There are various reasons why you might decide to purchase a fixer upper. It’s possible that you’re buying your first home and if that’s the case you may not have a lot of money to spend. Purchasing a fixer upper is a great way to jump on the property ladder without spending a fortune. The other possibility is that you’re buying as an investment. Again, a fixer-upper can be a fantastic option because you purchase the home cheaply, fix it up and sell it on at a great price.
However, you can run into problems when purchasing a home like this. If you’re not aware of them that brilliant little fixer upper could end up costing you more than a new home on the market. So, what issues are we talking about here? Well, before we look at the problems that you might have after you buy, let’s look into how to purchase a fixer upper.
Finding The Right Home
The first thing you want to think about is the neighborhood. The last thing you need is to buy a home that you think is low in price due to the state of the property and is actually being knocked down by the surrounding neighborhood. There’s nothing you can do about a bad neighborhood, and for budding investors, this can be a real killer.
If you’re worried about the neighborhood, you can check out local crime statistics online. Make sure you find compare the numbers to a place that you are familiar with. If they are roughly the same, you can probably be assured that it’s not a bad place to live. Although, you might also want to rely on your own judgment. Have a look at the state of the streets and make sure to check for any vandalism near the street you’re thinking of buying on.
Of course, it’s not just about the state of the street but the people living there. You need to make sure that the people are friendly, particularly, if you’re thinking about moving there yourself. You certainly want to make sure that it’s a pleasant neighborhood.
Then there’s the home itself. First, is it the right price? You’ll be surprised by how many people are selling fixer-uppers for a lot more than they are worth. Usually, it’s because they know they have a lot of potential to the right buyer and so they can afford to gouge them a little on price. You want to buy the property at the floor asking price, the lowest they will be willing to sell at. The mark here depends on the individual seller and how eager they are to move. You might get lucky and find that the owner is desperate to get rid of the property.
If you are unsure what type of property to buy, don’t trust the agents. Remember, estate agents aren’t there to help you, they’re their to sell the property of the people they represent. As such, you can’t trust them as far as you can throw them. Instead, you should speak to a property advisor. They’ll be able to investigate the market for you finding the right fixer upper. While their services can be expensive in the long run, the cost is typically worth it.
You might think that the issues with the fixer upper don’t matter because, well, you can fix them? Be careful though because there are some problems that are more expensive than you probably realize. If you want an example, just think about asbestos. Asbestos can be found in virtually every home that was built before the 1980’s which is a problem because fixer uppers are typically older homes.
The good news is that if undisturbed asbestos is completely harmless. But you and potential buyers may be wary of living in a home with a problem that has been linked to cancer. To get asbestos completely removed from a property you could be looking at a bill of over 10K. That’s not the type of cost you want to take on after you’ve just bought a home.
It’s not the only major issue that you might want to avoid either. You might find that the pipes in the property are completely shot. If that’s the case they’ll need replacing and again, you’ll be looking at repairs somewhere in the thousands. So, this is another issue that you might want to avoid.
You can completely dodge houses with these issues by making sure you survey any property that you might be considering purchasing. A survey can seem like a waste of your time and money. It can also lead to someone else jumping in front of you and snatching the property away. But in this case, it’s better to be a little cautious and avoid a massive, expensive mistake.
Fixing Up The Fixer Upper
Of course, it’s possible that everything goes fantastic up until this point. You find the property you want in a good area for under a 100k. It definitely needs some TLC but most of this issues are cosmetic, so it’s not going to cost you a fortune. You’re happy, and you have decided to buy. Once you move into the property the fun really begins because there could be a whole host of issues that you weren’t prepared for. Here are a few of the things that can be missed or ignored on a survey.
First, you should think about tackling the cosmetic issues and the eyesores. This is particularly important if, rather than living in the home, you’re hoping to sell it on. Buyers always care about the little details and the slightest problem can stop them from buying.
Focus on the exterior first. One of the most common origin stories for a fixer upper is that the previous resident has passed away. They’ve left the home to a relative who hasn’t known what to do with it. As such, they’ve just left it completely abandoned. The gardens probably overgrown and there might be moss all over the roof. A buyer is never going to purchase a home in this state unless like you they were looking for an investment opportunity. And, you probably don’t want to live in a house in this condition either. It can be embarrassing when you see neighbors staring at your home. If you want to learn how to remove moss from a roof with roof wash visit A Cleaner Choice for some fantastic little tips. You should easily be able to solve this issue. As for other problems, well all it really takes is a little elbow grease to make a garden look beautiful and picture perfect. Although, if you don’t want to do the work yourself, you can always hire a landscaper. They’ll complete this job for you and make sure that you have a garden and home exterior that you can be proud of
What about inside the fixer upper? Well, you can have some fairly typical wear and tear issues as well as other problems like damp walls. If you do buy a property with dampness issues, you should think about purchasing a humidifier. With a humidifier, you can clear up the dampness issues. Although, what you really need to be concerned with are the problems that could lie underneath the surface. If you have damp in your home, there’s a good chance that insects and bugs are present too. To solve this issue, you have two options.
Either, you can get in a professional exterminator which is beneficial if it’s a widespread infestation. Or, you can use sprays around the cracks and crevices in the home. This should clear up any problem in no time.
Keeping Costs Low
If you bought the fixer-upper with the intended purpose of selling it on, you do need to think about how to keep costs low. It’s important that you don’t burn a massive hole in your budget when you are trying to ensure that the property looks stunning and ready for a sale.
One of the ways to do this is to purchase wholesale furniture. You can have a look online at different sellers of this type of furniture, and if you’re lucky, you should be able to keep the bills for decorating at a few hundred. Rather than hiring an expert, try to complete most of the work on the home yourself. This won’t always be possible, particularly if there are major issues, but in most cases, you should be able to solve the problems using online DIY guides.
Finally, you’ll have a house that resembles a home. At that point, it’s up to you what you do with it. You can sell it on to make a profit and perhaps then purchase a new property. Or, you might just find you’ve fallen in love with your little fixer upper. After all, you will have built up the home from scratch, so perhaps you’ll realize that you have already found your dream property.