When you buy a fixer-upper property, follow these tips to avoid getting in a financial fix:
1. Get Inspections. These are key to determine whether a fixer-upper is worth it. A home inspector can uncover hidden issues in need of replacement or repair, such as non-working components and structural problems. A termite inspection and a determination of whether on sewer or a septic tank (and its inspection and evaluation) are also important.
2. Figure out what can you do yourself. Do you really have the skill, time and desire to do it? Some tasks, like demolition and painting, are relatively easy. Others, like electrical work, can be dangerous when not done by professionals.
3. Determine the cost. Get contractors to give you a written cost estimate on the remodeling and repair tasks that need to be done. If you’re doing the work yourself, price the supplies. Either way, tack on 15% to 25% to cover unforeseen problems.    Next in Part 2: Permit Costs, Budgets and Supervision.