When the light is holy, the ceilings are high and the crown molding is original, it can be hard to separate your fantasy home from the pricey repairs lurking just out of eyesight. But knowing which questions to ask can you save you thousands of hard-earned Benjamins.
One person who knows a thing or two about buying houses with, erm, issues? The king of fixer uppers himself: Chip Gaines. We recently connected with the KILZ spokesman to see which hidden issues you should always investigate thoroughly.
1. The roof
Ask about the age and condition of the roof. If 20-plus years old, it likely needs repairs and/or replacing—that could means a painful $10K hit to your budget.
2. The plumbing
Another major money suck? Shoddy pipes and sewers. Ask about the age of your water heater (they need to be replaced every ten years), and inquire as to the type, age and material of your piping. Also, bringing in a plumber to perform a camera inspection of the main sewer could save you big bucks in the long run.
3. The electrical
With electrical, what you see is often what you get, and a messy, disorganized panel is a sign that things aren’t up to snuff. Especially if the home is over 30 years old, have it inspected by a licensed electrical contractor. Electrical updates are costly, but they could mean negotiating room if you decide to move forward with the purchase.
“When you really believe that you’ve found ‘the one,’ it’s easy to get swept off your feet and make an offer right then and there,” sympathized Gaines. “But Jo and I encourage our clients to think beyond what they can see—we always recommend a home inspection to identify any potential red flags.”