When you’re buying a home, you might expect that it’s going to come with some costs even after the purchase agreement is through, the mortgage is settled, and you’ve moved in. However, while you might be willing to spend on decorating, some renovating, and even some repair work, you want to make sure that you’re not buying a house that turns into a money pit, and an endless project that’s always asking for more. As such, here are a few ideas on how you can avoid that.

Leave your emotions at the door

It’s hard to try and stay objective when you’re looking at a home. It’s a purchase that’s going to have such an effect on your lifestyle and quality of life, it’s only natural to get excited about the prospect of a home that you really like the look of. However, you need to keep a cool head and look with an analytical eye when you’re going through a property. Otherwise, your heart can lead to you making decisions that your head would probably object to if you had the opportunity to use it. There’s nothing wrong with falling in love with a house, but only after you’re sure that it meets your standards.

Have a close inspection

Open plan living dining room home interior
Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

Take the time to go through the home carefully, inspect it with your eye, and try to take the time to get a good look at everything that’s inside. You might even want to take pictures if you have permission. The purpose here is to make sure that you’re fully considering each room, how they meet your needs, and what you might need to change. This way, you can later think about all of the changes you might want to make, including potential repairs that you have spotted. Tallying up these costs, you can get a good idea of the post-purchase price that you’re looking at.

Spend extra time in the basement

A professional is going to be able to help you look at this part of the home even more closely. However, before you even decide it’s worth getting to that stage, you should make sure to check the basement or whatever area is under the home. These are the spots that are prone to the most problems with dampness, foundation issues and more. If you spot any water leaks, if there is a strong musty smell or any cracks in the walls, these are red flags you should ask about. These can be some of the most expensive problems of all to fix, so you have to be sure that you’re willing to pay for them. In most cases, you may just want to walk away.

Know what’s lurking under the surface

Typically, the most costly home repairs come as a result of not knowing enough about the property that you’re trying to buy. This is precisely the kind of situation that a home survey is supposed to help you avoid. The seller’s valuation does not take into account how the value of a property should be affected by wet or dry rot, roofing problems, foundation damage or otherwise, because they do not look that far into the property. As such, you’re going to need your own professional to take a closer look at the home and see what issues might be lurking understand. You might be able to cover these costs by getting the seller to lower the asking price, too.

Take a look at the rest of the neighbourhood

Always get the roof checked before you buy a property
Photo by Gonzalo Facello on Unsplash

Looking at the property itself is where most of your focus should go. However, you can get some good ideas on what to expect from it by taking a look at the neighbourhood as well. First of all, look at the homes of the immediate next-door neighbours, or the closest neighbours. Visible issues affecting their property, like roof damage, moss, overgrown gardens, and the like, might end up affecting the property beside them as well. If you’re thinking about the potential resale value and the home as an investment, then your neighbours can devalue your home if you’re not careful as well. Remember, it’s not just the property that you’re buying, it’s the location that it is in, too.

Know your renovation plans before you move in

The home might not need too much in the way of vital repairs. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have plans to update it. If you’re renovating a home, especially renovating an old home, then you need to make sure that you have a plan on how, exactly, you’re going to do it. Consider your overall budget for this renovation, and look at the changes that you want to make in the home. Consider those that are the highest priority and get them priced out first, whether you need to consider the costs of materials and tools to DIY it, or you need an estimate from a contractor.

Know what you’re willing to do on your own

Home renovation
Photo by Daniela Gisin-Krumsick on Unsplash

You might be willing to tolerate some repairs and renovations, but one way to help keep the costs of repairs down is to have a good idea of what DIY work you’re willing to do. Of course, there are some kinds of work that you simply should not do without the right qualifications, such as plumbing and electrics. Drywall repairs and some damp material replacements might be easy enough for you to handle on your own. Be aware of what you’re able to DIY and how much time you’re going to be able to spend fixing up the home to avoid the costs of having to hire contractors for every little thing. Just try to avoid overestimating how much work you’re actually willing to do.

Money pits are all too common on the housing market. Sometimes buyers end up in them out of their own negligence or poor planning, but you have to beware sellers and agents willing to mislead you, as well. With the tips above, you can make sure you land in the right property for you.