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Purchasing a Fixer Upper–Four Things to Avoid!

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Purchasing a Fixer Upper–Four Things to Avoid!

Purchasing a fixer upper can be a wise investment. You can make some serious profits if you are willing to put in some sweat equity. It leaves room in your budget to select the finishes you want—from new flooring to countertops to light fixtures. But make sure you weigh the cost and avoid these four issues—or at least be prepared to pay for them!

Structural Issues

Structural issues can be extremely costly. Look for places where the concrete has either raised up or sunk down or cracked significantly. Lots of cracks in the sheetrock in the house can indicate issues as well. But remember, a leaky basement is not always a sign that you have big problems. We have been able to fix basement leaking with positive drainage. Consult with an expert if you aren’t sure.


Mold may appear to be just in a small area, but it is often more pervasive than meets the eye. It can spread behind the walls and infect the studs as well. It is very hard to get rid of. It can cause health issues for many. When we see mold on a potential fixer upper, we move on.

Galvanized plumbing

When we purchased our current home, it was in need of a lot of updating! One thing we didn’t realize at first, but quickly did, was how terrible the water pressure was! We couldn’t take a shower if the washer was running. We looked into it and realized that we had an old line made of galvanized steel bringing our water in from the street to our house. It had corroded, making it difficult for the water to flow freely into the house. We had to pay a plumber to replace that line for us. After that we had great water pressure. Although that was costly, it would be far worse if this type of plumbing was running through the entire house. Definitely check this on homes built before 1960, and even possibly until 1980.

2-prong outlets

It is very common to find 2-prong outlets in older homes. What this means is that the electrical is out of date, and not to code. There is no ground wire. Be prepared to pay a licensed electrician to update the wiring in your home.


If you do your research before closing on a fixer upper, you definitely can get a great return on your investment. Keep these four things in mind as you weigh the cost!

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