More and more people are looking to buy a fixer-upper in Pittsburgh to flip or live in themselves. It can be an incredible investment, but as the buyer, you must always beware!
There are many things to watch out for when you buy a fixer-upper, but here are four of our biggest things to look out for!
Look for cracks in the foundation and signs of settling. If you can sense a noticeable slant or see cracks in the walls around doorframes and windows, these are signs of a faulty foundation. With a bad foundation, your structure will deteriorate at a much faster rate. This will lead to an endless series of repairs will can end up costing a fortune. You could end up with cracked walls, roof damage, plumbing, electrical issues and more! You will want to make sure to have a professional inspect the foundation so you don’t end up with a mountain of unplanned expenses.
This is a surefire sign of a plumbing issue or leaky roof. Repairs to both of these can be expensive and can lead to further damage and repair costs. Water damage can cost a fortune not only in repairs but mold clean up, new carpets, etc. Look for discolorations in the ceiling or on the walls near plumbing fixtures. A shower can leak into the wall for years before it is detected. This can cause immense damage to the structure of the home.
A leak in a roof can be a sign of others. You don’t want to buy a home, only to realize after the fact that it needs a whole new roof. Water damage and associated repairs can be one of the biggest costs when is comes to home damage. Have the property fully inspected and consult with the property owner about past problems. By law, they will need to disclose any issues with the home.
Look Out The Window
Or better yet, look at the windows. You’ll want to make sure the windows are double pane and not the old fashioned single pane windows often found on older homes. Even if the windows are insulated and double pane, hot and cold air can still make its way in. Look for window fogging or drafts coming through small cracks.
These cracks can also let pests and bugs walk right in. A poor foundation can lead to settling, causing doors and windows to shift. No matter what climate you live in, the windows play a huge role in your energy efficiency. Replacing a whole house full of windows can get expensive fast!
Signs of General Neglect
They say “how you do one thing, is how you do everything.” If the home you want to purchase has been poorly kept up cosmetically, there is a very good chance that structural elements of the home have not been tended to. Think about what could be hiding behind those walls. Faulty electrical work or a bug infestation which is often not detected at a home showing.
A seller will make sure the house shows no signs of bugs before you show up, even if there is a problem, it is likely to not be disclosed. There could be bad plumbing, or things fixed haphazardly to save money. Make sure you make sure any remodels, improvements or structural changes were done properly and are up to code.