What to Look for when Buying a Fixer Upper Home

The easiest, and the preferred option, is to buy a house that needs hardly any renovation work doing. That way, you can focus on moving into your new home without the hassle and stress that is synonymous with moving houses. Unfortunately, the real world is never straightforward, and the chances are that you can only afford a building that requires lots of tender loving care.

There’s no reason to panic because purchasing a fixer upper property has plenty of advantages, such as helping you to save money and allowing you to imbibe the interior and exterior with your personality. Still, there’s no denying that pitfalls exist since you’re going to invest in a house with structural and cosmetic issues.

With that in mind, it’s vital to cover as many bases as possible to avoid nasty surprises in the future. When you view a property that’s a work in progress, it’s challenging to concentrate on the essentials as there are so many features that catch your eye. As a result, it’s not unheard of for buyers to miss elements that make a massive difference to the buying process.

To avoid falling into this category, you should take a look at the following. These are the things to do when purchasing a home to renovate.

Ask The Right Questions Before & After A Viewing

A fixer upper is the kind of property that makes the most knowledgeable real estate people shudder with anticipation. The truth is that it’s impossible to figure out what is going on behind the outdated wallpaper with a ten-minute viewing alone. And, it’s not as if you can trust the estate agent to “be on your side.”

What you require is a professional, such as an architect, engineer, or surveyor, to take a look at the foundations and give their honest opinion. Of course, you’d never get around to an offer if you did this from the beginning, which is why most buyers view properties first.

During the viewing, you can do yourself a favour by asking pertinent questions relating to the history of the building itself and the owners. For instance, first-time buyers should always enquire about planning permission disputes and how the property compares to other listings on the road.

Regardless of the answer, you can use the internet to raise red flags after the viewing. If you ask about how much value the property has lost or gained in the last few years, you can confirm the agent’s answer via Google or Zoopla.

Invest In A Building Survey

Anyone who has been through the process of getting a building survey done might object at the term “invest.” This is because the cost is much higher than a homebuyers report, and it’s hard to watch your budget disappear before any of the work has started. However, a survey reveals things you will never know until the ink is dry on the deeds.

Firstly, it highlights structural problems that escalate out of control if they aren’t solved quickly. You can fix them, yet you might decide it’s not worth the fuss, not if your budget is small and the resale value low. Subsidence is a prime example since it’s hard to tell what’s happening underneath the ground, but a builder can spot the warning signs a mile away.

Secondly, a survey helps you to create a list of the things you need to do and how much they will cost. Whether you need scaffolding services or something bigger, it’s essential to have a list of repairs so that you can estimate the final costs.

You have to ensure you understand how much a renovation will cost to make sure it’s a smart investment.

Find Out More About The Owners

Smart owners keep their cards close to their chests. Why? It’s because you can use the smallest pieces of information to your advantage during negotiations. For instance, you might try to haggle for a lower price if you find out they are desperate for money to fund their house move. Bargaining isn’t for the faint hearted!

However, just because they might not tell you anything doesn’t mean you can find out more about them. There are several options at your disposal, starting with the estate agent as they work with both parties. Therefore, a casual conversation could reveal something that helps you to reduce your exposure.

Alternatively, there is the internet. By putting the sellers’ full names into a search engine, you can reveal pretty much everything you need to know, if there is anything worth knowing, of course. People post things on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all the time, so it’s worth checking social media profiles too.

When you find out your position is stronger than the owners’, it puts the ball firmly in the opposition’s side of the court.

Can You Live In It?

One question you’ll have to ask at some point is whether you can live in the house while you’re renovating. Please don’t jump to conclusions right away and let your excitement get in the way of reality. Remember that hurdles appear out of the blue during a renovation, which is why you should expect to spend 10% more than your budget and add a couple of months to your deadline.

As a result, it might not be feasible to live in your new house, especially if you have to put up with a building site for six months to a year. Even if the work will be quick, you could have to do without essentials. For example, a kitchen remodel will make it challenging to cook food.

In this instance, you must find a way to provide for your needs, and your family’s, since you can’t exist without food! It’s about more than money - it should be a mix between cutting costs and dealing with stress. The latter is unhealthy, which is why you want as little of it as possible, or else your fixer upper home could harm your wellbeing.

There are many hidden problems to look out for, so hopefully this post helps to simplify the process.

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