How much would you expect to pay for these fixes?

girlndocsMarch 14, 2010

For one reason and another my family went to peek at an older house for sale even though we aren't looking to buy. It's priced very, very cheap, and my husband's boss apparently thinks that means it's a good deal, but there's a lot of stuff we could see even from the outside that needs work.

The roof (composition shingle) doesn't look too good -- obviously old and lots of moss.

The aluminum siding has pieces missing and isn't very tight around the edges, like it was badly installed or not maintained. A window was replaced and the new window is smaller than the old one, so there's an area below it that's not sided.

The chimneys look pretty funky even from the ground. They're not functional, though -- electric inserts installed in the fireplaces.

Someone recently added an unfinished "utility room" to the back and it has no siding, just that particle-board looking sheathing stuff with plastic over it. Inside, what was the exterior wall of the house is still visible. Looks horrible.

The garage has its original wood siding and that looks like it's ready to fall off in several places.

And then there are some cosmetic issues like the wood-look vinyl flooring on the main floor and the hideous "garden tub" installed in the master bath. And the fake stone siding on the front porch exterior.

This place strikes me as too much to take on unless someone has a lot of time and money to dedicate to it, so it's definitely not for us, but someday I do want to buy an old house. So out of curiosity and to further my learning process here, can anyone give me a ballpark estimate on what they would expect to spend on these things? The house is just under 2000 sf, a two story 4bed, and the asking price is 129k (the average similar home in turnkey condition would probably start at, mmmmm, 165k minimum around here).

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I'm trying to imagine the quantities of the materials involved but nothing's happening.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 2:59PM
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Without seeing a photo, knowing the age of the house, the extint of the damages, or the general locale, it's pretty much impossible to give even a ball park estimate. My thought is that the $35-40k difference in selling prices would not be enough to cover the repairs.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 3:33PM
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I don't know your location, but I agree that the difference between the turnkey house and this one does not sound like it is enough money to cover what repairs need to be done.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 7:48PM
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We just bought a house with lots of issues (roof, plumbing, electrical, poorly done renovations, bad siding, etc.) and I would say unless you are prepared to do a LOT yourselves, you would definitely need far more than the difference between this house and the turnkey one to do the work.

We are probably in a much more expensive market than you are (based on that house price) and we are paying about $25K just for the roof, because the previous roof was failing and there was a TON of damage to wood underneath that needed to be replaced -- original quote was for $14K before the old shingles came off! This is a moderately priced roofing job, we could have gone cheaper but we only want to do a roof once. Redoing our wiring is going to cost ~$10K, plumbing ~$5K. We're doing all the demolition and plan to do drywall and finishing ourselves, otherwise those would be higher.

Siding is a HUGE expense -- around here it runs at least $15K to re-side a house. We're putting down a new slab floor in the unfinished basement and that will be around $4K. $250 per dumptruck load (and we've filled three already). Anywhere from $700-$3000 for new water heater, depending on whether we go tankless.

Then there are the multitude of "smaller" expenses, like replacing some of the windows (previous owner put vinyl windows meant for a stucco house on one with wood siding), someday refinishing the floors, laying a new patio, extending the deck, interior paint -- it all adds up! We figure it will cost us at least $150K to get the house to where we want it (spread over many years) but it will still be far less than we would have paid for a turnkey house in the same neighborhood.

Hope that's somewhat helpful!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 11:55PM
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