Have you ever dreamed of living in a beautiful vintage house, the kind of building that have seen centuries passing by? Maybe a Victorian mansion or a countryside cottage? It sure seems enchanting, but there’s a high risk you will be buying a money pit.
Sometimes people think they are making a good deal by buying a fixer-upper. This is a property that doesn’t necessarily have to be old, it’s just that it has been mistreated and need a little bit of love and caring to become the home of your dreams. But there’re differences between a fixer-upper and a money pit, often difficult to spot for those who are not experts. We always recommend hiring an experienced home inspector to make sure everything is alright.
If the previous owners neglected the property for many years, but the structure wasn’t affected, there’s still hope. New floors or appliances can seem expensive, but they are a common thing to renovate when one acquires a house. The problems begin when the building itself is ruinous or has serious damage. If the property is dilapidated beyond repair, it will be cheaper for you to just knock it down and start building again.
That’s why we have made a list of the biggest problems you can find. If you see one of them when visiting a property, run as fast as you can!
Roof at risk of collapsing
There’s a reason why the expression “have a roof over your head” means to have a home. The roof is everything. It keeps the rain and wind from messing with your stuff and protects you against the blazing sun. Until it doesn’t. Fixing a roof is a difficult and expensive task, mostly if it’s a building with more than two stories. Of course, it can be a matter of a couple of loose tiles, but when the structure is damaged, there’s no coming back. A good home inspector will identify this immediately and advise what’s best.
Damp on the ceiling/walls
It can be connected to a roof problem or the pipes, but either way it’s a pain to have to paint your walls every year. The damp can only be the beginning. There can also be bad smells and rotten wood. Don’t let yourself be fooled and ask the realtor about this issues.
It’s a common problem with old properties, since there’s a expiration date for pipes. The older the building is, the higher risk that the network is faulty, leaky and smelly. This can lead to damp, burst, structural problems, less water pressure and even poisonous water! Be specially observant when visiting an old apartment building, since even if you spend the money to repair it, there’s a chance that the whole place has an old network and the quality of your water may suffer from it.
A crack on the wall can either be a small aesthetic problem or a very big deal. Problems with foundation are the top 1 most expensive problem to solve, so be sure you are not getting into the biggest money pit there are! This isn’t a sign of neglecting but of faulty design, so be sure you don’t get in a situation you can’t fix.
Bad isolation/thin walls
Alright, changing a couple of windows isn’t such a bummer, but when the walls aren’t properly isolated you are going to end up spending much more on heating and air conditioning than the cost of an equivalent property without this problem. Also, you will have to get used to the noise of your street or you won’t sleep at night!
Nowadays we are so used to have everything connected 24/7 that it’s so inconvenient to have a faulty electric wiring. This can provoke many problems and it can be dangerous for you and your beloved electronic devices! Be sure you know how much can it cost to re-wire the whole house before purchasing it.
If you would like to know more about how to purchase your new home, we suggest you read this and take our checklist with you every time you visit a new property. This way will avoid buying a money pit!