Buying a home for the first time is a fun venture, especially when you’re upgrading from an apartment to a full house. There are many reasons that you’d want to move from a smaller apartment to a house, sometimes this is a space issue, and sometimes this is needing a neighborhood near better schools or making the commute easier into work. The thing is, not all homes are created equal and while some are newly built and fresh, others need a little more love and a lot more renovation. If you’re not buying a new house, you should expect to have to spend a little money on redecoration and changes to the house. There doesn’t have to be very many, but the older the home is, the more likely you will need to take some time to do repairs. A house that is in severe disrepair – and is, therefore, a cheaper option on the market – is known as a ‘fixer-upper’ and for many homeowners, a fixer-upper home is seen as a huge challenge, one worth embarking upon.
Just because a house needs to have a plan for renovation doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time. Sure, it’s a lot easier to move straight into a newly built property that doesn’t require any changes, but you don’t get the same feeling of satisfaction as if you could stamp your taste and personality right through the center of the home. Often, a home that needs extensive repair or needs cosmetic updates that haven’t been done by the previous owners is on the market at a lower price than it could have been. This is usually to draw in more buyers, but also because said buyers are going to have to spend some cash getting it up to scratch and making it liveable. Buying a home in a state of disrepair can be overwhelming – everyone can see how it can look insurmountable to do up but really, you should think of it as a project for your future. A home that you get to build up from the ground to the roof is one that you can truly call your own. One day, if you chose to sell it, you know that the valuation would be based on your hard work and grafting to make it the modern, contemporary home that you had dreamed of having.
The best thing about buying a fixer-upper home is the fact that you dictate the work to do, so your budget can truly be unlimited. If you want to spend a lot of money on fixtures, you know that you could save up to get the ones that you want. If you want to invest in extra bathrooms instead of the one that the home currently has, you could call the experts in at Maplewood Plumbing and have new bathrooms and pipework installed to the highest caliber. You see, a fixer-upper can be as fixed up as the budget you want to have rather than built quickly. The thing to remember about buying a home is that there are a lot of styles out there that are there to suit your budget. Your choice to buy a fixer-upper could be a very smart financial move on your part, and there are ways that you can land the perfect house to fix up if you would only follow some of these tips:
- You can check the internet for local tax records for insurance information, flood zones, and past tax bills.
- You could check out your local Clerk of Court’s website because you could locate foreclosures and short sales and make one of those homes your own.
- Plenty of auctions and estate sales are available to scroll through, meaning that you can get a great deal on a home. Swot up on the bids that you could make, though, you don’t want to get this one wrong!
- Getting to know a real estate professional who specializes in homes that need a little extra work is another way to buy into the right home. They are the experts, and they will have the most up to date information out there for you to take on board.
Of course, there are plenty of ways that you can get your hands on the right home, and once you do there is a huge checklist of things that you should do before you move in. Some people move into a house while it’s being fixed up, and while you could choose to do that, it’s not easy to live in a building site. You have to consider if you have children and how it will disrupt your daily life if you are living among hammers and chainsaws all the time. It’s a big job, so there are some serious considerations that you should make before you sign on the dotted line and seal that deal on your dream home:
- Home Inspector. The home you want has to be right for you, and a home inspector can help you to ascertain this. They can uncover any mystery locked into your potential new home, and you shouldn’t just ask one inspector to give your home the once over. Conducting multiple inspections isn’t a waste of your cash; in fact, it’s a smart choice. Two heads are always better than one, and it’s always good to back up the opinions of the experts with, well, more experts!
- Pros & Cons. You have to be ready for the challenge of taking on a home that needs fixing up. You need to be sure that it’s the right home you’ve picked, and this includes the pros and cons list like this one. This can help you with your decision!
- The Essentials. Every single property has its differences. However, they all have the same points of reference that you need to check out before you sign on the dotted line. These should always include the structure of the home, the roof, the plumbing, the state of the electrical supply and the heating in the home.
- Foundations. Before you start mapping out décor ideas, you need to check out the foundations of the home. Most people buy a new build and think it’s all fine, and then five years later find a huge crack in their foundations. This is because houses are susceptible to sinking over time, and you need to know this about your fixer-upper before you get started. That’d be your first job to ensure is correct and safe, so that you can renovate with confidence.
Once you’ve got that home and you’ve got your keys, you get to start thinking about the specifics for inside the home. So, while we’re on the topic, what are the four biggest considerations for your fixer-upper?
- Floors. You have an entire home to think about here, which raises the question of many types of flooring for which rooms. Bathroom and kitchen floors tend to err on the side of laminate and vinyl because water and carpet are not a good combination. For high traffic areas of flooring, think about hardwood floors. You could, of course, put carpet down, but you’re risking a lot of wear and tear over time that can end up with you having to pay out more money for more carpeting later on. Hardwood flooring doesn’t have that same issue, is lower maintenance to keep clean and swept and it only requires a buffer once or twice a year.
- Plumbing. A fixer-upper home usually needs some kind of work on the plumbing inside and not just the sinks and faucets in the bathroom and kitchen. You should consider getting in a professional to look at the potential damage to the pipework under the house. Rusting and erosion do happen over time, especially where piping is concerned, as the constant expansion and contraction in the colder seasons can cause damage over time. You should also be concerned about possible flooding and leaks that can end up in total disaster in the rainy seasons.
- Electricals. As with plumbing, the wiring of an old home can be outdated, unsafe and in need of a lot of repairs. Rewiring an entire house and installing new outlets and lights through the home is a costly and big job. However, for your comfort and safety, it’s one that you should be considering and getting quotes for. Older houses have older wiring systems and bringing yours into modernity isn’t just about the aesthetics, but the energy you would save and therefore the cash you wouldn’t need to spend.
- Roof. Lastly, the roof is a big consideration for renovation. Old houses with old tiles, a lack of insulation and the potential for leaks – and a less appealing look! – Is reason enough to make a change? You’ve bought an older home, but that doesn’t mean that you need to have an older roof on top of it.
Take the time to get to know your fixer-upper, and you can turn it into the home of your dreams.