Purchasing a “Fixer Upper” can accomplish many objectives, but do you really know what you are getting yourself into?
A “fixer upper” can help you buy in a neighborhood that may other wise be out of reach, or it may help you buy your first home. Whatever the reason consider the following to make sure this is right for you.
A. How much of the work can you do yourself? Are you handy? Do you have building talents? Watching the shows on television can be a bit misleading, remember they have a crew that does the work and more than likely you have a full-time job. Do you have what it takes to tear out walls, hang sheetrock? Or should you stick to removing wallpaper and painting the trim?
B. Do you know what work needs a permit? This is probably the most important detail. If you live in Charlotte County Florida you can see the County requirements, and if you live in the Punta Gorda city limits you can see the City requirements. If you have questions about either you should call to ask.
C. Do you know the Florida Law? The homeowner can face penalties for hiring unlicensed contractors? Chapter 455.288. There is a lot more to this than you might imagine. Doing the work without a permit may save you a small amount of money, but it will cause you problems when you want to sell your home. Here’s a handy list of what a handyman can and cannot do for you. This list is provided by the Charlotte Desoto Builders Industry Association. They are also a great source for licensed contractors.
D. Are you financing the remodel or are you paying cash? Did you know there are loans that allow you to purchase the home and they will also provide funding for your remodel? After the remodel it is all rolled together into one payment. There are some restrictions to the loan, but depending on what you have planned this could be a good option for you.
E. Is your remodel financially feasible? Your offer to purchase the home needs some considerations. How does a home in the area with existing renovations compare to what you are offering for the home plus the cost of renovations? Are you competitive? If not, you might want to rethink your list of renovations. You don’t want to out-price your neighborhood.
F. Did you mention home inspection? You need to make sure you have a great home inspection company. This person will evaluate the integrity of the home, the structure, the bones. They will tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. This is important for any home purchase. Some inspections you may want to consider: Home inspection(structural, roof, foundation), septic inspection, swimming pool inspection, seawall inspection, and termite inspection.
Did we scare you off? I hope not! There are great properties to be had for a little work. If you can’t do the work yourself, there are great contractors that will help you.