Buying a Fixer Upper
Buying a fixer upper and cutting back on finances is a great investment, but purchasing a home fraught with problems can lead to major dollar signs...if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fixer uppers can transform into lucrative profitability and wallets laden with cash, or shapeshift into money hungry pits of despair, riddled with flaws that can’t be fixed and draining wallets faster than a first time home buyer in a checkout line at Ikea.
So how do you know what to buy?
Buying a Fixer Upper
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll continue to hear it until the world ends. Real estate is all about location, location, location. Finding a low priced property or foreclosure in an up and coming neighborhood is your first step to buying a fixer upper.
The condition of a fixer upper falls into two categories: Flat Out Ugly or Full Blown Hot Mess.
Fixer Uppers that are flat out ugly are great investments because the majority of their issues are cosmetic and can be made over on the cheap. Wall repairs, ceiling fans, interior and exterior paint, laying carpet or laminate flooring, weatherization, replacing doors, window panes, kitchen cabinets, switch and outlet covers, or adding decks or screened porches can add major value to the fixer upper without breaking the bank.
On the other hand, you may run across a fixer upper that is a complete money pit whose damages require major funding. Expensive home renovations include structure or foundation issues, full kitchen &/or bathroom remodels, roofing, siding, plumbing, sewage, or septic issues, HVAC updates, electrical work, full window replacements, attic repairs, additions, garages, and poured concrete. Don’t buy a fixer upper in this condition without some major thought!
A home inspection is an absolute must when buying a fixer upper-or any home for that matter. A home inspection is a full review of the condition of a home by a certified professional. These professionals inspect the major renovations mentioned above and also take a look a the insulation and ventilation systems as well.Home inspectors can and will catch unnoticeable issues in a fixer upper easier than someone with an untrained eye. Another great thing about home inspections is that they can help in pricing negotiations if the fixer upper isn’t being sold as is. Be aware, there are several other specialized home inspections that can and should be done that aren’t included in a standard home inspection: pest inspections, sewer line inspections, and engineering reports for national hazard or geological disclosures all fall into the specialized category.