A Diamond in the Rough

Carey Gatto & Chelsea Gelinas
Carey Gatto & Chelsea Gelinas
Published on January 5, 2018


I see potential in every property I see. There are no bad properties. Every one has value and could represent an opportunity for someone. I once listed a For Sale by Owner property that was a large single family home in East Somerville. I always loved East Somerville since I began my career in an office near Davis Square in 2011. There are a lot of beautiful properties over there, and I felt the potential of that area was just waiting to be tapped. It is now one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city!

The couple selling this home had moved out several years before and were renting it to a motley crew of students. It was more or less a rooming house. It had 6 bedrooms, uneven floors, was overcrowded with thrift store furniture and always smelled of marijuana. Despite all that, I walked in and saw the spacious rooms, large windows and potential for a good layout, and I knew someone would love this house. It didn’t sell right away. While hosting the open houses, I saw many upturned noses before a young, athletic couple pulled up on their bikes and strolled through the front door. Instead of looking disgusted, they looked intrigued, and I knew this was a resourceful pair. I knew these were our buyers.

Sure enough, Jake and Allie made an offer, and although it started low, I was able to close the gap and negotiate a mutually acceptable offer. It was more than fair considering all the work the property needed.After closing, the new owners got to work renovating that property. Years later, I’m still in touch with that couple, and it is amazing to see what they did with that house. It now has a beautiful, custom kitchen, perfectly even hardwood floors, new windows, walls, ceilings, and not a hint of marijuana. And, this super resourceful couple even keeps chickens in their backyard. It was a huge project that cost more than they anticipated but their investment was ultimately a wise one. 

After the renovations were complete, they moved in and hired me to sell their condo, which they had bought several years prior as a foreclosure, fixed it up, and we sold at a premium.  

A year or so later, I was talking to another past client of mine, and as it turned out, he was looking to sell a 2-family home in East Somerville, which happened to be located right next door to my new clients. The place was rented out and he was wary of putting it on the market and disrupting the tenants. I told him, I might have a buyer for you.  I called up Jake and Allie. They were interested in investing the proceeds from their condo. So, I put together an off-market deal – a win-win-win. A couple of years later, they have renovated that property, and the value is double what they paid for it.






A Diamond in the Rough
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