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Old 10-01-2006, 05:49 PM   #1
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


Hopefully this is not totally off topic or in the wrong section. I apologize if it is.

My wife and I are hunting for our first house. We saw a house that we really like but it apparently needs a lot of repairs. Before we make an offer and hire a home inspector and structural engineer, we'd like to determine a ballpark range for the repairs in order to make an appropriate offer.

The house is an antique Single Family roughly 1500 square feet in MA. The seller did home consultation which I have a copy of.


The major repairs needed include and we'd have to hire a general contractor:


* new concrete floor in basement.
* new garage door
* new heating system
* new oil tank
* new water heater
* replacing some brass water pipes
* bathroom needs to be redone and moved to an adjacent room


Can someone estimate what we are talking about roughly? thanks

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Old 10-01-2006, 05:53 PM   #2
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


30,000-150,000 bucks.

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Old 10-01-2006, 06:17 PM   #3
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


$30,000 to $200,000
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:49 PM   #4
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


May I ask why I am getting such a wide range?

We are obviously tight on money and want to make the house safe and livable. Eventually we will make it nice(r). Right now our concern is whether we can turn this home into something livable with less than 30K-50K... It is a great opportunity if we can achieve this first step. thanks.

Is it feasable to call up local general contractors to have them come an estimate the job before we even make an offer on the house or will they just laugh at me?

Last edited by kelly001; 10-01-2006 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:57 PM   #5
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001 View Post
May I ask why I am getting such a wide range?

We are obviously tight on money and want to make the house safe and livable. Eventually we will make it nice(r). Right now our concern is whether we can turn this home into something livable with less than 30K-50K... It is a great opportunity if we can turn achieve this first step. thanks.

Is it feasable to call up local general contractors to have them come an estimate the job before we even make an offer on the house or will they just laugh at me?
30 to 50 sound like doable numbers to me. HS
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Old 10-01-2006, 07:01 PM   #6
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


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Originally Posted by kelly001 View Post
May I ask why I am getting such a wide range?
Because you're asking a question in which you have not given nearly enough data. It is a truly impossible question to answer given the fact that you've only given a general scope of work and nothing else. The only sure way would be by a site visit by a contractor in your market area. You can easily spend 30K on the bathroom alone.
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Old 10-01-2006, 07:19 PM   #7
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


A general rule of thumb would be to do comps in the neighborhood, compare it to the price being asked for, then take that difference, double it and apply it to your "great deal". If the numbers work, then it might be worth it. If you ask a contractor to come look at a house you do not own to do work you may or may not do, for free, you will not get much response.

If you want realistic esimates in this situation, you should pay consulting fees to a contractor to do budgetary estimates with no guarantee of him doing the work. Even at that, when it comes time to bid the actual project, your costs will probably be higher than any guestimates you get prior to actual bid-letting. Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:28 PM   #8
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


good luck! working on a fixer-upper is very satisfying (my fiance and i are in the same situation with our new house)
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:11 PM   #9
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I am a contractor in MA and the budget that you are proposing for those repairs is fine. The only thing is with an antique home there could be other things that can go along with those repairs. The basement floor needs to be replaced, which also means now the lolly columns ( if any ) will need to be set in footings, as they probably were just set on the floor. If this is the case and the floor needs replacing the house has probably settled in the middle. It says replace some brass pipes, is this for the bathroom remodel or another problem. Also when work is done to the home some things will have to be brought up to todays code. There are a lot of variables. If you can get a good home inspector, he/she can give you a ballpark figure on what the cost could be to repair whatever they find. Good Luck.
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:36 AM   #10
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


I'm not sure where the brass pipes are. The home consultant hired by the seller noted the water supply pipes being a mix of copper and brass pipes. He advised the brass pipes should be replaced.

The consultant did advise replacing the wooden posts in the basement with steel posts with proper footing.

We do have a good home inspector/structural engineer who can quote us for the repairs but we didn't want to bid without adjusting our offer to reflect the anticipated repairs. The home inspection would obviously come after our offer was accepted.

Would it be cheaper to use gas to replace the oil used for the new heating system? Seeing as the oil tank is a goner and there appears to be a gas line that was used for the water heater...

thanks!
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:51 PM   #11
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


In our area, brass was used in certain sections of town for a while. I've had opportunity to remodel several of these homes and the brass is in near perfect condition after 70-80 years.

I would question why he's recommending removal, unless there is something about the water supply that isn't brass friendly.

If you do remove it, recycle it. There is a lot of brass in those pipes, and a lot of money. Don't just toss it out. Brass 1/2 schedule 40 pipe is about 1 lb. per foot of weight.

Last edited by Double A; 10-03-2006 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:55 PM   #12
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One thing you could look into is Keyspan. Sometimes they run a program where they will install a new heating system for free if you change to gas. Check to gas company also.
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Old 10-03-2006, 03:32 PM   #13
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001 View Post
May I ask why I am getting such a wide range?

We are obviously tight on money and want to make the house safe and livable. Eventually we will make it nice(r). Right now our concern is whether we can turn this home into something livable with less than 30K-50K... It is a great opportunity if we can achieve this first step. thanks.

Is it feasable to call up local general contractors to have them come an estimate the job before we even make an offer on the house or will they just laugh at me?
if your doing the majority of the work yourself, and have some contacts, and are not looking into installing extravagent materials I'd say you'd be well under 50K. We are in the same situation, we basically have repleced everyting except some of the drywall and insualtion and have yet to spend 50K.
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:13 PM   #14
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An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home)


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I would question why he's recommending removal, unless there is something about the water supply that isn't brass friendly.
The brass pipes were corroded and rusted.
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammatime View Post
One thing you could look into is Keyspan. Sometimes they run a program where they will install a new heating system for free if you change to gas. Check to gas company also.
thanks for the tip!

I heard gas can be more expensive than oil to heat in some states. Is that the case in Mass?

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