Let’s say you've been looking at houses, and you found a house that you love. The only problem is that the house is terribly outdated, or is in need of major repairs (think new roof, broken air conditioner, or a nonfunctional water heater), or is just plain ugly in its current form. As with all real estate decisions, there are advantages and drawbacks to buying a fixer upper. Whether you're planning to renovate your way to your dream home or using the property as an investment, here are some steps to take to prepare yourself for the project ahead. Check the Zoning You need to the zoning requirements for your home in order to get an idea of what renovations can and can not make to your new property. Having a huge lot that offers room for a home addition won’t be worth much if the zoning prohibits it, and a historical landmark home requires a number of extra bureaucratic hoops to jump through before you start making any big changes. To determine the zoning requirements, meet with your municipality and they will be able to walk you through the regulations regarding zoning. Your real estate agent can also point you in the right direction. Bring a Home Inspector This vital step is additionally important when it comes to a house in disrepair. After you've made an agreement to buy the house and are waiting for the contracts to be signed, conduct a walkthrough of the home with a licensed home inspector that you trust. They will be able to advise you on anything that the home might need, and the walkthrough provides an opportunity to become familiar with the house. Pay careful attention to any mechanical issues, like an old, rickety air conditioning unit, that will need to be replaced soon. Also check for things like old water filtration systems, lead paint, low electrical wattage, mold, and other common problems that arise when homes haven’t been properly maintained. Call In the Experts Don’t bite off more than you can DIY. Bring in an architect and/or a contractor to help you design your new space and make up your mind on what you really want to do with your new home. Professionals can determine whether walls are load bearing if you’re planning on knocking some stuff down, and are well versed in the different permits that will need to be pulled, depending on the project. Research Tax Incentives Depending on the state, you may be eligible for tax incentives for rehabilitating a run-down home. Be sure to check and see if there are any options - those savings may come in handy when you inevitably end up with surprise expenses! A fixer-upper can be a lot of work, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to get a great price on a property and to customize it. After the improvements are done, the waste hauled away and the sawdust and drywall dust has cleared, you may find yourself with a true dream home. Contributed by James Link SetSchedule has changed the way real estate marketing is viewed, by changing the way REALTORS® access clients and listing appointments. SetSchedule is a “first of its’ kind” exclusive membership based model that provides verified appointments, marketing tools, and elite invite-only networking events for its members. By blending new technologies, and thought processes with proven success methods SetSchedule had incurred record producing results unseen in the industry.
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