When you’re buying a home, whether it’s your first home or you’ve been through the process before, you want to do everything you can to avoid ending up with a money pit. Even those who buy houses to professionally flip them don’t want to get stuck with something they’ll have to sink so much money into that they’ll never be able to make a profit. But unfortunately, these types of houses do exist, and they can be tougher to spot from the outside than you might realize. It takes a little extra effort to make sure you don’t end up with a money pit when you go shopping for your new Arizona home, but with the right mindset, you’ll be ready to say no when you need to.
Don’t pick a home with a floor plan you’ll want to change
Changing and reconfiguring the floor plan of any house is a sure way to add tens of thousands of dollars to your remodeling costs right away. Pick a house with a floor plan you like well enough to leave it alone. Removing load-bearing walls is a very complicated and expensive project, and unless you do it for a living, you may not be able to tell just by looking which walls are load-bearing.
Look at the basement and roof first
These are the parts of any home that are sure to show signs of significant damage before any other area. If there are leaks or damage in the roof, you may have to factor in the cost of an entire roof replacement before you can go anywhere else with your remodeling plans. And if you notice damage in the basement, the underlying cause could be a very serious foundation issue.
Skip houses with steel and aluminum pipes and wiring
You will have to replace steel pipes and aluminum wiring in any home you buy, usually by law. These are both very dangerous and could cause a buildup of contaminants in your water supply and be a fire hazard, respectively. Replumbing and rewiring a whole house is extremely expensive.
Research the neighborhood
Don’t choose a home in a bad neighborhood. Take time, do your research, and don’t sink a lot of money into remodeling a house that’s in a dangerous of part of town.
Pay for a home inspector before you ever make an offer
You should always get any home you’re thinking of buying inspected. However, if you’re looking for a fixer-upper, it’s a good idea to have a home inspector “on standby” so you can call him or her to check out any properties you’re considering. A good home inspection may be the deciding factor between two different houses.
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