Renovating an Old House

An old house is charming, quaint and full of architectural details that reflect a bit of history. It provides an atmosphere that’s cozy and comfortable, until you decide to renovate. If you start a renovation without the right general contractors, your historic dream house may quickly become your worst nightmare.

If you love old houses, and enjoy renovating them, you may not be able to resist an old fixer-upper, especially one in a great neighborhood below market value. However, it’s important to consider renovation costs before you the house. Many old houses come with hidden problems and require repairs that can cost you a small fortune. Here are some important tips that can make the purchase of an old house pay off.

Assess Your Renovation Costs

Assess your renovation costs before you buy an old house that needs repairs. Based on the existing condition of the house and your renovation plans, add up the costs. Your estimated costs should be as accurate as possible and include materials, labor and installation figures. Subtract your estimated costs from the home’s current market value based on comparable real estate prices in the neighborhood. Next, deduct another 10 percent for unforeseen renovation problems, changes and inflation. The figure that remains should be your offering price on the house.

Include an Inspection Clause

Make sure you include an inspection clause in the real estate contract. At best, an inspection will assure you that the house is a good investment; at worst, it will help you back out of the deal. With an old house that needs repairs, an inspection clause is essential before you buy the house. With an inspection clause, the inspector will document any serious problems that exist. You can ask the seller to pay for repairs or negotiate the sale price downward. If the house needs significant structural or foundation repairs, plumbing and electrical upgrades or a new roof, you could easily spend $50,000 to $100,000.

Choose Renovation Projects That Pay Off

The ideal old house or fixer-upper is one that requires mostly cosmetic improvements like new paint, floor refinishing, drywall or ceiling repairs, new kitchen appliances, kitchen or bathroom cabinets, lighting fixtures, and exterior doors and shutters. Cosmetic improvements don’t cost as much as structural, electrical and plumbing repairs, but they offer a good return on investment. Cosmetic improvements and upgrades will boost visual appeal and property value for future buyers.

Related posts: