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Avoid buying a money hungry house

Posted: February 19th, 2020

Buying a house is a huge undertaking and house prices are a hot topic of conversation. You don’t want to accidentally spend your hard-earned money on a house that is going to cost you more money in the long run. Here are some helpful tips to avoid buying a money-hungry house.

1. Foundations are key

The first place to look when inspecting a potential house is the bottom. A house’s foundation supports the whole house and could make or break the value of a home and turn it into a money-hungry house. It is important to look out for any damage to the foundations as they can be very difficult and costly to repair. Look out for issues like are damaged or weak walls. Moisture damage especially in basements and crawlspaces. Large cracks in concrete slabs and cracks or damage to brickwork. Closely inspect structural timber for any sign of significant wear, and most importantly any signs of termite activity. These are all large repair jobs that will take a lot of time and money to make sure the house is safe. This means a house with any signs of these issues should be considered carefully.

2. Avoid outdated infrastructure

When buying a house that you are planning on renovating, you’ll likely be inspecting houses that have aged in order to secure the best deal. While this is a great idea to find a house with a lesser price tag, you should also make sure you’re not buying an outdated property that is going to turn into a money-hungry house in order to bring into the new decade. 

There are a number of ways a house can become out of date and some of these cause quite significant problems. Outdated electrical infrastructures such as wiring, fuse boxes, and lighting can be very inefficient and expensive to update. The idea of a smart house is appealing to a lot of potential buyers but electrical equipment that is out of date and not compatible will leave the house in the past. 

Things like old heating and cooling, hot water systems or dodgy plumbing will also quickly run up your reno costs and drive the house value down if left outdated.

3. Check for leaks and low lying areas

A problem when searching for a house can be that you don’t get a chance to see the house in a variety of scenarios. A house may seem wonderful when the sun is out and the birds are chirping but how does the roof hold up in a rainstorm? Is the house situated in a low lying area that could mean problems with flooding? If possible it is ideal if you can visit the house after or even during some bad weather so you can see for yourself if there are any drainage issues with the gutters and land around the property.

If you do not get the chance to see the house in bad weather still keep an eye out for things like old damaged guttering and especially damage to the roof. A damaged roof can lead to serious problems and internal damage which, you guessed it, is not cheap to fix!

4. Don’t bite off more than you can renovate

Layout, structural and style changes are expensive. Repairs or renovations shouldn’t cost more than the value they will add. The idea of finding a rundown house for a bargain and then renovating it into your dream home is very exciting, but if buyers aren’t careful they may find themselves with a mountain of work and more of a money-hungry house than the house of their dreams.

If undertaking a project as significant as this it is very important to be realistic. Some major questions need to be asked and answered honestly such as do you have the knowledge and skills to renovate? Do you have time to put into renovating a house? Can you afford the costs that come with renovating a house? Are you ready to commit to seeing this through to the end? If there is any hesitation in answering any of these questions you should think long and hard about going through with buying a house as this is not a project that is easy to get out of once started.

If you decide you are ready to undertake this monumental task there are a few things that should be avoided when renovating. Changes to the layout of the house, structural changes and style changes are all very big tasks and very expensive. A good rule to follow is that repairs or changes that are going to cost more than the value they will add to the house should be reconsidered or completely avoided.

For some insight on renovations that won’t increase the value of your home read our blog on Home Improvements that don’t add Value.

5. Keep an eye out for dodgy sellers

Unfortunately, there are bad people in the world and some of those people sell houses. Any deal that seems too good to be true probably is. If a person selling a house seems a bit shady or untrustworthy, they probably are. A common problem is when a seller knows details about a money-hungry house that would cause the value to drop and they try and hide this information from potential buyers. There are some things to look out for to spot a dodgy seller such as the seller being very pushy, wanting to come to an agreement very quickly, avoiding showing you or answering questions honestly about certain parts of the house. A seller should be prepared to discuss openly not only the great things about a house but also any issues. 

6. Go over the house with a fine-tooth comb.

Buying a house is one of the biggest steps in life, which is why it should not be taken lightly. It is impossible to be too careful or too thorough when inspecting a house and asking questions. The more you know the more informed your decision is going to be, which will lead to fewer issues in the future. When inspecting a house test everything. Turn on every light switch, test every powerpoint, check every tap and make sure the water pressure is good, even taste the water to make sure it is suitable. Nothing is out of the question.

Being diligent like this can avoid hassles after the house becomes yours to deal with. Just one powerpoint that doesn’t work properly could be a sign of bigger problems. Having a professional inspect the house is a great idea no matter what your knowledge is. It’s always helpful to have another set of eyes looking for problems you may miss or overlook. The smallest of problems can end up causing the biggest headaches so it is essential you know everything there is to know about a house before taking the biggest step of your life.