When Mia Fitzharris and her husband of Long Island, New York got an incredible deal on an extreme fixer-upper home, they knew going in it had problems. But even still, they were in for an unwelcome surprise when an inspector told them the damages would cost up to $225,000 to repair, and included irreparable problems with a foundation which they had been hoping to keep.
“It’s a much bigger job than we were expecting to do,” Fitzharris, a Yahoo! employee, tells Destination Home in the episode above. “What we originally thought was going to be a gut renovation is now going to be a complete tear down, starting from scratch.”
As Mia’s story demonstrates, hidden house flaws found too late in the purchasing process can dash homeowners’ dreams and budgets.
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So in the accompanying video, we sat down with Jonathan and Drew Scott, who transform extreme fixer-uppers and educate viewers about it on their HGTV shows Property Brothers, Brother vs. Brother, and Buying and Selling.
They filled us in on their essential checklist of five things every homebuyer ought to look for to avoid buying a lemon. At the same time, we sent an inspector over to Mia’s house to see what these problems actually look like.
Check out the video above to see how to spot these five major problems and hear explanations for why missing them can cost you big time. (For example, a termite infestation can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars.)
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The checklist includes: mold, pests, outdated fixtures and wiring, cosmetic headaches like painted over wallpaper and poorly done DIY flooring, and drainage problems.
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From toxic mold to sloping sod that can cause floods – we show you how to spot them.