Rehab Series – Madison (The Complete Package)

The Scenario:

  • A family in desperate need of a change of scenery.
  • A home in need of a major overhaul.
  • A complicated jigsaw puzzle with a sensitive timeline.

In summary, a family in need of a quick sale of their home in as-is condition.

From the seller:

“…we just didn’t have the manpower or energy to deal with cleaning up our place to sell, and just wanted to make a change fast.”
– Wanda W., Madison, WI (more below)

In this installment of our Rehab Series

We share the details of how we bought this Madison home, found a new home for the family to live in, worked out the financing for their new house, and made sure it all happened on their timeline.

No repairs, no cleaning, no people trouncing through the house, and no commissions or other expensive hassles to deal with.

See the before and after pictures and hear the story right from our client in their family testimonials.

We even disclose which contractors we used and some of the details from our eventual sale of the home.


Project Recap


The location of this home is near the intersection of Packers Ave and Commercial Ave in Madison right by some popular and trendy spots such as Tip Top Tavern and Dexter’s Pub. 

The house is unique for this particular location of Madison in the sense that it’s much larger than the surrounding homes.  Whereas this house has 4 bedrooms and 2,000 + square feet, the surrounding homes are small 2-bed starter homes and often are less than 1,000 square feet.

Client Story

*Disclosure: We never publish full names or property addresses unless our client wishes to share those details.  Privacy matters to us.

Normally, we summarize our client’s story as they elaborate on their objectives and needs throughout the process of working with us. 

However, in the case of the family on Mayer Ave in Madison, it’s probably best to use their extended and generous testimonial to us provided by both the mother and son as to how we were able to help them in their difficult situation. 

The bottom line on this one was that there were a lot of moving pieces to put together but we were able to pull through and provide a comprehensive solution for the family.

Before Pictures

Mayer Ave Madison Back Garage Before Rehab
Mayer Ave Madison Bedroom Before Rehab
Mayer Ave Madison Garage Before Rehab
Mayer Ave Madison Kitchen Before Rehab


From the mother and owner:

“We had lived in our home for over 30 years and raised 3 kids in our big house. After our kids were grown and long moved out, some back in and out again.

It was great then, but later there came to be a lot of unused rooms that soon began looking like storage rooms for things our kids left behind. But soon the clutter became overwhelming and unbearable to me. Hubby and I were both diagnosed with major health issues this year and we were overwhelmed. There was no way we could stay in this big house. We had to downsize as soon as possible. I knew there were ads out how people would buy your house as is for cash.

I was skeptical and looked at a few but came across the ad for a father and son team called Wisconsin House Buyers, LLC. Dustin and his dad, John. I knew I had to make the call. I explained we just didn’t have the manpower or energy to deal with cleaning up our place to sell, and just wanted to make a change fast.

They made a fair cash offer, but the bonus was they also work with a real estate agent on their team, Dan Breunig, who is fantastic and a warm human being. Dan helped us find a ranch home since we were looking to downsize. Then on their team is also a lender, Dave Leeder, who is also fantastic.

Working with these three guys, Dustin, Dan, and Dave was wonderful. Their teamwork made everything run smooth from start to finish. They were very professional and always explained and answered my questions.

We were told we could leave what we didn’t want to take, which was a huge relief to get out from under everything. Even my son, Anthony from California, helped and brainstormed with the guys for the best possible scenario for us up until closing.

It was the best decision I made for myself and my family. I am so glad I made the call! If you feel overwhelmed or trapped, give them a call and change your life!! Now is the time!”

Wanda W., Madison, WI

And from her son:

“Wisconsin HB are incredible! When my parents health condition changed we had to quickly look for a way to get them out of the house they’d lived in for 25 years and into a more appropriate living situation.

Their home needed repairs, was full of a lifetime worth of stuff, most of which was no longer needed, including things like old vehicles. Us kids collectively did not have the cash to put our parents in a temp home, spend the money to clean up and repair their house in order to list it for sale, while simultaneously finding a new home for them to live in which we couldn’t afford anyway until they sold the current house.

Wisconsin HB to the rescue! Not only did they give us a fair offer for the existing house, but they even helped us find a new home (through a partnership they have) and ensured that the two transactions occurred on a timeline that fit our needs and limited the amount of cash we had to dish out.

I had never considered a home buyer service before, but Wisconsin HB turned out to be exactly what we needed in every way. If you even thinking about it, you should at least have a call with them. Dustin and team are honest, fair, considerate and professional.

Even after the deal was all done, Dustin even checked in a couple times to see how my parents were settling into the new home – there no better example of their character than that!”

Tony W., Madison, WI

Problem Solved

Again, the family members above did a great job summarizing how we were able to put an entire packaged solution together for them.  During the process, we offered a number of other potential solutions to the family including potentially listing the property themselves with Dan or another agent in order to maximize their returns. 

The problem with that approach was that they didn’t want to prepare the home by cleaning the house out or making any repairs before listing it.  Those are often things that are recommended, if not absolutely necessary, depending on what the overall state and condition of the property are.

In the end, it seemed to come down to three or four main pain points that were resolved by selling to Wisconsin House Buyers:

  • They were able to leave everything behind that they no longer wanted, no questions asked
  • They didn’t have to make any repairs to the home
  • They were able to close on the date they wanted.  This was particularly important because of the purchase of their new house in Madison.  Our earnest money guarantee of $5,000 and the flexibility on the closing date were very important to them.
  • There were no added commissions or fees when they sold to us.

These are common objectives for the clients looking to sell their home to a local house buyer.

The Property Story (Rehab needs)

This home was a bit of an outlier for the area in Madison in the sense that it was so much larger than the other houses.  An additional asset to this property was that it burnt down in a fire in the early 2000’s. 

The result was an entirely re-built house with much of the more expensive items (roof, plumbing, electrical, HVAC) being in good enough condition that this was perhaps one of the easiest projects we’ve done.

Our entire rehab consisted of a massive cleanout of old property (we donated multiple truckloads) and filled six 30-yard dumpsters followed by a full deep clean of everything. 

As mentioned in the family testimonials, they had multiple health issues and were unable to dispose of much of the property themselves.  They also had a difficult time with the upkeep of the property.  So there was a decent amount of deferred cleaning that we were happy to take on.

At the time of this project, Wisconsin House Buyers already owned 3 other houses in the 53704 zip code in Madison, so at least our project manager and subcontractors were in the same local area much of the time. That made things a little easier to manage.

After Pictures

Mayer Ave Madison Kitchen After Rehab
Mayer Ave Madison Bedroom After Rehab
Mayer Ave Madison Living Room After Rehab
Mayer Ave Madison Basement After Rehab

The Contractors

As this was a relatively light job, we only needed a shortlist of movers and cleaners.  That being said, the cleanout took a lot of manpower and three full weeks of work to complete.

  • Dairyland Moving and Storage – These guys have helped us on numerous other jobs and are very responsive.  Their crew handled the cleanout of the seller’s personal property.  What couldn’t be donated to Habitat for Humanity and Goodwill was tossed using the help of Royal Container.
  • Raj Madison LLC Commercial Cleaning Services – Raj and crew did a great job.  They spent an entire week doing an extreme deep clean including the carpeting and windows.
  • Curtis C Lockouts – Curtis changed out all of the locks.  I know it seems like a small job but it’s just one more thing to do.  Best to bring in an expert and Curtis is always responsive and affordable.
  • Royal Container – Well, we needed a lot of containers and Royal did a great job getting them turned around one after the other so we could continue with the big cleanout. They are very responsive and flexible with scheduling.

Final sale

We went into the sale of this property a bit concerned that the deferred maintenance (some new flooring, painting, and relatively minor miscellaneous stuff) could be a deterrent for many. 

Our fears were quickly alleviated when we had the property listed for only a week before we received six offers all at full-price or higher.  It rarely turns out this way but the advantages of the larger size of the home and gentrifying location made this one appealing to many. 

What’s more, the buyer we accepted removed all of the contingencies from the offer (same thing we do on our offers to our clients) so we didn’t have to do any back and forth with inspection remedies, etc.

So, this one turned out to be a good project for us while also achieving everything the sellers had hoped for. Win-Win scenario, just the way we like it!

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