One way to save money and still get your dream house is to purchase a home that needs a lot of work.  Usually these types of properties sell for less than full market value.  However, it can be difficult to determine if you are getting a deal or if you are purchasing a whole lot of headaches and problems.  As the premier agent for all your Penticton real estate needs, I would like to share the following advice on how you can tell what type of fixer-upper you are buying.

Location, Location, Location

Regardless of what type of home you are looking for, you will want to purchase a house in a good neighbourhood, not a rundown one.  You can always fix up your home, but you cannot fix up an entire community.  Make sure it suits all your needs.  Spend some time in the neighbourhood to make sure it is right for you.

Here’s the deal:

Sometimes you will find great deals on fixer-upper properties in up and coming or developing neighbourhoods.

Go with a Pro

Before purchasing a home, it is essential to hire a professional home inspector, especially if you are buying a fixer-upper.  They will be able to assess the safety and functionality of the house and inspect the following:

  • The plumbing and electrical systems in the home.
  • The home’s heating and cooling systems.
  • The condition of the exterior of the home, the roof, as well as the gutter and downspouts.

It is a good idea to make your offer contingent on the approval of home inspections.  You will want to walk away from any fixer-upper that has major issues without any type of penalty.

Know your Renovations

The reason that rundown homes go for below market value is because of the renovations and repairs that will need to be done.  There are two types of renovations that you can expect when purchasing a fixer-upper – cosmetic and structural.  Cosmetic renovations are less expensive and far less time consuming.  Cosmetic renovations include:

  • Laying carpet, tile or wood flooring.
  • Replacing toilets, sinks or tearing up bathroom subfloors.
  • Repainting the interior and exterior of a home.
  • Repairing or replacing trim and baseboards.
  • Changing or replacing light fixtures, switches and receptacles.

Structural renovations can often be costly and time consuming.  Ultimately, they can turn a great deal into a money pit and a never-ending nightmare.  These include:

  • Full bathroom and kitchen renovations.
  • Repairing foundations due to water damage or soil erosion.
  • Removing existing walls to open up space.
  • Adding a garage or addition.
  • Replacing plumbing or electrical systems.

These tips should help you determine if a fixer-upper is the route that you want to go when purchasing a home.  If you are interested in other tips on buying a fixer-upper or are interested in some of the new and exciting real estate opportunities that abound in Penticton, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.