7 Things To Think About When Buying a Fixer-Upper

Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash

All homes need repairs and renovations from time to time, but there are some homes that really need a lot of work before you can move into it. You can usually get a fixer-upper at a really amazing price, and it may seem like a great deal at the time.

However, it is important to think about these 7 things before buying a fixer-upper!

#1 Black Mold

Many older fixer upper houses will have black mold somewhere in the house. Black mold is very toxic and must be rectified before you can move into it. Black mold thrives in environments that are humid such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, showers, in places where flooding has occurred, under floorboards, and in between wall layers.

Black mold is not dangerous in and of itself, but it can wreak havoc on the environment around it. Here are a few symptoms of breathing in black mold.

  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • a stuffy nose
  • a runny nose
  • red eyes
  • itchy skin or eyes
  • a sore or itchy throat
  • Nosebleeds

Persistent exposure can lead to more serious symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • frequent chest colds
  • difficulty breathing
  • allergic reactions
  • inflammation of the sinuses
  • general fatigue and lethargy

Treating black mold can be as little as $500 or as much as $4,000 depending on how much black mold there is and where it is at. So keep these figures in mind if you spot black mold.

#2 Asbestos

Asbestos is a known carcinogen. Many older homes have asbestos. This is because long ago, asbestos was considered a miracle mineral as it was durable as well as heat and chemical resistant. In fact, asbestos could be found in over 3,000 consumer products.

However, as we gain more knowledge, we now know that asbestos is a very dangerous mineral when it is disturbed or damaged. When inhaled, microscopic fibers can lead to health problems such as mesothelioma and asbestosis (a chronic lung disease).

No matter how small the area is, you are looking at the bare minimum of $1500 to $3,000 no matter how small the job is.

Complete removal of asbestos in a 1500 square foot home is going to cost you $20,000 to $30,000.

Wow! That’s a lot of money. If you are getting a fixer-upper, spend the $200-$800 to get an inspection for asbestos.

#3 The Siding

You are going to want to check out the siding of the house. Many older fixer upper houses will need new siding. Couple that with the possibility that asbestos or mold may be under the siding and you are looking at a lot more money. Keep in mind that replacing siding is going to cost you about $8,000.

#4 The Roof

The house isn’t really a house without a roof. Not only can a poor roof make room for black mold, but you can’t live in a house with a roof that is caving in and leaking. Just getting new shingles put on your roof is going to cost you about $9,000 and that isn’t including mold, holes, or other repairs that may be needed.

Photo by Alex Holyoake on Unsplash

#5 The Kitchen

One of the most expensive rooms in a house to renovate is the kitchen. In fact, you can spend an upwards of $24,000 just on renovating the kitchen. This is because cabinets, appliances, electrical, plumbing, and a little bit of everything go into renovating a kitchen.

#6 The Bathroom

Let’s face it; plumbing is not a cheap fix. Do a full inspection of the bathroom to see what is going to need to be done. A bathroom remodel can cost you around $9,000 with a sink, toilet, plumbing, and new electric shower or tub.

We also recommend doing your due diligence and research in identifying the best plumbers and services to use in your area. For example, if using a plumbing company, make sure you always pick a reputable plumbing & drain company with positive customer reviews. A quick Google search should bring up any positive (or negative) reviews.

#7 Your Credit and Getting Loans

Many people go into a fixer-upper because major loan companies won’t approve them for a house that may cost more. So, they think that getting a fixer-upper is their only option.

However, when buying a fixer-upper, you have to factor in the amount of money you will need to take out in repairs. If you have bad credit check out some of these best bad credit mortgage lenders:

  • Lending Tree
  • Crediful
  • J.G. Wentworth
  • CitiMortgage
  • Navy Federal

When it comes to getting a fixer-upper, you could end up spending more fixing up an old house than you would be buying one that is already done.

Be sure to do your inspections, factor in the expenses it’s going to cost to fix up the house. If it just needs a few repairs and some paint, then you are looking at a good deal.

On the other hand, if you are looking at a total renovation of the house, expect to pay an extra $20,000 to $30,000 fixing it up.