Things to Ask Before Buying a Fixer-Upper

By: Jorge Lopez, September 29, 2015

You’ve probably heard the term “fixer-upper” used on several occasions.  When it comes to properties, this can describe a home that’s a complete mess or something that just needs a bit of work done to bring it up to code or selling standards.  If you’re planning on buying one of these fixer-uppers, it’s imperative that you ask the right questions so you don’t end up with a home that will cost you more in repairs than it did to buy it.

Start off by asking your real estate agent about details regarding the neighborhood.  Just like when selling a home you’ll want to determine the average value so you can make repairs accordingly.  If your improvements are much more than what the value of the neighborhood is worth, you’ll ultimately be losing money.  Also, make sure that you are aware of the regulations involved should the home be located in a historic neighborhood.  In some cases, you’ll have to adhere to an association or city standard if you’re planning on remodeling and receive approval.

Assuming you’ll be requesting a home inspection report, ask the inspector about the condition of the major systems within the home.  Chances are you’ll need to do some cosmetic work, but how is the plumbing?  Is the electrical system working? Are there leaks in the roof?  All of these are critical questions before buying your fixer-upper property so that you don’t end up with costly repairs.

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