Key Highlights

– Even if you and/or your clients are wizard DIYers, watch out for these complications

Are you and/or your clients looking to buy a fixer upper as a means to developing an additional revenue stream? If yes, check out these ten cautionary reminders about fixer uppers even if you or your clients are master do-it-yourselfers:

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  1. Houses that are listed “As-Is”
    1. “As-Is” listings are not the kiss of death but they do indicate “buyer beware.”
    2. As-Is listings indicate that the seller is aware of necessary updates and/or repairs that need to be done to the listing in order for that house to be fully functional.
    3. As-Is listings also indicate that the seller has been either unable or unwilling to make those repairs or updates.
    4. The solution here? Get a thorough home inspection on the listing before making any decisions about the listing.
    5. If the home is bank-owned and listed “As-Is,” the bank is indicating that it is not in a position to speak about the condition of the home.
  2. The listing has a bad roof.
    1. A bad roof is a read flag.
    2. Bad roofs can cause major leaks in the house that threaten the structural integrity and underpinnings of the house and its interior ceilings.
    3. Bad roofs are not for DIYers to fix…they require experienced, professional roofers.
    4. Leaks caused by faulty roofs can lead to mold…and mold is quite costly to remediate.
  3. The listing has wall cracks.
    1. The wider the wall cracks, the more problematic.
    2. If there are cracks in concrete walls, there could be structural deficiencies.
    3. If there are long cracks between the interior walls and upstairs ceilings, there could be roof truss problems.
  4. Deferred maintenance issues
    1. If the housing has been left standing for a period of time, there could be repair issues.
    2. If the house has not been heated or cooled, repair issues could be expensive.
  5. The listing has an AC window unit.
    1. If a new HVAC system is added to the house, factor in the ductwork, the registers and other required system elements to the cost.
    2. Get an estimate or two from a reliable HVAC installer to get a feel for the projected costs.
  6. The listing has a moisture or mildew odor.
    1. There could either be water seeping in from the outside.
    2. Or, water could be leaking from the plumbing system.
    3. Either way, the fix is expensive.
  7. The listing has a bad floor plan.
    1. Bad floor plans are not fixable with a fresh coat of paint.
    2. Moving walls and changing access routes within the listing may uncover other unforeseen problems.
  8. The listing has outdated wiring and/or plumbing
    1. These fixes require a professional electrician and/or plumber.
    2. Ask the home inspector about pipe materials and the condition of the listing’s electrical system.
    3. These two items can easily be deal breakers.
  9. The listing has an ugly kitchen/bathroom.
    1. These two fixes are among the most expensive remodeling projects.
  10. The listing stands on a badly graded lot.
    1. Bad grading can lead to wet basements if/when there is extensive water intrusion into the listing.
    2. Bad grading can result in termites and other pests/critters moving in to the listing.


Thanks to Inman’s Christy Murdock Edgar for her source material.

Also read: Podcast: 7 Step Proven Plan To Defeat Laziness and Complacency (Part 4), Three Satellite Cities Outshining Their Bigger Neighbors, House Flipping “Just the Beginning” for Zillow Offers

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