If you intend to buy a “fixer-upper,” hold on—don’t make the leap just yet.
Here’s what you need to know before you purchase a home that needs major work.
Buying a Fixer-Upper: 4 Tips to Keep You (And Your Money) Safe
Whether you want to buy a fixer-upper to live in or you’re planning to use it as an investment property, there are three things you MUST do before you commit to buying the house.
Fixer-Upper Tip #1: Get an Inspection
One of the first things you’ll want to do is hire a home inspector. Your inspector will look for structural problems and give you the low-down on plumbing, electrical, and other systems in the house.
Ideally, you want to hire an inspector who works directly for you—not for the broker or seller. That way, you’re sure that you’re going to get the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Fixer-Upper Tip #2: Make Sure You Know About Zoning
You always want to know what’s going to be allowed in your zoning district (including what you can and can’t do to your own home). For example, some homes are historic—and in those cases, you have to stick to what the city says you can and can’t do with them.
Fixer-Upper Tip #3: Hire Contractors You Can Trust
While it’s always nice to think we can do it all, that’s rarely the case. Besides, it’s tough to live in a house that you’re making renovations to; even if you’re using the home as an investment property (like a fix-and-flip), you want to make sure all the repairs, upgrades and updates are top-notch.
We’ve all heard horror stories that involve contractors running away with a homeowner’s deposit, so make sure you’re doing your due diligence when you hire someone—and that includes contacting his or her references.
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