Things to Consider When Buying a Fixer-Upper
Structure and Foundation
These are the big repairs, and big repairs are expensive. Definitely double-check with your inspector, but some good indications are seeping water in the basement, slanting floors, and cracks.
Another costly repair is the roofing. Check for rot or damage, and be sure to consider that replacing roofing is expensive—and can require additional structural reinforcement if the new materials used will be heavier than the old materials.
Heating & Cooling Systems
How old is the furnace and what is its condition? How about the oil tank and water heater? And is there air conditioning? A home in Raleigh likely won’t sell for much without A/C.
Older plumbing is expensive to replace, and can be difficult to connect to newer plumbing systems. Check for leaks and the pressure, and consider the materials used in the current system, as bathroom or kitchen renovations could likely need plumbing additions or changes.
Old wiring can be a fire hazard, especially if it’s wired incorrectly. You may need to rewire or replace old systems.
Doors and Windows
Check for rot or damaged frames. Know that replacing old windows and doors can be expensive, especially if they are of an unusual shape or size.