Home Inspection

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pointer_hunter, May 6, 2005.

  1. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Michigan
    I got a call tonight about a house that finally made it through forclosure and is now at the realator. It is in the area that we plan to move, a little closer to the MIL (1/4 mile) then hoped, but she's nice so maybe it won't be so bad. I'll give the run down first and then ask for advice on what to check for when I do my walk through tomorrow morning.

    10 Acres, 30x40 pole barn that held horses (no end doors and one piece of tin needs to be replaced), 24x24 pole barn/garage (older but in decent shape), old mobile home which will need to be removed, house looks like an older double-wide with an addition on the back that looks to have two bedrooms and a family room. Rumor has it that the roof leaked, but it looks like there is a new one on. It looks like the old clay tile type out in Cali, but it is a steel/tin type. From the outside, it looks like I will have to replace the carpet/walls in the original part. They had someone come in and put anit-freeze in the pipes, so hopefully nothing cracked over winter. My major concern is going to be the heating. I can see a wood stove in the new family room, but I don't know if that is the only way they heated the place, or if they ran ducts out to the addition.

    It is in Mid-Michigan and the land is going for about 2-3K an acre. The asking price is 84,900.00 so I have to figure out what it will cost to fix up and try to get a starting price.

    **Is there anything special I should be looking for when I walk through? How much do they normally mark up a repo so I can get an idea of where to start negotiating?

    Any advice or comments are greatly appreciated!!!!!
     
  2. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Ohio
    In evaluating a "Fixer-Upper" it is always the same. Pay attention to big ticket items. Things like roofs, windows, wiring, heating. Lumber can cost more today, so if a lot needs to be replaced it can slip into that big ticket category. For farms things like water supply and how is sewage handled.

    The other consideration for more rural Fixer-Upper's is how readily handy is materials, can be a big hassle and maybe a bit expensive just finding the right materials????
     

  3. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Michigan
    Thanks Cosmic,
    I never thought about checking the water out to the barn or the sewage. The barn is probably about 100ft from the house. Doesn't sound too far...until I'm carrying buckets of water in a snow storm!

    Getting materials shouldn't be a problem. The property is about 3 miles outside a large town that has supplies, or about 20 minutes from a city that has the Lowe's, HD and Maynards.

    I'm not really excited about fixing up another house. I still have to sand, prime and paint one more room in my house right now so we can sell it. But, it pretty much has everything we need already on the land. If we can start low enough in price, the work will be worth it in the end.
     
  4. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    PA
    The thing with fixer uppers is getting it at a reasonable price to start.
    You have said that it is a forclosure. You have also said that the "house" looks like a double wide. This should be checked into before purchase. Mobile homes go down in value with age. So fixing one up is like putting 5000 bucks into a 1000 dollar pickup. In a year it's still worth only 1000.
    However if resale is not your wish and you are able to do your own work. No issue is really too expensive. Some one above mentioned windows. Well a house that size has probably less than 12 windows. They can be bought for 150.00 a piece. The price to put all new windows is what 1800.00 . Thats not too bad. Lumber and supplies have gone up quite a bit but it's still not bad if you stay away from the expensive "decrotive items". For instance a closet can be built for <500.00 in materials. But one of those closet organizers can cost 1000.00.

    With forclosures I'd look for the one that smells so bad you can't walk in it. The foundation is cracked. The roof leaks and the windows are broke. The land is full of garbage....and so is the house. The bank is beggin some one just to take it. Now you can get it for a few thousand and do the cleaning and repairs. In the end having spent much less than you would have if the house was in OK shape. Some times Ok shape houses cost just about as much as a full tareout. Because of the dreaded "ya awtas". Like the wiring should be done now that the wall is open...How about some insulation. New sink drains. The "ya awtas" will run you out of cash quick.

    Just somethings to think about
     
  5. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Be careful you don't get into something that has been used as a meth lab. The cleanup can be extremely expensive.

    Also look out for something that has been used as a quasi auto repair shop. Look for oil and solvent dumping on/in the ground. Contaminated soil can be costly to clean-up. May not seem like such a big deal while you own the house, but may be just one more roadblock when you go to sell it.

    Allso, one thing I've been seeing lately is an underestimation of dumping costs. People will buy a fixer upper that has years of accumulation of junk strewn about all over. They figure they will just "haul it to the dump". That is getting very costly these days. Make sure you budget enough for it.

    Finally, watch out for abandoned vehicles. They can cost an arm and a leg to have hauled away. If they don't have a title it is even more difficult. People like to say you can get good steel scrap value for them these days. That's true, but what they don't tell you is many steel yards will not accept it unless it is fully disassembled down to just the steel. That means all the other parts of the car are still in your yard.

    Wayne
     
  6. bluetick

    bluetick Well-Known Member

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    southern CA
    First, you might want to find out what year the mobile was built. Your bank may not write a mortgage on one older than about 1995 or so.

    If you are really interested in the place, you might want to pay for a home inspection to be done. A bank might require one anyway. The bank that foreclosed on the property may reduce the price depending on the outcome of the inspection, or may have the work done - especially in regard to serious issues like water quality, for example.
     
  7. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for all the feedback. Here is what we found once inside:

    They heated with a wood stove, so all of the "white" walls are now black along the top. I know this is smoke damage and not black mold because they were nice enough to let the roof leak in spots to give us some black mold to compare it to :no: So the roof needs to be replaced.

    The entire floor needs to be replaced including most of the subfloor.

    It has new windows throughout. They put skylights...well....they have holes where skylights should be. They covered them with the clear fiberglass roofing sheets that are normally used for pole barns. That has to add a negative 3 R-value for the insulating.

    The double-wide is a 1980. There is nothing inside the house that can be salvaged including bathrooms/kitchen stuff. There is an old trailer that has to be hauled away, but they don't know what year it is. Up here, if it's older then a certain year, you have to pay 750-1000 to have it professionally removed as it probably has asbestos inside.

    I asked the lady if the bank that owns it will finance and she said no. I'm not sure how they expect to get anyone else to finance if they won't. I don't see them getting 84,900 for that when if you add up the cost of 3,000 an acre, two pole buildings (if new), well and septic would only come to about 50-51.

    Funny thing though, she left and we were still there. Another realtor came up and asked if we were waiting for someone. I said, "no, we already went through." He asked how it looked. We told him we'd wait outside to get his reaction. He was in there for a whole 2 minutes. Came back out and said, "Well, nothing a nice bulldozer can't fix."