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What Are Some Important Tips for Purchasing a Fixer Upper?

What Are Some Important Tips for Purchasing a Fixer Upper
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We’ve all seen those shows on HGTV where a lovable team of construction-savvy husbands and wives, fathers and sons, or siblings and business partners buy a rundown house and in 30 minutes of TV time turn it into a masterpiece and create tens of thousands of dollars of instant equity.

While that scenario is certainly possible, these shows gloss over some of the most stressful parts of actually buying a fixer upper. Lots of people overlook the expenses that are involved and the expertise needed to handle so many different facets of the process. In the end, though, the allure of a fixer upper can be irresistible. If you budget your renovations right, you can get a steal of a deal on a rundown house and customize it in any way you desire.

“Do your homework before embarking on a fixer upper.”

Here are some tips to be mindful of if you’re going down the fixer upper path so you can be prepared for what’s ahead:

1. Get a home inspection. This will help you find out what you’re in for behind the scenes, such as the plumbing system, electrical framework, and the HVAC units. You may have been able to turn on the water and flip on the lights when you made the offer, but the electrical system could be a recall, or the HVAC might be on its last leg. Older homes might not be up to code with electrical systems and could have dangerous materials in them. If you don’t know about these things up front and deal with them, it can come back to bite you.

2. Bring in an architect and/or contractor. Many buyers of fixer uppers want to make big structural changes, and an architect or contractor can help you with this kind of thing. They can estimate the cost involved and help with design elements. Do your research when hiring contractors—the cheapest is rarely the best option. A good contractor can give you an honest estimate for your projects and help you stay on schedule.

3. Check the zoning. This isn’t the most fun process, and you rarely see it on TV, but zoning can go a long way in determining what is and what isn’t permitted to do on a property. Zoning laws vary from city to city, but you can do a lot of research about it online.

4. Look into some tax incentives. Depending on the area you live in, you might be eligible for a tax abatement or a tax credit for improving a property’s value. A fixer upper can be a long and stressful project, but if you have the patience to research what you need to research, you can find yourself in your own custom dream home with a good amount of free instant equity.

If you’re considering buying a fixer upper or have any other questions, don’t hesitate give us a call. We’d be happy to help you.

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