Rehab Series – Mount Horeb (A Massive Turnaround)


  • Do you love a good turnaround story?
  • Maybe you want to see what it really takes to perform a major rehab?
  • Do you own a home with a bunch of repairs & maybe you’re not too fond of strangers stomping about your house?

Then this installment of our Rehab Series is for you…

We share the details of how we bought this Mount Horeb home that needed serious repairs and a pile of cash to get the job done right.

The seller, our client, didn’t have to make any repairs or even clean the house out!

BONUS: He even received a check after we were done with the project.

We hold nothing back. See the before and after pictures, our client’s story and why he chose to sell to Wisconsin House Buyers, the contractors we used for the job, and even the final sale details.

Project Recap


This house is located in the extremely desirable town of Mount Horeb on the outskirts of Dane County.  The property is pretty standard for the area as a 3-bed, 2-bath home with approximately 1,600 square feet.  This was the first Wisconsin House Buyers project in Mount Horeb.

Before Pictures

Mount Rehab rehab - Living room before
Mount Rehab rehab - Bathroom before
Mount Rehab rehab - Kitchen before

Client Story

*Disclosure: We never publish full names, property addresses, or other related client financial information unless our client wishes to share those details.  See our privacy policy here!

The gentleman that sold us the house originally contacted us all the way back in November of 2018.  He was looking for a local cash house buyer in Mount Horeb or Dane County and after reading some testimonials about us, decided to give us a call.

But we didn’t actually purchase the house from him until the end of May 2019.  He had obviously been considering the sale of his house for quite a while and finally followed up in early May to say he was ready to pull the trigger. 

He was aware that the property needed some serious work and wanted to sell the house as-is. In other words, he absolutely did NOT want to have to make repairs or have people trouncing through his house when it went up for sale.

His relocation to be near to his daughters in a different city was also of high importance. 

While selling the house fast wasn’t as important as it often is with our purchases, he did want to make sure we had a firm closing date.  After some extended discussions with his daughters about the prospects of the move and our cash offer, we were able to nail down a closing date that he preferred and he decided to move forward with us. 

Problem Solved

As noted, the client had some reasons for not wanting to list the property.  He was uncomfortable with the state of the property and didn’t want people coming through looking at his stuff or the property condition. 

It was important to him that he received a clean offer with a closing date that allowed him to get his things moved out and over to his daughter’s house where he was planning to stay for the foreseeable future. 

The primary pain points that Wisconsin House Buyers was able to solve through our cash offer were:

  • No cleaning and wanted to sell the house as-is – He was able to leave everything behind that he didn’t want to take to his new place and didn’t have to worry about a lot of deferred maintenance or repairs.
  • Our $5,000 earnest money guarantee gave him the comfort and security that we were the right house buyer in Mount Horeb for him and would follow through with our contract.
  • The right price – He needed to get a certain amount to pay off the mortgage and have some walking money.  We were able to come to an agreement where we paid a set price for the property, plus incorporated a 10% profit-sharing agreement after we sold the property which cemented the deal for him.  This is an add-on option that we offer when the circumstances warrant.

The Property Story (Rehab needs)

If we’re honest about this, our rehab budget exploded on this project. 

We spent a lot more than we had planned for due to some overlooked and unforeseen issues.  These are the types of risks we take on every project.  Fortunately, we were able to partly compensate for our missed repair items by selling the property higher than originally planned.

People in the real estate world often refer to large projects as a “full gut.” 

While this project didn’t quite meet those guidelines, it came pretty close.  We had to replace quite a lot of the plumbing, re-wire or add grounding tails in much of the electrical work, add a new metal roof, gut all of the flooring (including the subfloors) due to years of pet abuse, and completely remodel the kitchens and both bathrooms. 

And the was just on the inside.

Externally, we had a whole bunch of deferred landscaping work to prevent future water issues by adding retaining walls and creating valleys for the water to flow around the house instead of into it.

Ultimately, that’s how these projects go sometimes.  We’re super happy with how it turned out and are glad we took on the project despite some of the issues that came up along the way.  Take a look at some of the after pics below.

After Pictures

Mount Horeb rehab - Kitchen after
Mount Horeb rehab - Living Room after
Mount Horeb rehab - Bathroom 2after
Mount Horeb rehab - Bathroom after

The Contractors

The list of contractors is a long one on this job.  Part of our process with each project is experimenting with new licensed and professional contractors until we find the right combination of responsiveness, quality, and affordability. 

Let us tell you, it’s not an easy mix of characteristics to find. 

That being said, we’ve had the privilege of working with some great contractors and feel it’s warranted to give the credit where it’s due.  So the below list of contractors are those that helped us out on this job that we would continue working with in the future based on the aforementioned criteria.

  • The Electrician Inc – These guys are at the top of our list for electricians and are located in Mount Horeb.  They meet all of the criteria we’re looking for and would highly recommend.  They did quite a bit more work than we expected to have to do but came through for us in the end.
  • The Cozy Home Staging – We love working with the Cozy Home Staging group for all of our staging purposes.  Each of our projects are different so it takes a creative eye to put all of these pieces together and make it look good.  As you can see from the after pictures, these guys do a great job.
  • Clear Cut Lawn Care – Based out of Mount Horeb, these guys helped us with all of the retaining wall and landscaping work around the house.  It was a good amount of work and turned out nicely.
  • Cooper Plumbing – This is another repeat contractor for us.  Just as with electrical work, plumbing is never really what we would call affordable.  That said, Cooper is reasonable compared to many and they get the job done on time.
  • Pro Tech – These guys helped with a bunch of drywall repair and miscellaneous handyman work.  Another repeat contractor for us and they really came through on the timeline for us on this one.
  • J.Ds Roofing and Remodeling – Installed our gutters and downspouts.  Always do a good job and are very responsive and reasonable for seamless gutters.
  • Doescher Masonry – Provided some chimney brick and tuckpointing work that had been neglected for quite a while.  They were very reasonably priced and responsive.
  • Olson Heating, Cooling, and Appliance – Fortunately, we didn’t have any major HVAC work with this project.  However, we always try and do an inspection and get all of our HVAC and appliances cleaned and up to snuff.  They are reasonable and do a good job.
  • Top Hat – Chimney sweep and inspection service.  We got a detailed report and cleaning for a very reasonable price.  Very happy and would recommend and use in the future.
  • Two Witches and a Broom LLC – I think we finally found the cleaner we’re looking for.  This is something we do on all of our projects after construction is completed and have struggled to find an affordable and reliable option.  We’ll be a repeat customer.
  • Madison Sewer and Drain Cleaning – Got the job done right when we needed it and were reasonably priced.  Would definitely recommend.

Final Sale

Fortunately for us, it’s apparently somewhat easy to sell your house fast in Mount Horeb when it’s completely remodeled.  We received three offers on the second day we had the property listed. 

After accepting one of the offers at full price, we were disappointed that the buyers backed out on us.  We think they just got cold feet.  However, some things happen for a reason and the next day after putting it back up for sale we had an offer in hand, again at full price and with a family that loved the property and were sure to follow through. 

We ended up having to work through numerous minor inspection remedies but were able to close everything up and get a practically new house to a family that really appreciated what we did.

In the end and thanks to the full-price, quick offer from the buyers, we were able to pull out a small profit on this one.

As always, thanks to the Wisconsin House Buyers team and all of the supporting cast.

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