Looking to buy a fixer-upper? Here are 10 important tips not to miss before you buy!

So it’s freezing outside and there is nothing to do! Gotta stay in and stay warm. Do your evenings consists of sipping on your mug of hot chocolate as you lounge around on the coach watching home shows on TV? If you are always glued to HGTV, you are not alone. Millions of viewers tune in each week to learn how to get into the game of home remodeling and making nice with the fixer uppers. And now you’re starting to think to yourself, you could do that too! But wait, sometimes it is not so easy to spot an ideal property project and usually this reconstruction process will take longer than that of a 30 minute TV show. Okay, so it will take a lot longer. Probably months or maybe a year. That is why it is crucial that you think long and hard about taking on a fixer upper and know the ends and outs. Here are a few tips and things to look for:

1. Make sure the home that you want to purchase is at least 30% below the market value of similar homes in the same neighborhood. Meaning -work with a great Realtor who will help you get the best deal!

2. Look for sellers who are ready to make a deal. Estate, bank owned, relocation company are good starts. And if the home is vacant, obviously it is ready to be sold ASAP.

3. Location is everything! And you can’t change this crucial factor so make sure it is located in an area well loved by its residents and on a quiet street. Low crime rate and schools are other factors to consider.

4. Make sure the fixer-upper is near your current residence. If you have to commute more than 30 minutes or so, you may often times skip the drive. And it is important that you visit the home everyday while the work is in progress.

5. Choose a home that has a minimum of 3 bedrooms. Anything less and it will take longer to sale on the market, if you decide to flip or resale at some point.

6. Overlook all the superficial things. You can always repaint over a lime green wall and either clean or replace dirty carpets. Just make sure the problems aren’t an indicator of serious neglect.

7. Look for homes needing minor repairs such painting, carport and flooring, landscaping refreshing and new lighting fixtures. Those are all easy and relatively inexpensive projects.

8. Look out for homes needing plumbing and electrical updating. MAJOR expense lies here. If you are licensed in those fields, pat yourself on the back because you have saved yourself several Benjamin’s in your wallet. If you are not certified, do not attempt these tasks. Even the next buyer will want the work performed by a licensed technician.

9. If you notice any cracked ceiling plaster or bulging walls or ceilings, take note. Minimal damage can be covered with paint, but major repairs may include the expense of replacing drywall. Although not too expensive, dry walling is a messy process.

10. Use your eyes on every wall and ceiling to look for signs of leaks or flooding. Flaking and peeling of paint around windows can indicate a sign of a moisture issues. And fully inspect the basement for a musty smell. Check all the walls too for any stains on the wall near the flooring. Don’t forget about checking around the skylights too.

This is just a start, trust me, there are many more factors to consider. And I can help you with that. I will be happy to give you more insights and even walk the home with you to look for deficiencies or hidden money-pit issues. If you can do most of the work or can have it done at a very reasonable price, then this might be a good fit for you. You can certainly get a home that needs some work for a lot less cash and older homes especially, have a lot of charm and creative floor plans. Always keep in mind that what you see on the surface does not always tell the entire story. Removing one wall, an appliance or bookshelf may unleash a whole new set of issues. Make sure you have a good Realtor representing you as a buyer’s agent and make sure you have a complete property inspection performed by a licensed home inspector before acquiring the home. Bottom line: just don’t bite off more than you can chew!

Looking for more fixer-upper tips or interested in starting your own home search in the Lexington Kentucky real estate market. Don’t hesitate to contact me today. Whether you prefer email, texting or a more personalize touch via the phone, contact me today. I am here waiting to speak to you anytime and I am ready to go to work for you. There are many beautiful homes for sale in Lexington, KY and I will help you find the cream of the crop. There is no time better than now! Take advance of our buyer’s market and let’s start finding that perfect place today!

Lexington KY is always #1 in my book! Whether you want to buy a downtown condo, a custom walkout ranch on a golf course, or a horse farm in the country, I can help find the perfect home for you – as well as help you sell your home. In addition to Lexington Real Estate, I specialize in the nearby towns of Paris, Midway, Georgetown, and Versailles.

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