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If you purchase an Edmonton house that needs fixing then that decision is a good investment as long as the repairs are not too costly.  But not all fixer-uppers come with small problems. Some come with pricey secrets that can pull your budget to the limit. So before you buy that money pit know some of the telltale signs that your old-house dream is a nightmare in disguise.

Failing Foundation

Foundation walls that have large cracks, bow, moldy basements or crawl spaces are red flags that you should call for a structural engineer and conduct an investigation. Because the foundation supports the entire Edmonton house, if there is a problem with the foundation then you better think twice before making an offer.

Ancient Electrical Finds

A major expense when buying a fixer-upper is replacing outdated electrical wiring.  If you find single, fabric-covered wires on white insulator knobs, a small breaker panel with only a few breakers or old fuse panels, then prepare your wallet!

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Odd House Frame

It doesn’t necessary mean that if the floors of an Edmonton house are slightly sloping that it has structural problems. But signs there may be problems with the house’s framing are: hard to close doors, bowed siding, gaps between baseboards and flooring and floors that dip, bounce or sag.

Smells Like Sunken Spirits

If the fixer-upper that you are looking into is sitting lower than it’s yard and regularly receives rain then it may have drainage problems.

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Antiquated Major Systems 

An old house will need some updating with the mechanical systems that may have been neglected by the previous owner.  Check HVAC units for installation dates and check faucets for sufficient water pressure. 

As Is

The “as is” clause is the first sign that there is a problem with what you’re buying. If you buy the fixer-upper then you will be buying its problems. Before making an offer, have the Edmonton house inspected by a professional and gather the repair estimates. 

Insect Devastation 

Structural damage caused by pest especially the wood-boring pests, can incur extremely steep costs. Look for a cracked foundation, walls or ceilings and small pellets throughout the house. This may be the doing of termites and other pests. Better be vigilant before offering a deal.

Hazardous Houses

Houses that have been built in the 1970’s or even earlier may contain asbestos and lead-based paint. Before buying an older Edmonton house hire a substance professional because removing these materials will require a hefty amount of money. 

A fixer-upper is a good starting Edmonton property. But if something is a liability then it is better to move-on and find a better deal.  

Come and follow the team on Twitter at @teamleadingedge. Make sure to subscribe to Team Leading Edge to get newsletters on the Edmonton Real Estate market.

Note: Remember, you can access all our available Homes For Sale in Edmonton through our Edmonton MLS Listings page. 

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