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By: Kevin Ahern on March 3rd, 2016

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Top 3 Dangers of Buying a Fixer Upper Home


Buying a fixer upper home can feel like a leap into the dark. In this post, we'll cover the top three dangers of buying a fixer upper home, so you'll know where the greatest pitfalls are, and how you can avoid them.

Danger #1: Endless Expenses

One of the greatest dangers of buying a fixer upper home is the threat that the repairs to the property will cost too much money over time. The best way that you can mitigate costs is by handling many of the minor repairs on your own. Small tasks like painting, installation of bathroom fixtures, drywall patching and others can all be handled by a capable DIYer.

You can also avoid incurring unmanageable expenses by finding out how much the repairs will cost before you buy your home. Getting repairs priced by a professional will ensure that you go into the transaction with your eyes open.

Start by making a list of all the potential repairs that you'll want to be made in the first few years of home ownership. Then, walk through your home with a reputable contractor and discuss the expected cost of each repair. Your contractor can give you a ballpark so you'll know approximately how much you can expect to pay in home repairs for the next few years. If it seems the costs are going to be too high, it may be better for you to buy a different house.

Danger #2: Hidden Problems

All new homeowners fear the idea that they'll discover major flaws with the property after finalizing the purchase. One of the best ways to protect yourself from hidden problems (such as sewer, foundation or roofing issues) is to have your home thoroughly inspected before the close of escrow.

Professional home inspectors look at most of the major systems of the home and inspect each one individually. Your home inspector will tell you about the condition of each system and may recommend repairs if appropriate.

Some systems of the home (such as the sewer or chimney) may not be covered in your home inspection. To avoid surprises, find out what parts of the home are not covered and have them independently inspected.

Danger #3: Not Enough Time

Fixer uppers take a lot of time and effort from the homeowner. If you have a job that requires you to work over the normal 40 hours per week, or if you value your relaxation time while you're at home, a fixer upper may not be the right property for you. One or more members of your household will need to be able to dedicate time every week to the upkeep and repair of your home.

Alternatively, if you don't want to dedicate your own time, you can also consider paying a contractor to make a larger percentage of the necessary repairs around the house.

If you're thinking about buying a fixer upper home in the New Haven area, contact Litchfield Builders. As the premier general contractor in New Haven, CT, we'll be happy to discuss your desired property.