New life in 100-year-old home

Nov. 23—ANDERSON — Located just a few blocks west of downtown Anderson, a house constructed more than a century ago is undergoing a transformation.

Jim Grueser, owner of Big Head Industry, purchased the two-story home in October and hopes to have it completed by December.

The house when completed will contain four bedrooms, four baths, an expanded kitchen and dining room and a master suite on the second floor with a sitting room added to the structure.

A new two-car garage is being constructed along the alley to the north of Nichol Avenue and a 12-foot deck will be added.

By the end of the week the exterior of the house will be painted.

Immediately to the west of the house another couple is restoring another historic home.

Grueser said when work started to brace up the foundation the brick foundation remained level.

"I looked at this house a few years ago," he said. "The real stringent requirements they had for the historical society kind of stopped me."

Grueser said he has reached an agreement with the Historical Society to add energy efficient windows in the 100-year-old structure.

He purchased the house from a contractor that had planned to fix up the building and when he realized how big a project it was, Big Head Industry was contacted.

Grueser said a new roof was installed and the total investment will be about $215,000.

"We're going to flip it," he said.

"We have three projects taking place right now in Anderson and six crews working," Grueser said.

Since 2018 Grueser through his company has rehabbed 131 houses in Madison County, most in Anderson.

The company has three Airbnb properties in Anderson, and most of the houses have been sold.

"We bought a lot of houses on tax sale," Grueser said. "The original intent was to fix them and put a tenant in them.

"As the market got better, I would rather sell to home owners," he said. "Everything I'm doing is to sell to a future homeowner."

Jim and his wife Claudia moved from Orange County, California, to Indiana in 2013 to become full-time contractors and real estate developers.

They moved to Anderson in 2018 and started Big Head Industry with investors in California.

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