Finding the Right Fixer-upper

By: Greg Smith

Finding the right fixer-upper for a real estate investment can be tricky. It's hard to know exactly what a home requires in terms of fixes before you actually get in there and start taking stuff apart and getting into the renovations. The best you can do is shop wisely after doing your research and try to make sure that the home you have purchased will take little work to revamp it into a work of art.

One of the most important things to take into consideration in buying a fixer-upper is the condition of the exterior. Depending on what the outside of the home is constructed from, there will be differing concerns. Wood and stucco are both susceptible to water damage, although for different reasons.

Stucco can become damaged, usually when seams and corners are improperly finished or sealed. This allows water to get underneath the finish and into the wood beneath. Wood, while being susceptible to weather damage is also prone to damage from bugs, termites specifically. Before buying a home make sure that the inspector checks the condition of the exterior thoroughly, making sure there is no environmental damage and that all seams and joints are properly sealed.

In regards to the interior, if you can find a place that simply needs some paint, and maybe new appliances and fixtures then you are set. New appliances are a great start for any renovation. They can easily change the look of a tired old kitchen and new appliances are one of the things that most home buyers notice first in homes. Another great cosmetic element that can drastically increase the value of a home is new flooring. Laminate is a popular surface that looks great and is quite easy to install. It can also be relatively inexpensive and is functional for most any room. Although you may want to consider a more durable surface such as tile for areas like the kitchen and bathroom. Make yourself a list of the things that need to be done in any home that you look at. From that you should be able to make a cost estimation and decide on the right home.

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