Buying a fixer upper can be fun and can be a great way to save money on a home. If not approached in a strategic manner, it can be a headache and in the end, cost you much more than you anticipated. We have compiled a short list of important factors to consider, before buying a fixer upper home.
1. Speak with a reliable home inspector. It is important before making an offer to get an opinion from a reliable and competent home inspector. He or she will evaluate the condition of the property, evaluate the area and make a decision if certain renovations are minor repairs that will not cost too much or if there are structural changes that will be costly. Before you buy a home that needs fixing up, be sure to ask any and all questions you have about the home.
2. Establish a timeline for renovations. It is important to evaluate how long it will take to complete the renovations and if house prices are likely to fall or rise during the time of your renovations. Keep in mind that structural renovations such as strengthening the walls and roof, as well as major repairs to a plumbing system, are expensive and in some cases, do not elevate the value of the property. Home buying is an important process that needs clear thinking and an honest evaluation.
3. What kind of renovations are necessary and what is the cost? For most people, a fixer upper that is doable is a house that needs only cosmetic renovations. Cosmetic renovations are less expensive to do than structural repairs and are quite noticeable and pleasing to buyers. Examples of cosmetic renovations are stripping wallpaper, painting on the inside as well as the outside, replacing old lighting fixtures, putting down carpet or tile and minor renovations in a bathroom or kitchen.
4. Is the home in a desired location? A highly sought after neighborhood, will facilitate that sale of your property. What makes a fixer-upper valuable is if it is in a desirable neighborhood. Check out the homes around it and see if they are maintained. Look for neat looking lawns, good home exteriors and other factors. Other points to keep in mind are layouts and the condition of the home.
Expensive renovations might include putting on a new roof, tearing down walls or building an extra room or a garage. Before tackling these renovations, you need to consider carefully all of the costs involved before making an offer on the home. In addition, before you end the sale on any property, you will need a certified and professional home inspector to thoroughly evaluate the property such as inspecting the sewer system, obtaining a roof certification and a pest control inspection. Additional, an engineer’s report should also be completed, to find out if there are any potential hazards.
These are just 4 of many important factors to consider, if you are looking to start buying homes as investment properties. A great deal of hard work, management and organization is involved, along with research. If you are serious about this endeavor, speak with your knowledgeable, Los Angeles real estate agent, Elizabeth Marquart.
Elizabeth Marquart is Southern California’s real estate expert and home improvement project manager of choice. She always provides reliable and diligent real estate representation-all with the highest degree of integrity. Visit www.ElizabethSells.com or contact her for any real estate and home improvement questions by calling (310)246-0888 or at AskElizabeth@ElizabethMarquart.com.