Homebuyer beware look for these key signs to avoid a money pit

If you’ve seen the Tom Hanks classic movie, “The Money Pit,” you know that while it’s funny happening to someone else, when your fixer-upper home becomes a money pit, it’s more like a horror movie. If you’re looking for a new property and considering an underpriced fixer-upper, you could end up with a nightmare full of endless home repairs. Here are some ways to make sure your Northwest Ohio home-buying reality doesn’t become the stuff of movies and cost you more money than you bargained for.

One of the most important components of a home, it should stand on a solid foundation: a steel-reinforced, concrete perimeter foundation wall, and footing. The foundation should be straight and square—if you notice leaning or bulging in places, the structure could be compromised.


In the basement, check for large cracks or gaps in the foundation walls.

Musty odors come from mold or mildew, and mold isn’t always visually detectable; it could be lurking inside the walls. If the home has a basement or crawlspace, look for signs of previous flooding, like moisture or water marks on the foundation walls. Where there’s moisture, mold can grow. Some kinds of mold are harmless and can be handled easily, while others may require expensive repairs. A professional mold inspector uses equipment that detects the mold you can’t see.

Before purchasing any home, hire a reputable home inspector to explore every crevice of your home and prepare a thorough report. A home inspector will usually charge several hundred dollars for the inspection and report, and it’s money that’s well-spent. A professional home inspector has seen hundreds or thousands of homes, and they know what to look for. Based on the inspection report, you may be able to renegotiate a lower purchase price, or even have enough reasons to look for another home. While inspectors can be great, don’t rely on this alone, there are other professionals you may need to call in too.

If you’ve seen the Tom Hanks classic movie, “The Money Pit,” you know that while it’s funny happening to someone else, when your fixer-upper home becomes a money pit, it’s more like a horror movie. If you’re looking for a new property and considering an underpriced fixer-upper, you could end up with a nightmare full of endless home repairs. Here are some ways to make sure your Texas home-buying reality doesn’t become the stuff of movies and cost you more money than you bargained for.

One of the most important components of a home, it should stand on a solid foundation: a steel-reinforced, concrete perimeter foundation wall, and footing. The foundation should be straight and square—if you notice leaning or bulging in places, the structure could be compromised. In the basement, check for large cracks or gaps in the foundation walls.

Musty odors come from mold or mildew, and mold isn’t always visually detectable; it could be lurking inside the walls. If the home has a basement or crawlspace, look for signs of previous flooding, like moisture or water marks on the foundation walls. Where there’s moisture, mold can grow. Some kinds of mold are harmless and can be handled easily, while others may require expensive repairs. A professional mold inspector uses equipment that detects the mold you can’t see.

Before purchasing any home, hire a reputable home inspector to explore every crevice of your home and prepare a thorough report. A home inspector will usually charge several hundred dollars for the inspection and report, and it’s money that’s well-spent. A professional home inspector has seen hundreds or thousands of homes, and they know what to look for. Based on the inspection report, you may be able to renegotiate a lower purchase price, or even have enough reasons to look for another home. While inspectors can be great, don’t rely on this alone, there are other professionals you may need to call in too.