Fixer Upper or Flop: 7 Ways to Spot the Difference

August 21, 2020
Fixer Upper or Flop: 7 Ways to Spot the Difference

Fixer-upper homes are rising in popularity. According to a poll conducted by Clever in 2019, 68% of millennials said they would purchase a house that needs extreme renovation, ranking far ahead of every other generation. While many believe they can turn an old beauty into their next dream home with a little bit of elbow grease, there are seven major red flags to look at when deciding between a house to flip and a potential flop.

1. Sinking, Sagging, Sloping Floors

If the floor of your future home is sinking too far in one direction or sagging in certain areas, beware. These signs are often an indication of larger structural damage. Even if a structural engineer assures you that the foundation of the house is solid, fixing sloping floors can still be costly.

2. Ragged Roof and Siding

Look for damaged siding and roofing, and try to find out when they were replaced last. If the roof has been leaking for a long period of time or the siding isn't blocking moisture, there may be existing water damage inside of the home.

3. Old Wires

Updating all of the electrical wires in your home is costly and time-intensive. Additionally, older wiring wasn't made with smartphones, television's and other energy-sucking electronics in mind. Deteriorating electrical systems can lead to electrical shock, fire and other significant safety issues.

4. Undesirable Location

While you might not mind living across the street from a cemetery, this could drastically affect your curb appeal. Avoid locations next to busy streets, extremely unmaintained homes or other undesirable locations that could reduce the value of your home.

5. Overwhelming Odor

If you walk into a fixer-upper that smells overwhelmingly of air freshener, make sure it isn't there to mask a lingering smell of water moisture, melted wiring, or pet waste.

6. Mold, Mildew and Water Stains

Water stains are often a sign of a water leaking problem, conducive for the growth of mold and mildew which can cause health complications. Look for paint and wallpaper that is peeling, or discolored stains in damp areas.

7. No Room to DIY

If most of the projects in your potential fixer upper require professional assistance, then you should evaluate whether you will save money on the project in the long run. Renovating an old home often takes far more work than a new paint color and carpet.

The right real estate agent can help ensure that you are buying a home with value instead of hidden issues. Want to work with a trusted advisor throughout the home buying process? Visit our home buying guide to see the steps our agents will help walk you through and get started connecting with a home buying expert in your area.