michael travis

Real Estate Agent sells Northwood Tornado House to its Owner

Real Estate Agent sells Northwood Tornado House to its Owner

Michael Travis—Your Waterfront Agent


Michael Travis was an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Portsmouth, gets a call from a lady in December, 2008 to sell her waterfront on Northwood Lake–well that part isn’t unusual since he is known as the waterfront agent (hence his website WaterfrontAgent.com)

But this isn’t your ordinary lake house—It has unobstructed floor to ceiling views —primarily because the walls were literally blown away from the deadly tornado in July 2008 that weaved a path of destruction from Deerfield to Ossipee. A dock slammed into the side of the house,—half ripping a 6 foot gapping hole in the second floor and the other half souring through the kitchen like a torpedo shattering everything. Only 3 windows in the house didn’t’ smash to smithereens. However, the bed in the guest room upstairs was still made.

You couldn’t miss this house from Route 4 since the walls on 2 floors of the north side were missing. For months it lay open to the elements while the insurance company was working out a settlement–and while thieves were working out removing anything of value including copper piping.

I was contacted by the owner to sell this tornado house. I told her she can’t sell it. It was clear she had been contacted by many unscrupulous people trying to steal it for nothing. Instead I put a good team together to redesign and fix the house. She liked the plans so much, she wants to keep it, and I am out of a job—sort of.

James O’Reilly, first generation Irish here, is the general contractor and one of the finest craftsman I know. He spent 20 years renovating high end units in Manhattan until he moved to his 76 acre mountain top paradise in New Durham.

Also working on this project are James Rowe and Brendon Madden (both Irish Natives) along with Michael Travis–a formally red headed non Irish real estate agent who helped with grunt work and who has discovered muscles never used before during the demolition work.  Thank God for Advil.

James O’Reilly is also used local Northwood talent Freddy Walker of Topo Tech Septic Design for septic design, and Fusion Mechanical for Heating & AC, Portsmouth’s Dave Walters of All Pro Electric, Lakes Region Designer Steve Melbourne for architectural services Instead of tearing the house down, it was rebuilt from the ground up including a new foundation—why—well the insurance company was a bit stingy on funds and the owner is on a fixed income. Besides it is fun digging holes in the frozen ground and mixing 6 tons of concrete with a shovel.

We recycled as much of the debris as possible. A local resident unscrewed and removed the old deck boards and old 2x4s – nails and all-for a project at his house. All the scrap aluminum and copper was recycled—(at least what wasn’t stolen)  Much of the scrap wood is being used for campfires for the summer.


This home now has a new layout, additional bathroom, larger windows to enjoy the view, a great kitchen and a new life of its own.

And I am out a listing.

No wonder the owner wants to keep it. I would too.

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