The real estate market in South Carolina and across the country is running hot, meaning buyers are snapping up homes and inventory is running short. If you’re looking for a first-time home purchase or a home with some more space, you might consider one that needs a little work. 

The benefits of buying a fixer-upper are twofold. You may be able to get it at a discount since sellers know you’ll be investing more in the property after the sale. And you get the opportunity to make it your own with your upcoming remodel project. 

But, you can’t and shouldn’t pick just any fixer-upper as your next home. The secret to getting the right home and a good deal means knowing what to look for and involving the right inspectors. If you’re considering buying a fixer-upper, here’s what you need to know. 

Location

It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a fixer-upper or a new construction home, location should be a driving factor in your purchase decision. Avoid buying a fixer-upper next to a school, on a busy intersection, or situated next to a landfill. 

Examine the neighborhood and pull public records. Look for fixer-uppers in neighborhoods that are “up-and-coming” with amenities in the area. Check out the nearby homes to see how well they are maintained. 

Layout

The home’s “bones” are essential. In other words, it is configured in a way that will meet your needs? Does it have three bedrooms and two baths, or will you need to knock out walls and reconfigure space? If you plan to go full “HGTV” on the home, make sure it’s in your budget. 

Condition

Most fixer-uppers need work, hence the name, but some remodeling projects are more costly than others. Understand what you will be facing if you buy an older home. Will your upgrades be simple or more involved?

Simple fixer-upper fixes

  • Replacing doors
  • Painting, patching walls, stripping wallpaper
  • Adding trim or replacing baseboards
  • Painting or refacing cabinets
  • Painting the exterior
  • Replacing outlets and fixtures

Costly fixer-upper fixes

  • Shoring up foundations
  • Replacing or adding an HVAC system
  • Replacing a roof
  • Repairing or replacing electrical or plumbing systems
  • Building additions or “opening” up the space
  • Complete bath and kitchen remodels
  • Replacing windows

Inspections

You should always get an inspection when you purchase a house. But, you’ll want to involve a variety of home inspectors if you’re considering a fixer upper as your next home. A few that you should consider include:

  • Roof inspection – A roof inspection and certification will give you information about the condition and age of the home’s roof. 
  • Pest inspection – Ask for pest inspection on an older home to find out about potential damage from termites, beetles, ants, and other critters. 
  • Sewer line inspection – Sewer lines can age alongside an older property. It makes sense to have the septic tanks and sewer lines checked. 

In addition to having these inspections, you can also ask the seller to pay for a home warranty for additional peace of mind. 

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or looking to “level up,” The Lafayette Team can help. We are top producers in the Lake Murray, SC area with more than 17 years of combined experience. We’ll help you evaluate those fixer-upper homes or find another property that meets your goals. Contact us today to learn more about how our services and knowledge of the area can exceed your expectations.