If you just purchased an older home, chances are that you have some work to do! After all, just because a home needs a little more love and elbow grease doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
The term “fixer upper” refers to older homes that are in need of repairs, maintenance, and possibly some remodeling. You may even get a much better deal on a house purchase by addressing repairs or updates that the previous owner hasn’t or won’t address.
So what’s next? Before you grab all your bags and the family pet to move in, there are some important factors to consider, which we’ll discuss here.
First steps after buying a fixer upper:
Is this your forever home?
In addition to home repairs, there are certain improvements and renovations that are appropriate for the length of time you plan to own and reside in your home. For example, you’ll have much more freedom to select taste-specific options if this is your final home purchase.
On the other hand, if you’re living there for only a certain number of years, you may want to consider more classic styles that will stay current in popularity even as years pass. Choose hardwood floors in classic stains that can be refinished before listing the house to sell.
If you plan on updating your home to be rented by tenants, favor durability and cost-effective value when choosing the materials used in the renovations.
Carpet or hardwood?
If your fixer upper has hardwood in poor condition, but only in certain sections, you have the more economical option of only replacing the parts that are damaged.
Or, all you may need is to sand down the hardwood and apply a fresh stain.
When it comes to carpet, darker colors are always a safe bet because it will mask dirt and stains. Also, darker colored carpet can be cleaned frequently without affecting its overall quality and appearance.
Most importantly in bathrooms, you need to use a flooring material that resists water and moisture. It doesn’t end with buying the tiles, though. You will need to acquire some type of thinset or mortar to attach the tile to the sub-floor, grout to fill in the cracks, and specific tools in order to get a professional, finished look.
Check above, below, around, and within.
According to a recent article by Home Depot, one of the most important steps after purchasing a fixer-upper is to check the basement below, the roof above, the siding around, along with the sewer pipes and HVAC ducts within.
It’s crucial that you have a working sump pump in order to prevent a flood during the rainy months. Make sure it’s functioning properly by opening the cover and pulling up on the float. Do you hear the motor running? If you answered yes, then congrats! You have a working sump pump! If you answered no, make sure it’s plugged in and check the circuit breaker. If it’s still not working, then you may need a replacement.
The sump pump discharge pipe that’s exiting your house should be extended far from your home’s foundation walls. This avoids having that same water come back into the foundation drainage system. You may even want to go one step further and get a backup power source. That way, you’ll still be protected against a flood if the power goes out.
At the end of the day, if you’re prepared for a fixer-upper well before taking the leap, then you’ll undoubtedly reap the benefits and rewards. Hard work really does pay off, but still never forget about all the resources at your disposal whenever you need a little extra help or advice.
Source: Home Depot; Washington Post; AmeriFirst Home Buyer Learning Center