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Vancouver Fixer Uppers: Looking Past the Paint

Even if you’re not on the prowl for a fixer upper, the saturated market of less than turn key homes in Vancouver (at times with remarkable prices) paired with the endless hours you’ve spent watching HGTV might make it difficult to shake the possibility of rolling up your sleeves and making a piece of the city your very own. But when the budget isn’t limitless, and you don’t know the difference between a Robertson and a flat head where do you start?

What to Consider Before you Buy Vancouver Real Estate:

Before you consider even contacting a realtor and house hunting, having a professional team in mind can make the option of purchasing a fixer upper an easier discussion. The important task of finding a qualified home inspector that can perform a thorough inspection on a potential property can be more successful with these several tips. You can make the task of finding a home inspector easier by specifying the typical architectural style and age of the homes you are interested in and finding an inspector well versed within your parameters. Most inspectors of newer homes (think present to forty years dated) assume that an older house needs almost everything replaced and will give a generalized poorer review of key elements of the home. Once you have found an inspector whose experience relates to your house hunting objectives, ask for referrals of prior clients the inspector has worked with (again, bonus points if you can find client referrals that fit the time frame and architectural style you are seeking). Once you have lined up your professional team of prospective trades professionals and home inspector make sure to tag along for your inspection as its an opportunity for invaluable information to be passed along (perhaps not included on the report due to a lack of urgency) to know your potential new home more thoroughly and through a set of experiences eyes.

What to Look for during your Vancouver House Hunt:

Structural composition and foundation (think engineering elements), are big areas which can signal problematic properties which might be worth avoiding, whereas the membrane (roof and cladding i.e. will it keep water out and regulated temperature in), fixtures (both large and small), along with specific trades (electrical, plumbing, heating) are devoted to specialized trades professionals whose flaws may help you in the negotiation process. Money you cant avoid spending is typically allocated to roofing (with product life ranging from 15-30 years), furnace (again, a product life ranging from 15-30 years), as well as true bargain properties typically require electrical, often the most expensive trade to pay for. While we haven’t bothered mentioning cosmetics at all, this is where you get to live out your fantasy of being Bob Vila in your new property and can include painting, selecting and installing finishing fixtures, and landscaping, with minimal experience required.

The Reality of a Diamond in the Rough:

While every home, from pre-war to new build requires on going maintenance, a fixer upper brings a unique set of living conditions that quickly becomes reality. Deciding whether you want to live in a house under construction (and possibly for longer than you scheduled) requires an understanding of areas of a home that are out of commission and a constant battle of dry wall dust. But with preparation from your professional trades team and financial guidance to fund your repairs and renovations buying less than turn key can equate to a contemporary dream home with old world charm, not to mention the potential for financial gain. Echoing the advice of real estate veterans, buying the worst home on the best street combined with making your Pinterest interior design dreams become a reality will have your home boasting pride of ownership, uniqueness, and functionality.

So roll up your sleeves and together we can make a piece of Van City your own! Call me, your Vancouver Real Estate expert at 604 729 5203

 

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