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Old 12-19-2018, 07:24 AM
 
Location: PRM (Peoples Republic of MN)
2,617 posts, read 712,592 times
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I'm wondering buying a shell of a house is better than a house that has been livable?


The logic being - you know what you are getting.


In this scenario, is it more logical to buy a house you know needs everything, versus your standard house on the market?


If you have $100K (with good credit and can get a mortgage) - would you be better off spending $25-50K on a house that needs everthing or paying $150K that you perceive to be all good to go?


How often do houses that are "livable" become "lemons" or houses that wind up sucking you dry?
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:38 AM
 
1,619 posts, read 640,678 times
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The shell of the house will likely end up costing you more in the long run, unless you can do the bulk of the work yourself.
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Virginia
3,529 posts, read 1,721,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavalier View Post
I'm wondering buying a shell of a house is better than a house that has been livable?


The logic being - you know what you are getting.


In this scenario, is it more logical to buy a house you know needs everything, versus your standard house on the market?


If you have $100K (with good credit and can get a mortgage) - would you be better off spending $25-50K on a house that needs everthing or paying $150K that you perceive to be all good to go?


How often do houses that are "livable" become "lemons" or houses that wind up sucking you dry?
If you have a really decent home inspector, then you should have a good idea of what you are getting in a house that has been lived in anyway. You seem to be trying to buy the cheapest house available with the idea that it's going to be a good "fit" for you. Generally, you need the time, labor, and money to put into it. Do you want a property that is an investment or a home that is ready to move into? Big difference.
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
4,053 posts, read 2,232,372 times
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You don’t actually have that simple of a choice. If you require traditional bank financing, they will not finance that shell of a house that’s not livable.
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:45 AM
 
653 posts, read 398,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavalier View Post
I

How often do houses that are "livable" become "lemons" or houses that wind up sucking you dry?

A lot less often than houses that are not "livable".
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:03 AM
 
980 posts, read 437,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal25 View Post
A lot less often than houses that are not "livable".
Agreed. We are still remodeling our temporary home, a ‘69 ranch that was impeccably maintained and functioned fairly well. But the furnace still died, the entire thing needed rewiring, all that requires major drywall and paint work, etc. And that’s on a home that already had a new roof and windows as well as decades of good maintenance.

It’s not a lemon of a house, but homeownership in an older home can be extremely expensive on an ongoing basis, especially if you aren’t handy. Unless you’re trying to renovate or flip don’t set yourself up with a properly that is barely sound as is. Our home passed inspection with three or four things to remediate, and was solid as can be. And we still have had to sink 30-40k into it here in the first year. Don’t be foolish.

I hate to say it, but if the house needs everything and you aren’t doing all the labor yourself, you’re going to be spending more than 50k.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:23 AM
 
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Buying a junk house is not wise.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:31 AM
 
2,264 posts, read 1,630,215 times
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Good thinking, but in reality is not a good idea to do so. The building might require a lot more attention if you buy a junk house. On top of hat, you might get violation from local government agencies. If it get worst, you might need to submit correction in order to do anything to the properties. So, no, junk house is really not worth your money and time.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
1,978 posts, read 920,633 times
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Do you mean a house that is actually in bad repair?

Or a house that is missing vital elements (a that kitchen doesn't have a refrigerator or stove, for example, or bathrooms that have been roughed in but not built, or flooring that was ripped up but not replaced.).

Or do you simply mean a house that is in good repair and is fully functional but has dated features that you would probably replace for style reasons?

If you're talking about the first option, I'd avoid it. That house probably has some other serious issues in addition to the ones you see. To me, a house like that says someone else made the decision not to throw good money after bad, and there was a reason that decision was made. Unless you plan to tear it down and start completely from scratch I'd avoid it. My opinion, of course; I'm no expert.

I might consider the house that is simply missing elements. Maybe the seller was in the middle of fixing it up and simply ran out of money. But I would probably decide against it, on the theory that there might be underlying problems.

As for the third option, a a house that is fully functional but has dated features, I'd seriously consider buying it. Have it thoroughly inspected, of course. But FWIW, I did just that and got a house with good bones for a really good deal simply because I was willing to strip a little wallpaper and it wasn't painted Millennial Grey. Oh, and I have to live with kitchen cabinets from the 80s, and a white refrigerator that doesn't have an ice maker. Oh the horrors.
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
7,292 posts, read 5,425,663 times
Reputation: 9980
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavalier View Post
I'm wondering buying a shell of a house is better than a house that has been livable?


The logic being - you know what you are getting.


In this scenario, is it more logical to buy a house you know needs everything, versus your standard house on the market?


If you have $100K (with good credit and can get a mortgage) - would you be better off spending $25-50K on a house that needs everthing or paying $150K that you perceive to be all good to go?
It probably is better from an ROI standpoint assuming you're able and willing and have the financial resources in order to do so.

The thing is, that its rare for a "Shell" to come on the market. Normally you're buying a fixer upper that has untold possible demons hiding from you. So you have less idea what you're getting than in one that is "liveable."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavalier View Post
How often do houses that are "livable" become "lemons" or houses that wind up sucking you dry?
Rarely, if you get a decent pre purchase inspection. If you know the house has a 30 year old HVAC but a 5 year old roof that you need to be planning for the HVAC soon.
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