You don’t want to be a house sight unseen, as that is just a recipe for disaster. Sure, for some people a fixer upper is a dream come true, but you really need to have some idea what you’re in store for before making a money commitment, no matter how good the deal seems.
You need to go in and check out potential homes, and look in each crack and crevice, so you can determine how much more money you’re going to be putting into it before it’s all said and done. If you can’t move into it due to the work that needs to be done, you also have to consider you might be paying for two places at the same time. Can you afford that?
Have an Appraisal Done
Real estate agents have a certain equation many of them use when it comes to coming up with the selling price of a home. They have different things that they need to factor in, like the current housing market, how much the owners are looking to get out of it, and how much the home itself is actually worth. Depending on the cost, you might want to have someone come in and appraise the home and property for you, if you want to ensure you’re getting the most for your money.
Remember, there is always room to haggle some when it comes to buying a home. Your agent is ready for it, and is probably expecting it.
Check All of the Rooms
Go through every room of the homes you are considering, with a fine tooth comb. You want to spot any potential issues before you sign and pay. Look for ceiling stains that may show the home had a roof leak. Look for smoke damage, broken tiles, carpet stains, and more.
Consider all of the things you’ll have to repair or replace, and how much that will cost. You should check that all of the lights work, and all of the faucets work. You don’t want to be saddled with electric and plumbing issues right off the bat. Some of the services don’t bother you much, but bigger problems can cost you a fortune.
Take a Look in the Basement
Whether your potential home purchase has a finished basement, a cement basement, or a crawl space, you want to check it out, or have someone come in and check it out for you. Check the pipes, check the sump pump, check for signs of mold and water damage, check for bug and rodent infestations, and make sure that everything looks like it should.
Look Around the Outside
You also want to look around the outside of the home. Look at the roof, are there shingles missing or lifting? You may have to invest in a new roof very soon if there are. Check around the ground, look at the wires coming into the home, and be sure to check out any out building, from the garage to storage buildings.