When looking to buy a new home one of the great things that you have the chance to do is to buy a fixer upper. A house that needs work doing to it gives you the opportunity to build and create a unique home where just the skeletons are the original. These types of houses are often cheaper due to the amount of work that needs doing - but don’t be fooled; you will often end up spending the rest on fixing the house instead. There are many chances for you to take on some of the restoration work yourself, again cutting the costs, however, you do want the place to be habitable, so make sure you know what you are doing and when to bring in a professional. When looking into buying a fixer upper home, you want to minimize the amount of structural work that needs doing - knocking down a wall or two, or even repairing them is fine as long as the structure and stability of the house hasn’t been affected. So here are a few things to look out for when shopping around for your DIY project.
Damp can occur in any home, but can become a real problem in a poorly ventilated building that is exposed in some way to the elements. Damp is curable as long as it hasn’t damaged any wooden supports, but mold can ruin huge swathes of the house. When having the house checked over, ask the person to also do some testing for mold, because even if you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. You should also look into doing some research on different types of mold, and the stages past which the area is unsavable.
As we just mentioned, you should always have the building investigated and checked for any major structural issues. It could be caused by damp or flooding, due to abandonment and vandalism, or it could even be down to Mother Nature taking back the land. You need a home where the foundations are steady, and where, if there are any structural issues, the problem can be resolved quickly and within your budget.
Look for damaged locks as you visit the property. If they have been tampered with then it’s likely that the house has been accessed by thieves or vandalizers, and possibly even squatters. You should always change the locks on a new house anyway - and if you decide to buy the property, noting how many locks are already installed will help you to get the change under way as soon as you sign those papers.
During the inspection of the property, the surveyor will be able to give you a full account on the conditions of you wiring. Unless there was a fire or purposeful rerouting by the previous occupants, the wiring should be fine. However, a lot of old buildings can have some issues caused by bugs and faults in old wiring - plus you are likely to have less outlets than a modern home needs. It will also mean that your kitchen will be outdated and could need rewiring for an electric stove, or new gas piping installed for a gas oven.