Considering buying a fixer upper home? In a world filled with do it yourself home videos and blogs dedicated to DIY, many people are deciding to take the plunge into homeownership by investing in a fixer upper. These homes usually cost much less than a renovated or new house, and once the place is fixed up, homeowners can enjoy immediate equity.
However, before you decide on that old rickety house and breakout all your tools, you need to first understand what you’re getting into. If you don’t have much experience with fixing up homes, there’s a chance you could overlook something so significant that it either blows your budget or makes the home unfixable. Before you buy a fixer upper, be sure you don’t overlook these areas.
Choosing a Fixer Upper Home? Essential Tips to Consider
Inspect the Home’s Foundation
The home’s foundation is one of the most important elements of a home. Damage to the foundation can make the home unstable, be the cause of flooding, or allow rodents and pests to get in and out of the home. Before you decide on a home, be sure that you thoroughly inspect the foundation. Go into the basement and walk along the walls. Look for signs of water damage, cracks, holes, or rotting. You can even look for signs of previous repair, as this will let you know that you may have a potential problem on your hands. If you find any issues, reconsider buying the house carefully. Fixing a foundation can be extremely expensive, as you may need to jack the house up in order to do so.
Look Through the Attic & the Roof
The attic and the roof can say a lot about a home, so you want to be sure you really inspect these areas before deciding to buy. Check the attic and look for signs of water damage or rot. If you notice any, chances are you’ll need to replace the wood in order to keep the home safe and stable. You should also check the roof for signs of damage. If you notice any gaps, holes, warping, or rotting, you’ll need to factor in the cost of roofing materials to your budget.
HVAC – Is the Heating and Air Conditioning Working Correctly?
Chances are you don’t live in an area that offers perfect weather every day, which means that you’ll need a way to warm up or cool down the house. Be sure that you inspect the current HVAC system that’s in place. Look for signs of damage, or even try turning it on to see if it works. You also should make sure the HVAC system is up to code or made to your liking. For example, if the home window air conditioning units, you may want to splurge on a central heating and cooling system instead. If you don’t factor this into your renovation, you could end up with a pricey fix on your hand.
Check the Plumbing Pipes & System
Having underlying plumbing problems can become a major expense. This is why it’s very important you thoroughly inspect the plumbing components of your potential home. Make sure you look for signs of damage, rot, or mold. You should also be sure to turn every faucet on and off to check the water pressure and see how the water drains. If you’re unsure of the home’s plumbing, you can always hire a professional to inspect the home’s system for any issues.
Don’t Make a Home Purchase Blindly
Having a fixer upper can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be a financial nightmare. Be sure that you keep a keen eye on these areas of the home to ensure you’re not buying a money pit.
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