With fixer-uppers on the housing market being a much more affordable option for many first-time home-buyers, it can be incredibly tempting to look past some of their issues. However, a fixer-upper can be a nightmare if you’re not prepared, especially for a first home. Here are a few tips to help you avoid walking into a bad situation when buying your first house.
- There’s no rush: You don’t have to buy the first home you look at; in fact, you probably shouldn’t. It’s important to look at a lot of houses before making any offers. Aim for ten, fifteen, even twenty houses. This makes sure you keep your options open. If a realtor is rushing to get your offer, it’s possible they’re trying to make sure you don’t have time to find the problems with the home.
- Get a second opinion: It’s always helpful to have an outside perspective, especially when this is your first time shopping for a home; someone who’s not going to be living in the house is likely to have a far more realistic perspective than someone who’s optimistic about buying their first home. Bring along a friend or relative you can trust to point out the flaws you might miss.
- Pay attention to the inspection: Make sure you pay close attention during the home inspection. Home inspections can uncover hidden problems that you might miss in a simple walk-through. 34% of recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity, and this is where those problems are most likely to come to light.
- Know when to walk away: If you do decide you’re fine with a fixer-upper, make sure that it’s still worth it. If you’re not careful, the cost of renovations could make your cheap home more expensive than another home
that wouldn’t have needed fixing. Know what you’re willing to spend, both on the home itself and renovations. Also, be sure to have an emergency fund set aside, for any unpleasant surprises after buying the home.
As a first-time home buyer, accidentally buying a home with more projects than you expected can be an easy mistake to make. By checking multiple homes, getting multiple opinions, paying attention to the home inspection, and being ready to walk away, you can ensure that the home you do end up buying isn’t going to come with too many unpleasant surprises.