Buying a Fixer-Upper

Below is a list of the top considerations to keep in mind if you are going to buy a property that needs a lot of TLC. Read them over and keep them close. Believe me when I say this is how you buy a fixer-upper that works.

Location: Location should be on the top of your list. After all, you can change a lot about a home, but you can’t move it. Look for homes in popular areas with good school districts. Also, try to choose ones that offer privacy from busy roads and commercial structures.

Functional layout: Yes, you can move walls, but it gets expensive quickly. The better bet is to focus on finding a layout that allows you to keep things more or less the same.

Structurally sound: Sloping floors, cracked walls, and water spots are major red flags that the home will need extensive, and expensive structural repairs. Unless you have experience with this type of work, it may be best to look elsewhere.

Inspection contingencies: This is part of the offer you make once you find a home. While inspections are optional, we strongly advise you to use them, especially when buying a home that needs work. They are your chance to bring in a professional to tell you exactly what’s wrong with the home and what work needs to be done to bring it up to code.

Inspections are also your chance to back away from purchasing the home if the work becomes too extensive for you to handle. As long as you tell the seller your intentions within the proper time frame, these contingencies allow you to walk away from the home with your deposit in hand.

Dondi Ahlers