Like many future homeowners, you may have your eye on that on diamond in the rough. The property that looks like it’s seen better days but is the making of the place you plan on raising your family. It needs some elbow grease, love and financial investment.
Stop! Before you get too far ahead of yourself, the very first thing you need to do when you find that needle in a haystack is to get the best home inspection money can buy. Unfortunately, while you can spot a cracked window or a staircase in disrepair, identifying and fixing the real problems like faulty plumbing and electrical can be a little more difficult and a lot more costly. An experienced inspection company will look far deeper than you can even consider investigating – from the foundation to the roof and every spot in between.
Next step: once you get a list of necessary repairs, don’t panic. There are very few things that can’t be fixed. It depends on time and money. That’s where a skilled real estate lawyer comes into the picture. A real estate agent can help you find the home of your dreams – in whatever condition you desire – but they cannot give legal advice. Further, a real estate lawyer is in the best position to negotiate on your behalf with the seller’s attorney. One of the biggest parts of buying a “fixer-upper” is determining what you’re willing to pay for and what you will need the previous owners to fix to make it work for you. This is where it is critical that you rely on an experienced and knowledgeable real estate attorney, preferably one that knows the area and what property values are worth. So before the papers are signed and the first hammer is nailed, make sure you know what you’re getting into.
When you’re getting to buy a reno, you want to primarily look at two numbers: what it will cost to fix and what you can turn it around for when it’s time to sell. Even though you say you’ll never leave and you’re building your dream-home, things always happen. Real estate is about investment. Beware of falling in love with a building; make sure you are making business decisions (which is what a real estate purchase is, after all) with your head and not your heart.
Joel R. Spivack and his associates have the experience, knowledge and negotiating power to help guide you through your home-buying process. We will act on your behalf during all inspection-related negotiations to help you ensure you’re not getting in too deep. If you’re thinking about buying a South Jersey fixer-upper, there’s no law firm better qualified to assist you.