Needs Major Repairs

Selling a house that needs work vs. fixing up a home for sale

Your home doesn’t need ”a few” repairs. It needs all of them—your house needs updates, foundation repairs, or pest removal.

Oh, and new appliances.

The costs of all of the necessary repairs are staggering, and you’re overwhelmed. If you’re selling a house that needs work, then you have two main options: fix up your home for sale, or sell ”as is” to a cash buyer.

Fixing your home up can be advantageous if you have a plan and budget, and you know what you’re doing. But, even with careful budgeting, inexperienced homeowners can quickly get out of their depth.

It costs tens of thousands to remodel multiple rooms in your home. That’s no cheap fix. Lots of things can go into this cost.

For example, if you’re renovating a bathroom, you have to think about hourly rates for contractors and plumbers (which can range from about $45 to $150 and more), tile (which can cost as much as $5,000), etc., etc. No wonder the average bathroom remodel costs almost $16,000. Kitchens? More than three times that.

Beyond just the money, home remodels take time. And a lot of it. It can be several months after you sign a contract with a general contractor before they can start your remodel. And, unless you want to rent an apartment during the renovation, you’re going to have to live on a job site for months before your home is retail-ready.

The Most Common Major House Repairs

Every house is different, but there are a handful of major house repairs we see in our line of work that often lead to someone selling their house as-is because the work would just cost too much money.

Even if you if you did any significant repairs yourself—especially if you didn’t use a permit—would need to be disclosed to the potential buyer. Federal and state laws about disclosure vary across the country, but you’ll probably need to disclose every problem you’ve experienced in your home before you sell it to save yourself from legal trouble down the road.

For those selling a house that needs work, that might mean the difference between a buyer purchasing the home or cutting their losses and walking away.

Foundation cracks repair giving you sticker shock?

For homeowners, foundation problems can be a scary – and costly – thing to repair. The average foundation repair costs about $3,500, but some cracks require hydraulic pier installation, which can run up to about $40,000. Not many people have that kind of money just laying around.

And, if you’re doing to attempt a DIY repair, you need to be careful: you could just be exacerbating the issue. It’s crucial to treat the cause of the foundation crack, not just put a band-aid on the issue by patching it time after time.

Selling a house with foundation issues is an option to consider, especially when the repair cost is in the tens of thousands.

It’s true that some foundation cracks are not signs of underlying structural issues, but you should monitor growth or changes in even seemingly harmless hairline cracks. A good rule of thumb is that any crack over 1/16” is a sign of structural problems, but even a crack as small as 1/64” can let termites through.

Here are some warning signs to look for when it comes to foundation issues:

  1. Cracks in the flooring, walls, or foundation

Physical cracks are the most apparent sign of foundation issues. While all cracks should be taken seriously and monitored for signs of growth, horizontal cracks are the most series.

Horizontal cracks typically point to substantial structural issues and a buildup of hydrostatic pressure, which may even require excavation and the installation of hydraulic piers. If piering is needed, selling a house with foundation repairs might be the most economical decision.

Small vertical and L-shaped cracks are usually due to your foundation settling. Although settling is a regular occurrence, it is essential to monitor these cracks for changes that could point to more severe problems.

  1. Jammed doors

This warning sign is a little less obvious. But if you have a door that doesn’t shut easily, it could be a sign of foundation trouble. If this is the case, be sure to check the outside of your foundation, as well as your basement and crawlspace for further signs of foundation damage.

  1. Chipped or flaking concrete

Chipping or flaking foundations could point to problems with the concrete itself. Concrete foundations laid in the early 20th century was sometimes mixed with impure sand or excess water. Check the integrity of the concrete by tapping the foundation at several points with a screwdriver. If any further flaking or chipping occurs, then you may need to contact a professional.

Foundation cracks are not cheap to fix. If you called a foundation repair expert and got sticker shock at the price, don’t worry. Selling a house with foundation problems is always an option.

Water damage: A risk to your home and health

When you have extensive water damage in your home, it can be difficult to know where to turn.

First things first: your home’s water damage – no matter how substantial – is nothing to be embarrassed about. We’ve been buying damaged houses for 30 years now, and we’ve seen it all, from sagging ceilings to feet of standing water. No one wants water damage in their house, but if and when it happens, we’re here to help.

Deciding whether to pay for repairs or sell your water damaged house comes down to evaluating the costs and benefits to both your home and health.

  • Risks to Home

Water damage comes in many shapes and sizes. Four, in fact, according to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The four classes range from Class 1, which is relatively easy to repair and affects only part of a room, to Class 4, which will require specialty drying and has saturated such materials as brick, stone, and hardwood.

Class 4 water damage is characterized by its fast evaporation rate, which leads to higher humidity in the air, and can thus affect more significant areas of your home. While Class 4 is the most severe of the IICRC classifications, all types of water damage need to be dealt with adeptly and swiftly.

  • Risks to Health

Water damage – and especially standing water – comes with a whole host of potential health complications.

Similar to the IICRC destruction classifications, there are also categories to describe the water you see in your home.

”Clean water,” which usually comes from overflowing sinks or broken appliances, poses the smallest risk to your health, although the damaged area should still be repaired. Category 2 is often referred to as ”gray water” and can cause sickness if ingested, but Category 3 ”black water” is the most dangerous of the three.

Black water usually results from sewage problems and contamination of lower category ”clean” or ”gray” water. It is important to note that even ”clean” standing water can develop microbial growths within 24 hours and increases the risk of developing mold.

The presence of any type of water damage heightens your family’s risk for respiratory disease and can aggravate allergies or asthma.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also offers a helpful pamphlet about the health risks of excess moisture in your home that is worth reading before deciding whether to sell your flood-damaged home.

Mold remediation and selling a house with mold problems

Mold in your home is not only unsightly but extremely dangerous. While mold is a natural part of the environment, it won’t grow on surfaces such as walls or floors unless excess moisture is present. If you can see mold, you need to act quickly.

Depending on the severity and type of the mold growth, as well as the water damage causing the moisture build-up, the removal and repair costs could be quite high.

You can sell your house with mold, but going through the traditional model of realtors and closings will require you to pass inspection. Potential buyers, if they know about the mold damage, might make unreasonable demands with regards to repairs. A lot goes into selling a house with mold problems.

It’s essential, therefore, to treat mold growth quickly and at its source. Simply painting over mold might solve the aesthetic problems, but the mold will cause the paint to peel and the root of the problem – the mold – will still be there eating away at your wall.

And, according to the EPA whitepaper on mold, DIY mold remediation is only a safe option if the growth is under about 10 square feet. Anything more substantial is unsafe to remove without a professional.

If the idea (and cost) of mold removal and repair sounds overwhelming, or you are embarrassed about the extent of the damage, Wren Realty might able to help. We’ve been buying houses with mold damage for 30 years. We know the process that goes with mold remediation, and even the worst cases don’t deter us.

Your house and fire damage: What you need to know

There’s a lot to think about after a house fire. You just want to get back to your life. The last thing you want to do is spend thousands on fire damage repairs.

Even if your house looks fine, the structural integrity of your home could be severely compromised. Under no circumstances should you inhabit – or even re-enter – your home without having it inspected by a structural engineer and cleared by the fire department.

Chances are that they will only clear your house for habitation after you complete extensive repairs. In our experience, you can expect to spend about $2,200 to reverse the fire damage if you home has sprinklers. If your home doesn’t have sprinklers, you can expect to pay upwards of $45,000.

Depending on your homeowner’s insurance policy, you might have to pay for most of this out of pocket. Cutting your losses and selling your home as is to a wholesale buyer might be a good option if you don’t think you can cover the cost of fire restoration or you don’t want to deal with your insurance company.

If you sell your home as is to Wren Realty, we will deal with the insurance company, and you can leave this in your past.

Selling a home with termite damage: What you need to know

Once you know you have termite damage, you have two choices if you don’t want your home to fall into disrepair: treating and repairing it or selling it as is.

Depending on the extent of your home’s damage, you might want to consider selling your house as is to a cash buyer and saving yourself the hassle of initial and ongoing treatments, repairs, and inspections.

Pest control experts aren’t cheap dates, with the average termite treatments costing about $650-1200 and the repair costing three times that or much more, depending on the extent of the damage.

If your home has termite damage, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites are the most common termite in the St. Louis area. They usually live in loose, wet soil and use wooden parts of your house that touch the ground as entry points (i.e., porches, wood walls, decks). These are the kinds of colonies that create the mud tunnels made of soil, feces, and saliva. Nationally, subterranean termites cause millions of dollars annually in damage.

  1. Signs of termite damage

In our experience, termite damage is typically tough to spot until your home has suffered significant damage. Termite damage usually manifests itself in what appears like water damage and smells like mold.

Ceilings and walls can bulge or buckle, seemingly under the height of water. It is helpful to knock on wood furniture, flooring, and walls to listen for a hollow sound if you suspect a termite infestation. If you spot discarded wings or mud tunnels, however, you can be pretty sure you have visitors.

Because termite damage can often be hard to detect, once you do spot it, the damage can often be severe. Over the years, we’ve gotten many ”I need to sell my termite damaged home” calls. We understand your frustrations, and we’d love to take your house with termite history off your hands.

There are many options for repairing or selling a house with significant damage

You can opt to fix only those things absolutely necessary to sell your home through the traditional model, like the roof or the foundation. But even a bare-bones renovation plan can be quite expensive when new foundations can cost tens of thousands. And, your home isn’t likely to move as quickly with a distilled renovation plan as with a complete remodel.

Your other option for selling a house in bad condition is to sell it as is.

At Wren, we pay fair prices for fixer-uppers. Since we’ve been doing this for 30 years, so we know how to sell a house that needs work.

There are few things we haven’t seen. No matter how severe the damage, you don’t have to worry about feeling judged by the Wren team.

We’ll talk you through your choices, risk-free – if you choose not to sell to us, then we walk away friends. If you do, you walk away with cash and peace of mind. Just give us a call and let’s see how Wren can help sell your fixer-upper.

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