5 Signs Your House Is a Money Pit 5 Signs Your House Is a Money Pit
If you are looking to buy a house to live in or flip, there are steps you can take to make sure that you get the best value for your money. Ignore those steps, and the house you buy could end up costing you more in the long run.
1. Foundation Issues
The foundation is the base of your home, the footing that everything else rests on. Any problems could mean potential problems with the rest of the house. Signs to look for are large cracks in the foundation walls as well as cracks in the sheetrock on the main floor. Cracks in the corners of rooms, and around windows and doorways, are a sign that the foundation could be shifting.
You’ll also want to check the exterior perimeter of the house for large and mature trees. Tree roots can grow deep and cause foundation problems that are expensive to fix. If you think that the home has potential foundation issues, you should call in an expert or look for a new home to purchase.
Mold is a potential sign of long-term moisture problems. A little bit of mold might not be a serious thing, but a lot of mold could indicate a larger issue. Look for mold near water sources: basements, bathrooms, under sinks, and around pipes are great places to start. If there is mold on walls, there could be mold behind walls. If there is mold behind walls, that means ripping out the walls and hiring someone to come in to clean and treat the area.
If you have mold, you’ll have to deal with it and the moisture problem. Both issues can be costly, so consider whether the price of the home is worth it.
3. A Bad Roof
A new roof can be an expensive investment. If the existing roof has been poorly maintained, there could be existing water damage, mold, and pests. Potential signs of a bad roof include cracked or missing shingles, moss and mold growing on the surface, and water damage in the attic.
If the roof needs replacing, there is a chance that you’ll also have to replace damaged wood and treat for pests like carpenter ants or mice. Remember that you might not know the extent of any damage until the existing roof is removed.
4. Outdated Wiring
If you are considering purchasing an older home, there is a possibility that the wiring is outdated. Today’s electricity needs are higher than in the past, and newer wiring systems are much safer. Rewiring a home involves getting behind walls and into ceilings and can cost as much as $20,000.
Determine whether the new home uses fuses or circuit breakers. Fuses are older and need to be replaced when they melt. You’ll also want to determine what your electric needs are and whether the new house can accommodate those needs. If not, determine whether you can add electricity or whether you’ll have to replace everything.
5. Bad Plumbing
Just as old wiring can be a problem, so can old plumbing, especially if you are dealing with your own septic system. Aside from potentially lower water pressure with old plumbing, it’s likely that the water and plumbing pipes have deteriorated over time. This could lead to water damage in ceilings and behind walls in the near future.
Replacing water and plumbing pipes can be costly, as can putting in a new septic system, find out how old the plumbing is first. If there is a septic system, ask for service records. An ignored septic system could cause future problems as well.
Home Buying Tips
Get an Inspection
If you are thinking about buying a home, it’s important that you hire a reputable home inspector and get a full home inspection beforehand. It is well worth the cost.
A professional home inspector knows homes and what to look for. A good one will cover the large and expensive issues, but also smaller issues that might not be deal breakers but will still cost money in the long run.
Use the Inspection to Negotiate
A good home inspector will also give you a detailed report, often with pictures. Use this report to negotiate the price of the home you are interested in, especially if there are bigger and costly improvements that need to be made. Oftentimes you can get a reduction on the listing price or the homeowner will agree to pay for some of the improvements necessary.