So you’ve found a charming home with all the character in the world, and it happens to be in the perfect neighborhood, and just about everything you could want in a home. Minus the avocado appliances and cupboards that were the height of fashion when Carter was still in office. You weren’t exactly looking forward to having a fixer-upper, but with the price and the charm, you can’t resist its lure.
The Marcroft Team in Hailey, Idaho understands. We’ve walked countless buyers through this process, and can work through some options with you. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Hailey or the surrounding areas, contact us today!
Here are some things to consider when buying a home that’s a bit outdated.
Don’t Buy It
It’s important to be realistic. What you might see as a fun weekend fixer-upper could end up being a nightmare (financially and otherwise) if you get in over your head. And it could continue for years. The home improvement shows make DIY work look super easy, but the fact is, it is not as peachy as it looks on TV. Be prepared to hire a contractor to do the job right, and to be up to code. If it’s just a matter of updating appliances, that’s fairly easy in the big picture!
Talk to a Contractor
Have the home inspected and talk to a contractor to see what the cost to bring the home up to speed will be. If there are big structural issues that need to be addressed, that’s far more of a priority than cosmetic updates, and a contractor will get you an estimate. Be realistic about your finances and if this is something you can afford to do. Your contractor should be able to talk about steps in the process, and you can bite off chunks of the process over several years. Weigh the cost of the upgrades vs. the future resale value, too!
Talk to Your Insurance Agent
One thing that’s often overlooked is that the age and condition of the home might preclude you from getting homeowners insurance. This usually happens with structural things, such as outdated plumbing, electrical parts, and foundations. Your insurance premiums could end up being so high that they aren’t affordable.
Check the roof and windows, as well as the major appliances like the furnace. When these aren’t energy efficient, they’re going to drive up the cost of your utilities every month. Many older homes have single pane windows, and even plastic coatings and other fixes aren’t enough to make a dent. The roof might be leaking, old, or crumbling, which can mean damage to your interior. Additionally, your AC and heating costs are going to be sky high. So if the older home you’re considering is outfitted with energy-efficient windows and a fairly new roof, you’re in much better shape.
If the home is on the historic register, you’re going to be restricted on the upgrades and improvements you can do. They might require you to submit plans for approval, and veto certain types of windows, for example. Consider how much you want to spend going through red tape or the cost of using only their approved materials.
Buying an older home is going to be more work, but in the end, the payoff can be substantial. If you’ve found an older home you love in the area, contact us and we can walk you through the process. Call The Marcroft Team today!