February 17, 2014

Buying the Diamond in the Rough ~ A Worthwhile Investment

Sometimes, in the search for your dream home, you may come across a place that isn't in tip-top condition, but you clearly see that with a little work you could turn it into a beautiful home. You can see the potential that other buyers don't. So are you willing to do what it takes to bring the house up to par? This is often a house that has been on the market for a while and that other buyers have passed on. It could be because it needs a coat of paint (inside or out), new carpet, a new lawn or new landscaping. It could be loaded with rooms full of someone's old furniture or have floors in dire need of refinishing.  Maybe it just has a lack of curb appeal, and therefore just hasn't sold. Maybe it has an old, outdated kitchen and bathrooms that need updating. 

Whatever the case may be, a diamond in the rough is worth considering if you can envision, and are okay with, putting time and money into the property.  Salisbury, North Carolina has a wide range of homes available on the market today, from elegant move-in ready, to the fixer upper ~ it's all here.  Realtor® Greg Rapp can show you the full gamut, some he has listed, some listed by other real estate agents.  No matter!  If you are looking for that diamond in the rough, talk to Greg first!  He knows older homes and can give you the very best advice on your investment!  Start with giving Greg a call ~ 704.213.6846 ~ then get some important questions answered!

What if the house needs 'some work'?

The list here can be endless. The previous owners had young children or indoor pets and the house looks a little banged up or worn at the edges. Maybe they let the kids express their own creativity and there are crayon drawings all over the walls. The current owners don't have the time or want to repaint and are leaving it as is. Just the paint alone can be expensive, including all painting supplies, but it's within your financial reach.  The carpet is worn and dusty, the wallpaper looks like something out of an old movie, and don't even mention the light fixtures.  If you put in new carpet, tile, or wood floors, it will cost $500-$2500 or upwards (the price will depend on room size and quality of materials chosen). You can remove wallpaper and repaint ($100 or so if you do it ~ $500+ if you have it done) and install new fixtures (the price range here is all up to your tastes).

The previous owners maybe weren't interested much in lawn maintenance or landscaping. The greenery has seen better days, the bushes have grown out of control, the gutters are full of leaves and in disrepair. The windows or doors may need to be replaced. Add new shrubs for as little as $100 to $500 or more depending on the size of the area.

Put in new doors and windows to the cost of $200 and up for each. The sagging garage out back may need to be torn down and rebuilt. You can build a new garage for roughly $8,400 to $10,800 for a one car to $13,300 to $17,100 for a two car garage.  Adding an addition for a study or a family room starts from $29,000. This increases the home's value.

Regardless of what the house needs, if you can picture it as repaired and looking good, then you may have a great deal on your hands and have found your perfect home.
What if the home is in a 'transitional neighborhood'?
Your particular diamond in the rough may be in a neighborhood that is changing. People like you might be moving in, renovating and remodeling - young professionals in the area may see the potential and are taking advantage of homes that were all built around the same time. While a Realtor can't really talk about the details of neighborhoods, many of these homes are ideal for a valuable home investment. Ask the neighbors about neighborhood culture and request a neighborhood crime information sheet from the local police department. Become as educated as you can about your new, potential neighborhood.  Often all it takes is more folks like you moving in to revitalize a neighborhood!

What if the house has good bones?
Some things may not be negotiable. If the house requires an expensive foundation repair and the owner will not budge on the asking price, you should probably keep shopping around for a new house. However, a new furnace or central heating and air conditioning is comparatively inexpensive, depending on the size of the home. This does not need to be a deal breaker.
Some houses need exterior work and landscaping, and the plumbing and electrical systems may need updating, but the interior structure and foundation are in good shape. These homes are worth considering. With some work on your part, the house can be a real value. 

Don't pass up on the diamond in the rough! Compare them to other houses that your real estate agent is showing you. Other sellers in the neighborhood may be asking $40,000 more for similar houses because they are in better condition, but your diamond in the rough may only need $20,000 and some sweat equity to turn it into a real gem. In short, it's worth your while to consider a house that needs a little bit of work to turn into a home that you will love. These homes with potential are worth a second look.

Ready to get your hands on a diamond in the rough?  Give Greg Rapp a call at 704.213.6846 ~ be a part of a movement to revitalize and preserve the older homes in Salisbury NC!

Adapted from Buying a House that is a Diamond in the Rough, by Philop Commins, www.realtor.com

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