfront, Fell’s Point is quaint and picturesque. It was established in 1763 and has over 161 buildings on the National Register. Cobblestone streets and cozy boutiques, plus an adorable year-round market give the area an enormous amount of curb appeal.

This colonial style two-story townhouse was built in 1830, but had fallen into serious disrepair. The flippers were up against a lot of work. Here’s a snapshot of the before:

The Fix and Flip Strategy

Properties in historic districts often come with a lot of extra hand-holding. The flippers wanted to restore the beauty of this townhouse while modernizing the amenities for today's savvy homeowner. Plus, they were interested in leveraging historic preservation grant funds. Being that this was only their second project, which came with an added level of complexity, they had to be sure they did everything correctly.

To avoid kick-back, which could be a total time killer, they thoroughly researched the historic renovation process with the city of Baltimore. Generally speaking, reviews and approvals with historic boards can take six-plus weeks. This team dotted all of their i’s and crossed their t’s, sailing through in fewer than four weeks. To save additional time, they remained active on the job site through the entire process.

If you are working on a project in a historic district and are renovating an old home, it pays to look into city, state, and federal grants and tax credits. The process and qualifications vary from location to location, but the benefits can help you tap into money that is set aside specifically for people who are trying to improve the value and image of a neighborhood.

The Final Flip

This team spared no attention to detail on the Fell’s Point townhouse. They ripped out the bathroom and kitchen, resurfaced the street-facing exterior, replaced all of the windows, installed a back porch, and added 200-plus square feet for a total of 1,298 square feet of living area.

Now, light and airy, the kitchen features quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a breakfast bar. Two bedrooms upstairs open out to the deck, and two and a half baths offer plenty of room for everyone in the house.
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