Costs of pricey home repairs/replacements? (& IDing them before buying)
January 21, 2014 10:43 AM Subscribe
We're first time homebuyers, and getting a little overwhelmed thinking about all the things we might have to fix and/or replace in whatever house we buy, and how that should affect what we're willing to pay for a home. What are the most expensive (and/or frustrating to fix) things we should be keeping an eye out for and factoring into deciding whether to make an offer on a house and the offer price (i.e. adjusting up/down compared to comparable homes)?
We're interested both in actual problems/concerns (ie bad foundation, lead/radon/asbestos, unsafe wiring) as well as hearing about the most expensive stuff that needs to be replaced eventually in any house (ie, it seems like roofs are really expensive, so having a newer roof should affect our offer price a lot more than, say, a newer fridge, right? It seems like a lot of things are in the "$1000-$2000ish to replace every 10-15 years" category and that's fine, we're more interested in stuff above that threshold, unless it's a particularly big hassle to deal with logistically.) Plus things like energy efficiency/insulation that affect ongoing energy costs and add up over time.
We'd really love to know rough dollar figures on how much these things cost to deal with (it may vary by region, so if you wouldn't mind sharing that it'd be appreciated), both for financial planning purposes and to think about how it should affect our offers.
We'd also really appreciate advice on what we can figure out prior to putting in an offer and paying for an inspection, both what to look for during a home tour and what to expect for homes of different ages and using different building materials (we're in the DC area... looking especially but not exclusively in an area with houses built around 1950, many of them brick.) Also if there's stuff not covered in a standard inspection but worth a special inspection before buying.
Thanks so much! (We are total newbies at house stuff, and I feel like other people are way more educated on this kind of thing, whether from experience or just watching more (any!) HGTV than us or whatever. Trying to play catchup and having a hard time finding internet or other resources that actually give real numbers or split the big stuff from the little stuff, so hopefully AskMe can come to the rescue...)