10 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Fixer-Upper

Written by Posted On Friday, 29 September 2017 12:55

Considering a fixer-upper can come at a considerable cost (for those who are not prepared) because older homes tend to need some expensive repairs. Another pit fall is possibly getting rid of a feature that actually adds value to the home. How do you avoid both? By asking the right questions, of course! Below are 10 of the questions you must absolutely ask before purchasing a fixer-upper.

What budget can you afford?

Taking on the task of renovating an older home can mean having to go the extra mile to preserve architectural gems at a cost. Having a budget allows you to focus on projects that you have the funds for.

Is the home in a historic area or district?

Homes in historic districts need special permits that can take some time and cost a bit more than you are ready for. Keep in mind though that this will be all worth it as homes in historically protected areas usually enjoy a consistently rising real estate value.

Is the house a beauty?

Homes with beautiful bones can cost a fortune to preserve, but can cost you even more if you make the mistake of dismantling features such as antique hardwood floors and the like. Note too that recreating missing or damaged features can be very expensive.

How is the plumbing?

Plumbing that has been in the home for more than 50 years will have to be replaced for your safety as they can have damage that can affect the quality of water in your home. If you do plan to replace, be prepared that it is often an all or nothing project because connecting new and old plumbing can result to problems.

What is the condition of the foundation?

There is no point in renovating if your home sits on a bad foundation. It is best to know beforehand if there is water damage or foundation damage that can be fixed. If the damages are too bad, you may be unable to sell later.

Is there asbestos and lead-based paint?

Removing and replacing lead-based paint and asbestos can be a lengthy and expensive process that require the help of professionals. The upside is that when you are through with this, the home’s value will get a significant rise

How are the windows?

If the windows are old and can be quite an energy drain, then replacing them might be best. Repairs are possible but can be hampered by the availability of the materials used in the original build. .

Can existing tiles and other materials be reused?

Renovating a home is expensive. It just makes sense to want to save by reusing as much as possible while preserving the original elements of the home.

How is the roof?

A damaged roof can wreak havoc in a home. Fixing it in an older home may mean a total replacement plus adding reinforcements more so if you will be using heavier material. Ventilation may be needed too.

Is there established landscaping?

Older trees add value to a home. If you are planning on changing the landscaping, it would be best to do it in such a way that will preserve the older trees and plants in the property.

You might also want to ask about the wiring, heating and cooling, and cost of maintaining the home. Overall, it’s just smart to do your research before committing to a new home, fixer-upper or not.

Looking for a fixer-upper of your own in Oakville? We might have a few in our listings of available Oakville homes for you to take a look at. Contact us for a viewing!

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Brad Miller

The Goodale Miller Team: A group of Oakville Luxury Real Estate Professionals that operate on a philosophy of honesty, integrity, and results.


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