In Savannah there is an increasing number of people who want to buy fixer-uppers to flip or live in themselves. Investing in real estate can be incredibly rewarding, but as a buyer, you must always exercise caution!
There are many things to watch out for when buying a fixer-upper, but here are four of our favorites!
Signs of General Neglect
As the saying goes, “how you do one thing, is how you do everything.” If you want to purchase a home that has been badly maintained cosmetically, there is a good chance that structural elements of the home have not been maintained either. Consider what could be hidden behind those walls. Electrical problems or a bug infestation often go undetected during a showing.
The seller will ensure there are no signs of bugs before you visit, even if there is a problem, it is likely not to be disclosed. Perhaps the plumbing system was damaged, or things were done haphazardly to save money. Make sure any remodeling, improvements, or structural changes are code compliant.
Look Out The Window
Or better yet, look at the windows. If you have an older home, you’ll want to ensure that the windows are double-paned rather than single-pane windows. Even insulated and double-paned windows cannot prevent hot and cold air from getting in. Watch for window fogging or drafts coming through small cracks.
Additionally, cracks like these can let pests and bugs into the home. Poor foundations can lead to settling, which causes doors and windows to shift. Regardless of your climate, your windows play an important role in keeping you energy efficient. Replacing an entire house’s worth of windows can be expensive!
If you see them, then there is a strong likelihood that the cause of this is a leaky roof or plumbing issue. They can be expensive to repair and can result in further damage and costs. Mold removal, new carpets, etc., can cost a fortune in addition to water damage repairs. If you see discolorations in the ceiling or on the wall near plumbing fixtures, you need to check them out. A leaking shower can leak into the wall for years before it is noticed. This can cause extensive damage to the structure of the house.
The presence of a leak in a roof may indicate other problems. The last thing you want is to buy a house only to realize afterward that it needs a completely new roof. The cost of water damage and repairs can be one of the biggest expenses associated with home damage. Get the property inspected thoroughly and speak with the owner about any issues the property has faced. Owners must disclose any issues they have faced by law.
Be on the lookout for cracks in the foundation and signs of settlement. It is a sign of a faulty foundation if you notice a slant in the wall around the doorframes and windows, or if you observe cracks in the walls. When you have a bad foundation, your structure will deteriorate much faster. This can result in countless repairs that end up costing a fortune. It is possible that you could face cracked walls, roof damage, plumbing, electrical problems, and more! Make sure you have a professional inspect the foundation so you don’t get stuck with unplanned expenses.