Frugal Flip named Harry

Harry Bellefonte!


Harry is our current flip. Yes, we name them! When I decided to do this blog, we had already begun this project. This house is a disaster! What do you expect when pay “next to nothing!?”  What you expect is a lot of Sweat equity!

Harry is a good investment! The basic structure and foundation are excellent. If you want to buy this house and take up P90X—- Harry can handle it!

Although he needs a total renovation. (We might get away with paint & patch in two rooms. Keyword: MIGHT) This house was originally listed for $32,900. When I found it on Zillow, it had been reduced to $19,900. We made an offer for $6,000, absolutely convinced that there would be negotiation with the sellers. BUT THEY ACCEPTED OUR OFFENSIVE OFFER! It had been empty for a little less than a year as the former owner was now moved to a Nursing home.  Harry was a six room house and all the rooms are quite spacious, with three down, three up plus a full bathroom upstairs. This house boasts a large porch and decent size yard. A draw-back of the yard is it is built into a 45 degree hill. It could be terraced with gardens, or left wild if the buyer doesn’t like lawn care.  The basement is small and unfinished, but there will be room for a very nice entrance-way, laundry, storage and a shop. There is also a street level garage which is quite spacious.

This is the back of the yard. So far the roof on this side is replaced, the lower window closed off, and the window on the left is now a door that opens to a deck.

The metal roof was rusty, leaking and in dire need of replacement. As you can see by the photo, the asphalt shingles are just ugly. Well, more than ugly, let’s say, in dire need of vinyl replacement! All the windows will need replacing as even though it appears storm windows were replaced in 1960’s or 70’s. They are ugly and inefficient.

These three renovations are the MAJOR expenses. Even so, the house will still cost less to renovate than the reduced priced that was being asked.  It will require a lot of sweat-equity, but we feel the investment is worth it. Let me ask a question: If you are going to replace a roof and install vinyl siding and windows for curb-appeal anyway, what does it matter if the house is in better or worse shape to begin with? Yes, there will be some insect damage . . . the house was built in 1930’s in Pennsylvania. Yes, there may be some rot, but I have a saw and replacement boards, don’t you?

Bathroom before

One really weird design issue of this house is that the third upstairs bedroom entrance was off the bathroom. In other words, you had to enter the bathroom to get into this one bedroom. After much deliberation, study, and allowing the house to speak to us, at present we will be making that room a part of the Master Bedroom. It will be more like a suite and a deck will be included in that portion of the home.

We will also add a powder room on the first floor. The kitchen will be modernized and a portion of the existing porch will become a part of the kitchen.

Good things about Harry!

The heating system appears to be in good order.

The electrical system has already been updated!

There is town water, sewer, gas and trash hauling.

Location!  Harry is only about one quarter mile from Tallyrand Park in Beautiful Victorian Bellefonte. Although there is an industrial complex across the street, it is well hidden by trees and is a quiet business.  There is a beautiful creek running along the road and the neighbors have lived in this neighborhood for years. The neighbors are quite friendly.  Penn State University Main Campus is about 10 miles away, so Bellefonte has become an extension of professionals, and educators involved with the University.

We know that this home will be flipped for a first-time-home-buyer. We also know that it will be purchased by someone who is physically fit and isn’t afraid of Pennsylvania winter, (or doesn’t know any better!) It would be impossible for someone that needs handicapped accessibility to live in this home as it requires 20 steps from the street to reach the basement level. An additional 11 steps to the first level and there are 13 steps to the second story. This is a reality that we need to reconcile with as far as our buyers will be limited somewhat—but aren’t buyers always limited by something in some way?

As we plan for renovation, we will keep all these things in mind. We believe that we will make a nice profit on this home.

There are many benefits of knowing that your potential market is first time home buyers. For instance, we do not have to install granite or marble in the kitchen and the latest appliances available, rather clean counters and decent appliances. It is very probable to purchase nice counters, appliances and other items from craigslist or other means. We will do our very best to provide a lovely home for our buyer. What a wonderful challenge and creative project this will be!

We welcome you to join us as we tackle this ugly home that deserves to be a really nice place once again!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by

Up ↑

Create your website at
Get started
%d bloggers like this: