When you’re shopping for a new home, you probably want the property to be as “move in ready” as possible. That way, you can… well… just move in!
However, there are a lot of fantastic properties on the market that need some work. For example, you might see a home that has everything you need, but the kitchen is long overdue for a renovation. Or, you might view a property that requires a lot of repairs and painting — tasks that, at first glance, seem overwhelming.
You don’t want to just pass on a property that might be a great buy. On the other hand, you don’t want to purchase a home, only to end up with more renovations, repairs and expenses than you anticipated.
What’s the solution? Here’s an idea.
When you view a home that needs work, make a note of exactly what needs to be done. Stick to the important “must have” improvements and leave “nice to have” improvements for a later time. Chances are, you’ll identify just one or two projects — such as “paint all the walls” or “replace the countertops in the kitchen.”
One helpful tip. When doing a walkthrough of a house with my buyers, I will make a note to check the windows to see the year that’s stamped between the glass panes. It helps to know the age of the windows to be aware of any potential replacement costs. Also, serial numbers on an air conditioner can typically inform you of the year of manufacture.
Once you have that list, you’ll be in a better position to determine how long the work will likely take and the approximate cost. This will give you some needed perspective on whether or not to buy the home.
If a home you’re considering needs $15,000 in work that can probably be completed within two months, that might make the property worth buying. In fact, it probably would!
So, when you see an otherwise ideal home that needs some work, don’t let your imagination make that work into more than it is. Take notes and get estimates.