A US woman named Betsy Sweeney bought a 130-year-old house that was in bad condition for $18,000 in Wheeling, West Virginia, and then refurbished it into a nice abode.
The house was built in an area of 3025 square feet. And when the woman purchased it in 2020, the property had structural damages and bad water filtration.
“From the time I was a little girl, I always wanted to live in a big old house,” Sweeney said in an interaction on CNBC Make It.
While renovating the old house, she preserved some of its historical things, like Victorian fireplaces and a vintage bathtub. For the renovations, she took a $100,000 construction loan.
“In addition to being beautiful and cost-effective … I think historic properties are so important — not just for the communities that they’re situated in — but also just for helping people achieve the access to acquiring real estate,” Sweeney told CNBC.
How Sweeney used her investment ideas to great effect
When Sweeney bought the house during the COVID-19 pandemic, she still lived in a rented accommodation where she had to pay about $900 monthly.
Due to the bad condition of the house, she couldn’t get a traditional mortgage loan. So, she first took a $25,000 loan from a local organization and used it as a down payment on a $100,000 construction loan.
With the $125,000, she did the repairs, transformed it into a livable abode, and moved into the house. After that, she got the house reappraised at a higher market value and swapped her construction loan for a mortgage loan, which came at a lower interest rate.
Thus, her monthly expenses on interest payments came down to $700, which was lower than the amount that she was spending on rent earlier. At the time of mortgage, the estimated value of her house was $202,000.
Sweeney took another small loan of $35,000 to build a kitchen in the house. Therefore, in total, she spent $160,000 on the complete renovation of the house.
According to a report by Business Insider, Sweeney says that after all the refurbishment and construction, if she were to sell the house now, it would at least fetch $240,000.