One thing’s for certain, and that is that home prices will eventually bottom out, and when the time comes in the not too distant future, people will once again be out buying. Now it’s been a long recession and memories fade, so a lot people have forgotten that there’s good money to be made in fixer uppers. Buying and dressing up distressed properties then flipping them for a quick profit.
It’s important not to lose track of the fact though that a good percentage of the product and materials that go into building a home have a “service life”. Roofing and exterior paint for instance really only last about two to three decades, and there are homes right now that have been sitting empty for the last five years. So it’s all about avoiding major problems and getting into a project that only takes some “dressing up” for the quick resale.
So one of the first things to look out for when you approach a potential fixer-upper is “major structural issues” such as a sagging roof or a settling foundation. Now, the problem with both of these problems is that they go far beyond being aesthetic issues. For instance a sagging roof ridge, aside from looking bad, will for sure lead to problems with rain gutters not draining. Also, a sinking foundation can cause a whole host of problems.
Another thing to look into is whether or not a home is connected to a county sewer line in the street, or if it has a septic system. For sure a municipal hook up is the best way to go, and if the home doesn’t have it, the next thing to check is the septic system and its leach field. Look inside the tank to check its size then check the field for sewerage coming to the surface. Septic repairs easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Next comes the roof on a home and once again this is an area that can easily gulp tens of thousands of dollars in profits if you make the wrong decisions. You see, all roofs have a set service life and there are a lot of buildings out there that have sat empty for the past five years of this last recession. Also understand that if it’s a composition shingle roof, a tear off job alone can add 30% to your cost. You might want to call in a roofer for an inspection.
Then the last big tip here is to go over the entire home to check out all its “mechanical devices” and some homes have a lot of them. For instance if a home has a well you’ll for sure want to check out the pump and pressure tank. Then after that, there’s the AC system, alarm system, electric garage door opener, plumbing fixtures, etc. They all can add up to a big pile of money.
If you are questioning yourself, ‘how much house can i afford?’, then, visit Minnie Pascal’s site to find out more of your house affordability index.