Who hasn’t been swept away with the romantic idea of taking a neglected or dilapidated property with hidden character and restoring it to its former glory? There’s a certain nostalgic appeal to this sort of thing and while it can be rewarding you need to go into such a venture with your eyes wide open in Vancouver real estate. Like all good real estate agents we’ve got some things for you to consider and some top tips before you buy your Vancouver “fixer-upper”!
Older material and older technology
Whilst your older property will undoubtedly come with plenty of character, some or all of that character will come from the materials used and the technology level of the day. This can bring its problems so be sure to hire specialist building inspectors/surveyors and highly skilled, niche contractors who will be well-versed in the restoration of older properties.
It’s likely that your older Vancouver home will require some remodelling. Open plan living for example just wasn’t a thing when many older homes were designed and built so you need to make sure that, firstly, the home you buy is suitable for the remodelling you desire and, secondly, that you have enough contingency money to pay for the remodelling itself. Be sure to enlist the help of a designer before purchasing to assist with this.
The best advice we can give as Vancouver realtors on this subject is make sure you look into it. Many people overlook the cost of insuring an older property and assume that their current costs (perhaps from a newer home) will be similar. But put yourself in the shoes of the insurer; older houses may have older wiring which is a fire hazard. The plumbing may be outdated and prone to leaks and that’s not to mention structural problems.
Make sure you fully understand the insurance picture before you put that offer in.
There are two things which you should work on straight away with an older home if they aren’t already up to scratch; the roof and your windows.
If your roof is ten to fifteen years old you need to replace it and if it’s an older property it will be even more prone to leaks and other faults.
If you have older windows the likelihood is that they are single pane and don’t insulate your property very well. You need to consider your mitigation for this; do you need to budget to replace them with double glazing? Will you improve the heating system to compensate? Whatever you decide make sure you’ve thought it through properly.
For more Vancouver real estate tips, contact Paul Eviston (604-737-8865) or his team of Vancouver real estate agents at Remax Select Properties. Our office is located in Kerrisdale, Vancouver and we specialize in Downtown Vancouver, East Vancouver and Westside Vancouver real estate | Learn more at www.pauleviston.com