what to look for in a fixer upper
Buying a fixer-upper can be a great investment. The Sarasota, Florida, real estate market provides ample opportunities for enterprising individuals to get inexpensive houses that are ripe for being renovated and resold at a profit. Fixer-uppers are also great for first-time buyers looking for an inexpensive starter home.
Before purchasing a fixer-upper in the Sarasota area, it’s important to know what to look for. There are a couple of areas that can turn an inexpensive investment into a major regret.
To start with, look at the foundation of the house. Is it cracked? Leaking? Crumbling? In need of other repairs? Foundation repairs are typically involved, expensive, and well beyond the scope of the average homeowner when it comes to DIYing. Fixer-uppers with foundation problems are best passed over in favor of buildings that are in better repair.
Next, look at the structure. Is the house falling down? Has it suffered fire or storm damage? Even if the foundation is sound, repairing the structure itself can end up being more trouble and expense than it’s worth. The structure and the foundation should be considered potential “dealbreakers” when it comes to considering a fixer-upper; if they aren’t in good condition, reconsider purchasing the property.
After that, look at the roof. Sarasota, Florida, averages fifty two inches of rain per year– this means that a good, water-tight roof is an absolute must-have. Roofs can be expensive to replace, and one that has been in poor repair for awhile can lead to a house with serious black mold problems or structural issues. A good roof will also help properly insulate a house, increasing its energy efficiency.
After the big three– foundation, structure, and roof– it’s important to look at factors like electrical wiring, the HVAC system, and plumbing. These are all integral to a house functioning, and can result in big problems if they are neglected for too long. Faulty wiring can cause fires, faulty HVAC systems can result in mold growth, and leaking plumbing can cause structural damage. Fortunately, problems with wiring, HVAC, or plumbing can be corrected relatively easily.
While fixer-uppers can make a great investment for experienced DIYers, it’s important to know where to draw the line between a diamond in the rough and a money sink. By limiting themselves to cosmetic fixes, home buyers can turn their fixer-upper into a showpiece without making major investments of time, labor, or money.