Challenges of Fixing Up a Property When You Live Out of State

Your parent passed away, and you’ve inherited their home. Or maybe you moved away and rented out the house for a few years and now you want to sell. You know you want to sell the house, but it’s been years since it has been updated. Why, the kitchen still has that 70s vinyl on the floor and a green stove or maybe your tenant failed to take care of the house and left it with some serious issues. The house is going to need  major updates to appeal to any buyer.

You might drive or fly in to see the house in person. It’s even worse than you thought. You’re probably going to need to hire a contractor to update the electrical and plumbing for it to even pass inspection. New carpet, new fixtures, maybe even a complete kitchen and bath remodel if you’re willing to put that much money into it. Before you start the demo, consider the challenges you face of fixing up a property when you live in another state.

Finding Contactors

Not all contractors are the same. You’re need to take some time to get estimates from multiple contractors so you can find the most affordable bid. You also want to check out the contractors on the Better Business Bureau and get testimonials or references of their work.

If you aren’t from the area or haven’t lived here for a long time, it can take weeks or even longer to find a contractor who can do the job within budget and in a reasonable timeframe. Most of the top contractors are going to be booked for months.

Supervising the Work and Making Decisions

Any remodel or renovation work can be complicated and time-consuming as you approve plans and find the right materials and products for the space. When you’re out of state, the job becomes even more difficult.

You have two choices: delay the progress by having every decision run through you or trusting a contractor you don’t even know to make those decisions. They may not know the best material for a countertop in this neighborhood or what style cabinets will create the most value.

You also won’t be able to supervise the work to make sure it gets done and completed correctly. There are contractors who will say they completed a job and either rushed through or didn’t bother to do it all, knowing you aren’t there to check up on them.

Knowing the Best Updates to Make for the Neighborhood

Unless you’re familiar with the neighborhood around the home or you have worked in real estate, you may not know what is popular with buyers in that area. You could end up putting more expense in the updates than what you will get out of the house when you sell.

It’s always a good idea to look at what comparable homes for price as well as for design. You can attend open houses and see what is currently in style for the specific neighborhood. Of course, this becomes more challenging when you don’t live in the state.

Before you think about updating your inherited home to increase the selling price, you might want to consider selling to an investment buyer who will take care of these hassles and give you cash for the property.

Adam Justiniano
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