Renovating homes destroyed by vandals in Merced

FRESNO, Calif.

This video taken by a real estate agent shows the damage done to this foreclosed home in Merced during a so-called "sharpie party" back in February. Authorities say an evicted tenant and several friends covered the walls in vulgar words and images, and the graffiti wasn't the only problem.

Real Estate Agent Christal Phillips told Action News, "You could literally see a tunnel of holes going down through the bedroom walls, arrows were shot through that wall there, and they actually went through the house and hit the house on the other side, just floor to ceiling, destroyed."

Authorities arrested three men for the crime, including the former owner's son, Matthew Clements. But now the house has a new owner, an investor who spent more than $30 thousand to have a team of employees put in a new roof, carpet, cabinets, countertops, and more.

Garrett Lawry said, "I think it's amazing, when we first got started it just looked like a wreck, and to see it come together like this it almost looks like it was bulldozed and started over again with a brand new home."

Lawry has worked with Premier Acquisitions on projects like this since 2009. He previously painted new homes but had a hard time finding work after the housing market crash. He's thankful to now be fixing foreclosures instead.

"What's nice about this is we start to get into more things like the countertops and cabinets," Lawry said. "And it's given me an opportunity to actually learn some new trades."

Phillips, with London Properties, says this team has repaired and sold about 100 homes in the past three years. She feels these projects benefit the entire community.

"When we do them it brings the market value back up in the neighborhood and beautifies everything, and we employ a lot of people in the community, our local title companies get business our local lenders," Phillips said. "It's just a win, win for everybody."

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.