Skip Schenker with is at it again. Since we profiled Skip’s new video series about turning REO doghouses into dream homes, he’s come out with three more. The latest features a home in Irvine, Calif. We’d like to give you a sneak peak.

In this video, Skip interviews Sheldon Weinstein, the West Coast representative of national remodeling contractor Energy REO Solutions. The house is “a dog,” but has some great opportunities, the two note. The kitchen is circa 1960, but the two tell viewers to envision gutting the kitchen, adding new cabinets and taking out a wall to open it up to the great room.

The house has a nice greenbelt behind it and a neighborhood swimming pool out back, but the place also has some freeway noise. This house hasn’t even been officially listed yet, but Schenker gives viewers the name and contact information of the broker.

Schenker notes that the FHA 203(k) or HomePath renovation loan could finance a whirlpool spa for the master bath among other improvements. He’s using the videos to marry his love of filmmaking with his day job as a loan guy.

Other videos since we last visited Skip: One in Brooklyn Park, Minn. and another 1950s-era home, what he calls a “diamond in the rough” in the foothills of Fullerton, Calif.

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Do you have a real REO doghouse that could be turned into someone’s dream home?

If so, you might want to talk Skip Schenker of Benchmark Mortgage into making a video about it.

Schenker and John Sawyer from Energy REO Solutions, walk us through an REO residence, talking about potential upgrades that a new buyer could make. This house in Elk River, Minn., we learn, has “great bones” and sits on a 2- to 3-acre wooded lot.

Schenker hopes to educate both brokers and borrowers about the FHA 203(k) renovation loan via the videos. The FHA 203(k) can be used for upgrades such as new flooring or a complete kitchen remodel.

“As a teenager I loved film so I found a way to marry my passion for film making to my business,” he told REO Insider. The videos are designed “to help people visualize turning a dog into a dream house … and educate buyers and brokers of the power of the 203 (k) renovation loan,” he said.

“It’s not just a loan, it’s a life changer for the people who are buying these houses,” says Schenker, who has worked for many years with REO brokers. The Elk River home, likely to sell somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000, could potentially use another $50,000 in upgrades. Schenker said he can write a $100,000 loan with just a 3.5% down payment, with half that amount available for the remodel.

Most entry-level buyers don’t have the ability to fund large repairs that are often needed on REO homes, and that’s where the FHA 203(k) loan comes in. But Schenker also notes that the FHA doesn’t discriminate and high-income individuals can also qualify for the renovation loans.

Most videos, he said, will feature homes in the Los Angeles/Orange County area where he resides. He’ll walk through each home with a contractor or designer who can help viewers visualize how the house could be renovated. (He shot the Minnesota video while attending a conference there.)

He hopes to eventually accept video from brokers around the nation that he will edit and post.

Are you a broker with an ugly REO property that you want featured? Contact Schenker at 800-385-3503 or go to For now, there is no charge to be featured.

The videos, he said, aren’t just about boosting business. He said he’s also making them “to help revitalize our nation’s communities … and create homeownership opportunities.”

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