Take a chance to earn big

An investor took a chance on a “hoarder” house and reaped the rewards.

“I bought a house… it was sort of sight-unseen because the fellow I bought it from was a hoarder. He didn’t want people in his house, so (one) hurdle (we encountered) – I negotiated with him and asked if my real estate agent could go in,” Winnipeg-based Investor Lauren Gervais told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “My agent went in to see it and (he) said, you know what, I couldn’t see the walls, I couldn’t see the foundation, I couldn’t tell you anything about the house because it was so full of stuff.”

The Winnipeg-based investor took a chance on the property because it was on a double lot and, realizing the potential, pulled the trigger on a deal that led to some headaches. But ended up being a gem.

“It turned out the house was immediately on the property line and when we got the house, he hadn’t moved out yet. Seven people made a human chain pulling the stuff out of the house and then (the seller) showed up saying he didn’t have a chance to move yet,” she said. “Anyway, I had the house and all the stuffed animals, fishing tackle, taxidermied animals, all the stuff he left behind.”

Gervais said it looked like an episode of Storage Wars, which features treasure-hunters bidding on jam packed storage units often filled with junk.

She’s been an investor for four years and typically tries to flip four properties a year.

It wans't Gervais’ her first flip but it was perhaps the most interesting. It required several conversations regarding zoning laws, a massive cleanup, and a door-to-door canvass of the neighbourhood to explain to neighbours her plans for the property.

But it was worth the effort, according to Gervais, who purchased the property for $165,000 and estimates she will sell the lots for a combined $230-$240,000.

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