Buying a home can be a tremendously exciting time, and there is nothing more exhilarating than finding the perfect home. Perhaps it’s in the perfect neighborhood, or has that kitchen you’ve always dreamed of. So you’ve found the perfect home, and you’re ready to buy it. On the other hand, perhaps you’re looking to buy a fixer-upper, save yourself some money, and build your blank canvas into your dream home.
Beware of Hazards
While buying a fixer-upper can be a great idea from a financial perspective, there are some hidden health dangers that could be lurking inside your newly purchased home. Many older homes are filled with structural, electrical, plumbing, or air quality problems that can be lurking behind the walls.
Just because you’ve watched several home renovation shows and are handy with a hammer doesn’t mean you’re going to be fully prepared to deal with some of the complex issues that could be hidden beneath the surface.
Update the Electrical System if Needed
Home renovations for the kind of people who like buying fixer-uppers is exciting and fun. But there are some less glamorous parts to home renovations that you certainly don’t want to overlook.
Ensuring that your home’s electrical, heating, cooling, and ventilation systems are all up to code can seem mundane, and even worse, expensive. However, failure to do so can have serious implications.
Electrical fires alone account for billions of dollars in damages, countless deaths, and are almost always preventable if standards are followed. So while we understand that there is a tremendous cost with fixing up a home, remember today’s shortcut and savings could cost you your home. Codes are there to protect you, not merely for the hassle.
Old plumbing, while nowhere near as lethal as an electrical system issue, is still a potential headache for you down the road. Lead lined pipes, expensive leaks that can be extremely destructive if they’re not caught early, and build up of noxious gases are just a few of the issues that can crop up from an older home.
One of the ways to protect yourself from the pitfalls of an older home that might seem perfect as a fixer-upper is to have a home inspection done. A home inspection is the proverbial look under the hood of a home, and will give you an accurate lay of the land. This will help you to understand where potential problem areas might be.
A potential problem that many first time home buyers encounter when buying a home that’s been vacant for a while with the utilities turned off, is cracked pipes, burst toilets, and shattered drains. When buying an older home, you need to plan for contingencies like updates to plumbing and other integral home systems that you may not have thought about prior.
All of this being said, these potential problems shouldn’t dissuade you from buying a fixer-upper. These are issues that can be dealt with. Many times these issues can become nothing more than additional projects in your list of things to do when fixing up your new home. But planning goes a long way towards making your dream home a reality.
In other words, fixer-uppers don’t need to be avoided, merely planned for.