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Real Estate Tips

4 Home Repairs that Cost Top Dollar

Posted on Friday, January 27, 2017

Make sure that lovely deck and siding doesn't hold any expensive secrets.

Home for sale! That sign may make your heart skip a beat, but are the homes you're looking at worth the investment? As a prospective homeowner, you need to be aware of the true value of each home that you see.

One element that affects home value is potential home repair costs. Have the homes you visit been repaired in a way that will save you money in the long run, or do they come with hidden needs that will break the bank? Here are four home repairs it's best to avoid whenever possible, simply because they're so expensive.

1. Foundation Problems Can Be Invisible in a Home For Sale

You've heard the cliches about the importance of having a firm foundation in life. The cliches are true for homes as well. The foundation of a home holds up your house, and without it, your house will shift, crack, and become dangerously unstable.

Clogged, overflowing gutters or a slope that moves water toward the foundation rather than away from it can cause the soil around the foundation to shift. This leads to foundation cracks and leaks. According to HouseLogic, the cost of repairing a foundation can run from $10,000 to $40,000. It's definitely not as cheap as repainting your living room. Talk with a home inspector before you buy to make sure that the house you love has a strong foundation.

Roof repairs can be pricey, and damaged roofs can cause damage inside a home as well.

2. Roof Problems Are Home Problems

Your roof is the shield for your house, and if your roof leaks, your entire house can have problems. Roof leaks can damage attic insulation and cause structural damage to the trusses and decking underneath the roof. A leaky roof can also drip down the side of a house, causing problems with the siding.

Look carefully for standing water on the roof, areas with excessive moss growth, and places where roofing shingles or tiles are broken, worn, or cracked. Look at the seams between the roof and other structures such as the chimney as well. According to How Stuff Works, lost shingles and spot leaks are easy enough to fix for a few hundred dollars, but if the damage is too extensive - or dangerous - you might have to replace the entire roof. Ask an inspector to look inside the attic to ensure that there are no leaks damaging the interior of the building.

3. Replacing Your Home Siding

That old wooden siding is so attractive, until you notice that it's fading, cracking, and leaking. Like the roof, home siding experiences constant pummeling by the elements. The rain hits it, the sun shines on it, and in the winter, water can leak down from the leaky gutters and freeze on the siding. Siding is vulnerable to mold, moss, and rot. It's also vulnerable to pest invasions, such as damage by termites that enjoy tunneling in damp wood. According to Cheatsheet, termite damage is generally not something that homeowner's insurance covers.

Before you buy, take a hard look at the home siding. Is it structurally sound, or has it been damaged by storms, weather, and pests? Is it leaking into the home, causing water damage? According to CheatSheet, water damage in a large, 500-square-foot area can cost you $6,000. If you need to repaint or repair siding, your repairs may not be as expensive, but if you need to replace all of your siding, that's a project that will cost you top dollar.

4. Reconstructing Decks, Stairs, and Porches

Whoops! That's the sound of your foot heading through the deck into the air below. A deck, porch, or a lovely set of stairs adds value to a home. However, when no one has maintained that deck for many years and it's been allowed to rot, you not only need to repair, replace, or remove it, you are liable for the injuries that could occur when people get hurt because they slip on your steps or fall over the side of the rotten deck. According to We Buy Ugly Houses, eventually, a rotted deck must be completely torn down and rebuilt, which can easily set you back $7,000 to $10,000. Take special care during an inspection to look at the structural integrity of decks, porches, and stairs. Look at the stairs that lead up to them, the railings that surround them, and the supports underneath.

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