There is nothing worse than buying a home and having to do an unexpected, major repair on the property. One of the ugliest repairs is a bad foundation.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average reported foundation repair will set you back $4,443, and can cost as much as $10,000 for more severe problems.
Head that one off from the start. I once looked at a potential property and only spent a few minutes in the basement before I spotted a big crack, and a reason to walk away.
If the yard slopes toward the house, or the basement wasn’t built up to par, water may leak in from windows, crawl spaces, and even through the walls or floor.
With damp basements comes many possible problems. Flooding, mold, rusty pipes, mildew, and water condensation may be close behind.
The solutions are not cheap or easy to deal with. Sump pump installation can cost thousands, and re-sealing or replacing windows, adding dehumidifiers, adding drains, increasing ventilation, and sealing basement walls are other costly potential repairs.
A few weeks ago, I was looking at a potential investment property and walked around to the narrow side yard. I saw an open plastic junction box with all sorts of wires spilling out.
Bad wiring does not always cause a problem right away, but you risk serious danger with fires, electrocution, power outages, and other avoidable problems.
According to the Houston Chronicle, electricians may charge $40-$100 per hour to fix problems like this. If they have to spend two days in your house updating your wiring and switches, you could be out well over a thousand dollars.
How bad would it be to buy a “fixer upper” in Chicago to have your furnace fail during your first winter in the house? In addition to being cold, you can expect to spend $2,000-$7,000 depending on the efficiency and the size of your home. Installation and hauling your old pile of junk away isn’t cheap either. With most furnaces lasting for 12-18 years, the one you are looking at might be on the way toward breaking down too.
If you are looking for a home in a termite friendly climate, look for the signs that the little guys are eating away at the wood in your home. Depending on the size of your home and the type of treatment needed, you will pay between $1,200-$3,000 for your repair.
And, if you are a Breaking Bad fan, you know what might happen under the big tent…
Roof Leaks and Problems
Roof repairs are charged per square foot, and can vary widely depending on the type of roofing you use. But rest assured you can expect to spend thousands to replace a roof.
Roof problems can cause water to leak into your house. Roofing problems can let pests and critters into your attic or other parts of your house.
So, unless you want to spend big or wake up with a squirrel in your bedroom, make sure the roof is in good shape before you buy.
While you may not have something as dramatic as a nuclear power plant out your back door, check the surrounding environment before you buy.
Is the home in a flood zone? Was the site ever used as a cemetery or trash dump? Sure, zombies are unlikely and landfills can be cleaned up, but those can hurt resale value, or worse.
More likely, you may run into problems like finding trash in your yard, finding a rush of water coming down the hill, dealing with underground mineral issues, or other problems that might arise.
If you know what is going on in the neighborhood and area surrounding the home, you won’t have any big surprises after you buy.