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What to Look for when Purchasing a House to Renovate

With budgets being tight in most households these days, more and more potential property buyers are looking at the option of purchasing homes to renovate, or in other words, fixer uppers. While this can be a great way to purchase a property at a discounted price, it is essential that you look at the aspects mentioned below before deciding to sign on the dotted line.

1. Read the Contract Carefully

Some older houses may have a few limitations regarding what type of renovations or alterations may be done to them. As a result, it’s essential that the property’s drainage plan be inspected beforehand. This will prevent any building work being done over a sewer line. It’s also essential to check the property’s Floor Space Ratio (FSR), height requirements and setback if you intend doing any form of additions or building work on the property in future.

2. See if Rewiring will have to be done

When purchasing a home to renovate, there is a strong possibility of it needing to be rewired – especially if it is an older property. Although it may be tempting to attempt this task as a DIY project to cut down on renovation costs, it is not recommended. If rewiring has not been performed by a suitably qualified electrician, most insurance companies will not pay out in the event of an electrical-related fire breaking out.

3. Ensure no Structural Issues are Present

If a property has structural issues such as a shifting foundation, cracked walls and/or ceilings, uneven flooring or doors that struggle to open and close due to frames that aren’t square, it’s best to walk away – even if the selling price seems to be an absolute bargain. The old saying, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten,” most certainly applies here as well. While you may be able to purchase a structurally unsound property for a bargain price, you will definitely regret it in the long run.

4. Have the Appropriate Inspections Performed before Agreeing to Purchase

You may be wondering how you will be able to look for the above mentioned aspects in a property you intend purchasing to renovate, especially if you’re a first time buyer. The best way to avoid dealing with structural problems, wiring issues and other serious faults is to have a pre-purchase inspection performed.

A pre-purchase inspection involves having the property thoroughly inspected for serious faults by a suitably qualified person. Within a day or two after the inspection has been done, you will be provided with a thorough report stating whether the property will be viable to purchase or not. It is also strongly recommended that you have a pest inspection performed at the same time, as evidence of termites is usually not visible until serious structural damage has been done.

If you are keen to purchase a home to renovate, but aren’t sure whether the property you have in mind will be worthwhile, get in touch with us to schedule a pre-purchase inspection today. We are always happy to assist you.

Photo credit: Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo

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