These Handy Tips for Buying and Renovating an Older Home will really come in handy as you work on your Fixer Upper!
Maybe you want to get in on the fix-and-flip craze. Perhaps you merely want to stop making your landlord wealthier each month. Either way, you’re in the market for a fixer-upper. To make your project successful, you need to proceed with a clear head and realistic expectations. Do some people make a mint fixing up older homes? Yes, but they put in considerable work and possess the requisite expertise. If you’re an entry-level DIYer, expect to hit some snafus. The following tips can make the process smoother.
1. Evaluate Your Skill Set
What can you realistically do? If the birdhouse you built fell apart the moment a robin perched on it, a home in need of extensive repairs might not represent your wisest choice in real estate. However, if you have a contractor’s license, you likely know what to do — and have the connections for the things you can’t.
Many people can handle basic carpentry tasks. However, when you start involving specialty skills like electrical work, biting off more than you can chew can create costly headaches and put you at risk of significant injury.
2. Set a Realistic Budget
Nearly every home improvement project ends up costing more than you initially estimate. What can you realistically spend? If you know, for example, that both the kitchen and bathrooms need extensive overhauls, but you only have the money for one, can you live with the remaining mess until you come up with the rest? You have more leeway if you purchase an investment property.
However, coming home to an eyesore day after day while you save up funds can be depressing.
3. Inspect the Plumbing and HVAC Systems
Two of the most critical systems to replace in your home are the pipes and ducts that keep water and air circulating. Both are necessities, regardless if you buy for home use or investment purposes. Fortunately, both enjoy considerable longevity. Most copper and steel plumbing systems last up to 50 years, for example. Find out the ages of the systems if a previous owner upgraded them during their occupancy. If you lack the know-how to inspect them yourself, call in a contractor.
4. Search for Flaws High and Low
Foundation problems and leaky roofs can destroy the structural integrity of a property. Look for any bulges in foundation walls, as they can indicate severe damage. Missing roof tiles can mean water problems inside the drywall. This moisture can lead to the development of toxic mold, and it can eventually rot your studs. Inspect around the flashing of chimneys and ducts for leaks and pay attention to the drain spout. If it looks like it hasn’t seen a cleaning in some time, overflow could have caused harm.
5. Consider Less Expensive Alternatives
Some properties require cosmetic fixes and little else to render them the perfect living space. For example, you can refinish kitchen cabinets with paint or stain instead of replacing them entirely. Adding new hardware, like doorknobs and light fixtures, can add instant elegance for relatively little money. You can often complete an exterior paint job on a sunny weekend, so don’t let the haunted house look alone make you skip ahead to the next listing. If the home has good bones, you could find a steal — even if it seems like a nightmare.
6. Add Personalized Touches
After you complete the heavy-duty renovations, don’t overlook the minor details that can substantially raise your property value. Today’s homebuyers often mention adequate garage storage space on their lists of most desirable options. You can perform this renovation inexpensively by adding pegboard to hang small lawn tools. Many lumber yards give away unused wood pallets for free — you can use these to build additional shelving.
You can also add touches like window boxes to create country charm. If you plan to retire in your new home, you’ll enjoy the beauty every time you sit on your porch. Plus, you’ll boost your curb appeal.
Make An Old Home Like New With These Tips
Buying a fixer-upper can save you considerable money — if you proceed with caution. Follow these tips to keep your hard-earned cash and say “home, sweet home” before you know it.
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Tips for Renovating an Older Home Tips for Renovating an Older Home