Home>Discussions>YOUR HOME>Home & Real Estate>Our house has required so many repairs, when to cut our losses and sell
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g and a's mom
Our house has required so many repairs, when to cut our losses and sell
g and a's mom

We bought a house built in 1973. Other than some cosmetic changes, we did not anticipate any major upkeep. Well, we were wrong. Apparently there was some water damage that was covered up with paint and wood putty ( we have had to replace window sills and trim and there is still more to do) and we have discovered the house is very cold due to lack of insulation and lots of single pane windows. ( We have had insulation specialists out who say there is nothing we can do as there is some insulation in the wall and any insulation they blow in will blow back out). The list goes on... Turns out the "new" roof they put on was with the cheapest shingles and that will need to be replaced shortly.

I am suggesting to my husband, since we probably have to sink $100K into the house to fix all the issues, do we cut our losses and buy a smaller but newer house. Thoughts?

Re: Our house has required so many repairs, when to cut our losses and sell

Is this your primary residence or a vacation home? What's your long term plan; is this the last home you're going to own or do you plan on moving sometime in the future?

There are some extraordinary deals on homes in the market today - especially for cash buyers - if this is your primary and last, I'll sink as much money into it as it needs, otherwise I'd be looking around for something in better shape.

Re: Our house has required so many repairs, when to cut our losses and sell

You are not alone with this challenge. Aside from the countless stories we hear, I ask the same question of my family since purchasing a few months ago.

No matter what house you purchase, you will have problems. We all hope and hear of the homes with little or no problems. But frankly, those are the homeowners everyone in the TOH discussion board purchased their house from --- which is why we are all posting our questions and trying to fix the problems the last homeowner did nothing about.

Pick your battles. I can easily add up $100K of work, but a perfect house is not achievable.

Water Damage - This is the first priority you need to tackle. It can grow to mold or carpenter ant problems very quickly. (for the record, our homeowner did the same thing).

Windows -- purchase storm windows to tied you over until you are ready to upgrade them. If you do not plan on living there a while, then forget about replacing them. If you plan on living there for a while (more than 5 years) then consider spacing these out, starting with the larger windows).

Insulation -- there are options. I would suggest a slow cured poured foam insulation (closed cell-open cell mix). There is a company called Retrofit Foam that will give you an idea of what it is (these guys are installers, but you can see the product). The foam can be poured into walls despite there being old insulation. Not ideal, but it will work.

However, focus your efforts on the attic first. Make sure it is very well insulated. Then look around the sill area of your home (in the basement)...fill these voids with a foam or batts. This will tie you over for a while and can be done on your own -- no pricey contractors.

Roof -- create a budget for this and begin saving now. Plan to do it in a few years. Until you have the money, just patch any problems. Besides, this will give you some practice.

Space the stuff out so it is less daunting. The more time you and your husband spend on these websites and trying out smaller projects, the more likely you will become comfortable doing the larger projects. For example, while today a new roof is for a professional...in a few years, you can probably tackle it. It is not as hard as you think. Besides, you can always try it first and call in the experts / professionals if you mess up.

Other things to consider -- (1) what is your house worth today? (2) Does that assume the house is in better condition; (3) Consider speaking to your inspector...he/she should have caught more of this -- might be a legal case; (4) What is the cost of Realtor fees, closing costs, move costs, and misc costs to sell your current house and purchase a new one. (5) How does this compare to the work you need to do? (6) Remember to forecast out at least 5 years...as every house will have work to do.

Does sinking $100K in the house improve its value? If not, and the cost of moving, selling, buying, etc. is less, then consider moving.

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